Ironman Mont Tremblant

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year In Review

Well 2011 certainly didn't go down as I planned.  Although I was rather pleased with the results of my running races, the triathlon season was pretty much a write off because of a stress fracture from the Toronto Marathon.

The race season was supposed to be as followed:

Chilly Half Marathon
Around The Bay (30 km)
Sporting Life 10 km
Toronto Good Life Marathon
Muskoka Long Course
Peterborough Half Iron
Calgary 70.3
Muskoka 70.3

So how did the race season go?

Chilly Half Marathon
I missed a PB by seconds despite rolling my ankle three times during the race.

Around The Bay 
A race which is older than the Boston marathon and one I've wanted to run for a long time.  I've trained three times for this race but only run it once due to injuries.  Oh yeah and I beat John P.

Sporting Life 10 km

The Toronto marathon.
My first marathon.  It was a crappy day and rained a lot and I could barely walk after the race. As it turned out I got a stress fracture on my lower shin.  That pretty much eliminated most of the triathlon races for the summer.

Muskoka Long Course

Peterborough Half Iron
This race turned into an Aqua\Bike as I still couldn't run.  I decided to give everyone a 25 minute head start on the swim as I stood on the shore watching the athletes come out of the water for the end of the first lap.  Only then did it dawn on me that it was a mass start.  Doh.  Also, it was smoking hot and had nutrition issues on the bike.

Calgary 70.3
DNS.  Although I was in Calgary during the race, I could barely run.  My long run was up to about 5 km.  The race would have been painful to finish (literally and figuratively)

Muskoka 70.3
A major disappointment as I was one minute slower than last year.  I thought with riding my new tri bike and power tap all summer, I would have seen an improvement

Tammy did a couple of Duathlons.  Guelph and Orillia - Kids of Steel and -Duathlon.html. The kids did the Kids Of Steel triathlon and it was a lot of fun on the Saturday and Tammy did the Duathlon the next day.

Looking Ahead To 2012
Well first thing is to look for a new coach.  I need to make a decision rather soon while i am still training it will be time to ramp it up.  On Friday morning I rode for 2:45 using my new riding shorts I bought on Boxing Day.  Tammy had given me an action DVD so I watched the first two movies.  The first one was dumb as it was about a small town cop discovering evidence about the Kennedy assassination and cover up.  The next movie was with Dolph Lundgren which I've never heard of and for good reason.  It was just brutal but it helped kill the time.

With Ironman Mont Tremblant looming in only 231 days, 2012 will be filled with lots of hard and long days.

Happy New Year and all the best for 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Boxing Day Score

Once upon a time ago, I used to go Boxing Day shopping (the day after Christmas and everything is on sale) with my brothers.  We would spend hours and hours at various malls around the city shopping for clothes and electronics.  We had it down to a fine art.  Leave the house by 6:00 am and hit several stores by 7:00 am.  Sometimes we'd be done by 11:00 am when the malls where getting crazily busy, other times we'd push on through and fight the crowds and come home late afternoon.  We'd usually spent lots of money and come home with tons of stuff.

Fast forward to this year.  I had zero desire to go out although I did browse on Best Buy's website for the Boxing Day sale which started Dec 25th at 8:00 pm.  I was mulling over getting a plasma TV for the bedroom to replace the old but still working 20 inch TV.  I passed as the prices weren't cheap enough.  Something about "need" versus "want."  However, I did decide there were several things I "needed" at Running Free.  They had 25% off everything plus and additional 20% off if you spent more than $500.  We got the full 45% off everything.  We picked up three pairs of shoes, two for me and one for Tammy.  I changed my shoes after the Toronto Marathon in May and the shoes are completely destroyed.  Talk about a heel striker.  The heel is completely worn down on the right side.  We also purchased new riding shorts, gel, bathing suit, and a new foam roller

This one is a lot more expensive but different than the other foam rollers I've been buying.  This one has a hard plastic tube inside so it can't be crushed unlike the foam rollers which over time lose their shape and effectiveness.  Not this one.  They sell for $50 but with the sale, I got for 45% off.  We spent over $700 after the discount.  Ouch

Last week I went to a physio therapist downtown a the Toronto Athletic Club Clinic in one of the office towers.  Ryan had come highly recommended by Scobie and I was looking for someone to build a simple but effective workout schedule for strength training and that I could do in my basement with minimal weights (ie body weight).  I had not used any my physio coverage from my work benefits so this was perfect.  I saw him three days in a roll.  The Toronto Athletic Club is on the 36th floor of an office tower and is pretty high end.  It caters to all lot of the downtown executives.  I'm not sure what the monthly fee is but it can't be cheap however, if I worked downtown, it would be super convenient.

On the first visit, I went through a series of strength and balancing tests.  Overall I wasn't bad but came up with a failing grade with a score of 13/21.  Basically any score lower than 14 can lead the body to injuries and oddly enough, I get hurt every year.  The second and third visit were going over the program that Ryan built for me. Its a pretty basic program that focuses on the glutes and legs and can be done with minimal weights and within 30 minutes but Ryan assured me that's all I need to minimize the injuries.  This should be perfect as I thoroughly agree that I need a strength training program but could never get anyone to build me one.  We'll see how it goes

Monday, December 26, 2011


Nothing else going on.  I ran on Christmas Day for 9.5 km and hit 181.2 pounds on the scale.  Oink oink

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Boston Marathon

Today a work colleague offered me the chance to run the Boston Marathon 2012 (without qualifying) via a special sponsorship/fundraising entry.

I thanked him but declined.  One of my brothers had run Boston several times to which he qualified each time.  I think my qualification time right now would be a 3:35 marathon to which I'm not even close.

Somehow, I felt that if I did accept, I didn't belong as I didn't "earn" my entry.  Odd.  I guess that would be sort of like going to Kona by winning the lottery.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

David Wilson

David Wilson

DAVID WILSON It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of our family member, David Wilson on December 12, 2011. Loving son of George and Barbara Wilson, devoted husband to Anny-Sandra Hamel and proud father of Marissa Rose and Arianne. He will be greatly missed by his sisters Karen (Mike), Susan and Michelle and brother-in-law Jean-Sebastian (Nathalie). Loving uncle to Megan, Kaitlyn, Audrey and Catherine. Highly respected son-in-law to Jean Hamel and Carmen Guay. Cousin to Keith (Jayne), Chris (Cindy) and many other cousins. David had a wonderful "joie de vivre" - a positive, outgoing person who loved life. His girls were his greatest source of pride and family was of utmost importance. David was a successful investment advisor with Nesbitt Burns, loved his new cottage, and shared many wonderful adventures with friends and family
I haven't talked to Dave in a couple of years but I've know Dave since our rookie training class back in September 1997.  I saw him a couple of times when I went downtown and we'd have a beer or two and oddly enough, I was thinking about him a couple of weeks ago. 
I don't know what happened but I do know that Dave was a good guy and he had two young kids that were a little older than my kids. 
This is a tough time of year for many people. 
Rest In Peace Dave

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Feeling Like a Loser This Holiday Season?

Here's How to Hire a Bigger Loser!

Now this holiday season - you can hire a bigger nerd than you.

A friend forwarded me an ad on Craigslist which pitches the services of the greatest holiday must-have ever—a Criticism Deflector.
"Perhaps you're the least successful of a number of siblings and will be reminded of this bleak reality ad nauseam during the long weekend," the ad began in originally pitching the service for Thanksgiving. "If you're losing sleep over the possibility of yet another Power Point presentation on the reasons why calling your life a failure is too good for you; then I can help."
The ad offers the services of a man in Asheville, North Carolina, who's willing to come to dinner with you and appear to be an even bigger failure than you are. This would make you look better.
"Don't be the most piteous person in the room, have the satisfaction of watching your pathetic proxy wear out your source of negativity."
The seller charges by the hour and offers several different packages: Loser ex-boyfriend, roommate who can't get life together, and co-worker with obvious drug/mental problems.
Too bad Thanksgiving passed. I could've used this guy.
I reached out to the seller to see if his services are still available for Hanukkah and Christmas.
They are.
I also got the hilarious back story on how the listing came to be.
"I started a blog earlier this year that centered around Craigslist postings," wrote the seller, who prefers to go by the nom de plume of H.D. Wimbledon. Turns out, Mr. Wimbledon is a former cable news anchor and reporter in Asheville who lost that job and has been making ends meet working part time at a local community college. In February, he launched his first tongue-in-cheek Craigslist post offering free breakfast to anyone who could explain the TV show "Lost". "I HAVE seen every episode of Lost," the ad reads, "repeat I HAVE watched the entire series, I just can't tie it all together." The ad got enough buzz that one of the creators of the ABC hit show put it on his Twitter feed.

There then followed a series of other Craigslist offers, including my favorite, an offer of "free candy" with a photo of a seedy looking van. "Comes with complementary van ride." Wimbledon's blog got some attention, but literary agents have yet to ring the phone off the hook. So the aspiring writer continues to Tweet hilarious musings and occasionally add another listing "just for kicks and giggles." 
I don't know Wimbledon's real name, even his name on Twitter isn't completely accurate. I just know that he's a guy. I also know he likes cats, because in one email he notified me he'd be offline for a while. "I’ve got to take my cat to the vet. I’m sure you’re shocked to learn I’m a multiple cat owner."
That's funny.
As for the Thanksgiving ad, Wimbledon tells me he didn't get many bites, but he's hoping for something more substantial during Christmas. However, he's willing to be your loser companion year round "for wide variety of other occasions such as class reunions, office parties, poetry slams & winery tours."
Wow, to be the biggest loser at a poetry slam will take some work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Now That's Got To Suck!

TOKYO—An outing of luxury sportscar enthusiasts in Japan ended in an expensive freeway pileup — smashing a stunning eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and two Mercedes likely worth more than $1 million together.

Police say they believe the accident Sunday was touched off when the driver of one of the Ferraris tried to change lanes and hit the median barrier. He spun across the freeway, and the other cars collided while trying to avoid hitting his car.
Even a used Ferrari in Japan can fetch $100,000 or more, meaning the total damage may be $1 million or more.
Police declined to comment on the total amount of damage, but said some of the vehicles were beyond repair.

NTV quoted the driver of one of the tow trucks brought in to clear the scene as saying it was the most expensive crash site he had ever seen.
No one was seriously injured, but police in Yamaguchi prefecture said 10 people were treated for bruises and cuts. Police say 14 cars were involved altogether.
The luxury cars were all in one place because they were being driven by a group of automobile enthusiasts on their way to nearby Hiroshima.

On the training front, I rode on the trainer for two hours on Saturday.  In a word....UGH!  I began to bonk around the 1:30 mark and took a quick pee break but mentally it was tough.  One trick I did learn from reading Jordon Rapp's blog, is to count to 300 and then start over again and again.  That keeps the mental focus on the counting and not looking at the watch every 35 seconds wondering how I am going to finish the workout.

On the running front, I ran twice last week and my foot seemed ok.  The Planter fasciitis doesn't seem as bad as I've been strengthening and stretching my calves.  I admit that over the last several months, I haven't been stretching my calves after each workout.  No doubt, this is payback. I use a small wooden roller for the bottom and both sides of my feet.  Holy crap, did it ever hurt when I first started rolling but now its not too bad.  No John P, I didn't pay for this roller.  Someone gave it to me for free.

On the coaching front, I was supposed to meet with another triathlon coach who came highly recommended from a friend.  We exchanged emails and she wanted the usual info goals, expectation, experience etc.  She also wanted to know my race results from 2010 (I presumed she meant 2011).  Seriously, how hard is it to look up somebody's results by going to Sportstats?  Hmmm, that started me wondering but we were supposed to meet on Thursday at 3 pm but did not set a place.  I emailed her early Thursday morning but didn't hear back from her.  This is the second time I've sent a triathlon coach an email requesting a meeting and the second time I've received no response.  Maybe they a) looked up my results and decided I'm useless as an athlete and didn't want to coach me, b) don' t read emails although this last coach was sending emails from her iphone c) aren't looking to take on new athletes or d) not familiar with customer service.  Just like my last coach