Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Its always a bit of a let down when the racing season comes to a close. The next race isn't until May of next year and it is hard to keep motivated over the winter months. I am reasonably happy with how the season went. I did more races than I had done in the past with my only regret being that I didn't get to do the two day Sea2Summit race. My results were good although I was a little disappointed that despite training harder, I didn't feel like I was in any better shape. I may have to adjust my training schedule. My riding is just about where I want it to be, but I still need to work on my running. That means putting in more miles.
I will be cutting back on my training until at least January and as a result this will be my last blog. Once January rolls around, I'll decide whether I want to start it up again. I must admit that while somedays it was a chore to write something, there were a lot of days it forced me to get out so that I would have something to write about.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
We were up early at 5:30 to have breakfast and get ready for the drive from Mt Washington down to Comox Lake where the race was. I donít think any of us had a particularly good sleep, partly due to racers arriving late at the condo complex. It was a foggy drive down off the mountain and we got to the lake about 7:15. The skies were relatively clear and it looked like it was going to be a nice day. As the forecast wasnít great I decided to wear a long sleeved shirt under my cycling jersey. After getting our bikes put together and setting them up in the transition area we went looking for our kayak supplier. He was a little late getting them off the truck and we ended up helping him.Lisa wasnít too impressed with our kayak as it was heavy and looked a little like a barge. It also wasnít made for someone over 6ft and I had trouble getting into it. Unfortunately it was all they had left when I booked 3 months ago. Next year I will have to remember to book it even earlier as this is the most popular race of the season. Despite its looks, the kayak ended up being reasonably fast, it was just a struggle (especially for Lisa) carrying it up the beach.
After we had the kayak set up it was time to get the maps which were being handed out at 8:00. This was the third year I was doing this race and didnít expect the course to change much. Usually we get one map showing the treking section across the lake and the MTB section on the side we were starting from. The race director decided to surprise us this year and only gave us the map for the kayaking and MTB sections. We wouldnít get the map for the treking section until we had kayaked to the other side, meaning we would have little time to pick a route. A look at the map we did have showed the kayak route was the same as usual. Down the south side of the lake, across to the other side, back along the north side and stopping directly across from where we started, for the trek. Most of the MTB route was the same as previous years. Most of it was flagged with only the last portion where you had to find your way. This was to keep things moving.
I had a quick chat with Kevin, my usual race partner who was racing solo after having decided at the last moment to race. There was a racerís meeting with Brian giving out some last minute instructions and then it was time to get in the kayaks. I didnít bother taking my runners off or trying to keep them dry as it wasnít worth the extra time. While we were organizing ourselves at the start line I saw one of the elite racers tip over in his surf ski. They are fast boats but not very stable. He managed to get back on before the start, but was soaking wet and I later heard that he lost some of his equipment.
At 9AM we were off with lots of minor collision going on between the 150+ boats and 250 racers as we started down the lake. Neither Lisa nor I are great paddlers, but we managed to hold our own once the faster boats moved out ahead of us. It was relatively smooth paddling until we reached the first buoy and headed across the lake to the other side. The wind was coming from our left side and the waves were a lot bigger. I saw another racer in a surf ski go over and get some help from a double that was along side him. I think he eventually went over 3 times. After a quick crossing we headed back in the direction we had come. Here the wind was at our backs and there seemed to be some tricky currents that I remembered from last year. They kept trying to push the boat sideways. We lost a little ground in the first half of this leg, whether it was the boat or just us getting tired. About 1:05 after the start we finished the first paddle, right in the middle of the pack.
After pulling our boat up on the shore, checking in at CP2 and getting our treking map, we sat down for a minute to plan a route. I saw Kevin just leaving the CP. He had beaten us by about a minute. It was not a huge surprise as he is a strong paddler. The route looked a little longer than last year and you could do the CPs in any order. We opted to do them clockwise as in previous years, which most teams ended up doing. I find the start of the run to be one of the toughest parts of this race. My legs are stiff from an hour in the kayak, they are cold from standing in the lake and my runners are full of water. We started off and I kind of stumbled along trying to get my legs working. CP3 was just down the beach and we quickly passed it and onto the bridge which crossed the Puntledge River, keeping an eye out for the logging trucks that use it. CP5 was supposed to be up the trail a ways and in a tree in a clearing. Lisa was surging on ahead as she always seems to be able to do in a race. I keep up to her in training, but in a race situation she manages to find some extra speed/energy. We followed the most likely looking trail until we were on the edge of a clear cut. At that point I thought we should be close but the trails were a little confusing. While looking around I spotted some other racers near a tree in the clearcut. They seemed to have found the CP. Next up was CP4. We had no problem with this one. We crossed the clearcut, up the road, up another trail, a slight climb and then onto another road with the CP about a 100 yards up it. Here there was a gear check where we had to show our whistles and compass.
The next CP meant doubling back so when Lisa said she had seen Kevin bushwhacking up the hill I took a look at the map. It looked like if we bushwhacked up the hill we would intersect a trail that would lead us close to the CP. After Lisa took a bearing we headed up. A first the going was tough until the undergrowth thinned out and we eventually reached the trail.We ran down it for a ways, turned right at the first intersection and then over a hill. In a gully we met a couple of other teams who seemed to know where they were going and followed them up a creek bed right to CP6.
The route to CP9 was along a trail then up a fire road that had a gradual uphill grade. Lisa was still going strong, but I slowed a little going uphill, doing more power hiking than running. We had no problem finding the CP and saw Kevin coming down from it when we were almost there.
For the next CP we had a choice of routes, back down the way we had come and then up another trail or bushwhack straight across to it. The bushwhack looked liked the best route as it was only a couple of hundred yards, however we didnít know what was in between us and the CP. After too much time trying to decide, we just headed into the bush. The first part was fairly heavy bush and when we headed into a steep ravine, I started to get worried. Lisa wanted to head along the ravine, but it was choked with bush. I decided we should head up the opposite side of the ravine. It was fairly steep and we had to use our hands to get up. Once on top it was pretty wide open and in no time we could hear people at CP8. There we had to assume rock star poses for the cameraman with the best pose to get a prize that night.
After a quick look at the map we headed down another trail. Neither of us was very confident that it was the right way so when we saw someone coming up it I asked them where it led. Oops, wrong way. Fortunately we had only gone a hundred feet or so, but downhill. We quickly turned around and found the right trail. From there is was easy navigation to CP7 and almost all downhill. We saw Kevin at a fork in the trail, trying to decide where to go next. At that point I wasnít sure whether we were in front of or behind him (we were just slightly behind him having made up some time due to our bushwhack).
After hitting CP7 we started heading back to the beach by way of CP10, the last one. This was to be a fairly long run, but the first half was all downhill.We were almost all the way there when we came to a junction in the trails that didnít seem to correspond to the map. After much running back and forth with a bunch of other teams we finally decided to head down a dry creek bed. The CP was supposed to be where a creek met the Puntledge River. Everyone else followed us. This ended up being the hardest CP to find and where most teams lost a lot of time. We ran down it for a ways until we met some people (including Kevin) heading back our way. They had found it and were heading back. Kevin didnít say too much about where to go as it turned out we were heading in roughly the right direction. Unfortunately with all of the bush it became a little confusing where the creek bed was. I started veering left (despite Lisaís protests) which turned out to be the wrong way. We ended up spending 10-15 minutes thrashing around in a dense marsh, occasionally up to our knees in mud. So much for my great navigating. There were other teams in there too and eventually someone found the CP.
From there it was a short bushwhack back to the trail and then about a 2km run to the beach. By this time I was getting tired and falling behind Lisa a little bit. I kept pushing it though and we managed to pass a couple of teams. At the beach while Lisa made a pit stop in the bushes, I checked in at CP11 and then headed to our kayak. Once we were out on the water it was a 25 minute paddle back to the start line where the next mystery challenges awaited us. It was actually a nice paddle back to the starting line and gave me a chance to rest my legs.
Once we got back, the first mystery event we had to do was a potato sack race around a circle. This was a lot harder than it sounds, especially on tired legs. I was afraid mine were going to cramp up and had to stop every ten feet or so for a rest. Even Lisa was having trouble and I stayed ahead of her. There was a team from Idaho who felt they had to beat us given that Idaho is the potato capital. Brian was calling out the action on the PA system as they managed to pass us. Next was the log walk along a bunch of logs on the beach. The last event was walking on pieces of cardboard around a circle. A team of two had three pieces of cardboard and had to keep taking the last piece and moving it to the front to step on. Lisa and I got a good system going and managed to pass those people from Idaho. Of course with four people, they had a tougher time of it. Then it was a quick dash to the transition area and the start of the MTB leg, our strongest event.
After taking in some water and having a bite we were off. The first 2km were on paved road and Lisa headed out strong. A team of two guys started at the same time so I tucked in behind them to draft. Lisa came back to us and I thought she was going to do the same thing. However, we werenít going fast enough for her so I got on her tail and off we went. As it turned out, for the next two hours to the finish line we didnít get passed once and caught a bunch of teams who we quickly left behind. After getting off the pavement we got onto some easy single track. The nice surprise this year was there were no puddles to go through. I always put on dry socks with my bike shoes and for the last two years on this course there has been a big puddle we had to ride through, soaking them again. The first hill was steep, but nontechnical and we lost the two guys who had been drafting us. The next hill was rooty and tough to keep momentum on. Even Lisa who is a strong technical rider fell into the bushes at one point. I ended up getting off my bike and running with it to keep up with her. The terrain then leveled out to an area where there are a lot of stunts built. Unfortunately we didnít have the time or energy to ride them and ran around or over them. We passed another team in here and got onto some fast, fun single track. Not long after we reached the logging road and CP13, where we saw Kevin just leaving.
After checking in at the CP we followed him up the start of a long uphill on the gravel road. Lisa got a little bit ahead of me and I rode with a couple of other guys until they fell behind. Surprisingly enough we didnít catch and pass Kevin until the hike a bike section. He was doing really well. The hike a bike was a real grind followed by a short ride and then another hike a bike. Eventually we reached the top and CP 14. Here we had to answer ten multiple choice questions about the 80ís, the theme of this race. Neither Lisa nor I really knew any of the answers and didnít waste much time on them. It didnít count for the race, just a prize draw later. We passed a bunch of teams here and started the single track, technical, downhill. My plan was to keep Lisa, a much better technical rider, in sight. I really pushed myself, riding over a lot of things I normally would hesitate at. The new bike helped a lot. There were only 2 stunts that we both walked and 1-2 that I walked but Lisa didnít. We passed another team on the way down and in no time were back on the gravel road. We hammered down it, passing teams who were just on their way up. Just before we got to the start of the single track again, I started getting a cramp in one of my hamstrings. This is very unusual for me, especially as I had been hydrating well. I stopped to stretch it out a couple of times and eventually it went away. I think it was the result of standing most of the way on the technical downhill. After a short single track ride we were at CP15. The volunteer there let us know we were unofficially in 3rd place for the coed twos. This was an unexpected surprise and I told Lisa to put the hammer down.
I followed her through a little more single track and then we were back on fire roads and a quick down hill run. When it leveled off we passed two more racers who tried to stay with us but couldnít. CP16 was at the BMX jump park and we had to do a circuit of the park going over a bunch of the jumps, but didnít get any air time.
The route to the last two Cps was not flagged and you had to keep an eye on the map. First we did a hard pedal through town to reach the trails on the other side. By this point my legs were starting to tire. We got on the trails and pretty much followed last yearís route to CP17 without any trouble.
We started out for CP19 (CP18 was canceled due to some logging in the area) and passed another coed team which probably put us in second place. There were two routes to choose from to CP19. One trail and one on fire roads. As I remembered Brian saying something about we were not to or he preferred we not use the trail (which was the quickest route) on the way to CP19 but just on the way back from it, we took the road. This probably cost us second place. After almost making a wrong turn (Lisa made the right call) we did a short ride down the road and found CP19. It was then onto an easy single track trail, over a long, narrow log bridge that we both walked and back to the paved road. It was about 1.5km to the finish and we went as hard as we could with Lisa pulling me along, knowing that Brian would have one more surprise waiting for us at the finish line.
When we got to the start/finish area we were told to get off our bikes and that we had to swim 50 yds out to a piling where the last CP was. We later learned that we both had to go into the water but only one of us actually had to swim out. We missed that part. We were also in such a hurry that after dumping our packs we forgot to take our cycling shoes and helmets off and ended up swimming in them. The swim out wasnít too bad but on the way back we started to tire and get cold. Lisa managed to do some freestyle, but I stuck to the breast stroke.
Finally at 5:42 we staggered across the finish line. Good for 3rd in our class (out of 15) and 28/114 overall.After changing clothes we wandered back to the finish line area and filled up on some of the great food they had. Kevin came in about 15 minutes after we did, which was quite impressive considering he had his usual cramping problems. I was still shivering from the cold and didnít stop until we were in the car heading back to Mt Washington.
That night after some time in the complexís hot tub and a few beer/red bull, we headed over to the bar next door for dinner and the awards presentation. It was nice to get up on the podium, as at my age its not going to happen too much any more. The party in the bar started rocking pretty good after that and we didnít call it a night until about midnight.
A great finish to the season getting on the podium and finishing fairly high in the overall standings . Thanks to Lisa for pulling me around the course again. I was happy with my riding but still need to work on the running.
Friday, September 29, 2006
I got home from my conference back East (Niagara on the Lake) last night. Fortunately we managed to catch an earlier flight and arrived at about 8PM rather than 10PM. It was a tiring week but I managed to get in two short workouts in the hotel's fitness room before the conference started on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Just enough to keep my legs active. The highlights of the trip were wine tasting at the Jackson-Triggs winery and golf at the Legends golf course near Niagara Falls. Despite there being an open bar all week I managed to be good and limit my intake in preparation for the race tomorrow.
This morning I slept in and then went for a 15 minute run and a 30 minute MTB ride to loosen up. After that I cleaned my bike and got everything ready for our trip up island. Lisa my race partner arrived at our house at 4PM, only 30 minutes late and joined Shelley and I for an uneventful drive to Cumberland. We were one of the first teams to register, picked up our race plates and then headed up to Mt Washington where we were staying. There was a slight mix up with the keys to our room, but we eventually found the right one. Lisa prepared a great pasta dinner for us and after arranging our gear, we were in bed by about 10PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
This morning on the way to work I dropped Egan off at daycare and Shelley off at the airport for her trip to Regina. We had a staff luncheon so there was no workout at noon. We are doing a company blood drive next week and as my boss and I will be away we headed over to CBS late afternoon to do our part. It was my first time giving blood and there is quite a routine and a lot of questions to go through. After that it was a fairly painless process and didn't take long as (according to the nurse) the blood ran out of my arm pretty fast. My boss started getting lightheaded before we even got up from the couches and they made him stay lying down for a while longer. I was fine and went over and read a magazine while drinking juice and eating cookies. All of a sudden about 15 minutes later I started getting one of the bouts of vertigo that I've had lately. Fortunately I managed to hang on and not fall over until it passed. It shouldn't have been caused by giving blood as there is a distinct difference between being light headed and being dizzy. I saw my doctor last week about it and he said to keep an eye on it and hope its just an inner ear problem left over from my cold. There are drugs available to deal with it, but I would rather not go that route yet.
Tonight I picked Egan up on the way home and we vegged in front of the TV while I rehydrated. I read about a study that tested the fitness of a group of professional cyclists after giving blood. At their high level of competition where any slight weakness is readily apparent, it took them a week to fully recover. I figure to be back to a level where I can't tell the difference within 24-48 hours.
Tomorrow I am doing the 30 minute noon spin class at the "Y" and if I feel good enough may go for a run after work. This will be my last blog for about ten days as I am taking Friday off and am away next week at a conference in Niagara on the Lake. The hotel we are staying at has a fitness centre so I plan on getting in a short run and ride almost every day to keep me ready for the Cumberland MOMAR race on the 30th.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I went to the 30 minute spin class at the "Y" today. It was a good workout and I got lots of anaerobic work in. After work I headed out for a run in the park. It was a great fall evening and after taking about 20 minutes to warm up, I finally got into the zone and had a good run. I even added a couple of extra hills at the end for a total time of 1:07. After a late dinner I watched the season opener of NCIS, which was a little bit of a let down. Wednesday is a rest day as I have a staff lunch to go to and am giving blood in the afternoon.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Today I was planning on doing a run at the "Y" at noon. Unfortunately I started feeling a little light headed just before I was to leave and decided that maybe it wasn't a good idea. I think its an interaction between the medication I take for my allergies and a Tylenol that I took this morning. My doctor told me it wasn't but Shelley checked with her pharmacist and he said it could be. As a result I skipped my workout and just went for a walk, buying a couple of books for my flight back east next week and supplies for the upcoming race.
I was thinking about going for a run when I got home, but the rain put a damper on that. One of Shelley's aunts passed away yesterday so she is flying to Regina on Wednesday for the funeral, staying until Sunday. Egan and I will have to survive on our own.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Today it was raining for a change. Egan and I headed out about 9AM for a 1.5 hour walk in the park and got a little damp. When we got home Shelley and I went out to do some errands. We had to pick up some knives she had taken in to be sharpened. The first time she phoned to see if they were ready they said they were, but when she went in to pick them up they weren't there. She was then told they were on their way over by courier and she could wait, but she didn't have time. The next time she phoned she was told they had lost the knives. The owner said he would replace them ($150+) but tried to talk Shelley into taking some lesser quality ones, to no avail. Fortunately there was no problem when we picked them up.
After lunch I was feeling sluggish and as it was still raining, decided to have a nap instead. Two hours later Egan and I finally got up. I took him for another hour walk in the park as the rain had let up. I still didn't feel like doing anything too active, but when we got home I forced myself to do some weights, step ups and ab work. After that it was another quiet evening at home.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I spent the morning taking Egan for an hour walk in the park, washing my bike and cutting the grass. LM came over at 1PM to do some training for our upcoming race. We started out with an hour run in the park and she had no problem keeping up despite not having been doing much running while recovering from some surgery two months ago. We did my usual route and cut 1-2 minutes off my normal time. After a quick gel and a change of shoes we got on our MTBs and headed out. This is where I noticed that LM wasn't quite back up to her previous fitness level as I was pulling away from her on the hills, which I hadn't been able to do previously. We did a fast two hours with a little bit of everything thrown in. The last trail I took her on was a little more technical. At the end there is a tricking log drop that catches your chain ring, that I hadn't done since going over the handle bars on it. I stopped to warn her about it but she went right past me and did it with no problem. I wish I had that kind of confidence on technical stuff. At just over 3 hours it was a good outing and we were both a little tired at the end.
Tonight was a quiet evening watching TV after having a barbecue.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I thought about going to the "Y" at noon to do some weights but as I was meeting LM after work tonight to go kayaking, I decided it probably wasn't a good idea. Especially since I hadn't been out since my last race in July. Instead, I just went for a walk and checked out MEC. We met up at 4:30 at the Gorge Kayak Centre and went out for an hour. We took it pretty easy, just trying to get our muscles used to the paddling again, but did a couple of short sprints. It was a really nice evening to be out on the Gorge. We are going to try to do it again next Friday.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Tonight was brick night at the "Y". I started off with a 25 minute run on the treadmill doing a low pyramid. Then it was downstairs to the 75 minute spin class. Lots of new faces and LM showed up for a change after doing a run. We are doing the Cumberland MOMAR together and she's a little worried she won't be ready for it. KW pushed us hard with lots of standing drills. After a hard week my legs were feeling it by the middle of the class. However, I still managed an extra effort and succumbed to peer pressure when LF stood up when everyone else was sitting and gave me the little Matrix wave to join her. I was quite tired by the end of class and got home in time to watch the season opener of "Survivor". The usual group of disfunctional people.
Tomorrow is a partial rest day with just kayaking after work with LM.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Today I did some weight training at the "Y" at noon, including some squats. I noticed my knees were a little sore. No doubt from my double yesterday. After work I went on a MTB ride. Just before I left the house I changed from a long sleeved shirt to a short sleeved shirt as I thought I would be too hot. Of course it then decided to rain about half way through my ride. I was doing hills today and did all the steep, loose dirt/gravel hills I could find in the area. I even managed to get up the one on the new trail I found a couple of weeks ago that I hadn't been able to get up before. I just stuck it in granny and ground my way up it. At the end of the off road ride I headed over to Bear Mt for one circuit of it. I noticed my new bike is definitely not made for paved road riding. Although I didn't have the rear shock set on the stiffest setting, I don't know that it would have made a lot of difference. There is a lot of bob. Oh well, that's not what its made for and I won't be doing much of it. Riding down Bear Mt it really felt like fall, what with the rain and cold wind. I was happy to get home as I wasn't really dressed for the weather. After a 1:45 ride I got in the door about 7:30, in time for a late supper of chicken wings and salad. Then I watched a new episode of "Bones" with Egan snoring beside me.
Egan seems to be developing a real protective streak. According to the staff at the puppy daycare, there is a dog with crippled back legs that goes there who Egan has taken under his wing and won't let any of the other dogs bother. He did the same with a female pug puppy, although I think his reasons were different in that case. Tomorrow will be a hard brick at the "Y" and then maybe a rest day.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I did the 30 minute noon spin class at the "Y" today. There was a new instructor who worked us pretty hard. Lots of seated hill climbs and I was pushing into my anaerobic zone for much of it. After work I went for an hour run in the park. It was my first trail run in about ten days and I felt it. After getting warmed up, I tried to push it on some of the hills with limited success.
I looked at the calendar today and the last race of the season is coming up fast. As I am away the week before it at a conference and next week I have a bunch of other things to do, this is really my last week to work hard. Tomorrow if the rain holds off I'm hoping to get a MTB ride in after work, concentrating on hills.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Today I was feeling a little sluggish, no doubt the result of overindulging on the weekend. However I still headed over to the "Y" at noon for 25 minutes on the treadmill. I did my usual speed workout but kicked it up a notch. After my warm up I did two sets of 3x 2 minutes (vs my usual one minute). The extra minute made a big difference and I think I sweated out a lot of beer. I also used the windjammer machine and did some squats.
LM and I were going to go kayaking after work today, however when I phoned them they said they closed at 4:30PM (vs their website which said 8PM). As a result we are going to have to wait until the weekend. Instead, I took Egan for an hour walk in the park after dinner.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
On Thursday night I went to the 75 minute spin class at the "Y". My cold must be almost gone as I was able to go hard for most of the class.
I took Friday off so we could head over to Vancouver early in the day. In the morning before we left I took Egan and we hiked the back side of Mt Finlayson. He was fine until about half way down when he had a couple of melt downs. Too much sensory overload and not liking being on the leash. We caught the 1PM ferry and after we got to my mother's in West Van I took Egan for another hike, this time in Lighthouse Park, which is just down the street from her townhouse complex. Its got some great trails with lots of hills. Two of my three brothers showed up before dinner and afterwards we got into the beer and shooters. Fortunately we ran out of the latter pretty fast. The only damage was a midnight skinny dip in the complex's pool.
The next morning my older brother Mike and I took Egan for another hour walk in Lighthouse Park. After lunch we headed over to Burnaby Mt for some MTBing. From the base to the top there is about a 1000ft of elevation gain which we rode up on the double track trails. Its a nice steady climb with only a couple of short, steep pitches. There is only one really good single black diamond trail down (Nicoles), but it is fairly fast and flowing, with lots of 1-2ft drops, switchbacks and rocks to negotiate. The last time I was on it was about ten years ago, my first time MTBing and on a rigid frame. I ended up walking most of it. This time, especially on my new bike, I had a great time and only had to walk 3 drops. Mike knew the trail well and I just followed his lead, going over things I would normally have to think about. Once we got to the bottom we headed back up and did it again. Overall riding time was about two hours and my legs felt great. It was kind of drizzling out, but warm enough and on the ride down we were sheltered in the trees. We also saw some bear scat on the way up and at one point heard something big crashing through the woods, but didn't hang around to find out whether it was Yogi or not. Overall a very satisfying ride.
My other brother John showed up for dinner and we enjoyed a nice prime rib dinner. Egan had fun with John's doberman but not so much fun with Eric's 120lb german shepheard. We got into the beer and shooters again after dinner, but I called it a night around 10PM and missed the swim.
Today we caught the 11AM ferry home and all had a nap in the afternoon. Afterwards I was considering going for a run but instead just took Egan for an hour walk in the park. I'm going to go hard this week as I only have two good weeks left to train for the last race of the season at month end.
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
I believe I'm on the road to recovery as the only real symptom I still have is a scratchy throat. At noon I headed over to the "Y" and did 25 minutes on the treadmill. It was my first run in a week and while I didn't really feel like doing it, I pushed myself and did a speed workout. I did four sets of 3x one minute drills of increasing speed and didn't feel too bad.
When I got home Egan was asleep, exhausted from being at puppy daycare and only got up once before bedtime to growl at someone he heard walking down the street. My brother is also going to be in Vancouver this weekend so I'm looking forward to getting in some technical riding on my new bike. I am taking Friday off and we are going over around noon.
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
My cold felt a little better today although my voice was a little raspy. I don't know if that means its getting better or worse. Despite that, I needed to get back into training and went to the 30 minute noon spin class at the "Y". I worked pretty hard and managed to survive it. The plan is to do a moderate workout every day this week until my cold is completely gone. Even though I am not doing the XTC this weekend, we are still going to Vancouver. I am either going to go MTBing with my brother or if he is not around, maybe do the Grouse Grind.
After dinner tonight I took it easy and did some reading. I think I gave Shelley my cold which she is not too happy about.
Monday, September 4, 2006
That was a waste of a perfectly good long weekend. My cold continued to get worse last week and I ended up going home early Thursday and calling in sick on Friday. I slept much of the weekend but forced myself to get out on Sunday so I could try out my new bike. It worked great, I just wish I did. I went for a two hour ride and while I made it up all of the hills, I had to stop at the top of most of them to keep from fainting or throwing up. I've decided to skip the XTC Off Road Duathlon next weekend as its a tough race and I'm not going to be in good enough condition to compete in it. It would just be a waste of $70. I think my cold is starting to break up and plan to get in some easy workouts this week.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
My cold is still hanging around today, no better but at least no worse. Just a sore throat and a bit of a stuffy head. I didn't feel like going for a run today but didn't feel bad enough not to, if that makes any sense. I headed to the "Y" at noon and did 25 minutes on the treadmill. Once again my legs surprised me. They felt like working despite my head saying it didn't. The first 10 minutes was an easy warm up followed by 15 minutes at my 10k pace. I'm glad that I'm at least keeping my legs moving this week. After work it was Shelley, Egan and I lying on the couch, all tired after a long day.
The good news today was that I picked up my new bike. Its a Santa Cruz Blur XC with full suspension and disc brakes. Without pedals it weighs in at just over 26lbs. It looks so nice that I almost don't want to take it out and get it dirty and scratched. The only bad news is that I don't feel good enough to take it out for a ride. That will have to wait for this weekend.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I'm still battling the sore throat and a little bit of a stuffy head. I went to the 30 minute noon spin class at the "Y" and surprised myself by being able to go fairly hard and even got into my anaerobic zone. It seems the cold is only affecting me from the neck up, although I still don't feel like doing anything. I'm going to pass on the run tonight and try to make up for it tomorrow, even if its just on the treadmill.
On the way home I picked up some Cold Fx, the new wonder product on the market to see if it would help. Given the cost it had better ($25 for 60 pills). The good news is that my new bike will be ready to be picked up tomorrow, although I don't know if I will feel like riding it. At least I have the long weekend to get used to it before my next race. Tonight I'm resting in front of the TV. At least Egan is tired and has settled down. It will be an early night again.
Monday, August 28, 2006
As is usual on a Monday, I felt like crap this morning which was made even worse by a sore throat. Fortunately it was a rest day for me and I just had to struggle through a weight training session at the "Y" at noon. After work I picked up some echinacea which usually works for me when I feel a cold coming on. After dinner I tried to rest on the couch but was kept awake by a hyper dog and a neighbour cutting his grass. Its going to be an early night.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
This morning I got both cars and both bikes washed after taking Egan for a 45 minute walk in the park. My legs didn't have any jump in them so after lunch I ended up going for a power hike at Gowland Tod (1:52). I pushed fairly hard and even ran some of the flats and downhill sections. Afterwards I still felt reasonably good and detoured to Mt Finlayson on the way home where I did the back side trail up and down in about :55. When I finished my legs were tired, but felt stronger than I thought they would.
Tonight was a quiet evening spent watching Pirates of the Caribbean.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Friday was a rest day with just weights at the "Y" at noon. I also squeezed in some squats. I had a message from the bike shop that the frame for my bike was in and that they expected the build kit by Monday and had scheduled building it Tuesday. Yeah!
Saturday morning I took Egan for a long walk in the park and then did some errands. LM had asked me if I wanted to go riding with her and some friends at Mt Tzou today, but as they were going to be gone most of the day and I needed a hard ride and run I decided not to go. My plan was to do a hard brick so after lunch I went out on a MTB ride. I pushed hard at race pace and did a fast ride with some technical and hills thrown in (1:51). I included the new trail that I had found last weekend which had some short, steep hills with loose gravel, great training. There was only one hill that I didn't make it up and spun out on, but I'll get it eventually. When I got home I changed shoes and had a quick gel before heading out on my run. My legs were a little tired so I just kept a moderate pace. About half way through my run I decided that at the end of it a swim in Thetis Lake would hit the spot. The only trouble was that if I stopped at the beach I wouldn't get a long enough run in. As a result I ended up running half way home then turning around and heading back to the beach. Run time was 1:10. The water felt slightly colder then when I was in in July, but still very nice. I guess you could say I did a triathlon today, if swimming a hundred yards and then floating on my back for a while constitutes the swimming portion. When I was done I walked home (about 15 minutes) as my legs were too tight to do any more running.
I lazed for the next hour on the lounger on our deck sipping a beer and eventually power napping until it was time to start the barbecue. After dinner, I spent the evening reading while Shelley who was having a burst of energy, cleaned out closets upstairs.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I had a free lunch hour today, which was a nice change. I strolled over to Chapters and then down to MEC to look around. One of our benefits at work is that we have a massage therapist come in once every 3 months to give each of us a 20 minute session in the afternoon. Today she was in and must have been in a bad mood as it felt like she was sticking a knife in my back. The downside is we have to go back to work after it and she only does neck, back and arms, not legs which is what I really need.
After work I headed to the "Y for the start of my brick and a half. I started on the treadmill and took it easy doing 25 minutes at just under my 10k pace. Considering I took Wednesday off my legs did not feel that good and I'm starting to think that my body doesn't like days off, maybe just easier days. After finishing, I changed my shoes and headed to spin class. KW pushed us hard for 70 minutes and while I was a little tired, the run didn't affect my legs too much. When that was done I changed shoes again, had a quick gel and headed back upstairs to the treadmill again. This time I could really feel it in my legs and for the first 15 minutes I couldn't go harder than the pace I did in my first run. The gel finally started working or my legs loosened up and I pushed the speed up to my 10k pace for the last 10 minutes. When I was done I was tired but not beat. Comparing this to my upcoming race, the run was not as hard or as long but the ride was probably close to the effort I will be putting out in the race. I'm not looking forward to that last 10k.
I got home and gulped down some cold pizza that one of Shelley's friends had left. I had a stiff neck from the massage. One of the after affects I often have due to a bad disc in my back. A hard massage often makes me tense up which results in the stiff neck. It does seem a little counter productive. I put a frozen bag of corn on it and it should be fine
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Today was a rest day which was just as well as my legs were a little sore from yesterday. I just went to the "Y" at noon and did some weight training. I skipped the squats as I want my legs to be well rested for tomorrow night when I am going to do a duathlon circuit at the "Y". Treadmill/spin class/treadmill.
After dinner while watching the tube I did some ab work. Shelley had a very slow day, still recovering from her wasp sting and the after affects of the injection.
I was looking at some pictures taken during the Transrockies race and the scenery is enough to make you want to do the race, that is until you read the blogs of the people who did it and the suffering they went through. I read one blog by Keith Bontrager (the bike component manufacturer) who is an experienced endurance racer and former finisher in the Transrockies. Because of the heat and cramping problems he had, he didn't make it past day two.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Today was the 30 spin class at noon at the "Y". It was a small class but I pushed hard and got a good workout in. I saw LM at the "Y" and she is finally getting back into things after her surgery. She should be ready for our race at the end of September.
Shelley phoned me in the morning to say she had been stung by a wasp which she is very allergic to. She gave herself a shot with her anakit and had one of the neighbors come over until she was sure it was working. No ill affects other than some slight swelling fortunately.
After work I went for an hour run in the park. For the first 40 minutes I felt like I was running in a fog. Finally things cleared up and despite my legs being a little heavy from spin class, I managed to put on some speed for the last twenty minutes.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Today I just did 30 minutes on the treadmill at noon at the "Y". My legs were a little stiff to start but eventually loosened up. I did some speed work with four sets of 3x one minute, increasing the speed every minute. Overall, I felt pretty good once my legs had loosened up.
After dinner Shelley and I took Egan for a good walk in the park. He seems to finally have settled down from Shelley being away. Once we got back I collapsed on the couch. Monday's are not my favourite day and I had been fighting to stay awake all afternoon.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Friday I had planned to do some weight training at noon, instead I ended up taking one of my analysts out to lunch to celebrate his passing of the exam for a course he has been taking.
On Saturday I spent the morning cutting the lawn and other yard work. In the afternoon I went for a two hour hike around Stewart Mt looking for a trail I had seen on a map of the area. I found it and after doing a little work on it, now have a new, tougher route to take on my usual ride.
Today I was planning to do a MTB ride followed by a run. Unfortunately this morning I wasn't feeling very well, dizzy and a little nauseous. As a result I just took it easy until the late afternoon, when Shelley and I took Egan for an hour walk in the park. When we got home I was feeling better and also a little guilty for not working out hard this weekend. I did some step ups on the box just to get something in. After dinner Egan was a little crazy due to not enough exercise I think and I ended up having to hold him in a bear (dog?) hug for about twenty minutes until he calmed down.
This week I am going to have to work hard to make up for such a slow weekend.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I went to the 30 minute noon spin class at the "Y" today. My legs were still a little sore from my hill work last night and I really noticed it on the standing drills. I still managed to put in a moderate effort. After work I dropped Egan off at home and got him settled, them headed over to the back side of Mt Finlayson. I power hiked most of it but managed to get my tired legs to run the flat spots. I was carrying a full race pack with 2L of water. My first time up I did in just over 17 minutes which not surprisingly was about 2 minutes off my best time with fresh legs. Once I got back down I turned around and headed back up for a second time. I tried to push it but with minimal success. My time on the second ascent was about 30 seconds slower, which was not bad.
Afterwards I headed home and cooked up some dinner while vegging with Egan in front of the TV. Tomorrow will be a rest day and I pick Shelley up at the airport after work.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I was busy at noon today getting a haircut so the plan after work was to do some hill work on my road bike. After picking Egan up from daycare and getting him settled on the deck, I tried to think up excuses not to go for a ride. I was tired and felt a headache coming on. Unfortunately I couldn't come up with a good one so I headed out on my bike. I first went up to Mt Finlayson Arm Rd and did the Millstream side twice which was a good warm up. Then I rode back down to Bear Mt and rode it twice. I was hurting on the last third of the climb both times and doing a lot of standing. I was however happy with my fast recovery between climbs. It wasn't a long ride, but the effort was strong.
When I got home, Egan was asleep on the lounger as usual. He woke up long enough to come inside, say hello and then it was back to sleep. He goes so hard at daycare that it really wears him out. While I was cooking up some dinner that Shelley had left me, I phoned her in Kelowna. She was already looking forward to coming home on Friday. After dinner I read for a bit and then went to bed early.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
My legs were a little sore this morning from last night's MTB ride. Despite that, I went to the "Y's" 30 minute spin class at noon and put in a strong effort. After picking Egan up after work and getting him settled at home, I went for a trail run in the park. I wasn't expecting too much and was not surprised that my legs were heavy and never did get going. I wore my HR monitor for a change but couldn't push myself into my anaerobic zone. I changed my normal route a little which added two ugly hills at the end that I struggled up. Although I didn't set any speed records, I did get the mileage in.
When I got home, Egan was asleep on the lounger on the deck. I put together a quick dinner and then vegged in front of the TV.