Monthly Archives: February 2012

Improving my speed

So here we are again. But give me one minute, I am watching Big Bang theory and debating if Penny is Hot in her Cat costume from a rerun. Ok no sense debating she looks cute. You agree with me right? Anyways so this week I backed off a bit trying to follow the whole work out increasing distance, intensity, power and volume over 3 weeks and then backing off every 4th. 6 hours and 15 mins and I didn’t do a single bit of strength training last week. Still seems like a lot for some people but really once it is part of your lifestyle getting 6 hours in over a whole week really isn’t much people, you have 168 hours a week available to you. We are talking 3.6% of your week your week. I don’t want to guess how much time you spend watching TV. I bet it is more then 3.6% of your week. But that is right you are too busy and you don’t have time to work out right!!!!!!

Ok I am done being a bit of an honest jerk there. So how do you get faster? You do interval types of work out where you push yourself to your max over a desired period of time or distance. Lets just cover the Tempo Run today as a method to help you get faster at running. We will cover this because well I did one today, first one of 2012. My training buddy, partner, friend etc came over and we used my 4.1km route as an option. My fastest 5km race to date was an average pace 5:51/km. So a Tempo run means I need to run this pace or just a bit faster, but for shorter then 5k. We start out running easy for 5-6 mins mostly moaning and groaning knowing that this run was going to suck and hurt a little. A tempo run should be a bit uncomfortable but manageable if that makes sense to you. My plan in my head was to hold 5:40/km which doesn’t seem much faster but (insert fowl language here)

Well 5 mins hits, I push play on my ipod and crank the volume up to about as loud as it can go. No issues with Training buddy talking to me, I know in about 4-6 steps I am going to be chasing her down, which is code for watching her leave my arse behind. I look down briefly and I am running about 5:20/km and I would like to say I felt good, but I didn’t, It hurt and I wanted no part of this run. The few times I did look at my Garmin I was around 5:30-5:40/km and I wanted to quit about 75 times. But as time went on and I kept trying to turn up my ipod louder. The finish line for the run kept creeping a bit closer and I finally felt like I was going to finish at this pace. I could see ahead to the corner where I would get to slow down for the cool down. And I could make out the faint yellow jacket my friend was wearing as she was rounding the corner, still way ahead of me but in slight view. My side started to hurt and I was taking deep breaths, in between gasping for air, to try and hold a side stitch at bay. I knew pushing my pace harder would just force me to end the run from the side stitch. But I made it, and I slowed right down to what felt like a crawl. Looked down at my Garmin and my heart rate was 166 beats a min.

I didn’t feel too bad at all after we were done. I sat down at home to relax for a few mins after we finished. Then it hit me, for about 15-20 minutes I felt like I was going to suffer from DOP. I just came up with this term, and I rather like it. “Delayed Onset Puking” It was close there for a bit but I made it through without. I heard this puking thing happens sometimes on these runs. One of these days I am sure I am going to end up puking while running.

I think it is a right of passage for those who race or push themselves to the point of puking. I am not telling to get out there and run until you puke, but if you plan on it let me know I want to be there to see it, because it would be funny as hell for me to watch someone else do it. But I am saying get out there and run, walk, bike or do something you love. Or do something you don’t love and you will be surprised that some day you might learn to love it. If you would have told me 2 years ago I would be out doing a Tempo run. I would have simply said What the F**K is a tempo run, pass the nachos. I am certainly stiff from the run now, I mean my leg muscles you pervs. But I do have a hot date with my foam roller now. That is a whole other blog post.

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Improving your community

Well its Sunday and time to update my blog and reflect on my week of training. I managed 4.7 hours of biking, just under 2 hours running and an hour of strength training. I fell a little short of where I was hoping to be this week. I am still in an unstructured phase of training and have been focused on spin classes a lot with the way the weather has been. This week coming is a week were I need to cut back a little, recover from some of my workouts and go see a massage therapist and chiropractor to get my back and muscles back in order.  That said now the exciting news.

Our founding members of our running group managed to get together tonight to discuss setting up our running clinics for this season.  This is exciting news for us and our community. We live in a community that struggles with health issues and specifically cardiac related issues. Obesity is a modern day problem, one that I suffered from for many years myself. With the help of some of these founding members we created a larger running community in our city last year. After doing a few small learn to run clinics and starting a Facebook page last year, it has grown to almost 300 members and taken off to something bigger then I think any of us thought it could or would be. We have a diverse group of people running these clinics, we don’t always see everything in the same light all the time, who does, but that diversity is our strength. It helps us connect to the diverse people that come to our clinics. Some of us have had athletic backgrounds are whole life. And I come from the FAT crowd that thought cheeseburgers, jujubes, chips and processed foods were tasty normal food groups. And spending a Friday night watching TV all night was a great way to spend an evening. YUP total couch potato.

Well I am excited to say I rarely go for a run now a days in our city and not see at least a few other people out running. When I pass some of these people that I helped learn to run it makes me smile. Knowing they have adopted a new lifestyle and continued on and so have some of their friends and family. The impact of these run clinics goes far beyond what we see in the clinic. It is nice to know that we have had this much impact on people and it is still very humbling at the same time. So many more people are running now that a few members have found the time and energy to also invest into opening a running specific and specialty store in our city now. www.getupandrun.com Link also on the side at all times in my blog. We got the sneak preview of the store today as it is being put together and I can tell you it looks good inside now even as the toilet sat in a box mid floor and the stock is in boxes and still coming in. Exciting times for everyone as they join forces with RUNCK for clinics and goal races. More to come on what they will be offering. Follow Kim’s Blog on the store website, follow along with her as she opens her store and makes her way to Boston Marathon this spring.

I am ready to meet some new people this year in our new clinics and watch some personal transformations.  I hoping to help people along with some of the same lifestyle changes I made. We start Run clinics the beginning of April, which coincidentally marks 2 years since I first laced up a pair of shoes and started my first running program for myself. I would say after 2 years of running and helping with 3 seasons of clinics, I can now accept that this isn’t a fad and it is my lifestyle and heck I consider myself an athlete now. You won’t see me on a first place podium in the paper. But I am winning  way more by supporting people changing their life for the better

 

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Your First Race – Greatest thing ever or total let down?

So another week has come to an end in my training. This week I managed to put a much needed swim back into my workout and my shoulders and arms were feeling it today after that swim yesterday. Normally we do a long run on weekends but the -10 degrees C and windchill of -20 degrees C held me off of even considering a run. Many others made it out and posted pictures of their frozen hair etc on facebook. No thank-you not for me, I draw the line at training in miserable weather, bad weather yes, (PG-13 Warning) my bag freezing to my leg weather NO. Besides it forced me into the pool and I needed it. This week totalled off at 461 mins of training. Yes that includes 30 mins of shoveling snow. Look for all you warm Florida people come shovel this long driveway I chose to own (ok that part is my fault) and see how it makes you sweat.

I recall signing up for my first race. The Leamington Tomatoman Try a Tri for Fathers day weekend 2010, because my friend told me I could totally do it. 2010 was supposed my season I did my first Try a Tri. However I had planned on doing it in August when I had worked up to to. Do you recall your first race? or are you considering your first race? I was, but not as early as I ended up racing. Work got in the way of a dive trip so I went ahead and signed up for this try a tri. It was to be an epic event with all kinds of feelings of accomplishment when I crossed the line. I knew a few others that signed up and one of them was a local to Leamington, a Doctor my wife works with. Race day was filled with nerves after I got my number and my silly swim cap that made me look like a giant penis with a small condom on my head.  It was a pool swim thank goodness. I got there early listened to what I was told, Racked my bike in a spot by a tree so it would be easy to spot coming out of the pool. etc etc. I was ready to take this on.

Long story short It was as hot as donut grease out that day (stole that from a Lance Armstrong tweet) and windy. Race started, I darn near died in the pool and could not catch my breath. Ran out of the pool outside, could not find my bike for the life of me even with my wife and friends shouting at me where it was, Got out on my bike and hammered my bike ride as much as I could. 4 laps of a 2.5km course the uphill portion was hard. I was still 250 ish pounds. I was looking for a smaller gear in my bike and could not find it. I passed some people and that felt good. Then I came in racked my bike and started on my 2.5 km run. I took off so hard on the run it was crazy. It was two laps of a 1.25km course and on the second lap my Garmin Heart rate alarm started beeping at me. Yep heart rate was over 180 Beats a minute and a race official stopped me and made me walk. Thank goodness, she has me walking with my arms over my head and stayed with me until my heart rate came back down to 150 beats a minute. Then I jogged easy to the end of the race and heard the announcer say my name as I crossed the line.

Now I expected to have this great feeling of success and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. But in my own head I set some goals for the race and I didn’t hit any of them other then my last goal. Which I told everyone was my only goal, JUST TO FINISH. I was frustrated and I was planning on how to fix all my mistakes at the next race. Wait what was I doing? OMG I was already planning my next race, Really? Even with that finish and not having the outcome I wanted I was planning what to do next time. HAHAHA well let’s just say next time has come and gone and a full season of racing Sprint distance in 2011 has come and gone and now 2012 I will be doing a Half IronMan distance race. This sport is addictive because everyone cheers everyone on even if you are last. In fact if you are last you have more attention and more spectators and more cheers then that poor guy that crosses first. I pity the first place guy really, no one pays much attention to him.

All that aside I finally had that overwhelming feeling when I crossed the finish line in my first Half Marathon in 2011. But that is another entry to come.

Thanks to my training partner for talking me into Leamington. Even if after the race she told me she wasn’t sure I would finish it. I have proven since I have the mental drive to keep growing in this sport. But like everything else it all starts somewhere when you take the first steps eventually they turn into giant strides of accomplishment.

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Acceptance – Triathlon is one of the best places to find it !

This week was another full week after a recovery week. So I finished up with about 440 mins of working out. Spinning, Running and core work, mostly indoor classes because it is winter. Although it doesn’t feel like it up here in Canada. I did get one run in with my training partner with wet snow and wind pelting us in the face during an 8km run last weekend after spin class. I actually liked the wet snow, it was like liquid cooling for me, but miserable wind. Anyways I digressed already.

Last night I went out with a group of people I run with for a Heart and Stroke Charity dinner. Ok most of us trained for a half marathon together last year. But we all run at different paces and we are all a different group of people. But Running, Triathlon, Duathlon brings us all together. My friend base is completely changing after hanging around the same people for many years. Not to say I don’t talk to my other friends as well. But I am certainly spending more time with these other healthy positive people. If it is one thing I find with this crowd it is that they are very open, very healthy, very positive people to be around. We had a great time last night, great meal, dressed up and finally got to see everyone in something other then spandex and technical tshirts and not an ipod to be found. Oh wait two girls were wearing spandex shorts under their dresses…HAHAHA That is how we roll people.

I have always been a bit of an outcast growing up. I found my funny side and humor was very helpful to me through college and and has been part of my way to be social and break the ice now. Now you can’t shut me up and can’t stop me from doing things like putting the bright red feather center piece from last night on my head for pictures, and no I wasn’t drunk. As a guy that does not run fast, or do triathlons fast or anything fast I have found acceptance in this sport. I am short and stocky and very barrel chested, body frame more suited for power lifting. Yet everyone is accepting and encouraging and supportive.

You personally can’t find a group of more positive people then Triathlon, Running, Duathlon people. I think I realize most of us have some demons and negativity buried in there somewhere. But we all tend to bury that useless energy and support one and other. I encourage any of you thinking of doing running, triathlon, duathlons to take it up and look into it if you need support and a positive lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong you will have to work for it. You will need to become a runner, cyclist, swimmer or a variation of. It is like the rest of life you have to put in some effort and if people see you try. You have a support crew you could never imagine else where. In a world where all I see are people posting about negative things on facebook, twitter and bad news on CNN. I have found that negativity breeds negativity. However I have also found that there is a small portion of the world that is accepting and very positive. Warning it is contagious and the running groups are growing around here.

If you ever thought no way this is not for me and I can’t run, I can’t do that. Um yes you can. I assure you that you can. I started almost 2 years ago and the first few months were lonely and tiresome, and thrilling and filled with defeat and accomplishment all at the same time. It is kind of like LIFE and it teaches you a lot about yourself and others. I have learned more about myself from doing this then any other thing in my life. Heck I am blogging about it.

Thank-you to all my new friends for your acceptance, those with me last night and those who couldn’t be with us. I will never be able to give back everything you all give me.

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