Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trials of 2010...

Hey there friends and family,

I sit here pondering the week that's been, a first week into a fabulous new career opportunity and a week I re-integrated into downtown Toronto big city culture after 3 years in the 'burbs working. I ponder, relax, sip a coffee and take another Tylenol from the head cold that landed Friday night. My pondering reflects a few things on the year that's about to pass, 2010; they are:
  1. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - W. Gretzky. So why is this quote important? Meredith and I took a shot at our, but mostly mine, west coast dream. I spent sometime out there sifting through career leads, researching real estate, pondering if I could live our lives there and us both be more happy than we are east. We took our shot and we didn't miss; we just decided to stay with the home team because home is where the heart is.
  2. When I look back on 2010 and the business I accomplished I find so many points in time where quitting was easy because options were available. I didn't and in so doing supported hundreds with dignity and class to transition out of old and into new. I am proud of that, because looking out for #1 is easy; standing tall and supporting others is not. I also was reaffirmed what is good about people. During times of stress stand tall, do what's right, and in time good will come back to you.
  3. Be thankful for what you have because tomorrow you might not have it. Whether it is a job, material possession, health, financial; whatever it is, you best embrace it because tomorrow it could be gone. I saw that a lot this year. Some in the passing of life, some in my own loss of job, the bike crash taught a few VERY big lessons...the point is, I try my best to live by "life is what you make it..." but at times it's easy to forget our individual control on that and get caught up in what we can't control and in turn, let that bring us down. Don't let that happen, you can't control it so F - it. The past is done, the future hasn't happened; today is the present (GIFT!)
  4. To be everything you can be you need more than you. Meaning, you need a supporting cast to pull the best out of yourself. As I reflect, I have to say that Meredith's grounded outlook, realistic view, and way of pulling me out of negative into positive is what made 2010 possible. My support crew is small and she is the captain of that tight ship. We sailed ferocious seas together this year and some storms still brew; at times we even chase winds we shouldn't, and through those storms in 2010 Captain Birchall-Spencer has steadied the course and grounded my being. I've come on deck to calmer seas as the year comes to a close and as I look back to the waves we conquered, I give one great big giant kiss to our safe port.
  5. Last but not least, if all else fails and you just need to exhale a good bottle of California Cabernet or Okanagan Chardannay makes life a lot more tolerable-:)
Lessons in summary:
  1. Take your shots;
  2. Stay true to your values;
  3. Live for today;
  4. The bigger the storm the greater the reward
Bring on 2011 (and calmer seas please!!!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Running to the sunrise in Toronto

Friends and Family,

The rotation from season ending to season starting has happened. Each season starts late October of the previous calendar year and this year is no different. I start with a 3 week block of workouts to get the rhythm of training back, get the muscles and joints loose, and enjoy the rigours of triathlon training. This phase is relatively light, nothing too hard. What is different this year is the levels of fitness I bring to start the "train to train phase". This year I start without a fall marathon or late summer Ironman in my legs. In fact this year, for the first time in 10 years, it starts without a single 20K+ run since May and no swimming since July!! OUCH!

It is easy to get discouraged as the motivation is super high to get going and working but the fitness is terrible, pain threshold low, and pace of sessions medium at best! So, I get myself motivated in other ways; here is a great picture of a morning run in Toronto to the sunrise. It this sweet or what!!!! This gets me motivated to run-:) I am doing 3 runs per week totally 25km, 30km, and this week 35km in distance. As you can see, not too major. Come December I will be into my regular 50-55km week rotations in my New Balance beauties building up to 2 hour long runs. Lets hope I catch more sunrises like this into winter!

I started swimming by doing 2 swims a week beginning with a 1500M swim and now, in week 3, have built up to 2200M per swim. Swimming is like riding a bike, you never forget how to but man, it takes a lot of work to go from "doing" to "doing well"! Still, given the 5 month layoff and only having done 5 swims thus far, my 100M and 200M repeats are on par to when in full swim mode. Of course, this does not translate to 3800M into open water...that is where the "doing well" part comes in after months of work. I feel good in the water and look forward to breaking the 60 minute/3K swim workout barrier next week!

I have not touched my Cervelo P3 since Provincial time trail championships, only riding myCervelo R3 road bike and doing that all base pace with a few pickups each ride up the hills. I love fall riding; leaves changing colors, arm warmers on but no need for leg warmers; fine cappa's at Cafe Domestique to finish off the ride. It's the best time to ride. But, tomorrow I will dial in my Cervelo P3 back to the triathlon position and start reacquainting myself to it's speed. Speaking of fall colors, here is a photo from the Dundas driving park looking up to where I grew up...yep, just at the crest of the hill there was my abode as a boy and in this park was where I went to high school. Good times but back then I was more interested in girls, beer, and my Ford Ranger than I was riding a bike - life changes! Below that is a picture of David Zabriskie's Cervelo P3 from the Tour de France where he broke the fastest average speed for a Tour TT. FAST BABY!

The other great thing about the train to train phase is I spend sometime looking at a race schedule. There are some clear goals for 2011. First, the bike road nationals are in my backyard in 2011, 2012. We have a good team and we will focus on winning the masters race there. Second, I won't be doing the team training camp in Tucson which leaves the door open to revisit the oldest running race in North America (yes older than Boston), the 30km torture that is Around the Bay in Hamilton on the last Sunday in March. Third, of course I want to knock out an Ironman and have a slot for my favorite race, Ironman Canada for the last Sunday in August. In between that will be opportunities to slot in some high octane bike racing, a few speed triathlons but what I cannot do is over cook it at 40...YES 40! This body is getting older daily so recovery will be the 4th sport!

This the P1 update...phase one of training 2011: Train to Train.

Thanks for checking in!