Ironman Mont Tremblant

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Funnies

Stolen from other blogs


Oh yea, my knee doesn't hurt anymore but my calf is killing me. I can barely walk. New Year, new coach and same old problems...............

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tag, I'm It

So Adena nailed me. 

11 Random Things About Me

1.  I'm not getting much work done today with all this blogging (so far this has taken several hours)
2.  I'm pretty much an A-hole when I'm tired and don't get enough sleep (which is all the time)
3.  I rarely get lost although I do use a GPS
4.  I can remember phone numbers and license plates
5.  I can't spell if my life depended on it.  Thank god for spell check
6.  I've back packed to Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, Israel and Egypt.  I've eaten Mcdonalds in every country I've been in and it all tastes about the same.
7.  I work less than five minutes away from where I grew up.  My parents still live in the same house
8.  I have one sister and three brothers - two have done mutiple Ironmans and I'm trying to get my third brother into triathlons or at least duathlons
9.  I'm cheap and shop at No Frills (discount grocery store)
10.  I've done five bungy jumps. Four vertical (the highest was over 100 meters - 300 feet) and one horziontal in a bar in New Zealand.  Duh, of course alcohol was involved!
11.  I wake up between 4:30 - 4:45 am every day without an alarm.  If I need to wake up earlier, I can without an alarm.

My answers to being tagged:

1. What is your favourite ‘weird’ food to eat?

2. If you could have any job/career at all, what would it be?
I'm doing it now

3. Do you know how I can get my safari address bar back permanently?
You're SOL, switch to Google Chrome

4. What is your best race memory?
My first traithlon was Belwood sprint in 2009 and I was running full blast.  Right at the 6 km sign, I rolled my ankle and went down like a zebra being shot except I tucked my shoulder and my momentum carried forward.  I sprang up and took off running.  Everybody around me cheered.  Coming down the last 500 meters, I was sprinting full out and I didn't feel my ankle but after the race I took off my shoe and my ankle swelled up like a balloon

5. What is your favourite song right now?
LMAFO - Party Anthem

6. What is your favourite training/racing gadget?

POWER TAP!!!  - eat your heart out John P
 7. Do you prefer to train with a team, or alone? Why?

Depends.  Usually if I'm running or riding (indoors) alone because I start around 5 am and no one is around.  If I'm swimming, then with my swimming bud.  Swimming alone sucks

8. What is in your fridge right now?

Beer and food.  What else would be in a fridge?

9. Favourite TV show? (if you watch TV)

Hmmm tough one.  I don't really watch TV other than sports highlights.  I like Holmes Inspection (which I rarely see), Weeds and Mad Men but I borrowed the sets from my manager and watch them on a my kids 7 inch portable DVD player so I don't actually watch it on TV

10. Favourite book?

Don't really have a favourite book but the book I'm currently reading (again) is Nick Leeson.  The original rouge trader who brought down a 400 year old English bank

11. Do you have any pets? If so what, name, age.

Yup three of them

Rebeeca 8
Vanessa 6
Jake 4.5

 Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules

2. You must post 11 random things about yourself

3. Answer the questions set for you in their post

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer

5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them

6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11questions for you to answer:

1.  Why and how did you get into triathlons?
2.  Dark or white meat?
3.  Beer, wine or liquor?
4.  Where did you grow up?
5.  TT or road bike?
6.  Favorite vacation?
7.  What do you do now that your parents did (and hated) when you were growing up?
8.  Your favorite sport (not including swimming, biking or running)?
9.  How many days per week do you spend on Slowtwitch?
10.  How long ago was it since you've been hammered (drunk)?
11.  $20,000.  What would you buy with it?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Indoor/Outdoor Brick

In my last post, I mentioned that the batteries in the Power Tap hub died despite being replaced in September 2011.  I have no idea how to change the batteries nor do I have any tools so I decided to take it to a very well known local bike store (LBS) in Toronto.  Fortunately its only 10 minutes away from my work so Friday afternoon I had a lunch meeting and after took my rear tire into the store.  I had called on Thursday and they said it would only take 10 minutes to change and cost about $30 which I was totally fine.  During lunch I had the tire in the trunk of my car and the weather was a little chilly probably around -5 degrees Celsius.  I took the tire in to the LBS and watched the guy struggled to take the hub off.  He tried for about 15 minutes but the tool kept slipping off the hub.  He finally declared that the hub might be too cold (from sitting outside) and wait for an hour to warm up.  I had to get back to work for a meeting so I agreed to come back in a couple of hours realizing it was Vanessa's birthday and I promised to take her to McDonalds for dinner earlier that morning.

My meeting ran way longer than I anticipated and worse it started to snow.  By this time it was around 5:00 pm and I knew with the snow storm it would take over about 90 minutes or more to get home.  I got to the LBS and they still couldn't get the hub off.  They had several employees try to get it off and finally decided to use a wrench to take it off but they would have to crunch (destroy) the hub.  They said it would cost about $15 to replace the hub and I said go ahead as Vanessa would be freaking out by now as it was around 5:30 pm.   They said it would take about 15 minutes to change it so I whipped out to a nearby electronics store to get Vanessa's birthday present (great parenting).  I came back and they somehow managed to get the hub off without damaging it and had changed the battery.  Sweet!  They changed the batteries and then tested the hub.  They turned on the computer head as they spun the tire but there were no power readings on the head.  They couldn't figure it out and I was dying to get home.  They dicked around with it for another 15 minutes before giving up.  The other bike mechanic was busy with a customer doing a bike fitting.  They suggested I leave the tire with them and when the mechanic was free he could figure out what the problem was and later that night, I would meet up with one of the employees near my home and he could give me back my wheel.  It was the best they could come up with so we exchanged cell phone numbers and I took off.  I had my traffic GPS and it showed me that I had a long drive home.  I was probably about 20 minutes away from the LBS when I got a call and the guy asked me if this was a wired Power Tap unit.  I said yes and instantly I realized why there were no power readings from the head.  I HAVE A WIRED UNIT AND THAT'S WHY THERE WERE NO READINGS!!  DDDDUUUUHHHHH!!!!!!!  I turned around and went back to the LBS and with my tail between my legs, picked up my wheel.  It took me over 90 minutes to get home as I got stuck in traffic and my traffic GPS was useless.  I promised to take Vanessa to Mcdonalds Sunday night instead.

Saturday mornings Jake has indoor soccer at 9:30 am and I had a two hour ride and a 30 minute run schedule and Vanessa had her birthday party starting at 12:30 pm so the only way I was going to get this workout in was to get up at 4:30 am.  One thing coach wants me to do is to ride at a steady power output.  Previously when I was riding on an unstructured workout, as my mind would wander, my output would wander.  Now coach wants me to ride at a steady pace throughout the entire workout.  The trouble with that is when ex-coach changed my Power Tap batteries my watts suddenly shot up by 25%.  I mentioned it to him and he chalked it up to I gotten a lot stronger but this was a significant problem at Muskoka 70.3 last year.  I had no idea what watts I should have been riding at.  I would be coasting and my Power Tap showed I was still generating watts even though I wasn't peddling.  With the change in the batteries, I think the problem has been corrected but I still don't know what watts I can generate and maintain so this morning was a bit of trial and error.  The first set was a disaster as I rode way too easy and my heart rate was no where near what the target heart rate should have been.  The second set was better as I rode about 25% harder.  One thing about these workouts is that it sure makes time fly when doing a structured workout by watching your watts, heart rate, cadence and time as opposed to just riding for two hours.  I had a portable DVD player and was watching Aliens vs Predator.  It was one of those movies that I'm glad I didn't pay to see it in the movie theatre.

After the ride, I had a 30 minute run which normally wouldn't have been a problem but it was about -15 Celsius with the windchill.  I had brought downstairs a complete change of clothes and dried off as much as I could.  I think it took me about 15 minutes to change clothes as I was soaking wet from the ride and its hard to put dry clothes on while you're wet.  As soon as I ran 100 feet I knew that I should have dressed warmer.  My back was wet even though I had changed shirts and the cold wind instantly whipped down my back.  It was snowing pretty good so I couldn't even run that fast.  I told myself this run wasn't about speed but just to build up base.  My toes and figures were freezing despite wearing my cold weather socks and gloves.  I need to wear warmer clothes.

Now that said, this has been an awesome winter as its only gotten cold a couple of days.  On Tuesday, it supposed to hit 7 degrees.  Unheard of for mid January!!  However, the downside of this great winter, is a smoking hot summer.  There is no fun running when the temperature is 40 degree Celsius (+100 degrees F).

Tomorrow is my long run of 90 minutes.  We'll see how the knee holds up as it was a little achy today but no issues.  My gout issue was not a problem today and seems to have disappeared as fast as it appeared.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just Swimming, Biking And Running Along

Well half way through my first "official" training schedule and its been pretty much the same as the "unofficial" training schedule.  On the swimming front, nothing going on other than the usual Masters stuff.  I got beat by the coach and his 15 year old daughter in a 25 meter race.  They did butterfly while I did freestyle and they both smoked me.  I need to find some 10 year olds so I can build up my self esteem. 

On the riding front, the batteries in the hub for my power tap died again.  Oddly enough, they were changed by my previous coach in September.  I watched him open a drawer and pull out a couple of batteries and place them in my hub.  Hmmmm I wonder how "fresh" they were?  Well I guess I know the answer to that question.

On the running front, because I signed up for Around The Bay, the oldest race in North America, I've started to ramp up the running.  I was only running twice a week for about 50-60 minutes and need to start building the base.  I mentioned to coach that I signed up for ATB and she expressed surprise as my long run has only been about 1:10 but I checked last year's schedule and my long run for the same week was 1:30 so I'm not that far off.  However, my right knee has been bugging me after I ride and run.  On the pain scale, its very very minor but I went to see Dr Stoddard just to check things out.  He poked, prodded and twisted my knee around but couldn't really find anything wrong.  He wasn't sure what it was but suggested to do lots of stretching of the quads. 

After the appointment, I went over to my parent's house (they live five minutes from my work) and went for an hour run.  The weather wasn't bad but it started to snow and the wind was nasty.  It snowed just enough to cover the ice on the paths.  I actually ran through a golf course  The Donalda Club is a very exclusive private club and I actually used to work there as a waiter (my first job as a waiter) many years ago.  Actually I was working there when Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers. I think the membership is $100,000ish.  Obviously no one was on the golf course but I stuck to the cart path which was a little icy and had a layer of snow covering it just to make things interesting.  My knee began to bug me but I pushed on and finished the hour run (later I check my schedule and was only supposed to go for 45 minutes).

Last night my knee was throbbing even more so I iced it down and this morning its was ok buuuuutttt my left foot was very sore.  The knuckle spot behind my big toe was very sore and warm.  It seems that my pseudogout has returned.  It is very similar to regular gout and is just as painful.  It only appears once every two years and it comes and goes after a couple of days.  One thing that seems to help is if I scrunch my toes.  I think it helps move the fluid out of the joints.  Let's hope this doesn't last long

Tomorrow is my first indoor/outdoor brick.  I have a two hour ride followed by a 30 minute run.  Did I mention it -10 degrees Celsius?

Today (Friday) is my official "off day" so I dug up the P90X yoga video and started doing some yoga.  I lasted 30 minutes and turned off the yoga and rolled on my $50 dollar trigger point roller.  I made sure to nail the quads which were painful. 

That's all I got. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And So It Begins......

Tomorrow marks the first day of training with my new coach.  I've already received my schedule for the next two weeks and while it doesn't look all that different from my previous schedules, the one major difference will be doing bricks at this time of the year.  Normally, I don't start doing bricks until May but coach says that we do them all year around.  No big deal except I wonder what it will be like to do a two hour trainer session and then run outside when its like -20 degrees?  We'll soon find out.

It certainly has been an interesting last two months trying to find a new coach.  Working in the "service industry" myself, I'm quite shocked on the lack of service that is in triathlon coaching.  I contacted several coaches out of the blue but was referred by friends who knew and recommend them.  The first coach never responded to my emails while I traded emails with another coach, upon trying to confirm our meeting, she never responded.  I find this attitude totally bizarre.  Either they are full up and don't want anymore athletes or I don't fit their profile (maybe they looked up my race results).

I toyed with the idea of self coaching as I know lots of athletes who have completed Ironmans that I could rely on for information but while I have completed two Half Ironmans, moving up to a full Ironman is like moving into the unknown.  Triathlon training isn't exactly rocket scientist stuff, however I don't want to risk a DNF on my first Ironman simply because I was trying to save a couple of bucks.

Why I picked my current coach was due to several reasons
1.  My two brothers who used to do Ironmans had said good things about the coach
2.  I know two other guys up here that are currently working with coach and have said good things
3.  I met them at Muskoka 70.3 and saw the interaction they had with their athletes
4.  I met with my coach and liked the game plan she laid out and this is the key.

Like most people, training for triathlons is like juggling balls.  Its a constant shuffling of priorities around and trying to jam in workouts and some do it better than others.  With a young family (8, 6 and 4.5 years old kids) and a sometimes demanding job (come February, I usually work 6 days a week and have evening meetings) its almost impossible to squeeze in 15-20 hours of training.  And if I did, the impact of my "tiredness" would fall upon the kids.  Its not fair to them or my wife.  Coach offered what I thought was a reasonable and doable plan for Ironman Mont Tremblant and that's what it came down to.  While it would be nice to qualify for Kona, right now that level of training is simply not possible.

Here's to a great 2012 race season for everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Divorced man suing over wedding pictures says case is
about broken promise

Jennifer Peltz

It may come across as an extreme case of nuptial nostalgia: A now-divorced man saying a photography studio should pay to recreate his wedding to make up for what he considers flawed pictures and video.

But after being branded a “groomzilla,” Todd Remis said Tuesday his now-notorious lawsuit is about holding a business to a pledge, not holding onto a broken marriage.

“It was their failure to deliver after a promise and a handshake” agreement to retouch the photos, Remis said in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “How could a business treat a customer this way?”

It was his first public response to a flurry of acidic commentary on the case in recent months.

While suits over wedding photographs aren’t unusual, what set Remis’ case apart is his mention of wanting to reconstitute the ceremony and celebration of a bygone union. He said during sworn questioning this summer that the two began divorce proceedings in 2008. The split was final in 2010, and he said he believed his ex-wife had moved back to her native Latvia.

Nonetheless, “I need to have the wedding recreated exactly as it was so that the remaining 15 per cent of the wedding that was not shot can be shot” and the album and video completed “so we have memories of the wedding,” he said during his July deposition, according to a transcript. “So we would need to recreate everything to complete that.”

After his remarks about recreating the wedding appeared in a story in The New York Times in November, Remis’ quest became a punchline in quarters ranging from the legal blogosphere to the city’s tabloids. The Daily News gave him a “New York Knucklehead Award”; CNN’s Anderson Cooper included Remis on his “RidicuList.”

Remis declined through a spokeswoman to be interviewed.

Remis sued H&H Photographers in 2009, saying the venerable suburban New York studio had done a shoddy job of shooting his and Milena Grzibovska’s December 2003 wedding at a century-old hotel overlooking the Hudson River.

The photographer ignored the couple’s request not to shoot in front of a mirror that ended up reflecting photographers’ lights, and the photographer and videographer left 45 minutes before the end of the reception, missing the last dance and the bouquet toss, says Remis, 44, who has worked as a stock analyst.

Grzibovska, who is in her early 30s, had come to New York in June 2002 from the University of Iceland to study how to teach English to foreign-language speakers, according to a piece that September in a Columbia University newspaper.

The couple had paid a $3,500 advance toward a $4,100 total price for the photos, part of a wedding he said cost $48,000 in all, including guests’ travel.

Still, Remis and his bride “were newly married and in love” and not looking for a fight with photographers, his statement says.

H&H co-owner Daniel Fried says he stands by the quality of the two hours of video and the hundreds of colour and black-and-white photos, which were shot on film.

“I think the photography is lovely,” Fried said by phone from the studio in Irvington, New York. But he said he offered in 2004 to adjust the photos and upgrade the wedding album, telling Remis the two needed first to pick out which pictures they wanted.

“Obviously, I couldn’t turn back the clock,” Fried said.

He says Remis never got back to H&H until he wrote in 2009 to demand a refund and interest — about $5,750 in all — and the completed photos and video.

No contact information could be found for Grzibovska.

The idea of a wedding-photos dispute that outlasted the marriage has been met with raised eyebrows by Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, who invoked lyrics from the Barbara Streisand hit “The Way We Were” in a ruling last year that threw out some legal claims but let others go forward.

“This is a case in which it appears that the ‘misty watercolour memories’ and the ‘scattered pictures of the smiles ... left behind’ at the wedding were more important than the real thing,” she wrote.

And H&H co-founder Harold Gillet put it more bluntly in an August 2010 letter to the court: “The divorce renders the further demands for photos, etc., ridiculous.”

Both sides have suggested they might be open to a settlement, but the case continues for now.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Wow!  I'm glad this didn't happen to me when I did it in New Zealand but then I only did a 105 meter jump

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—An Australian tourist bungee jumping in Africa plunged 111 metres into a river when her cord snapped, but she managed to swim to safety with a broken collarbone and her legs tied together.

Erin Langworthy told Nine Network television news Sunday that she blacked out briefly when she hit the Zambesi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe on Dec. 31.

“I felt like I’d been slapped all over,” the 22-year-old from Perth said.

Video taken of the jump shows the cord snapping and Langworthy smacking into the river before the current pulled her into rapids.

“You get sucked under and then you pop up so it’s very disorienting — I didn’t know which was up or down,” she said.

She said the trailing cord repeatedly snagged, so she “had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught on to make it to the surface.”

Langworthy swam through the rapids to reach the Zimbabwe bank.

Southern Province Police Commissioner Brenda Muntemba told tahe Post Zambia newspaper that Langworthy was treated at a clinic in Zimbabwe before being evacuated to South Africa.

The jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge is operated by Safari Par Excellence, whose website describes the bungee experience as “111 metres of pure Adrenalin!”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym By JASON GAY

This is the time of year when even people who hate the gym think about going to the gym. Many of us are still digesting whole floors of gingerbread houses, and jeans that fit comfortably in October are now a denim humiliation.
Sweating is a good way to begin 2012. Exercise, like dark chocolate and office meetings that suddenly get canceled, is a proven pathway to nirvana. But if you're going to join a gym—or returning to the gym after a long hibernation—consider the following:

1. A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.

2. Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.

3. Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.

4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading "The New Yorker" and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.

5. Bring your iPod. Don't borrow the disgusting gym headphones, or use the sad plastic radio attachment on the treadmill, which always sounds like it's playing Kenny Loggins from a sewer.

6. Don't fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.

7. Yes, every gym has an overenthusiastic spinning instructor who hasn't bought a record since "Walking on Sunshine."

8. There's also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn't here today...there he is, lurking by the barbells.

9. "Great job!" is trainer-speak for "It's not polite for me to laugh at you."

10. Beware a hip gym with a Wilco step class.

11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.

12. Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.

13. Avoid Unsolicited Advice Guy, who, for the small fee of boring you to death, will explain the proper method for any exercise in 45 minutes or longer.

14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!

15. If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing.

16. There's the yoga instructor everyone loves, and the yoga instructor everyone hates. Memorize who they are.

17. If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson.

18. Be cautious about any class with the words "sunrise," "hell," or "Moby."

19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.

20. If you need to bring your children, just let them loose in the silent meditation class. Nobody minds, and kids love candles.

21. Don't buy $150 sneakers, $100 yoga pants, and $4 water. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles, and rhythm guitarists.

22. Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you're basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.

23. Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool.

24. If you're at the point where you've bought biking shoes for the spinning class, you may as well go ahead and buy an actual bike. It's way more fun and it doesn't make you listen to C+C Music Factory.

25. Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.

26. A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.

27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.

Where's my infomercial and best seller?

Time To Start Training

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution 2012

Stolen from

At least this morning I managed a 8.5 km run at a dreadful pace of 6:15 min\km.  Oddly enough there weren't many people out at 7:00 am New Year's Day.

Oh, and I signed up for Around The Bay 30 km race in March

How's your over hang?