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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fake Bike Trip - Progress Report #5

500km done of my fake bike trip!  Just over 5 weeks in, so averaging around 100km/week, mostly intense stuff on the trainer (or sloppy slow stuff in the snow!).

That puts me somewhere near Spanish, Ontario.  I guess I'll pop by Lucky Snack Bar?

Or not.

Ontario is huge... 500km in and I'm barely even around Georgia Bay, with a long slog around Lake Superior still to come.

2869km to go!  Next up - Sault Ste-Marie.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

On Defeatism

Recently I read a post (I won't say where) by a person (who will remain nameless).  It went a little something like this.

I would run but ...
... it's soooo cold!!!
... there's ice on the sidewalk!
... the road is scary with the cars and the vroom vroom!
... gym memberships are too expensive!
... so are treadmills!

When an obstacle (or several) are in the way, there are two kinds of people.


The obstacle becomes either so big in their minds that they can't fathom getting past it... or they simply use it as an excuse to quit.


The obstacle is obliterated.  They learn from how others accomplished what they want and do it.  They try things that may be a little bit uncomfortable, or even unsuccessful.  But they try.

Why The Rant?

I stewed on this one for longer than I care to admit.  It struck me that I used to be like this person, and it sucked.  It held me back in more than just running, it's really a life skill to be able to suck it up and push on.

As well, there have been times when I really couldn't run (due to injury, illness, and even hospitalization!).  That truly sucks.  Being perfectly capable of running but just not doing it because what's between your ears gets in the way ... well that irks me.  Suck it up, butercup.  Go run.

Jono - defeating obstacles for over a decade.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fake Bike Trip - Progress Report #4

Hellooooo Sudbury!

(This is my fake bike trip... I'm not really in Sudbury!)

I put in a healthy 54km ride last weekend while doing ISLAGIATT (Sufferfest), which completely wiped me out.  This week was a "pull-back" week, so only did one ride - on my Cyclocross bike, 56km in the snow.  It was ... unpleasant.  Windy, cold, snow-covered slippy roads... my average speed barely above 20km/h.

So in 4 weeks I've now put 378km in the books of the 3369km total trip to Edmonton, mostly trainer miles at fairly high intensity.  This will be much easier in the spring, when 100km will be a typical ride rather than a weekly total! 

30 weeks to Ironman.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Training Video Review: Sufferfest ISLAGIATT

ISLAGIATT stands for "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

And lo and behold, it was a good idea!

I already have a half dozen Sufferfest videos, most of which are roughly one hour in length.

For a longer work-out, what can you do?

Sure, you can put on some old cycling footage and crank the music, but I get bored pretty quick.  When boredom sets in on the trainer time stands absolutely still.

Or you can try one of the "other" videos, if you like really cheesy music and watching people sit on spin bikes (who wants to watch that?  WHO!?)  

Not for me.  I want good music.  I want to be entertained.  I want to be challenged.


ISLAGIATT hits the mark. At almost 2 hours, this is very long for a Sufferfest.  Make no mistake - this is not "base building" sit and churn steady for 2 hours!  In the Sufferfest spirit, there are attacks to be covered, descents to be pedaled down at high cadence, and mountains to climb.

The warm-up is longer (15 minutes), there are some longer than usual breaks to catch your breath, and the intensity is somewhat dialed back from a normal Sufferfest... but not by much!

As with the entire Sufferfest series, the music is great and appropriate for what they're putting you through at the time.  The storyline is engaging, the race footage spectacular (HD!). I really have nothing bad to say about it - it took what sounded horrible (2 hours on the trainer) and made it fun.  The time flew by.

Is it for everyone?  Probably not - it's a pretty bloody intense 2 hours.  If you've never done a Sufferfest before, start with something like Angels or The Hunted or Hell Hath No Fury.  Best to get the training levels and such worked out (and the legs up to the challenge!) before taking on ISLAGIATT.

5 out of 5!

Good luck!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fake Bike Trip - Progress Report #3

So far, so good!  My fake bike trip started Dec 22, which puts me just shy of 3 weeks in.

268km in the books (mostly on the trainer), which puts me near the top of Georgian Bay.

I'm planning an outdoor ride tomorrow, so that should add a good 40-45km, leaving a hop skip and a jump to Sudbury.

Edmonton is pretty bloody far away...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dry January - Life Without Alcohol

By most measurements I am a "moderate" drinker.  I have 1-2 drinks per day, although I rarely miss a day... when dinner rolls around, there's a beer or glass of wine at my plate without fail.

Christmas season was much less moderate... parties and just wonderful, wonderful alcohol choices everywhere, it was hard to keep things "moderate" at times.  1-2 became 3-4 more nights than not, and sometimes more than that!

So I decided to bring things back to some kind of equilibrium in January.  My liver needed a vacation.

Things I've noticed:

  • More energy.  Especially noticeable at night, but really throughout the day I feel better
  • I'm not as hungry after dinner.  I usually snack (then feel guilty about it), but I've been much more able to control that impulse
  • I feel less anxious.  I don't know if this one is real or imagined, but I just feel more even keel
It's only been 5 days, we'll see if things change throughout the month.  I hope not, I feel quite good!  Although I really miss beer/wine... if this does prove to be life-changing, I might knock it down to one day a week so I don't feel entirely deprived of the beer/wine that I love.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014... Hello!

2014 is about one thing - Ironman!

Goal #1 - beat my previous Ironman time (13:57)

Even finishing Ironman isn't a given, it's a long day. I'm pretty sure I can beat my original go at it - I've gotten faster over the years, plan to be much lighter, and I know what the thing is all about.

Last time I did Ironman Canada in Penticton, this time I'm doing Mont Tremblant.  They're both set in the mountains, not yet sure which suits me better... probably the long steady climbs in Penticton, the shorter punchier climbs at Tremblant are going to be more of a challenge for me.

Goal #2 - lose lots of weight

I set this goal every year, and by year's end I always seem to be right back where I started... this year even worse, I'm almost at 190lbs!  (Christmas weight!).  I want to race Ironman in the 160's, which should be very doable.

First, I'm cutting out alcohol for January to give me a jump start.  Empty calories, begone!

Second, I'm back to counting calories... weeee.  It stinks, but I'm used to it now so I'll just do it.

Third, I've been bringing lunch to work rather than buying it.  Nutritionally better food.

Goal #3 ... nah, two's good.  I'll have a lot of other smaller goals throughout the year.