Monday, August 31, 2009

Breakfast, day after IMC 09


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thanks Folks

OK, all my plans of yaking to you all week with have fallen by the wayside, and, atypically, I don't have much to say. I am going to have a very good, average or bad day, and my body has given me no inkling of which. The only positive sign is I took a little run this morning and almost barfed trying running at 6:16 km, but my 3 km I was feeling more normal. Dropped the bike off (see picture below) with Cass helping as my Sherpa.

Some of you have sent wishes already, thanks so much, I'll keep them "Closer to the Heart". You can follow the race at here, I'm racer #1794 (not coincidently 1794 was the year of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pittsburgh: I'm taking that as good karma). Yes, I do hear you when you scream at your screen, so even if I'm dying on the run say nice stuff to it!

Given May/June were a write-off and I had my serious doubts about making it here, I'm going to make tomorrow a Grateful Day.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no I've said too much
I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

From Drop Box

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the beach in OK Falls before IMC


Friday, August 21, 2009

Osoyoos visitor centre


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer in the Okanagan


Truckin in the OK Valley


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sica-mous in Penticton


Fine Dining in Penticton


Millions of Peaches, Peaches for me




Friday, August 14, 2009

Desert Running Attire

As an addendum to today's post I'd thought I'd show you proper desert running attire for mid-day, summer conditions. Note the savvy runner wears:
  1. a hat for warm, and to keep the head dry
  2. arm warmers (mid-zero)
  3. shirt
  4. wind vest (important to ward off the mid-day chill)
  5. shorts
  6. Rainlegs, a dutch invention, essentially waterproof knickers
  7. knee high socks
If I wasn't doing intervals I would of course dress warmer. Fortunately nobody knows me in this town, and I only saw one other kindred soul out running on the IMC course.


Surviving in the Desert

Surviving in the Desert
From Drop Box

I haven't written in a bit but with the race coming up and training leveling off I'll have to get more words out. Been keeping with the big hours since Steelhead which leaves little time for much beyond swim, bike, run, repeat.

I have 2 brilliant friends, fellow members of the professoriate and knowledge in many thing. I have heard them quoted on the CBC, newspapers, etc. Their expertise is far ranging, and spills into all areas except geography. They attempted to convince me I am in a desert (see above photo from of few minutes ago of water pouring out the drain spouts on the OK Falls OP-centre). I confess to not being a geographer either, but I know a bit about weather and offer the following observations from this morning.
  • At noon today the temperature was 11 C (50 F). Noon is the period in the middle of the day, as opposed to midnight (gee it cools off so much in the desert at midnight).
  • The "desert" we are in has at least 6 gigantic lakes. These lakes are full of water. Many deserts, like say the Sahara or the Gobi, are often characterized by their lack of millions of liters of standing water, much of which I'm guessing came from the sky and was not trucked in from Vancouver.
  • The profs mentioned that there are scorpions about. I'm sure they were here on a reunion tour in 2003 where they did a blowout encore of "Rock You Like a Hurricane" to 5000 fans at the Penticton Stockyards.
  • At yesterdays ride the profs were wearing vests, arm warmers and possibly thermal underwear. Presumably this was to avoid skin damage from dust storms?
(wait my fingers are numb, I'm turning up the gas fireplace in the condo now, be right back)

Where was I, oh yeah, the desert. I got to take in the beautiful desert views from the completely empty lake, where my only companion for my mid-morning swim was a loon-like bird (presumably a desert loon). Not a soul was on the beaches, nor did a single boat push off its mooring. Presumably this is because the locals no better than to venture out in the heat of the day.

Of way cool note: near the beginning of my swim I looked down in the clear lake and saw a large (3/4 m) moving black cloud. I dove down and it was a ga-zillion tiny fishies all swimming together (back to school early out here?).

It is rumored to be warming up here during the week, so I'll grant this place a charitable semi-arid rating. Last time I was here in 1990 we camped the week before the race with our 2 little babies and a crappy tent, and whiled away the hours in the campground bathroom trying to stay warm as it rained day after day. 19 years later and I'm happy to have moved to the living room with a fireplace.

Anyway we can,
We're gonna find something
We'll dance in the garden
In torn sheets in the rain

We're the deadbeat club
We're the deadbeat club

OK, got to run. Literally, I got some intervals to do before the thunderstorms purge the region in the afternoon of all whose consciouses are not clean.....


From Drop Box

Summer Desert Running Gear (12oC in OK Falls)


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

OK Falls


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just a Test

Just a Test
Beastie Boys:

As long as I learn I will make mistakes
What do I want? What do I need?
Why do I want it? What's in it for me?
It's the imagery of technology
Is what you get is what you see
Don't worry your mind
When you give it your best
One two one two this is just a test

Yeah, today was just a test and I finally got a C so I'm stoked. Whinin' time is over and as my Man Daredevil said "Time to get off this pity kick and start using some muscle". Yesterday some bon homme on TriRudy posted that Costco had Garmin 305s for $176 CDN and hells bells my local Costco had a few in stock so I upgraded. Easier than wearing my usual 2 watches and I'm sure this bulbous chronograph is Tone's run speed secret.

So today I focussed and I got toyed up for 1:45 run with a 1 hour tempo (focussing involved pissing, moaning and feeling sorry for myself from breakfast until late afternoon). Coach graciously offered to pick the team up Newtons at Lake Placid and I needed a new pair. Unfortunately I got a different model then I had intended, but after checking in with Tori @ Newton I got the hype/marketing/reality of the situation settled and for 1 oz extra per foot I think I'm ahead of the game. So I put the suckers on, powered up, shouted "giddyap" and left, vowing that I would pick my feet up (I've noticed I'm shuffling more than I should, I've been working my core/stretching on the hip area to try to open up my stride).

Wasn't a epic run, but I'm heading in the right direction. I stayed in the hills and in control, not working too hard, relaxed and put together a sub 5:201 paced hour with little effort (AO: out and back on the usual AM hill loop). The point is I have recently been struggling like a drowning man to run 30 s slower than this, so this was a welcome event to get some easy speed without beating myself up.

Let's see if I can carry this momentum into the upcoming Death Weekend IV: The Final Chapter (final big weekend of training before my gradual descent into IMC).

Word up,

  1. per km, Yankee friends. I wouldn't be moaning about doing 6 min MILES at IMC.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"The Big Push"

"The Big Push"

Football fans know this title. Coach Lombardi's famous: "Gentlemen, today we start the big push" (read Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay; I'll wait). Steelhead has come and gone and all focus from this point is soley on IMC Aug 30. I leave for BC next week, but that is a long time from now. This week is my last hell week of excessive training volume. Steelhead was Saturday, had a recovery ride Monday, a brick yesterday with AO and 4.5 on the bike today. I've recovered pretty well from Steelhead (e.g. muscle soreness, etc), but I'm tired.

Steelhead? History now. Bittersweet. Swim was good, age group place not good but some of that was a timing mat issue (mats far from swim exit, so my time had wetsuit removal in it). Great beach start for me, starting in front I took 1 step and fell flat on my face! Ha! Got up laughing and stumbled into the water (as usual swimming way before many others). Had a relaxed swim, felt good about going 2x the distance at that pace or better. The bike was bad luck in terms of planning. I don't count on the wind becoming so strong so early in the morning. The last 16 miles of the bike was into a gusty headwind, and I didn't budget my energy appropriately. Would have had a mighty fine bike without the gusts.

The run is the issue between now and IMC. Like Austin Powers I have lost my mojo, and if I don't find it soon IMC is not going to be an epic performance. My run was disappointing, it just hasn't come back this season. Effort seems same, form decent, leg cadence same, but pace is bad. The good I can take from this is the last 5 k were my fastest, and I was able to keep eating on the run (important for the IM marathon). Given 6 weeks ago I couldn't run a step I guess we just takes what we gets, eh?

The other positive is my recovery has been pretty good. I don't know how much of that is due to my (over?)use of compression gear, but it does seem to help with recovery. It certainly helps you to look like a serious geek. And I wore compression sleeves on my calves during the race and maybe that helped too.

OK, my brain is fading. The big finish: rode out to the Port today via 2 of my favorite surreal places. First I went through Sheldon, the Rhubarb capital of Ontario ("you can hear the rhubarb grow") then through Fingal. Go ahead say it out loud. Fingal. Love it could do this all day.


Lance had to change 2 flats today, ha! Barbi: she did it, 2nd woman overall at Ultraman Canada.