Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm really not that fat...

Today is D-Day. Start our D-rive to Boulder.

I didn't pack last night. Too tired. Instead packed this morning with a clear head and in under 90 minutes was done.

Although things went well I still pulled out of the driveway with this feeling I forgot something....Nothing yet came to mind as of this blog post. I just have that feeling.

I drove a different way, down through Niagara Falls and then towards Colorado. Through Cleveland. Didn't have time to hook up with Matty O and Heather, on return visit for sure.

The reason we went through Niagara Falls is I had a couple of eBay items I bought and had to have them send to a U.S. address. The first was a replicate trophy from the World Cup and the second was a fire hydrant. Both for the Pig & Whistle. Essential purchases.

Turns out they did not have them under my name and needed the tracking number. Which I didn't have and in hindsight I should have just pulled out my computer and logged on to eBay. Instead I left only to find hundreds of miles away they had both arrived already. Doh!!!

Oh well, I'll just have to take the long way back and pick them up. Which isn't bad, it's a nice ride than driving through Detroit, Windsor or Sarnia.

The only downside was the incredible amount of tolls. I had no idea that the tolls through Illinois was going to be so much. I bet we spent $40 on tolls.

Before I left today I took a picture of myself with my good buddy Bill Seedes T-Shirt he sent me on. Bill has a daughter with Downs Syndrome and does all his triathlons to raise money or downs syndrome. Every year for the past number of years he's sent me all sorts of great swag, including shirts, tri racing outfit, water bottles, bags, etc, etc, you name it. Great swag.

In honour of him and his cause I wanted my first photo graph on this journey of doing my final Ironman to be with his shirt on. After Alice took the shot and I looked at it it made me look a little plump. I don't care, I'm not upgrading to a large shirt from a medium and frankly I was surprised, the camera must add 20 lbs because I ain't that plump in my minds eye.

If you want to support Bill and a great cause please donate to him by clicking here.

The car ride was actually not to bad. We chatted. It was like a summer vacation car ride. We had the truck packed, the bikes on the back and headed to a destination. I was telling Alice that this seemed like the first summer that had an actual summer vacation feel.

To me this is more than a journey to my last Ironman. This is a journey to the next half of my life. I really do see this as a defining moment.

I look back to 1991 when I did my last Ironman before taking off 17 years and doing my next one. Truth is I didn't take off 17 years. I was so beat up after doing that 3rd Ironman due to lack of training that I finished in 14 hours plus and walked most of the run and swore I'd never do another Ironman ever again, that they were stupid and what was I thinking.

Fast forward 17 years and I do another Ironman, my 4th and I did it faster than any of my three previous Ironman's in my 20's. Since my comeback I've done 8 more Ironmans and not one has been slower than my slowest time in my 20's. All 8 of my Ironman's in my 40's have been sub 12 hour Ironmans, my fastest 10:20. My fastest in my 20's was 12:14.

So here I am, feeling history is going to repeat itself. When I quit Ironman's in 1991 I was 24 and just co-founded my first real business, then worked my ass off to make a career. Then after 17 years of making a career I was 50 lbs over weight and the industry I made my career in was dying. I was selling buggy whips.

It's almost a complete mirror, except hopefully I'm not near the level of pain I was after this Ironman as I was in 1991. Difference this time is I know this will be my last Ironman on my terms. Then I want to focus on my career, on my terms.

I'm quite excited about this new book of life and the drive to Boulder seems to be the drive from one reality to the next. The point of the "big Bang' and the creation of my new universe will be when I cross that finish line. That line is going to be the window I walk through from the old world to the next. Now if that isn't motivation to finish, nothing is. How could I not finish and get through that window?

The one thing about a road trip is eat like you are on a road trip. You don't want much down time so today it was lunch at Wendy's and some, and I say this loosely, healthy snacks from gas stations along the way. Corn chips are healthy right? They have good salt right?

We did stop for one healthy meal at Chili's. Then back on the road.

The plan was to stop in Chicago and have a fun night in Chicago. I was craving a nice big steak and Chicago has some great steak houses. As we were about 2 hours out of Chicago Alice started looking for hotels on her iPad. We booked one. Turns out the date we selected there was no rooms and it gave us a date in August. On to the phone with expedia I went and had to go through some hoops to cancel and get my money back on a non-refundable room.

I thought Alice made an honest mistake on picking the dates, she didn't because after that she drove and I started looking for rooms and the same thing happened to me. We were using Trivago and they kept adjusting the dates to different ones even though I picked today's date.

Now with that said, Chicago was sold out. YES, the entire City of Chicago was sold out, unless you wanted to pay $350 per night or more and $60 for parking. Obviously a sign of a strong economy.

We had a choice, spent $500 in Chicago for a night or move on. We moved on. I was hoping we'd be able to get a room in downtown Chicago for $125. I could in August according to the online sellers, not in July.

So we drove more, now in the dark.

It was around 10 pm, we'd been on the road about 12 hours and time to stop. I called a head to a town, their was a Country Inn & Suites. I got the price. Then I looked online and saw I could save $10. Only problem was I picked the Comfort Inn & Suites online and not the Country Inn and I picked the wrong town. The town I picked was 40 minutes out of the way. I didn't realize I made this mistake until I showed up at the Country Inn and Suites and they had no reservation for me. DOH.

So now we had to drive 40 more minutes at 10 pm to some town called Fulton. We pulled up, it wasn't bad but it was no Country Inn & Suites. You have no idea how much I'm not staying at some cheap flea bag place ever again. I got totally discussed with my trip to Boise and at Boise when I stayed in Motel 6's. The type of people that stay beside you that pay $39 per night are a little scary. By paying a little more you separate yourself from danger.

We got into the room, was tired. The bed sucked, it reminded me of a motel 6 bed and the pillows were half size. I've never seen half sized pillows before. The room was freezing and when I turned on the heat it started smelling like something was burning.

Only other hassle is taking the bikes off the truck. Yes, Bike(s). There is two. The second bike is for Alice to get around Boulder on. This way she doesn't have to walk during the race, she has a mountain bike to get around on. That is one of the benefits of driving, you can add another bike no charge.

All and all, good first day on the road. Minor speed bumps.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finishing Strong...

This has been an interesting month of training. After today I've done 45 hours of training in 27 days and I've taken 11 rest days. That means 45 hours of training in 16 days, which is an average of 2.8 hours of training on those days I training.

I look back to the first week of June, when I got back from Boise and started my training for Ironman Boulder. It seems like a lifetime ago.

First off I was fat. Fat and softer than I'd been in at least 7 years. The excess beer and the huge amount of wings I was eating with virtually no training had taken it's toll. I remember the ride back from Boise and sitting in the car for 32 hours. My belly was so big that my belt buckle was imprinting into my stomach and it was hurting and itchy.

The first week or two of training was brutal. It was more than brutal it was down right scary. I'd never had my butt kicked so hard. With all the training I'd done over the years I always have a pretty good base that I can draw from. I thought that would be the case, it wasn't. It was brutal. Those first rides and swims it was most apparent.

Yes the swims were had. I remember on the first swim I almost wanted to quit at 150 yards because my arms were sore and I had no mojo.

I know it was worse than I remember because I have such a bad memory. I'm sure if I ready back to those first training week or two blog post it will come back to me. I do remember the long rides at 24 kph average. Mind you now that I've had a couple of good rides I wonder how much of it is the wheels?

My high weight was 206.4 lbs and my low has been 197 lbs. I would be lower but I fell off the wagon big time in June and when you are drinking beer you CANNOT lose weight. Not possible.

These past 8 weeks have also been tough mentally. It's been the hardest training from a mental standpoint. I've had to mentally push myself to train more than I ever have in the past. By far. What kept me motivated was because I signed up to race to raise money for Doctors without Borders and mentally preparing to make this my last Ironman.

The week before last I did under 5 hours. The 3 workouts I did were high quality.

This week was my last real training week and I wanted to finish strong. It turned out I did just over 16 hours for the week. I would have done one more hour with a run but it was pouring rain outside and I'm now made of sugar. Plus there was lots of lightening. That said I just bailed because I'm not getting wet.

So I look back and look at my training log and count the weeks and I did it. It will end up being about 110 hours of training over 2 months. As of today I'm in much better shape than I was when I started 60 days ago. Without question.

I do believe that I'm in good enough shape to finish, at least I should be. Especially if I take it somewhat easy this week. You can't train 16 hours in one week, or 110 hours over 60 days and not be at least in good enough shape to finish. I even did some swimming during these session.

There was also learning over these 60 days. I learned that I have to eat carbs and that a ketosis diet is not the best. Which I knew, I just wanted to try and lose weight. I learned I need more calories than 1200 per day. Which I knew, I just wanted to try and lose weight. Actually maybe there wasn't lots of learning this session. Just hopeful thinking.

Yesterday I had a great bike ride and averaged over 30 kph for 113 km. Today was my last real ride before the race and I wanted to do a back to back longish ride so that it would work the riding legs once again and fatigue them.

My plan was to do another 4 hours. It was really hot and humid outside. My favourite. I started off a little slower than yesterday I could feel I wasn't as strong. It was a combination of into the wind and the heat. Yesterday was not as hot. Heat and humidity slows you down.

I wasn't that far off at my 32 km point I was only 60 seconds off the yesterdays time for the same spot. I got to the 1 hour 30 point and realized that 4 hours wasn't going to happen, I was getting mentally burnt out and it just felt intuitively that I was doing the right thing turning back.

As I was riding back I mentally couldn't do the same route. It's my regular route and I've done it so many times it was going to be torture if I had to ride it one last time. I decided to take a different way home. Different, nicer scenery and it cut some time off the ride.

By the time I got home I had finished a quality 2:33 hour ride and averaged a respectable 29.3 kph. That gave me about 190 km over a 24 hour period.

It didn't take me long to realize I made the right decision. I had a protein shake, then some lunch and before I knew it all I wanted to do was sleep. I headed up to the bedroom to watch serial killers on You Tube and fall asleep.

Within 5 minutes I was out and when I mean out I mean out. It was the type of out where at one point I could hear things around me yet I couldn't open my eyes. My body felt like it was hit by a cement truck. The closest way to describe the feeling was the feeling I have after a night of total debauchery with beer and the abuse of my body is so bad that I can't move for 24 hours. It's like I'm in a hospital and my body is healing the internal organ damage. That's what my body felt like after this ride. I was beat up to the extreme.

That's when I knew I made the right decision to cut the ride short. When your body is beat up so bad after 2:30 another 1:30 wouldn't have been any greater benefit. I actually felt good when I couldn't move and I was so beat up. It made me feel confident that doing this session today was good. It made me feel good about riding harder during the heat was the right thing to do.

I think I slept for about 2 hours before I could open my eyes. Unlike a night after heavy beer, I was able to semi-recuperate after a couple of hours sleeping. Then I ate some dinner. My plan for the rest of the night was to do a swim and then a run and I'd be done for the week.

Swimming is not what I most like and I know from the last swim I'm good enough to finish I pushed myself out the door regardless to do my 2nd swim in 4 days. One more good swim and I'd be ready.

It started off with time moving slowly. Some swims, especially if I have a lot on my mind or I'm excited about something the time flies. Tonight it was slow. What I thought should have been 12 minutes turned out to be 5 minutes. I kept telling myself to get into my head and think about stuff to get my mind racing. It didn't work. Good thing I have underwater iPod and can listen to music.

My pet peeve tonight was the pool was full of middle-aged Chinese people that don't swim, they float through the water like alligators. This seems to be a Sunday only occurrence. Not a problem except they show no pool etiquette. They don't keep in their own lanes. One guy just jumped in my lane oblivious to me swimming there. I got annoyed but just moved into another lane that just freed up.

I pushed through the swim and managed to finish off a 3 km swim. That's near 7 km of swimming in 4 days. I'm ready to finish. Not to go fast, but to finish.

During my swim I could see out the window of the pool area the lightening. It was a show. It was raining hard as well. That's when I figured I guess I finish off the week with 16 hours of training and not 17. No big deal. If I can, I'll do a run in the morning tomorrow before we pack up and start our driving road trip to Boulder.

About an hour after I got home from the swim I realized today's session in the pool and the ride was the best thing I could have done. I am sore. My arms feel like lead. Same with my legs. Between the bike and the swim, my entire body is sore, in a good way. It was a complete body workout.

With only one-week to Ironman Boulder no matter what I do I cannot get in better shape. The only thing I could do at this point is hurt my fitness by over training and not resting up enough. This is my official taper week. I'll do some spinning bike work and some easy runs just to keep things moving. No swimming. My experience is that a full week of rest from swimming works best. It fully recovers my arms.

So as I was swimming I reflected on 8 weeks ago in the pool fitness to today in the pools fitness. No comparison. I feel much better. I also thought that even though I'm not doing Ironman training when I get back I'm going to try and keep up my swimming. Only difference is I'm not going to do sets or keep track of distance. Just swim continuously for time. Just like running and cycling and by doing that see if I like swimming more.

I'm not where I wanted to be. I wanted to be 10 lbs lighter. I guess it could be worse. I could still be at the same weight of 206.4 lbs.

All and all I feel pretty good. I was also given some motivation today when I saw that Simon Cross finished Ironman Switzerland in 11:55 and he's fat and done as much training as me. That's a super respectable time. Anything under 12 hours is exceptional. Anything in the 12's is still very respectable, for me anyway. Now Simon has set the water mark. Damn and I'm competitive I know I'll be thinking about beating that time by 9 seconds.

As of 10 pm tonight I haven't yet packed. I might leave it till the morning. I do know that when I get to Boulder I'm going to take my bike in for a tune up. I'm getting some grinding in the crank. Perhaps the drive back from Boise with rain and grit it got into the hubs and crank and it's slowing me down. One can only hope that's the case. Regardless, better safe than sorry.

Bike - 2:33:54 / 75 km
Swim - 1:03:55 / 3 km

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Just like old times....

It's getting closer to race time. Next Sunday I'll be pulling the line at Ironman Boulder.

I think it's an only fitting race as my first Ironman was in Canada in Penticton and was a one loop swim, one loop bike and out and back run. It looks like Boulder is going to be the same. It's an old school Ironman. None of these two loops of anything.

I also have this feeling that Ironman Boulder is going to be the next big race to do. It only makes sense it's in the mecca of Ironman training. I don't think there is many pros that do not relocated to Boulder for a period of their training.

The big news is it's going to be the largest Ironman race with over 3000 participants. I guess that's what a one loop course can do. Mind you I think Roth is 4,000 or 5,000 participants. Mind you it's not an "official" Ironman brand, so this is the biggest Ironman branded race.

My time is starting to be taken up preparing to launch Salmon Social, my new venture. It's a social media app that I think has the potential to be as popular as twitter or facebook. The more I look at the competitors there is only 3 or 4 and all of them have raised between $2 million, 12.5 million and over $125 million respectively. They have a different bent as they are tracking and connecting friends from online media, we are trying to make new friendships.

This week I began in earnest so the training balance has been a little tricky. I'm glad I'm in taper stage. It's actually been nice training like a normal person. Take an hour run. Go for an hour swim. Do a 4 hour bike ride. Nothing to extreme.

I've been noticing I'm eating more carbs. Craving them. Could be a subliminal thing that my body knows it's needs to carb up for the race. Some of the carbs haven't been the most healthiest although I'm not sweating it.

After one day of carbo-loading on some ice cream cones and chips which was heavy in salt. I could feel the salt burning my eyes. I still managed to step on the scale at 199 lbs which means I really am 199 lbs. If I stopped training I'd probably drop to 195 lbs by the muscle loss alone.

Today I had a semi long bike ride, 113.5 km or 70.5 miles. Before I went I got enough motivation and energy to change my wheels. I went to my Zipps and tubulars and took off the standard rims that came with the bike and a heavy, think set of clinchers.

I was AMAZED at the difference and when I say AMAZED I'm serious. I'd often tell people that buying racing wheels was a waste of money. Why spend close to $2000 for wheels?

Today I realized why. I felt like I was riding on helium. Right out of leaving the driveway I had speed. I mean real speed. When I say real speed I mean anything over 30 kph / 18.6 mph average. That used to be by long bike speed. This year I think my longest bike ride was just barely 27 kph and most where in the 24 - 26 kph range. Pathetic times.

It just felt different today. I felt like I had power. That the wheels where actually like a bike seat adjustment that adjusted position to my legs and I had power.

To put it in perspective. I managed to do the entire ride and average 30.1 kph or 18.7 mph and yet 4 days earlier I did the exact same route and averaged 26.7 kph. In real time I finished the exact same course 30 minutes faster today than I did on Tuesday. That's real numbers. On an Ironman that would be close to an hour difference over 112 miles.

When I got home I wasn't feeling too bad. I was tired until I ate. A little sore until I moved around a bit. Going out for dinner and just hanging out helps the movement and the legs.

After the ride I was optimistic in I knew I had a possibility of a respectable ride. The sooner I finish the better in my books. The only concern I have is going out too hard and bonking. The difference between finishing in a non-bonk state versus a bonk state might be only 15 - 20 minutes slower. It's one of those thinks, it the slightly faster that will kill you and for what? A death march of a run?

There wasn't a lot of mental rest after the ride. Reid had sold his car to a young kid from Toronto and I realized one thing. Young kids who buy these converted street legal race cars are not reliable. They never give exact times. They never show up on time. They don't return calls. Many say they are coming to view the car and don't show up. Basically the norm is they are all full of shit.

The first kid that came and viewed the car after we reduced it to $2500 from $3700 bought it. We had to reduce it. A guy that was going to buy it had his mechanic check it out and it was a mess. We had our mechanic check it out and he said the same. It looks good, it has a ton of high performance stuff in it but it would be a money pit. Reid (and I ) learned an important lesson. Take it to our mechanic to get it checked out first. DOH....no kidding. It took us a near $2000 loss in only 3 weeks to learn that.

With that said I'm so glad to get rid of it. Especially as Monday Alice and I are driving to Boulder and won't be at home and you never know what could happen if paper work is not filled out properly.

The sad part for this kid is he got a car with very expensive high performance stuff cheap, yet he don't yet know it but in the end he's going to be paying a fortune for the repairs. I hope things don't break down early and him trying to get his money back.

He comes from Toronto and looks a little gang like and last think I need is the hood putting the heat down on the family. Nothing would make me more happy than for the saga of this car to end.

Even though we lost money in the end we will level out. We decided not to get Reid a car as we have 3 cars now and I rarely use my truck. With Reid not having to pay insurance on his car we save over $3000 per year. Yes, $3000 per year. The cost to insure a car in Toronto for a 17 year old male is not cheap.

The rest of my night was spent surfing the net, researching, then finalizing strategy. What's kind of cool about the app process is everything is falling into place from a timing standpoint. Although I'd like to have had it done sooner, the start to finish is only 150 days. Pretty remarkable when you think of it and it will be fully officially launched August 1st, ready to promote and the Ironman is Sunday August 3rd and that means I'm free to work extreme hours on the app and not have to worry about getting into Ironman shape.

I'm not as light as I want for the Ironman although I just may pull this out of the fire from a finish without major suffering. Tomorrow will be my last bigger day of training, then it will be taper and rest for the balance of the week during the drive.

Mod Bike - 3:45:53 / 113.5 km

Friday, July 25, 2014

A big motivation...


After Tuesday's 5.5 hour day of training I took Wednesday off to recover. Then was back at it yesterday with with a near 2.5 hour day of running and swimming.

It's really still a cram for the race. It still doesn't help that I'm feeling sick. I cough, the back of my right lung seems to hurt when I breath deep. Derek R made a joke he thinks I have SARS. I'm starting to think he might be right.

Talking about Derek R, I have to see he's my brother in arms and one of my biggest cheerleaders.

I met Derek through social media at least 4 or more years ago. Derek found my original Training Payne blog. The one I wrote daily for over 4 years.

He found the blog and liked it so much he actually went right to the beginning and read from day one. I wrote over 1000 posts.

Derek was running and just starting to get into triathlons. He lives in Minnesoda.

He has a great story. At the height of his madness he a drug addict and major cocaine user. He quit. I'm not sure how long it had been since he quit but maybe 7 - 10 years?

I remember him telling me that his wife's friends weren't to keen about him and didn't believe he turned a new leaf. I remember reading his blog posts and being amazed at how good of a dad he was to his little girls and did a lot around the house and had a stable full time job.

There was times he would be up at 4 or 5 am to get his runs in and other times I remember hearing about some birthday run that he ran a mile for every year he was born, I think it was 38 or 40 miles at the time.

We hit it off via the blog and twitter. There is a few people you met right of the bat that you know are friend material and Derek is one of those guys. In spades.

Then the amazing happened. Derek started getting into triathlons in a big way. He went from a finisher to a podium finisher. In 2011 Derek signed up for the Lake Placid Ironman, his first and we did it together.

Prior to Ironman Lake Placid I'd never met Derek in person. Lake Placid was the first time. We did have a group of us that were all online buddies via twitter that hooked up and did the race together. It was kind of cool. Especially post race we all sat around waiting for the others and feeling sore.
John Proc, Derek R, Mr Wonderful, Simon Cross

What amazed me about that race was that it was Derek's first race and he finished in a time of 10:46. It became apparent to me then that his ideal race, similar to mine, is Ironman distance. The long stuff.

Maybe it has to do with his extreme personality. If you are going to do something go all the way. If you are going to do drugs, do them all the way. If you are going to do Ironman's do them all the way.

Since then Derek has gone on to do a 70.3 this year at a 4:30 something pace if he wanted to would have qualified for the World Championships. He may do Ironman Kentucky this year. He hasn't yet signed up. I think if he does he will have a very great chance of qualifying for Kona. I know a week or two ago he came in 2nd in his division at a local triathlon.

So why all this commentary about Derek? Because this guy keeps me motivated. He sends me tweets, emails and comments on the blog. He sees my struggles at times and keeps optimistic. When I have gains he's the first to recognize them. He's the type of friend that I believe I can ask anything of and he'll be there for me.

Recently Derek has also been sending me tweets to get my blog posts up. I've been doing them every couple days and a week or so ago I went about 5 days without a post. He wants to know how I'm doing. Where my training is at.

What I find most interesting is how the sands of time have shifted. He started reading my blog and it motivated him to get into shape and pick up the sport in a real way. After accomplishing everything I want to accomplish in the triathlon world I'm going through major transitions in my motivation and now looking to train just for recreation and fitness. The opposite is true for him. He's training for performance and I'm really enjoying watching and cheering him on from the sidelines.

There is a living through one vicariously thing going on here.

When I don't want to get out that door I think of Derek. I know he'll be waiting to read the blog and I don't want to let him down. I want to see this thing to the end and finish my training as strong as possible and then ultimately cross that finish line in Boulder.

Yesterday was one of those days I thought of Derek. The run I didn't need him. The swim I did. It had been a while since I swam and I needed to get into the water to see how much swim fitness I'd lost and how much 2.4 miles of swimming was going to beat me up. I knew Derek would be watching so it pushed me.

The swim went much better than I expected. It didn't tire me. I did go very slow however. I didn't care I got in 1 hour and 17 minutes. If I can get a couple more swims in before the race I'll be ready.

I did a 11 km run yesterday. I'm going to try and do another one today if my Achilles doesn't feel to sore.

It's getting tough to train as work is starting to pick up. The timing to finish this triathlon could not be better.

As many of you know I'm launching a new social media app called Salmon Social. I believe it has the ability to become the next big social app. Other apps with a similar idea with different twists have raised millions of dollars. I'm doing mine on a shoestring budget and the app is almost ready for prime time and only a week away from launching at the Boise Hawks Baseball game. It's going to be Salmon Social night and we are donating $1 to charity for every person that checks in.

Now that the app is REAL I'm getting my butt in gear to start marketing it. We need worldwide adoption for it to be relevant and that is no easy task. In this past week other than the training I've been spending most every waking hour on getting ready to market the app.

For me I've invested much time, money and energy into this app and the next two months are most critical to get it out into the wild and market the heck out of it. If Ironman Boulder was any later I wouldn't be able to train for it. After this race my goal is just to train 5 or 6 hours a day and every other moment dedicated to launching this app.

It's kind of an exciting time for me. I did some amazing things in triathlon in those first 4 years of getting back into it and I'm hoping to do the same business wise. There is a sense of excitement on my part and there is no doubt the experiences of trials and tribulations during my heavy triathlon training are a huge benefit. To me I just see this next phase as an extension of my first phase. First phase was Ironman, second phase Business and I want as much glory in business as I received during those heavy duty Ironman years.

The key for me is to keep in shape, keep the weight down, the muscle up and use training to help keep perspective and provide me those moments of zen.

Run - 1:09:13 / 11.20 km
Swim - 1:17:54 / 3474 meters.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Countdown 11 days...

Ok, so I haven't posted since last week. Lots has happened since then, kind of.

On the training front last week was a low week of training. Only 4.5 hours. I did a long run and a speed bike session and a run speed work session.

There was a number of reasons I didn't do more training. Fasten your seat belt for them all.

The first was I'm sore. Really sore. I really don't even know why I'm sore. It's not just muscle soreness it's joint soreness. It's like walking down the stairs or period I'm in a shuffle. My Achilles is also tight. My sessions this past week although not a lot of hours were intense. I figured I needed to give my body a break, at least until the weekend. Let the muscles recharge.

The second is I'm sick, I have this hacking cough. Alice has it too. I just can't shake it. We caught it from Alyssa and it's just not going away. I think I'm on week two.

The Third reason I didn't train on the weekend was it rained all weekend. I'm now made out of sugar and figured I'm not going to go out and train in the rain and do a long bike or run. Those days are long gone for me. I'm staying in the house.

Sadly the fourth reason is I fell of the wagon. Yes, I can't believe it. I was doing so well. On Saturday night we went to Yuk Yuks and I had a beer that turned into more than I should have.

I'd like to say it was fun. It wasn't. I didn't do anything stupid. Thank God. Why it was stupid was the way I felt the next day. I was a train wreck. My head and body was hurting. My body needed sleep and recovery it was so bad. It was like getting hit by that train in the wreck.

I know I swore of drinking beer and I'm not undeterred. In fact I think this is just what the doctor ordered. It reminds me of when I quit smoking cigarettes as a late teenager. I quit for a while. Then had one and it tasted so bad that second time after that I was just so turned off I never went back.

The following morning I was just in amazement based on how I felt that I even considered it let alone did it. Absolutely nothing good came of it. My body was hurting. I was dehydrated. I was now unmotivated, I couldn't train if I wanted to (good thing it was raining, I wouldn't have trained regardless), it seemed I gained back all the weight I worked so hard to lose, it overly shocked my body and of course the next day sore head and anxiety is tough to handle.

It was so bad that I sat down and wrote two lists. The first list was all the negative effects. It was long. Much longer than I wrote in the paragraph above. The second list was all the good things, it was incredibly short.

As much as I want to beat myself up I didn't. There would be no good from it. I just hung on to the post beer ride knowing it will be back to normal in 2 to 3 days. A main concern was getting rid of my dehydration and getting homeostasis again. I don't want injury.

The fourth reason I think I do this stuff, and I could be wrong. Is I put myself in these crazy situations that make it even harder and more epic to finish. There is an element of self-sabotage included in that.  I'm one of those people that won't text on a highway until I come up beside a semi-truck, then unconsciously I pull out my phone to text or check my Facebook or Twitter. I guess it's the added adventure and thrill.

And the final reason is my health. It can't be good for the inside of your body, your organs to be pushed from 0 to 100 miles an hour of processing toxins.

Good news is I'm back on track. Monday I didn't train, I got caught up with some work, I had to drive to Toronto to pick up Reid's car, which ate up over 2 hours of my day, and we had friends, Lindy and Reuben coming over for dinner. I lost the window to train, and frankly I was still on the tale end of my beer body detox. They did make me feel good when I opened the door to welcome them, Lindy said "you don't look fat".

I know I've said it before but this time I'm done with beer. Time will tell. I just feel differently.

Yesterday I got back to my training. With only 12 days left this is really the final week for me to train. The reality is I'm ready to finish. I don't want to say finishing won't be a problem because even if you are in superb shape finishing is a problem. I just know I have from these past 8 weeks of training built up a base that is suitable to finish and mentally I'm always ready to finish. My only concern is to minimize the hurt factor and this is really my last week to try and do that.

The reality is two weeks or less before an Ironman you are really not going to increase your fitness. If you do it's a minor minor benefit and probably in my case would be appropriate. When you are a lean mean fighting machine that has been training between 12 - 20 weeks before there is absolutely no gain in fitness and the thing you have to be most careful about is not tapering and getting an injury.

I do know my body and it doesn't need much of a taper. When I qualified for Kona only 3 days before the race I did a 3 hour ride and was training hard right up to that time. Mind you I did the same thing for Kona and it trashed my legs for Kona, even thought it was a respectable time in the 11 hour mark, I could have done better without that ride before.

So yesterday I pulled off near 5.5 hours of training. I did a 4 hour plus ride and an hour plus run in 33 C heat. Which reminds me I need to change my wheels, from my training wheels to my tubular racing wheels. I need to get in at least a few more rides to make sure they settle and and if there is any problems they are identified before the Ironman.

The run I did later in the evening. The ride I was near a bit of a bonk state afterwards. Residual effects from the beer. The run I came home "stinky" once again, it too was the last purge of toxins from the beer. That's also one of the negative effects from the beer, you know you are going to stink afterwards. This time I took a shower right after.

I did enjoy the run. No more speed work. I just did it an an easy pace with a 143 heart rate or less. It would have been even less normally but after beer it shoots up. Opps, another residual negative effect.

Diet wise I'm back on track. The week following I started going to the local yogurt shop almost daily and was falling off the eating track with some chocolate bars. My body was craving and the mind was week. Again, it's that living on the edge and making things a little tougher.

Good news is since Saturday it's like a reset button and that's the weird part and perhaps my unconscious. Doing something crazy like that, going overboard, resets my mind to be back to more determined.

I did weight myself this morning and I'm sure a bit of it is water weight loss from last nights run but I'm now down to 197.0 lbs. That near a 9.4 lb weight lost from my high about 6 weeks ago. That felt pretty good to see that especially with my body back to looking soft around the love handles after Saturday night.

By the way, Yuk Yuks sucked. I often don't have a lot to say good about Winnipeg where I grew up and moved from 10 years ago. In this case I do, they have awesome comedians come to down. Down right funny. In Ontario, and that includes Toronto, I've yet to have as much fun or laughs as Winnipeg. Rumours comedy club in Winnipeg is the funniest period. Now that I think about it even other Cities don't have as funny comedians. We did Myrtle beach comedy a few years back and it was better than Toronto but still sucked.

So here I am I have up until Sunday to get ready. I want to put in some mileage and get a little sore and then give myself the final 6 days to do light work. This week I also need to get into the pool, just to get the muscles somewhat ready. Not that the training for swimming matters. Speed is all about technique in swimming and I've never been able to master that. I don't really care even without much or any swim training I can finish it. From top to bottom time it would only be about 15 minutes difference. Not a big difference in the scheme of a 11 - 13 hour day. Hopefully for me it will be a 12 hour and something day.

I just want to finish in at least pain and suffering as possible, at least be able to run the first 13 miles of the run and then it really means you'll finish, even if you have to walk. To me the Ironman doesn't really start until the 13 mile point of the run. Unless you have to walk before that point, then the Ironman starts earlier.

Oh, I almost forgot, even though I bailed on some training (rain) I have been spending a great deal of time working and researching preparing to launch Salmon Social and promote hard in August and September. There is a big part of me that is comping at the bit to get back to my normal all out work pace.

Mod Bike - 4:13:13 / 113 km
Run - 1:09:53 / 11.08 km

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's not easy...

The good news is I only had one training session today. The bad news is it's my running speed work and it's a hurt locker session.

I got caught up in some work this morning and before I knew it it was 4:30 pm and I hadn't yet done my training session.

In the hours prior I was thinking "beer". It was the first time in a while that I had an urge to have a beer. I was self-aware of it and intrigued. Why was I thinking about it? Why did I want some?

I got to thinking about it and played it in my mind what would happen if I had a beer. My keg still has some Stella left in it so I don't have to go to far to have some. I visualized that if I had a beer before my run I probably would have a couple and bail on my training session.

Then I thought about the sabotage it would do to my diet. I'm losing inches and pounds, slowly but surely. I'm not eating strictly healthy, but I'm not binging either. If I had a beer it would most certainly derail my efforts and from history it would cause weight to go up.

Mentally I'm in a really good place. Having a beer would most definitely set me back and if I had one too many it would certainly set me back.

I wondered if I was craving a beer was because I didn't want to do my run. It's not just an enjoyable low heart rate run, it's a go as hard as you can for 11 km run.

The more I thought about it the negatives outweighed the positives and I said to myself that even if I really couldn't hold myself from having a beer I wasn't going to have one until after my run. After my run we'll see if I feel differently.

Before I set out on my run I knew in my heart of heart regardless I was not going to have any beer. I made my mind up, I quit and I'm committed for it to stay that way. I'm so pumped about life right now and the next three years of achieving some personal goals that I don't want to do anything to derail myself.

As I set out on my run I didn't know how fast I'd go. Last week was a blistering 4:48 per km average pace. Blistering for me at this stage. To do that speed it hurt and I had to grind it out. Could I do it again?

The thing about running and racing is you really never know how you feel or how fast you are going to go until you get started. Once I started I was stiff and felt awkward. My newer shoes have been causing Achilles tightness.

About 2 km into the run I was at a 4:47 per km average and it wasn't easy to get there. On one level I was happy it was that fast considering I felt like I was lumbering and going slow. On the other hand I didn't like to see it because I know my competitive nature will be to try to keep it at that average for the remainder of the run.

When I got to my first red light at 3 km I welcomed it. I got to stop and rest until the light turned green. Thinking about it I remember 20 years ago that if I got stopped at a red light I'd run on the spot until it changed. I still see people do it now. For me, nope, I don't do that. I just stop and wait.

My next stop was at the turnaround point. I didn't have to stop. I did. I took a 20 second deep breath and then took off. Just prior I could feel some tightness of the muscles on the front of the foot and lower shin. I can't ever recall having that feeling before. I'm in the paranoia zone about getting injured this close to the race and consciously started to relax my foot area and observed it. It eventually went away.

My Achilles the entire time remained tight and my quads started building lactic acid and feeling stiff. I love that feeling and ran through it. What that feeling tells me is I'm giving my muscles a workout and that's how you get stronger. Or as my son Reid would say "gains".

At the 8 km mark I so wanted to just slow down. At 10 km I really wanted to slow down. I could have justified it in my mind as this last 1 km would be my cool down. For two reasons I didn't. First I was racing against the clock and wanted to see what the fastest was I could go and secondly I didn't want to mail this session in, I wanted to make sure it was a high quality workout that I'd be thankful I did during Ironman Boulder.

I managed to finish with a 4:55 per km average. It was slower by 7 seconds per km from last week and I wasn't bothered by it. I knew I did the absolute best I could and my legs were sore after I got home.

It's still really intriguing me how my legs could be sore after a less than and hour run. That's a baby run. My bigger concern is my tight Achilles. Part of it being tight is from favouring it and walking tight. Mentally the best thing to do is relax and ignore it. Basically walk normal and trust that walking normal will help it and not hurt it. That favouring it will do more harm than good.

When I got back the idea of having a beer was no longer even in my mind. I was also amazed how surreally fast the run felt. I was listening to a auto-biography of Ben Horowitz a Silicon Valley legend and his describing of a business story and adversity he faced early was gripping. Yet at the same time during the run it seems like a lifetime waiting for the run to end and the pain to end.

After the run I had my protein shake, my beta-alanine and had a shower. Then it was off to the movie 23 jump street. Alyssa like it and Alice and I didn't think it was too good. I'd give it a 6 on 10. It was good to get out and walk, it aids recovery. After the movie walking down the stars was a little painful.

I did notice as I was sitting in my seat with my legs up that some of the muscles on my legs that I haven't seen for a while are coming back. It's nice to see that in fact my body is getting stronger. It's amazing how hard it is to see those gains and get stronger and how easy it is to lose those gains, get weaker and soft.

My cough seemed to be going away until after my run. After the run I couldn't stop hacking again and same in the movie theatre. Good think there was only about 10 people at the movie or I would have been pretty annoying.

My big focus right now is to mentally prepare to finish off my last big weekend of training with a long bike and run. After this weekend the taper begins. I want to make sure I finish this weekend strong. It will help both mentally and physically.

Aside from training I'm enjoying my summer. I feel like every day is a weekend. Even thought I got to bed around 11 pm last night I slept till about 10 am before starting my day.

It's a really weird feeling in that in all the years I've been in business I've never really taken holidays and when I did I was often thinking about work or responding daily to emails at minimum. It feels like I'm on holidays and I'm trying not to feel guilty about it.

I'm definitely learning. I realize that moving forward I'm taking holidays, real holidays. Were everyday needs to feel like a weekend. I find I'm recharging and mentally preparing myself for the weeks ahead once our app is ready to officially launch.

What's cool is it's all going to be ready to launch right after the Ironman. The timing couldn't be better. Relax, train, do 4 or 5 hours of work each day and mentally prepare for post race. Those following two months after the race are going to be an all out assault to make things happen. I'm pretty pumped about it and making some magic happen.


Speed Run - 55:07 / 11.20 km

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Another Breakthrough...

So I'm still sick and I decided not to train yesterday. I had a swim scheduled and figured there is no real benefit from swimming. It's not like I'm going to get faster. Aside from feeling sick I was still not near recovered from Monday's long run.

I can tell how recovered I am by how I walk downstairs in the morning. If I'm putting more weight on my arms that are holding on to the railings then I'm sore. If I use my legs and less arms I'm recovered enough. Yesterday morning I could barely walk down the stairs.

Before I shuffled down those stairs I weighed myself and it was the first day that I broke 200 lbs. I came in at 199.6 lbs. You have no idea how awesome it felt to see a 1 and a 9. One month ago I was 205.8 and now I'm down about 6 lbs. The heaviest I was was 6 weeks ago and I was 206.4lbs. My gut has definitely started to go down and now the scale is showing my weight is too.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on my computer, much of it was researching Ironman training on low training hours. I found it very interesting.

If you googled Ironman training in the past you would always get schedules that called for 18 - 22 plus hours of training per week being required. Now I'm seeing people profess that on 6  - 10 hours a week you can have an awesome Ironman time. Not just gaining the fitness to finish, but getting the fitness to do well.

As I think about it it makes sense. The Ironman has now been around over 30 years. It's no longer daunting to many. People are so confident that can finish that they are now experimenting with training programs. One of the trends is less is more. Quality over quantity.

All my training years past and up until now has been what I would call old school. Lots of weekly mileage. The only thing I would say is new school is my last Ironman I trained only about 6 weeks and this one I'm training about 8 weeks. Most schedules call for a minimum of 12 weeks and up to 20 weeks.

Much of what I was reading was interesting. I remember one year I did 26 - 100 plus mile bike rides and 28 long runs between 2 -3 hours. All that in a 52 week period and lets not forget half my year is winter.

Some of the articles I was reading was talking about the toll all those long bike and runs take on the body and that they don't significantly make you faster than if you didn't put in that mileage.

One comment really resonated with me. It discussed that with a proper training program you should be seeing speed gains weekly if you are recovering correctly. The old school ways you didn't see those gains, you basically beat yourself up and then started your taper 3 weeks before the race and hoped your body would recover in so much as you would have your best performance.

This article referred to body builders in the gym that see gains from week to week after proper recovery. It very much made sense. It was also mentally comforting and lessened the guilt of me not training today under the model of recovery first.

There was also some interesting research that came out recently that talked about standing up and movement and that it is more important than we thought. Click here to read a recent article from Mark Allen about this concept.

One thing about reading all these articles about less is more in training is definitely helping me mentally in that I'm not overly concerned about not forcing myself to put in the 22 hour weeks and if not feeling guilty about it.

Today I woke up and walked down the stairs with less arms and more legs. Alice even noticed. First thing she said as she saw me walking down the stairs was that it looked like my legs weren't as sore. She was right. It was that noticeable.

My training session today was a speed bike ride. Last week I went as hard as I could on my 30.30 km loop and averaged 29.6 km. Two weeks earlier I did the same route and averaged 24.6 kph, it was pathetically slow. Today was my test to see if a days rest would give me a faster ride than last week.

I want to first off say that going fast from door to door is not easy. It's painful. Basically I do a time trial ride. The route I take is not flat and there is a good amount of hills. It's challenging.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to go hard from the beginning or do a 10 minute warm up and go hard. I wasn't sure if I was going to go for the 30 km loop or stretch it out and do 50 km as hard as I could.

The first decision was made for me. My competitive juices started flowing and I went as hard as I could. Perhaps it was a little piss off id-ness as well. My speedometer wasn't working and I had to go into the house and get my garmin to use to keep track of my time.

Right off the bat my legs were pumped and burning. Then my first big challenge is the hill on Appleby line. It's a tough climb and I went as hard as I could and kept it in the big gear all the way up that hill. It's that last 100 yards that's the killer and even those last 20 yards. You so much want to just let up a bit before you crest at the top of the hill.

It's one of those moments of truth. It's one of those moments where it gages your level of mental strength. It's one of those moments that only happen in this type of circumstance and there is something primal about it. It's just you, the bike and the top of that hill and the question is if you have what it takes to stay in the hurt locker and not let the hill beat you. It's you against the hill and it's you against yourself mentally and physically. It's two enemies, yourself and the hill.

The good news is I didn't surrender. I kept going. When I hit the top of the hill I was doing nothing but gasping for air. I couldn't open my mouth any wider. I was forcing it to open as much as was humanly possible and trying to take in as much air as possible. My heart rate was up to 165 bpm. Which is basically my max.

I had about 30 seconds of near no pedalling and just sucking in air, then took a swig of my gatorade and started peddling as hard as I could again. Then it was a turn and into the wind. I kept glancing at my watch and say that for the most part I was typically around 29.5 kph and as low as 29.1 kph at the turn home which would put the wind now at my back. Yet there was a couple of hills and one long climb that could slow me.

In my mind I decided I was going to try and make up as much time as possible and try to average 30 kph or more. I really wanted to break the 30 kph average. If I did I knew that the rest was the right thing to do and that it is true you should be able to see incremental performance gains week to week if you do it right.

I pounded and before I knew it I was not just over 30 kph average I figured I had a good shot to get it up over 31 kph and that was my new goal. Turns out I did even better than that and ended up averaging 31.4 kph. FINALLY at respectable ride.

As you can tell I decided to keep it at a 30 km ride and not a 50 km ride. I figured I'd get the benefit from 30 and I really wanted to see how the exact same distance compared from week to week.

I've been spending a lot of time looking at my training schedule and deciding what adjustments to make. I've decided this week is going to be my last long ride and run. I'm not going to be afraid to beat myself up a bit. Then the following to weeks I'm going to reduce the hours and up the intensity. I think a 3 hour ride at a half Ironman race pace effort will be more beneficial than another long slow ride. Same with the run.

I'm still working it all through in my mind and based on how I intuitively feel at any specific day I will make adjustments. This is the art of Ironman training.

On one level I want to make sure I up the intensity and build strengthen my muscles and then on the other level I need to make sure I don't over do it and injure myself. There's really no time to recover from an injury. Then the third element it to make sure you don't crash on your bike or get in an accident.

The other thing I need to remember is to put my racing wheels back on my bike. I've been training on the stock rims and clinchers.

This afternoon I had some fun. I had to drive Reid's car to downtown Toronto to the garage that safetied it. This is turning into a real drama and it's not yet over.

The story is a couple of weeks ago Reid bought a car. An Acura 2001 car that has been modified to essentially be a track race car. He had a friend who is into cars and supposedly a good mechanic look at it and we bought it for $4000.

A week after we bought it the engine light went on and we took it to our mechanic. The guy is awesome and he went through the car and found so much wrong with it it was insane. To fix it all it would be around $4000. What he couldn't believe was the car was safetied. In Ontario you have to get a car safetied by a mechanic before it can be sold.

If the garage is negligent and safeties a car that shouldn't be they can get in big time trouble. Losing their license and getting a fine up to $20,000.

Rather than going to the garage and the hassle we put the car up as is. The minute you do that people think there is something wrong with the car and most definitely they will get it checked out and low ball the car or just walk away from any of the potential headaches.

I took it to another garage around the corner for a second opinion. They duplicated exactly what our mechanic said and there was some pretty basic stuff missed. Like bald tires, no high beam headlights, not to mention ball joints and tie rods, etc.

At this point I decided to call the owner of the Toronto garage. Nice enough guy. I told him what the other mechanics found and he was quite alarmed. He knew he could lose his license and be fined. He told me to bring it down and he'd look at it and fix it. He couldn't though remember doing the safety.

It's a hassle driving to Toronto, especially in the summer and construction traffic. It could be hell of stop and go freeway traffic. But I had no choice.

When I got to the place the owner was a young 24 year old. After he spoke to me he remembered the car and that he rebuilt the car for the previous owner Mo. Mo tried to sell it two months ago and the deal fell through and he bought the safety then.

About two months passed and after 30 days you need a new safety. The mechanic said that he did a safety and didn't date it and let Mo date it. He figured it would be less than 30 days after he gave it, not more than two months.

Now at this point the mechanic is totally in the wrong regardless. You can't do what he did. He should lose his license. I couldn't believe he was telling me this. I think it was because he didn't want me to think he ripped us off yet by him telling me this story he was self incriminating himself.

He went on to tell me he spoke to Mo and told Mo that he is going to have to pay for all the repairs required to bring it up to safety. I told him my plan is to get it safetied and then sell it and if he knew a buyer I'd sell it.

Shortly after I left I thought "why am I doing these guys any favours?" I call the mechanic back and told him to talk to Mo and tell him I want my $4000 back or I'm going to pursue him legally. Which also means that I'll be pursuing the mechanic and he could lose his license. The mechanic didn't seem to know what hit him. I told him what Mo did was fraudulent.

It will be interesting to see where this saga goes next. Hopefully they just come up with the $4000 and are done with it. If not I'll probably just call the ministry, report him and take them both to court. Poor Reid is just so pissed off at himself buying the car and doesn't want anything to do with a car at this point.

Speed Bike - 57:22 / 30.30 km