Monday, February 27, 2006
Today was a rest day with just some ab work after dinner.
I booked a kayak last week for the first MOMAR race in May, which is in Ucluelet. I always try to book early to get one of the faster ones (Seaward Passat) to offset my lack of paddling skill. I also booked a double as I'm hopeful to have a partner for that race. In the event that I don't have one within the next month or so I will have to phone the rental place back and change it to a single. My rationale is that since most of their kayaks get rented for the race and some teams of two can't get a double and have to settle for two singles (which are not as efficient), I should have no trouble exchanging the fastest double kayak they have with another team for a single. Of course the guy at the rental place showing great customer service didn't like this idea, and said I should wait to book until after I knew whether I was racing with anyone or not. Of course by that time they may not have any left or just the slow barges. I'll take my chances. Despite this, the nice thing about most of these kayak places is that they deliver the kayaks the morning of the race and pick them up afterwards. You don't have to do anything.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I woke up this morning feeling not very well rested. I got up about 8AM and joined Shelley who said she had been up since about 4AM. After having breakfast and reading the paper I went back to bed for about an hour. I finally got up again and after getting ready for the day, Shelley and I walked down to Future Shop to get a memory card for the digital camera one of my brothers had given us for Christmas. It was a little warmer than yesterday, but threatening to rain.
After lunch I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I didn't really feel like going for a run or to the "Y", and the other alternative was to have a nap. At this time of year after having been training for a couple of months but not having my first race for another two months, I sometimes find it hard to motivate myself to train every day. So I did something that I never have trouble getting up for, going for a hard hike. I decided to go and hike the back side of Mt Finlayson. I packed up my basic hiking/survival gear and some water in a pack and then threw in a 5lb weight to make it more interesting.
The back side trail up Mt Finlayson is not as steep or as long as the front, but it is easier to keep up a faster pace and the front side has a lot of rock which can be very slippery at this time of year. Of course as soon as I got on the road to drive up to the trail head it started raining. This is one of my favourite trails to train on. All the adventure races that I do have terrain like it that you have to slog up. Running is good training but it isn't the same as hiking up a steep trail with a pack on. I usually do this hike just carrying a hydration pack and try to run on all the flat sections, not that there are very many. My best time is about 14:45 from the base where the trail starts climbing. That pace pretty well keeps me anaerobic the whole way and sometimes I approach my max HR. Today I just wanted to do a hard pace with no running. I felt good going up and met a few other people at the top. After a quick drink of water I headed back down. Once I got to the bottom I had another drink, turned around and headed back up again. The second time wasn't as fast as the first, but I felt pretty good. I got a little wet as the rain kept coming down harder, but I didn't stay still long enough to get cold. When I got home I did some weights and then jumped in a hot shower to warm up. Shelley made a great taco salad for dinner and I started a book on adventure racing that I just got. Reading about other people's races always gets me excited about racing and motivates me to keep getting out.
Elapsed Time: 1:24
First Ascent: 18:15
Second Ascent: 19:15
Saturday, February 25, 2006
This morning I finished dog proofing our yard so that our puppy wouldn't be able to get out. Only seven more days. While I was outside there were a few snowflakes coming down and I started to think I might have to go to the "Y" for a workout or just have a nap on the couch.
By after lunch they had stopped and despite the 2-3 degrees showing on the thermometer outside, I decided that I had to go for a ride. The incentive that I give myself is to try and think how I want to feel in the middle of a six hour race. What's that old saying, "train hard, race easy". Anyway, I headed out on my bike towards Brentwood Bay and it was pretty brisk. I had a hat on under my helmet and put a balaclava in my pocket in case the wind chill got really bad. I also told Shelley that if it started snowing hard I might be calling her to pick me up. Once I got onto Ross-Durance Road it started snowing lightly again and I worked hard on the uphills to keep warm and went slow on the downhills because of the wind chill and it was a little slick. I went as far as Mt Newton Cross Road again and then looped back on West Saanich Road. On the way back I decided to go up to the Observatory. I felt pretty good going up the hill and stopped at the top for a gel and an energy bar. Coming down I got very chilled and once I got onto West Saanich again, with the gel working I started hammering for home. I decided to go back the highway rather than Munns Road as it saved about 9km and a bunch of hills. All I wanted to do by that time was get warmed up. I set a solid pace on the highway and had a nice soak in a hot bath when I got home.
Tonight was a little TV and some reading. I just finished a novel by Michael Crichton called "State of Fear" which he uses to try and debunk a lot of the myths surrounding global warming. If everything he says is to be believed, there is no such thing and he backs it up with pages of references. His main point is that don't believe everything you hear as everyone has their own agenda (except him). Tomorrow should be a good run at the lakes.
Temp: 37-39 degrees
Friday, February 24, 2006
Today I just did a 25 minute run on the treadmill at lunch time. I did a ten minute warmup then two minute intervals at a fast pace follwed by one minute intervals at a moderate pace, and then a five minute warm down. This is the reverse of what I had been doing previously. My legs felt good once I had warmed up and I followed the run with some time on the Windjammer and then a good stretch. After dinner tonight while watching Terminator 3, I did some ab work.
Tomorrow I am going on a long (and probably cold) road ride. LM said she may come if she doesn't go mountain biking in the morning. The weather is still not nice enough for me to want to mountain bike and I need to get some more long road rides in.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
We have a new financial analyst starting in our office in March reporting to me, and he was in town apartment hunting today. I'm sure he felt right at home with the little bit of snow we had tonight, as he's transferring from Winnipeg and originally from Saskatoon. I think he'll like it here as he's into soccer and running.
I was looking forward to working hard at spin class at the "Y" tonight as I'd had two rest days this week. In order to get KW our instructor to push us a little harder I told him at the beginning of the class to stop dogging it. That always works and he didn't disappoint me, putting us through a couple of tough pyramids. By the end of the class (75 minutes) I didn't have much left. I also did about an hour of weight training, but am still keeping away from the squats for now.
I got home just in time for "Survivor" and something to eat. It looks like it will be another cold road ride this weekend.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I had a luncheon to go to today and I went for a massage on my legs after work so I didn't get a run in. I ended up just doing some ab work tonight while watching TV.
Last weekend Shelley and I went to see the movie "Eight Below", which is about a bunch of husky sled dogs left in Antarctica over the winter. There was a part in the movie where one of the characters almost falls down a crevasse. It reminded me of a time when two of my buddies and I decided to hike up to the Lions above Vancouver in the spring to do some skiing. Three hours of hiking up in the snow for maybe five minutes of skiing and then a hike down, Hey, we were in our twenties! Anyway, we were almost to the top walking across a snow field and suddenly the snow gave way beneath me. The only thing that stopped me from falling into the crevasse was the skis trapped to my back. My buddies thought it was hilarious and took a picture (which I still have) before pulling me out. Its amazing how stupid we are when we're young.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I didn't have a great sleep last night and after a frustrating day at work dealing with our risk management dept in Calgary, I was hoping that the spin class at the "Y" would pick me up. I was also planning on pushing it hard as I won't have time for a run tomorrow. While I did feel better after the class, I didn't have the energy to go as hard as I wanted to during it. I also did some weight training but skipped the squats as one of my knees has been a little sore lately and I think it needs a rest. I got home about 8, had something to eat and watched a little TV with Shelley before she went to bed. I'm headed there soon as I'm beat.
Monday, February 20, 2006
My ramblings from the last 3 days have somehow become lost in cyber space so I am just going to quickly recap what I have been up to:
Friday was just a quick 25 minutes on the treadmill, uping the tempo in the middle ten minutes with one minute fast pace followed by two minutes of moderate pace. I also did some ab work after dinner.
Saturday was a 67km road ride over three hours. I didn't do any extra hill work as the additional time vs my last ride was enough.
Sunday I ran the 10km loop at Elk Lake at a moderate pace with a faster pace for the last minute of each km over the last 5km. I then did about a 4km warm down.
A year ago last fall we had to put our dog Brodie down (because of health problems) at the age of fifteen and a half. While we eventually wanted to get another dog to keep Shelley company at home during the day (and all the other good reasons to get a dog), Shelley needed some time to get over Brodie. It wasn't until last fall that she decided that she was ready. The next problem was deciding what kind of dog to get. I wanted a big dog and she wanted a small dog. We compromised on a medium sized dog, which is what Brodie was. As Brodie was a terrier mix, we were also partial to that breed. After some research and finding out that there was only one breeder in Canada (Ontario) of the type he had been the closest to (Glen of Imaal) and she wasn't planning on any puppies for at least another year, we looked for something else. What we finally decided on was an Irish Terrier. They are about 24 inches tall and 30 lbs. We found a breeder near Osoyoos that we liked the sound of and reserved a puppy from the next litter. He was born on Dec 27 and we get to pick him up on Mar 4. Having not had a puppy for years, it is going to be an experience and I expect things to be a little hectic around here for the next six to twelve months. I'm sure my sleep is going to suffer too.
Irish Terriers are known to be very independent. I read one article that said, "If you to tell a Labrador Retriever to jump, he will say "How high?". If you tell an Irish to jump, he will say "What's in it for me?". Things are going to be interesting, but we are excited.After some good workouts on the weekend, today was a rest day with just some ab work after dinner. I increased the length time/distance of both my riding and running on the weekend and by next month will be looking to mix things up with some bricks, hill work and speed work.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Today I was in somewhat of a foul mood. I think it was a combination of one of the guys at work driving me crazy and no one willing or able to commit to racing with me. In addition, one of the race organizations (Sea2Summit) finally announced their race dates but changed the schedule from last year and cancelled one of the races I wanted to do (the off road duathlon). The season's schedule is now pretty well set and its going to be a tough first two months (May & June) where there is a race almost every two weeks. After that there isn't much until September. I guess its because there are too many people away on vacation in July & August. To keep busy in August I might end up doing one of the local road duathlon races. For now, I'm just going to assume that I'm going to do all the races solo (except for the first one at the end of April which one of my brothers is going to do with me). It might make me train harder as I'll have no one else to rely on or blame.
I was hoping that spin class at the "Y" would get rid of the mood I was in so as not to inflict it on Shelley when I got home. I worked harder than normal for all of the 75 minutes (although not quite the maximum effort I put in last Thursday) but it didn't help much. The last 10 minutes we did a standing sprint pyramid and it was a good way to use up my remaining energy. Afterwards I did some weight training including some squats.
On the way home I thought my car was going to get blown off the highway it was so bad. The wind was putting a lot of pressure on Shelley's head so she went to bed as soon as I got home and didn't have to put up with me. I had a light dinner while watching "Survivor" and listening to branches bounce off the roof. The power has been flickering so I'm writing as fast as I can to get this blog done. Tomorrow I'll just have time for a short run on the treadmill.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Today was just a short 25 minutes on the treadmill at lunch time. I ran at a moderate pace and to make it more interesting, during the middle 10 minutes I alternated 1 minute fast pace with 2 minutes moderate pace. My legs felt good and if I don't burn myself out again at spin class tomorrow night, I will do another treadmill workout on Friday. I need to start running at least 3 times a week and up my workouts to 6 times a week as it feels like the first race is coming up fast. Afterwards I did a short stint on the Windjammer machine. Tonight while I was watching TV, I did some ab work.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Tonight was the regular spin class at the "Y". I wasn't planning on going hard but the last 10-15 minutes of the 60 minute class, D played some great songs which are always a good motivator. My calf was tight for the first part of the class, but it warmed up and by the end was feeling fine. Overall it was a good workout with lots of speed drills. Afterwards I did an hour of weight training. I switched to the power stage of my squat program, and while it is easier than the strength stage that I just finished, I'm going to have to work on my technique. Its suppose to be an explosive movement, but controlled.
Some days like today, I think this racing season is a little jinxed. First my regular racing partner KF doesn't know how many races he will be able to do because he's now working Saturdays, then today my alternate partner LM told me that she's got an injury which may stop her from racing. Hopefully not, but she's getting it checked out this week. While I can do all of the races solo, its not nearly as much fun. The only one I really have second thoughts about doing solo is the Sea2Summit two day stage race, but I'll see how things go.
Shelley doesn't like chocolate and is allergic to flowers, so I got her some caramel covered apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for Valentine's Day. She really enjoyed them.Tomorrow is an easy treadmill run at lunch time.
Monday, February 13, 2006
After some good workouts on the weekend, today was a rest day with just some ab work on the ball after dinner.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Shelley wasn't up to a walk in the park in the morning, so I washed the cars and then did the Sunday crossword with her. After lunch I headed out to Elk Lake to run the 10km loop. It really turned out to be a nice day, even better than yesterday. A big improvement over last weekend when I ran in the wind and the rain. There were a lot of walkers and dogs out but only a few other runners. My legs were feeling heavy but I kept going and managed to up my tempo whenever I knew a distance marker was getting close. Despite not feeling great, my time was actually pretty good for me and my calf felt fine. I even did a couple of extra kms to warm down.
When I got home Shelley was feeling better so we went for an hour walk in the park and did some trail maintenance (picking up branches and moving some small fallen trees) which was needed after the wind storms we have been having. Tonight was left over chinese food while watching James Bond in "Die another Day" on TV.
Riding with company
Saturday, February 11, 2006
This morning after washing my bikes, I went out and picked up a new bike computer at Riders as my last one wasn't working properly. After lunch LM joined me for a road ride. We hadn't ridden together before but as we are going to do a couple of races together, we decided that it was time to get out. She was worried about being able to keep up, but had no problem, except for maybe a little on the hills. That was only because I've been working out longer than her. I was wondering if my hard workout at the Thurs night spin class would bother me today, but it didn't seem to. It was fun to ride with someone for a change although it takes a little getting use to, especially if you want to ride beside them and talk, while watching for traffic coming up behind you. It certainly made the ride go faster. We headed out on my usual route towards Brentwood Bay and then back in West Saanich Road at a steady pace. We didn't go up to the observatory as LM had a dinner party to get back to. She also wanted to ride back on Munns Road vs the Hwy to avoid the traffic and as it would give us lots of hill work. I was told that real roadies don't usually have a granny gear (small ring) on their bikes and even if they do, they don't use it. LM didn't have one on her bike so I said I wouldn't use mine to keep things fair. I regretted that a little bit once we got to the hills, but managed to get up them with some standing on the pedals. I think I'll stay away from using it in the future unless I really have to, to give myself a better workout. Total ride time was about 2:25 over 55km. I felt good afterwards and am going to try to push it up to 3 hours+ next weekend.
Tonight, Shelley didn't feel like going out for a Valentine's dinner so we just ordered in chinese food and watched "Underworld", a vampire/werewolf movie on TV. I'm looking forward to a good run at Elk Lake tomorrow.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Today was a rest day. I felt a little sore from my hard effort at spin class last night, but still pretty good. I went for a nice walk in the sunshine at lunch time. Hopefully we'll get more of the same tomorrow. Tonight I did my usual ab work on the ball and a little stretching. Looking forward to a good ride tomorrow.
Thursday, February 9, 2006
I am planning on skipping my Friday run to give my still healing calf a rest and because with the good weather I wanted to do two long workouts on the weekend. As a result, I wanted to work hard at Thursday night spin class at the "Y". The class was 3/4 full with a bunch of new people. My plan was to go 90-100% on every drill so that I HAD to rest on the short breaks between songs. And thats exactly what I did. It was close to the hardest I have worked in a spin class and I'm glad I wasn't wearing my HRM as it probably would have shown me maxed out a couple of times. I was pleased to see that despite working so hard, my recovery between sets was very good and afterwards I didn't feel as tired as I thought I would.
I also did an hour of weight training but skipped the squat rack as one of my knees was a little sore. I also think its time to move to the next part of my squat program which is Power. That means doing 40-60% of my maximum 15-20 times for three sets and using an explosive motion. I'll start that next week. I've also started trying to fit in some time on the Schwinn wind jammer machine which replicates some of the motions used in kayaking, which I plan to start next month.
I got home just in time to watch the disfunctional people on Survivor. The guy who went cold turkey on smoking is losing it and asked to be voted off after just 4 days, however someone talked him out of it.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Due to time limitations, all I did today was a half hour run on the treadmill at lunch time. While I would have rather been outside in the sunshine, in the short time I had I felt I could get a better workout on the treadmill by varying the speed. The legs felt good and while I didn't push it and get into anaerobic territory, it did loosen them up.
After work I went to massage therapy for some more work on my calf. It didn't hurt as much as last time so maybe its getting better. Tonight I just did some ab work on the ball while watching TV.
I'm still working on what races I want to do this season as some of them still haven't posted dates. I'm also still trying to get a teammate for each race as that makes it a lot more interesting. My regular teammate KF has some work committments and is not sure which ones he will be able to do. While I have talked to some other people, nobody has committed yet. I may end up doing some by myself which is not my first choice, however I don't really want to miss any this season.
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Today was the usual spin class at the "Y". A full class and a substitute instructor A., which was nice as it changes up the routine. For some reason I didn't have a lot of energy tonight and I struggled through an hour of weight training before the class. The first half hour of spin class I also couldn't get into, although the good thing about being in a fitness class is that the energy of the other people can often lift you up. In the second half hour the instructor worked us harder and after giving myself a kick, I finally got into it and pushed myself hard. A good mix of standing and fast hammers with quick transitions.
Shelley had had a bad day so she was already asleep when I got home at 8PM. I had a bite to eat, watched some TV and finished the crossword before going to bed. Tomorrow is an easy run and some massage therapy on the calf. It felt a little tight today.
Monday, February 6, 2006
After a good weekend of training, today was a rest day. My legs were a little sore, probably from the running and not the cycling. However, I managed to do some ab work on the ball after dinner.
Sunday, February 5, 2006
At Christmas I bought myself a road bike as I was tired of doing long rides on my mountain bike and wanted to work on my endurance. Riding to Mill Bay and back on a mountain bike isn't a lot of fun. I hadn't been on one for about 20 years so its taken some getting use to, but I believe its really going to help my mountain biking.
Woke up this morning to no rain and the power back on. After doing a little cleaning up in the yard, Shelley and I went for a nice hour long walk in the park. Lots of broken branches, but not too many trees down. After lunch I headed out for a good road ride. The weather was cool but nice after what we'd had lately. I started off easy, but once I got to Ross Durance Road, I started standing up going up all the small hills on it to see how my legs felt. Out near Brentwood Bay I joined up with another rider (Laura?) who had missed her ride group. We rode together for about 20 minutes and it was nice to have company for a change. I even got her to start thinking about doing an adventure race. I turned back at West Saanich Road as I didn't want to run out of steam a long way from home. On the wayy back I decided to go up to the Dominion Observatory as I heard a lot of cyclist train on it. It wasn't as steep as I thought it would be but a little longer. A great place to come back to next month to do some hill repeats. What a view from the top where I had a gel to get me home, and then a cold ride down dodging the many branches on the road. After that my legs felt really good, whether it was due to the gel or they just got stretched out. It was about 45 minutes to get home from there and I kept up a good pace as the ride down had chilled me. Overall a 2:15 ride with some good hill work spread throughout it.
I got home in time for the 2nd quarter of the Superbowl and unfortunately saw Seattle lose after having lots of opportunities. Dinner was Superbowl pancakes. We watched Scary movie 3 after that which turned out to be a real waste of time.
Saturday, February 4, 2006
I woke up this morning along with everyone else to an ugly day. Shelley is still battling a stomach flu and the wind was making the normal pressure on her head that much worse. I ended up giving her 2 shots for pain and 2 of gravol during the day to help her get through it. Between that and the weather, we did very little in the morning. Watched a little TV and did the crossword. Our power went out at just after noon (and didn't end up coming back on until after midnight). After lunch, Shelley went to sleep and as I was getting cabin fever, decided to brave the elements and go for a run at Elk Lake. My back up plan was to go to the "Y" and run on the treadmill, but I really didn't want to do that. When I got to Elk Lake, there were a couple of other crazy people there so I didn't feel too bad. I did the 10k loop at an easy pace and my calf muscle felt pretty good. The wind and rain were only really bad at the north end where it was blowing sideways. I tried to avoid as may puddles as I could, but eventually gave up and just ran through them. There were also a number of trees down on the path that had to be hurdled and I kept listening for the "crack" of new ones coming down. When I did hear it, it made me pick up the pace. Despite the weather, it was good to get out and the legs felt good despite not having run for a month other than some short runs on the treadmill.
On the way home I was looking forward to a hot shower until I remembered the power was off. Fortunately the water in the hot water tank retained its heat. After a nap on the couch, dinner was barbecued chicken and cold pizza by candle light. I read for a bit after than but given the poor lighting, it was an early night.
Friday, February 3, 2006
I use to run regularly when I was younger, but got out of the habit after working myself up to a marathon. I think I got tired of running in the city (Vancouver) and then once I started getting transferred around, I never got back into it. Last year when I was doing a sprint adventure race with an elite runner, I realized how poor my running had gotten and decided to do something about it. I'm fortunate to live on the edge of Thetis Lake Park and last fall I started trail running there. Definitely a lot more interesting and I actually enjoy it again. By Christmas I was up to an hour and a half run.
At the begiining of January I strained one of my calf muscles and after taking two weeks off with just some short treadmill running, tried the trails again. Unfortunately my calf started hurting again after about 30 minutes. I started massage therapy and my therapist gave me some exercises to work on and told me to stay off the hills for a while. As a result, for the next month or so I'm going to try running at Elk Lake to see if that's easier on it.
After three days in a row of decent workouts, today is a rest day especially as I am planning some long ones on the weekend. Dinner was Romeo's pizza followed by some TV. I also managed to get in about 30 minutes of ab work on the ball after my dinner had settled.
February 2, 2006
There's a concept called "feeding the rat". It reportedly comes from a book of the same name by Al Alvarez about the legendary British climber, Mo Anthoine. It says that everyone is born with a rat in their belly, and you feed the rat whatever it likes to eat. If you don't, it drives you to WANT to do it. Some people's rats don't eat much; others eat all they can get. Some people's rats like to eat mountain climbing, or distance bicycle riding, or adventure racing. People are DRIVEN to do these things, and when they don't, they begin to feel the ache, the desire to get out there.
My legs were still feeling heavy today after pushing it in spin class at the "Y" on Tuesday night and bumping the weights up on the squat rack during my weight training afterwards. Following that up with some running on Wednesday, and there wasn't a lot of get up and go in them for tonight's spinning class. It was the usually Thursday night 75 minute superpace class with instructor KW. After a busy day of work I was looking forward to ironing out some kinks, even if I didn't have the energy to go hard. The class was about 3/4 full with most of the regulars there. CT a regular winner and top finisher in the Gutbuster and MOMAR series was there, which was unusual. I think she is warming up for the season, but trying to avoid the nasty weather outside. KW did his usual tough class and I did my best to keep up despite sore legs. Lots of pyramids and alternating standing and fast paced sitting. Fortunately tomorrow is a rest day for me before a couple of long workouts this weekend. I took it easy on the weight training as well and decided that for the next couple of weeks not to increase the weight on the squat rack as I think I have reached my max for the moment at about 168% of my body weight.
I didn't use my heart rate monitor tonight for the first time in a while as I think I am having an allergic reaction to it (rash). This seems strange after using it for the past 2-3 years however I am going to leave it off for a couple of weeks to see what happens. After using it and relying on it for so long, I kind of feel naked without it.
I got home about 8PM from the "Y" and had a light snack while watching one of my guilty pleasures on TV, "Survivor", although I do admit to getting a little bored with it, as they are running out of new things to make the contestants do. One contestant that will be interesting to watch is the guy who has just quit smoking after smoking 3 packs a day for 20 years. I wouldn't want to be on the same island as him.