Unplanned Sunday Rest Day  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

I am so pissed at the weather today. Not because it’s crappy, in fact quite the opposite. After a few showers this morning, the skies cleared away this afternoon, the temp was around 20 deg, and the wind was zero.

The reason I was pissed was that I woke up this morning with a tight back, and pretty much put me out of commish for the day, and probably a couple of days. Today would have been perfect for a spin on my Tri bike, followed by a 45 min transition run.

Instead it’s been a day of limping, stretching, and funny faces. Hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon. This is a big week, with another 20k time trial Tuesday, and the first sprint of the season on Saturday.

Saturday Windy Cold Dry Ride  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

Well when you see a window of opportunity, you have to seize it. So was my morning. The forecast, cloudy in the morning with rain beginning in the afternoon, and it was spot on. I am looking out my office window right now, and it is coming down in buckets. YES MY OFFICE on a Saturday night. I have 3.5 hours to make up, and this was another window of opportunity to get it done and over with.

But back to my original story. I woke at 6:00am. YES 6:00am ON A SATURDAY. Cooked pancakes for me and the clan, whole grain blueberry. Then settled back with a coffee while I allowed my body to wake up.

By the time my honey woke up, it was 7:30, and I had just enough time to hit the road for a 1.5 hour ride, then back so TAM could go for her run before the rain hit and ruined the weekend.

The only negative thing about the ride was the headwind, I swear in both directions. Yes that’s right. I timed that perfect as well. As usual, riding out is most always in a headwind, but just as I reached my turnaround point, the wind changed around, and was in my face on the way home. Oh and the other thing was that I forgot both my water bottles on my front deck.

Tomorrow, more rain. So I might check out a movie. Or sleep. Or drink tonight and have a hangover tomorrow. I’ll decide when I leave here. TTFN.

Friday Funnies, Triathlon Humour,  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in ,

Add some hair, and you got me last Christmas!

Tough job but someone has to do it. Hope the camera is turned on!

The look on the face says it all.

I had those same shoes.

Gotta get into transition really early to catch this.

More on Heart Attacks and Endurance Athletes.  

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Not to beat a dead horse, but after the interest in yesterdays post, I did a little more digging. I came across this article.

if you run marathons or participate in other forms of exercise which last for three hours or more, your approximate risk of suffering an acute heart attack or sudden cardiac death during - or within 24 hours of - your effort is reported as 1 in 50,000 athletes.

Unlike the previous article I referenced in yesterday’s post, this article describes a similar study conducted by researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, where they studied participants in the 1999 Tyrolean Otztaler Radmarathon, a cycling race which covers 230k, with an altitude change of 5,500m. This study involved 38 experienced, well-trained amateur cyclists who were free of cardiovascular risk factors and without evidence of heart disease. Their conclusion was that younger, fitter athletes, who put more stress on their hearts (via greater training volume and higher racing intensities), were the ones most likely to incur myocardial damage.

The article also references several other studies in other events including Ironman, Ultraman, and marathons. What should be noted here is that for the average amateur endurance athlete, training to finish, or maybe knock a few minutes off a PB, should not be at that much of a risk.

Consider that, research indicates that well-trained endurance athletes have about 40% of their sedentary counterpart's risk of dying from a cardiac problem on a typical day. If strenuous exercise is really so bad for the heart, why aren't endurance athletes keeling over at higher rates?

Have a read, the article is backed up by a list of 13 reference documents. Now that’s how to write an excercise article.

As for me, I think I’ll continue training and take my chances. I kinda like the odds.

Marathons hard on heart!  

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This was a story that I heard on CBC Radio a week or so ago. You can read more about it here. Apparently long-distance runs can cause short-term injury to the heart, but there doesn't appear to be lasting damage. This is according to a study carried out by Winnipeg's St. Boniface Hospital and the University of Manitoba on 14 amateur athletes at the Manitoba Marathon.

This made the airwaves and persisted for a couple of days as experts in the field debated the merrits of the study. For my part, I have a few concerns over the results of this study.

First of all, the sample was a mere 14 athletes with an age range from 18 to 40. In the world of medical research, I would consider this to be rather small and scattered sample.

Second of all, there was no definition of amateur. The term amateur could be used to describe a broad range of athletes from elites to rookies, and no indication of their level of fitness, nor was there any indication of their intensity level or it’s contribution to the results.

But I think what bugs me the most about an article like this is the fuel it gives to the anti exercise establishment. The couch potato demographic, making up the high risk cardiac disease statistic, arguing how their sedentry lifestyle is now justified. I can just picture Bubba, laying back on Sunday with a 24, and a party size bag of doritos, sucking back his second pack of camels, telling his buddies how bad running is on your health.

Clearly, more study is required, and surely more will be done in the future. Stay Tuned.

Tag, 24 questions with me!  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

I was tagged by YOUR TRIGIRL NAOMI. Actually, I begged her to tag me, and much to my surprise, she did.

The rules are:
1. Fill it out
2. Change one question with one of your own
3. Add an additional question
4. Tag 3 other people to do the same

I have tagged three of my absolute favorite blogs. Missy , Marcy , and Vanilla . Lets see if they play along.

Here we go.

1. What are your current obsessions?

Buying a new truck, and a camper trailer!

2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?

Whatever my fashion consultant/wife picks out.

3. Last thing you bought for yourself?

whatever my financial adviser/wife let me buy. Actually, I pick up my new Toyota Tacoma tomorrow.

4. What’s for breakfast?

Eggs, Toast, grapefruit, OJ

5. Say something to the person who tagged you:

NAOMI:YOURTRIGIRL. I want to see those VERY SHORT DENIM SHORTS! What can I say. It’s a daisy duke obsession.

6. What is one item you could not live without?

My Laptop. I couldn’t write or check my blogs

7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die?


8. What is your most immediate short term goal:

Improve my Power to Weight Ratio. (That’s cyclist code for lose 10 pounds)

9. What are you reading right now?

Chi Running. And It’s only taken me three months to get past the first two chapters.

10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?

WALL-E! Very deep hidden message. You get to see all the coolest movies when you have kids.

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Red Wine

12. What’s your Least favorite smell? (My Change)

The sneakers I just retired.

13. Whats something you look forward to?

The weekend. Every weekend!

14. Favorite Quote?

“Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!” Commander John Collins.

15. What is something you would like to do, as outrageous as it may sound? (Naomi’s change)

I can’t print it here!

16. Whats one thing you can't go a day with out doing?

Checking my Blog!

17. What do you have an addiction to?

Jumping Bean Deepwater Dark roast Coffee!

18. Whats your favorite holiday?

Christmas! One week of overindulgence, 51 weeks of catching up.

19. How many pairs of shoes (not just running) do you have??

Three! One pair is my cycling shoes. Including runners, twelve. I am a packrat.

20. Tell us one random thing about you.

I love Hanna Montanna

21. Why did you start your blog?

I have to be honest, I thought I could stick a couple of affiliate ads on my blog, and make enough money to pay for my next triathlon trip. Now I do it for the pleasure of having people read my writing. Honest. Every morning when I check my analytics account, and see a bump in my traffic for the previous day, I am happy all day. If I see a drop, I am depressed.

The biggest thrill is when I get lots of comments.

I am nowhere near paying for a destination race.

22. What is your silliest/ most embarrassing triathlete rookie story?

First tri ever, sprint distance, the swim was 500m in a pool. The lanes were ranked according to time. I was in the 9 to 10 minute lane. No one wanted to lead, so I was volunteered. After the first lap, everyone rushed past me at the wall. I was so pissed. Incidently, my time was 9:30, so I guess I was the only one in the correct lane afterall.

23. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

Have a week long combination birthday blowout for my 3 year old, and my 8 year old, complete with all our close friends and family, at Disney!

24. If you could beat one person in the world in any sport, what would it be? (My added Question)

Stop Alexander Ovechkin on a breakwaway, in overtime, in game 7, of the Stanley Cup Finals, and have our team pick up the puck counter attack, and score the cup winning goal.


Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

Tonight was supposed to be my tempo run. So I got home from work and saw a window of opportunity, and got changed and hit the trail before supper, thinking I’d get it out of the way.

About 5 minutes in, I was motoring along, thinking I was flying, on a scale out of 10; I would have rated my perceived exertion as 7.5. I looked at my HR monitor, and it was reading 145. That should be a slow easy run for me. I knew I was in trouble.

After about 10 minutes, I was in real trouble. I managed to walk run my way around a usual 42 minute run, in about 48 minutes.

Hopefully it is not permanent. Only the result of some hard racing and training and maybe a little overindulgence, and next time out will be better.

Love the weekend. More Pics from the ITT  

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Our ITT Start. Like I said, it starts uphill.

The pics were taken by Leon Organ, former president of Bicycle Newfoundland and Labrador, BNL. Leon is a good guy. Thanks for the pics Leon, the entire set can be found here. But next time you need to be in the saddle, suffering like everyone else.

Our version of Coach Gordo, Breen, not Byrne. Gord coaches our Canada Games team, and is one of our spin instructors. His spin class is TOUGH. He is a consistant 32 minute 20k er.

Rick ownes the 20kITT course. I think he has won every ITT I have ever entered. He is pure power, and a really nice guy as well.

George used to be a star of the Seahawks Varsity swim team. He his part fish. He's on his way to penticton. I predict he will exit the swim with a lot of bikes still racked.

Me again. I could be a little more aero, but it's hard to get down with so many layers.

Saturday Ride, and ITT Pics  

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A decent 90 minute ride today, followed by a 20 minute transition run. It was still windy and cold, and I can't wait to finally get to ride and run in shorts.

In the meantime, here are a couple of pics from Tuesday.

I know I look relaxed and powerful, but the truth was I was hutin, and the wind was like riding with a 100lb weight in my lap. Again, cold and windy. The weather will get better soon.

Friday Funnies, Running Humour  


What a Crappy Run!  

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I can’t believe what an absolutely brutally shitty crappy run I just had.

First off, I really don’t recommend curried butter chicken and veggie korma as a per run meal. Fighting off GI distress, and heart burn makes for a crappy run.

I also think I underestimated the fatigue from the 10k on Sunday, and the 20k ITT yesterday. It’s amazing how much a race effort takes out of you.

In the end, I did a 1:17 run. I have no idea how far I run, I usually train by duration instead of distance. My target for today was 1:10 to 1:15, so a couple of minutes off is not too bad I guess.

In any event, here’s to a better weekend.

Season Opener 20k Individual Time trial  

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Well, it was the season opener for me. Let me set up the conditions. The temp was about 12 degrees C when I drove to the course, and steadily dropped by the minute. By the time we finished, the temp felt like 2 or 3 degrees C. The wind was 40kmh gusting to 60. For me, wind is a problem. I don’t slice through the wind very well. It was a headwind on the way out. And it was tough.

Now let me describe the course. We start on a hill. Only in most ITT’s the start is on a downgrade so the cyclists can get rolling. But our course starts uphill for about 500m, and then stays on an upgrade until about the 8k mark where it levels off for a while until we climb to the top of the overpass at the turnaround. So that’s a first half in a 40k headwind gusting to 60, going uphill.

The return leg was a little nicer. Downhill, and with a tailwind. After averaging about 20kmh out, my average was about 48kmh home. So at the end of the day, my time was 42 minutes and a bit. I was really hoping for a little better, but the conditions were really bad for a big rider like me. Hopefully next one will be better.

Michael Phelps Loses in Charlotte  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in ,

It’s a lot more of an attention getting headline than “Phelps wins two out of five “ so the former is what the headline in The Boston Herald read.

The truth of the matter is that this was Phelps first meet after his 3 month suspension. And out of the 5 events he entered, he won two, came second in two, and opted out of the 50m. Yet the headline still read “Phelps loses.”

Human nature is amazing. I am certain that a lot of the same people that watched and cheered last summer, are tuning in and hoping to catch the fall from glory this year. These are the same people that read about Oprah only having two years to live, or about Britney’s latest breakdown.

Phelps finished second in two events, losing to Aaron Peirsol in the 100 backstroke on Saturday, and to France’s Fred Bousquet in the 100m final on Sunday. Phelps reported he was pleased with his effort, but did admit his timing was off, and his turns were not sharp. In an event with top international competition like world 50m record holder, Bousquet, mistakes like that can be the difference between first and worst.

In my opinion, Phelps is still struggling with his success from a year ago. He is probably still trying to decide what to do with his life. Swim another olympics, retire, try to excell at other events. Party with frat boys.

For my part, I hope he continues. I love watching competitive swimming, and I loved watching him in Beijing. I would dearly love to see more of him, and would love to see him prove the ambulance chasing bottom feeders wrong.

Harbour Front 10k Race Report  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in ,

As promised, for those who really read these reports, here it is. And one again, Thanks to everyone who left a good luck comment. IT REALLY DID HELP.

It was a cool sunny morning, with very light winds. See the picture of Alex picking up cups from the aid station at the turnaround below. There is barely a ripple on the harbour.

As I already reported, the route was changed to the south side, and reversed for logistical reasons. That made for a tough race.

As you can see by the start picture, it was slightly downhill at the beginning. I started briskly to get my heart rate up, and at the 1k mark, I was 4:11. I knew then I was in trouble.

After 1k, came the first hill. I managed to power my way up, but pretty soon, I was being passed by some experienced runners. The course rolled up and down until about until about 3.5k in, then came a pretty steep hill. It went up and down which meant you had to climb it again on the way back.

When I reached the turnaround, I was 22, and change, so with a negative split, I could PB, but I knew it would be tough. On the way back, I tried to stick with a couple of people who passed me on the big south side hill. I kept with them most of the way, but started to fade at about 8k.

Coming home was now slightly uphill with more hills for good measure. I checked my watch, and saw it tick over 44 minutes, then 45, then 46. By now I could see the finish clock. No PB on this day. My unofficial time 46:11.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed at first, but considering the course, and the fact that I did a hard 2 hour ride Saturday, along with a full day of yard work, plus I only have about 4 weeks run training under my belt, I am ok with it.

One thing I noticed, I had a hard time getting my Heart Rate above 160. My LT should have been about 165, so I think I was definitely a little fatigued.

Nest up tomorrow, my first 20k ITT, weather permitting, fingers crossed.

Harbour Front 10k  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

There it is. The picture tells the story. There is no lying or embellishing. The truth be known, this was a tough course. It’s tough enough to find a flat course around here, the next best thing was the old harbour front 10k course with an uphill grade with a few hills to the turnaround, then downhill coming home.

But due to construction downtown, the route was changed to the south side, and reversed for logistical reasons. That made for a course that was tough, hilly, and uphill on the way home.

I promise to follow up with a full race report. For now I am recovering. With beef, and red recovery drink. Australian. 2006 vintage.

Thanks to everyone who left a good luck comment. IT REALLY DID HELP.

If you live north of the 49th, have a great Victoria day.

May 24th weekend  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in ,

Technically its Victoria day weekend, the first long weekend after easter. And although it falls on the first weekend before May 24th, here in Newfoundland we still call it the May 24th weekend.

Funny what a day full of fresh air will do to you. This was the first decent Saturday in about 4 weeks. A 6:00am Saturday rise, followed by a 2 hour hilly and windy ride to set it up, then a full day of yard work. Pulling weeds, spreading mulch, planting annuals. I am now ready for bed.

That’s actually a good thing given that 8:00am tomorrow is my first 10k of the season. I have no idea what to expect. My last tempo run was pretty good, but I think I might be kind of sore after today. In any event, I’ll know soon enough.

Fartlek Friday, and a Couple of Funnies  

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Back from my Fartlek run. TEE HEE, I am such a guy.

For your laughing pleasure, here is some swimming pool humour.

Fortified Junk Food  

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Every once in a while I get a little case of Writers block, and can’t seem to find a topic that inspires me to complete my next post. That’s when YouTube, or Cartoons can save my bacon. But I have also found that from time to time, our national broadcaster comes to the rescue, in conjunction with the greed of our free enterprise society, and the stupidity of government.

The latest such story idea was sparked by a CBC report regarding a move by the food industry to introduce fortified junk food. Canada already regulates the addition of Vitamin D to milk, and Folic Acid to flour, but the proposed changes could see other foods such as cookies and chips fortified with vitamins and minerals.

The spin from the food companies is that it will generally increase the nutritional content of the entire food supply, and given the amount of junk food we consume in North America, they have a point. However, lets face it. This is a marketing gimic. These companies are not in the business of increasing the health and welfare of the general public any more than tobacco companies are in the business of finding a cure for cancer. If they could get away with it, they would sell us dirt.

This ploy will make no difference to the 300lb couch potato munching down a big bag of Doritos, 2 litre of coke, and a bag of Oreos. Nor will it make a difference to the athletic fit individual who carefully watches their diet, and decides to treat themselves with a snickers after a 4 hour Saturday Ride. This change will allow companies to target the person on the fence, fighting with cravings for salty sugary snacks. If they fall off the wagon, they can self justify it by claiming that at least it has vitamins and minerals.

To me this is a slippery slope. The rules and regulations regarding food labeling are already misleading enough. Many of these fortified products are already available in the US, and all the statistics prove that adding vitamin c to Coke or Pepsi does nothing to fight obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

If you are reading this, you are most likely already an athlete who considers diet important, and in that case I am preaching to the choir, but if not, then people, if you want a snack packed full of vitamins, have an orange.

Follower Number 20  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

I am slowly closing in on Marcy, and Missy, one follower at a time. I was stalled at 18 for weeks, but I quickly picked up a couple this week, so look out.

I want to introduce number 20, Robert Lejeune Robert is a fellow Canadian, hailing from the beautiful province of Quebec. Chances are he is a Habs Fan, but I won’t hold that against him. He is still a fellow triathlete.

His latest post is a description of his first ever Open Water Swim. Remember that boys and girls? Remember the anxiety? Remember wondering if you could ever complete the course? Go over and check out his blog, and check out the lake.

Why I do triathlon  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in , ,

I just received my Triathlon Newsletter from TRIFUEL. There is usually a mixed bag of articles about training, nutrition, racing, and just triathlon in general. Some interest me, some don’t.

The latest edition did have a particular article that sparked my interest. Ben Greenfield asked “Why Do YOU *Really* Do Triathlons?

In the context of the article, and after some careful reflection during the last spin class of the year, I concluded the following:

 I don’t do it to receive accolades from friends and co-workers. In fact I find it a little uncomfortable talking to non triathletes, about my accomplishments. Maybe I just get sick of explaining how far an Ironman is, and maybe I get sick of the look on their face after I tell them.

 I don’t do it so I can wear my Ironman Florida Finishers shirt in public, for similar reasons as above, plus most people just don’t have a clue anyway.

 I didn’t start it because a couple of my buddies decided to try it, nor do I continue it for the social aspect. I enjoy others people’s company if the opportunity arises, but due to my family schedule, I train most of the time alone. If my motivation was social, I would have quit long ago.

So why then. What motivates me?

 The idea of being active and competitive and setting a positive example for my family, especially my kids, is a definite motivator.

 Having something to focus on, outside of my family and work life helps me mentally. It’s a healthy distraction.

 I crave an athletic outlet to focus on. Without it, I would have no reason to be active, and watch my diet, and I would be big as a house.

 But I think one of the biggest reasons is simply because I love the sport. Some sports like curling, synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, will spark heated debate over their legitimacy as a sport. But there is no dispute about the purity of competition of a race, in the water, on two wheels, on foot, or all three combined. There is no 8 out of 10 for form or artistic impression. It’s simple. First over the line wins. I feel privileged to be a part of that.

 Perhaps the biggest reason, is because I can. When you need motivation, think of someone stricken with cancer or ALS who can’t, then get off your butt and go.

Carb Protein Fat Balance Part 2  

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So if you remember back about a month ago, I posted a nutritional article about Carb Protein Fat Balance based on an article in Bicycling Magazine.

Since then, I altered my diet ever so slightly to increase the quantity of Mono Unsaturated Fats, and increase my portions of lean protein, and veggies, while cutting back slightly on my starches. It wasn’t radical, and it hasn’t caused much of an impact to the family.

Since then I have found that I have been feeling little change, except maybe a little less hungry, in fact today, I had a mid afternoon meeting and missed my snack, but still managed to get home, and have a banana and make my tempo run, without fainting, or first eating the legs off the table.

It’s been mostly, salads with chicken breast including avocado, and olives, or stir fry’s with. Breakfast has been veggie omelettes with the usual omelette fixins, onion, mushrooms, as well as olives and sundried tomatoes, and light on the cheese. I’ll have some fruit like a grapefruit or orange, and sometimes, on days that I workout twice, I’ll have some toast, or some sweet potato homefries.

The other major difference has been that I with feeling less hungry, I am less likely to pig out in the nights, and as a result, I am actually down a couple of pounds.

Hopefully the trend continues. With a busy two weeks coming up, 10k race on Sunday, and a 20k ITT next Tuesday, the lighter I am, the faster I will be.

Chloe, Gulf Coast, and Debra Priest  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in ,

I love CHLOES BLOG, for a pretty young person, she certainly has a very grounded perspective on things. She swims, tris, plays tennis, does well in school, and manages to keep up a awesome blog. Mom and dad must be doing something very right.

Recently, she travelled to Panama City for the Gulf Coast Triathlon to volunteer, cheer on her dear ole dad, and secure a first place medal in the kids tri event.

But what is really awesome is that she struck up a conversation with a gentleman about his wife who turns out to be a remarkable lady. Her name is Debra Priest, and her story is that she went from a 321 lb chip and cookie eating couch potato, to a 150 lb, kicking some pro ass triathlete.

I googled her name and scored a pretty big ZERO, so if anyone has info on this lady, foward it along. This story needs updating, and she needs a blog.

Recovery Food, East Coast Style  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in , ,

What I don’t like about living on the extreme east coast of Canada, Saturday long ride in 40kmh head wind gusting to 60. Yes sometimes, riding downhill in a granny gear ISN’T FUN.

What I do like about living on the extreme east coast of Canada, that 40kmh head wind gusting to 60, on the way home turns into a tail wind, AND May means lobster season is open.


These beauties came out of the water this morning, and into the pot this evening. Little drawn butter, and you have a meal fit for a king.


The only downside is that I found out that my 8 year old, just realized he likes lobster. That kid has expensive taste.

On another note, tomorrow, May 10 is the deadline for the Newton Ironman Contest. Don’t forget to enter.

Friday Funnies, Cycling Cartoons  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

I don't find it funny. Makes sense to me.

Future Tour Champ!

Maybe a little too much information!

There's one in every crowd!

Welcome to Tri Juice, and The H2O Interval Underwater Headphone System  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in , ,

I have been looking for a good triathlon news site for a while, and this was sent to me by my friend Smitty. This is where I first found out about the Newton Ironman Contest.

I am not sure how long this site has been on the go, there are only about a dozen followers so far, including me. So go visit Tri Juice, and come back often.

The site provides news, and also a few contests. Well worth the effort. And the latest article is an announcement for another contest. The H2O Audio Interval Waterproof Headphones Sweepstakes. If you purchase one of these underwater IPOD accessories, enter for a grand of an opportunity to meet 11 time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin. So are you interested now?

Newton Shoes Ironman Contest  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in , , , , ,

Just in from another hour and a bit long-ish run wearing my favourite Shoes. Yes there I go again. The first post I did on my Newtons, got picked up by their blog and gave me a huge spike in volume, so I feel no shame.

But before you roll your eyes, and say “here we go again” You will want to stay tuned for this one. Newton Shoes is giving away a free race entry to a 2009 Ironman race, valued at $525. The best part of this is that No purchase is necessary. Free entry will be for one of the following races.

Ford Ironman Louisville (Sunday, August 30, 2009)

Ford Ironman Wisconsin (Sunday, September 13, 2009)

Ford Ironman Florida (Saturday, November 7, 2009)

Ford Ironman Arizona (Sunday, November 22, 2009)

It should be noted that me being a good ole Canadian boy, I am shut out of this one as it is open to US Residents only, but all you Mericans out there, get your entry in. The deadline is Sunday, May 10.

So if you were thinking about or planning a late season race, but were shut out at race entry time, or if you just couldn’t bring yourself to shuck over 525 clams, this is your chance. You have to find your own way, and a place to stay, but shit, ride there with a pup tent on your back. It’s a free Ironman for cryin out loud.

Book Review, Total Immersion Swimming  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in , ,

This review is sure to spark debate. As far as Total Immersion goes, there are some who swear by it, and those who think it’s garbage. Personally I am the former, and In my opinion most of the naysayers are people who are fairly experienced swimmers to start with.

I’ll even go as far as to say that buying this book was probably the single most important step I made to becoming a triathlete. I could swim, but only as someone splashing in the pool at public swimming, not as a swimmer.

I had the same fears as everyone else starting in the sport. I could ride a bike, and run a little, but swimming 500m or 1000m or 1500m scared the bejebus out of me.

I did it totally on my own. I did the drills, and followed the program as it was set out in the book step by step. The end result for me was a 33 minute swim in Clearwater last November. The only time I solicited advice from an experienced coach, he criticised me for having my head to low in the water, and using a catch-up stroke, which is exactly how this swimming style works. And when I told him I was following the total immersion program, he hadn’t a clue what I was talking about.

The only criticism I had was that once the DVD came out, the beginning had made a change to starting out on your back, which made sense if you understand the basic concepts, but to the best of my knowledge, the book was never updated.

As for the book itself, it starts with drills that teach you to balance yourself by pressing your buoy into the water. Your buoy is the part of the body that includes the lungs, and if you can master getting this right, your hips come up, and your head is nearly totally submerged as you look straight down at the pool bottom. From there you progress to finger tip and zipper drills to front quadrant swimming and finally to a full stroke.

It’s not easy, and you have to work hard at it. When you go to the pool you have to resist the urge to jump into the lap lane and start banging out metres, and stay in the slow lane with the grannies and do the drills.

It’s also good to know that on the Total Immersion web site, there is a lot of information, as well as an interactive forum where you can solicit advice from qualified TI coaches. I used it a lot at the beginning.

If you are a beginner, and if you are thinking about trying a triathlon, but are nervous about the swim, get the book, start at page one, and follow it step by step. Do the drills, and use the DVD as well. If you can open your mind and buy into the program, and are faithful to the drills, you will become a better swimmer.

St Croix and Tempo Runs  

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Catriona Morrison and Tim O'Donnell scored major victories at Sunday’s St. Croix Ironman 70.3. Next up in two weeks is Ironman Florida 70.3 in Orlando. Wish I were going.

As for me, today was tempo day. I am trying to squeeze some speed work in before the 10k in less than two weeks. Today I did 3 one mile loops. The same as last week where I banged out two in 7:14 and 7:16. Today I started off much faster, then slowed, but was still faster on my 3rd than either of last weeks. My loops were 6:47, 6:54, and then 7:08. Yes, I died on the last one.

The 10k will be the first real chance to test myself after taking the winter off. My legs feel good, and I really want to make the most of it.

First Brick of the Year  

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A much better day than yesterday. Morning with DW at her 5k, and the pride. Then swimming lessons with B, then a movie. EARTH. A must see for fans of our planet.

In the evening, I finally managed to get in my only workout of the weekend. A one hour ride on my mountain bike, out to middle cove and back. Very hilly, and I gave it quite an effort. Then off the bike into my Newtons, (Had to get in another plug) and off for a 25 minute run.

The sky was overcast, and it was foggy and drizzley, but warm. The run was very good. Kind of a fartlek, don’t laugh, good form and picking it up when I felt like it.

I am so looking forward to our first sprint of the year in 4 weeks. Listening to everyone talking about their races is making me so jealous. I’ll be swimming if it’s snowing out. Even if I have to wear my dry suit.

Weekend Update  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

I was so tired today. I really should have got drunk last night because today I felt hung-over without the benefit of having a good night last night. If I am going to feel crappy on the weekend, I may as well indulge to make it worthwhile right?

5k race tomorrow, and again, I am DW support team. Also, we have our first club ITT on Tuesday, the forecast is looking good, but I will miss it because I am the Event Coordinator. For volunteering to organize at least one event, we get free club membership, and free event fees for the season. An excellent deal.

Hopefully, after the family are taken care of tomorrow, I’ll get out for a longish ride, and maybe a run. Weather permitting, and if I feel decent.

Five Funnies for Friday  

Posted by FLATOUT JIM in

Does this mean no water on during sun?

What you need for a recovery meal.

Hand Car wash, finns extra.

So if the entire car fits in the hole, is it still a POTHOLE?

Not in my neighborhood!