Saturday, December 31, 2005

2006 Resolution & Goals

My New Years resolution os the same as last year, don't smoke. But I am going to add to it this year, run a 10 km.

My goals are:
Bike 2000 km (this year I did 1800)
Run 700 km (this year I will finsh at 380)

Those are really just arbitrary numbers. If I don't meet them, I won't really care. If I blow them away, no biggy either.

What I really want to accomplish is:
Run a 10 km the first week of January. Completed January 5, 2006.
Run 5 km in under 20 minutes. Ran 20:19 August 17, 2006.
Run 10 km in under 45 minutes. Completed March 30, 2006 (43:46 - 4:23/km).
Complete the Windsor Triathlon in 1 hour 30 minutes (10 minutes faster). Completed August 13, 2006, in 1hr40min.
Complete an Olympic length triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run). Not completing due to new job training.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

What were you doing...

31 years ago today?

I was busy, you know, being born. Not that I remember, but they tell me that it happened. Ryan Seacrest was also born 31 years ago today. That's pretty distinguished company.

Now would be a good time to celebrate my birth. Tomorrow we can all think about Jesus.

Titcombe out!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Busting My Chops

The Christmas rush for me is over. If it's not done now, it's too late. It was a pretty typical mad rush of going to the mall at the same time as everyone else in Windsor, trying not to kill anyone, dealing with supposed Canadians not knowing how to drive in the snow, trying not to kill anyone. This week at work has been pretty insane. We are closed all next week (sweet!), so we're trying to get everything finished up. This meant that I had to go to Toronto yesterday to pick up an ultra-rush job, so that it could in our customers hands by the end of the day yesterday. I left at 6 am, made my pick up at 9:30 and was back at the shop by 1 pm. A nice little 760 kms round trip. I was exhausted about an hour later. Add to all that being out serenading with the band 7-8 extra times during the last two weeks. But I enjoy that, it doesn't make me want to kill anyone. Which is a good thing.

Since I can remember, going out serenading with the Salvation Army Band at the Kettles is just simply part of Christmas. It wouldn't be the same if I didn't do that. The year I moved to Windsor is the only year I can remember not doing any serenading. Our band has taken it's lumps over the past few years. We've had more than a dozen people move away or leave the band for various reasons (some as crazy as having a baby!), which has whittled our group down to eight members and left me in charge. I'm a little reluctant to be "bandmaster", I prefer the term "acting bandmaster", because that puts my BFA (Theatre) to good use. All you need for a solid serenading group is four parts, right now our weakest link is the first part, cornet. We've got a couple of young guys who do an excellent job on Sundays, but going out and playing for over an hour straight is too much to ask of them.

Short aside, for anyone not familiar with brass instruments. Two basic things to understand how a brass instrument works: 1. The smaller the instrument, the smaller the mouthpiece. 2. The smaller the instrument, the more back pressure you feel on your embouchure. I'm used to playing a relatively small mouthpiece, the tenor horn, which has some back pressure, but nearly as much as a cornet. Switching from a larger instrument to a smaller one is hard. Although switching from small to large is also hard, because you have to increase your lung capacity. Now I'm getting too technical...

So that left me, not a natural cornet player, to pick up the slack and carry the tunes for the extra gigs. Last week we played 5 of 6 days, this week we had two more. Most of the serenading we do is for an hour and by the end of it my lips were pretty dead.

So that's it. All that's left is the travelling. I'm done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Brush with His Greatness

We've all had the experience. Being at the right place, at the right time, bumping into a celebrity, a real honest to goodness superstar. My favorite experience is the fact that I was in a movie with Christopher Reeve,Street Smart. Okay, so were 400 of my classmates (our school was used in the background), but during several takes, I walked right beside Superman. I had a few other brushes with celebrities, but that's my favorite one. It was pretty sweet.

My personal all-time favorite celebrity is Wayne Gretzky. He is THE Great One. As you've probably heard, his mother past away on Monday, in his hometown of Brantford, On. This is where Sue's sister, Lynn, and her family live. Steve (my brother-in-law) once bumped into Walter Gretzky, almost literally, in the local grocery store. Walter did stop to sing a song with my niece and did shake Steve's hand. I'm sure you've already guessed the ending of this story, but I'll tell all the same.

Steve and Lynn were at the Keg for Steve's company Christmas party. They were getting ready to leave the restaurant and one of Steve's coworkers said to him, "Wayne Gretzky is here right now." Steve was like, "Oh sure, we know he's in town, but what are the odds that he's here right now." Just as they were about to head out the door, here comes The Great One. Walking right toward Steve, close enough to be within arms reach. Lynn saw him too. Of course, Steve being a man of great politeness and thoughtfulness, he didn't say anything. However, the minute they got home he called to tell me.

Although I would have wanted to say something to him, I'm sure I would have been paralyzed in awe. And hopefully, I would have had the tact to respect his mourning.

Who have you met?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Darth Vader, Sissy Lord

As long as I can remember, I have always been a big Star Wars fan. Like, we're talking, toys still in the boxes big. In fact, going to see Star Wars in the theatre in 1977, is the first memory that I have that I can place in time. We went with good friends who lived down the street, the McIntyres, and I can still remember the trash compactor scene like it was yesterday. Yes, it's true, only a few years ago I did receive "Ultimate Hair Amidala" and it is also true that she is still in the box. Although, while Sue was pregnant I decided that if we were to have a girl, when she was old enough, she could have Amidala. Three more years Darcy, and she's all yours!

But the latest trilogy really soured my taste for the "galaxy far, far away..." Then, as previously posted, George Lucas went out and ruined Return of the Jedi with a re-edit. Episode III "Revenge of the Sith", was supposed to be the unveiling of how Anakin became so evil and turned into the ultimate villain, Darth Vader, a Sith Lord. It would have been better titled "Revenge of the Sissy" as Anakin turns out to be nothing more intimidating than a cry-baby with some wicked sword skills and the ability to make things float. A nice party trick, but not evil enough to rule the universe, if you ask me.

Turns out that art was only imitating life. The "actor", and that is being used VERY loosely, that played Anakin recently chased a heckler off a movie set for yelling out that he had ruined Star Wars.

Yes, he was terrible, but (and I can't believe I'm writing this) you can't blame Hayden for everything. After all, Lucas is the one who cast him, wrote the juvenile script and put the whole package together.

Booooo, George Lucas, boooooo. You've ruined Star Wars.

ps: I was not saying "Booo-urns."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Naughty and Nice

Sue found a cute little game to see if you are on which side of Santa's list you are on this year. She thinks it's faulty, because I ended up on the nice side.

This picture is indisputable visual proof that neither Sue, nor Darcy, were good enough this year. I'm shocked that they are the only two listed as naughty on the girls side.

Being born so close to Christmas and being named after St. Nicholas, gives me the inside track on this kind of stuff.

Monopoly = One person rules or recipe for divorce?

My favorite sister, Stef, sent me my birthday present. Since I'll be spending a good portion of my birthday, the 24th, in airports, I opened it early. It's "Canada-opoly", a Canadianized version of Monopoly. Which looks cool, all the properties are Canadian, you can own the CN Tower, instead of getting sent to jail, you get snowed in, a bunch of hockey references, all very Canadian. What made me laugh the hardest was that in the middle of the board, in tiny type, it says "Manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio." I'm glad to know that we, as Canadians, couldn't even produce the thing ourselves. Beeeauuuttti, eh? Sue comment was, "I hope we can play this without getting a divorce."

Why is this a recipe for divorce? When I moved to Windsor, before we were married, Sue had a terrible, low paying job and I was a student working part time. We didn't have any money. While we're now married and our jobs have changed, we still don't have any money...

Since we were never able to go out, we decided to buy a board game and entertain ourselves that way. We got Monopoly and played it all the time. There were some really terrific battles, once I even took a picture of the board because pretty much everything had been built up and there was no way either of us could lose. But, you might be saying, that is hardly the point of Monopoly. And this is where the battle left the game board and came into real life.

My understanding of the game Monopoly is that everyone is trying to monopolize the property to put the others players out of business. Hence, MONOpoly. It's a game, there is one winner and everyone else loses. During the game in question, I had the upper hand and was looking to MONOpolize the property and put Sue on skid row. She was trying to stay alive, but I wouldn't accept the deals she was offering. She took that personally and we got into a huge domestic about how, "if you're going to treat me like this in a game, then you're going to treat me like this in life." We never finished that game. I left that night and the game stayed set up on the only table Sue had in her apartment. We didn't speak about it until T H R E E days later, when we decided that it would be good to take a break from Monopoly for a while. A few years later, Sue's brother Brian was in town, so we figured that it would safe to try it with a third person. But once again things did not exactly go well. For the record, I have yet to put Sue out of business in real life.

We'll give this version a shot at some point (I also have the Star Wars version, with cool little pewter figurines as the players), but let the records show that if things get ugly, it's all Stef's fault.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

An English Language Update

According to Darcy, all fruit, round Christmas Tree ornaments and anything shape likewise will be henceforth be known as, "Appull."

Go back to your day now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Amazing Race

This is our one weakness when it comes to reality shows. It concluded the other night, with the final three groups working their way through, my home town, Montreal. One conclusion that I came to is that my sister, Stef, is not exagerating when she says that the taxi drivers there are morons. All the groups has to go to the underground city to find one clue, then to McGill Arena (at the MacDonald Campus) or the Morgan Arboretum (incidentally, I used to run there) to do one of two skill testing events, then to the American pavillion of Expo '67 for another clue, before doing some trapeze and then searching all of the seats at the Big Owe for their departure time.

The Weavers got the absolute most unknowledgable driver ever. He got them downtown and then went to the wrong arena (a somewhat understandable mistake). But it seemed like he didn't even know that McGill had two campuses. He had to call for directions to the Expo '67 site and wasn't even sure if he was dropping them off at the right spot. Somehow, this team made it first to the "Sttaaadey Oolympickay", but got all huffy and almost gave up when they couldn't find the departure time.

So is there a test these drivers have to take? If so, shouldn't they have to pass it?

As a note, it's worth mentioning that I picked the winning team, the Linz Family, on the very first show. It was four siblings, one girls and three guys. They were young, fast, strong and had a lot of fun. They had no really weak member. We Titcombes would fit that mold very nicely. Throw in our experience travelling and Stef's insane ability at languages and I'm sure we would have been right there in the end.

The coolest thing is what these four did with the million dollars they won. They are four of seven siblings. So they gave their parents half the money and split the other half evenly between all seven. That's doing it for the family.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One Ring to Get Resized

This year I've lost weight, like at least 15 lbs. Over the last three years I'm down a total of 29 lbs. From my heaviest, a chunky 188, to my current 159. It's not like I've been trying experimental weight loss pills, I stuck to the classic methods of eating well and exercising. The latter having the most emphasis, almost to the point of obsessive, but not yet. This year I biked 1813.7 kms, according to my bike computer, I swam over 6 kms this summer and so far this year I've run 340 kms. I'll end up just being right around 400 kms when the year is done. If I'm one or two kilometres short, I may have to go out on New Year's Eve.

I've noticed the weights loss all the normal areas. My pants are loose, my belts are tighter, my face is trimmer. But one of the biggest differences is in my hands. So much so that my wedding ring doesn't fit, it's so loose that it falls off all the time. So I took my ring in to get resized last night. They are shrinking it by full size, I don't really know how much that is, but it sounds like a lot. I keep feeling my finger and thinking that I've lost it. Why couldn't I just have one of those cool rings like Frodo? It always seemed to adjust in size for whomever was carrying it. Plus, then I could do that freaky vanishing thing!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Word of the week.

This is starting to feel like Sesame Street. But there's a reason for that.

This weekend's choice word was, "No." She answered that to every imginable question, including, "Darcy, do you want to eat chocolate?" "Noo."

She also came out with a few "Yeah!" at the right times. "Darcy do you want to go see your friend?" "Yeah!", and she clapped her hands.

But the winner of the word of the week award, for the second consecutive week, was "ELMO!"

I've seen more Elmo then I really care to, but there is nothing on earth that captures her attention like that little red monster.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sue's Super Duper Race Report!

Feel free to read this. She did great. It was awesome to see her come down that finishing stretch, totally pushing it the whole way. I was almost as excited as her.

I am very proud of her.

Race Day!

Well today was the Santa Shuffle, in London. So it was an early morning, 6 am rise, eat, get half dressed for the race (base layer only), get D up and ready, leave at 6:55, pick up Lorne at 7:05 and hit the road.

The weather was calling for a lot of snow overnight in London, but the drive from Windsor had nothing on the 401. Until we past the sign for London, then there was about a foot and it looked like one single snow cloud was in the sky, right over downtown, where we were headed.

Once we were in London, Sue drove and I finished getting dressed to run. It was cold. Easily -15C, way colder than it's been in Windsor yet, but there wasn't any real significant wind. So we figured it wouldn't be too bad. Once we got there, Chris and Jake found us pretty easily and we started to realize that there was a lot of snow on the ground. They had over 20 cm overnight and were trying to get the sidewalks cleared.

Somehow, during the week, I remembered that last year for Christmas, Uncle Bob had given all the boys this sort safety ice grippers (remember the overwhelming stench of rubber?). So I needed to find them. Thursday night I spent going through boxes in the shed with a flashlight and in the very last box that I opened, there they were! Now, if there were bad running conditions, I may have an advantage.

Since the race is more of a 'fun run' then an Olympic event, it was pretty informal. There were about 300 people participating. Both runners and walkers, which made for a crowed course on very poorly plowed sidewalks. Jake and I started near the front, but still had some really slow traffic to get around in the first 1/2 km. The spikes, which the guys were claiming as illegal (I said that it's not illegal to be prepared), were of no real advantage. As the race progressed most of the bad spots turned to slush, but all four corners were tough to navigate (more about that in a minute) spikes or not. We exchanged the lead a couple of times in the first lap, then I led two laps, then he led the forth and at the beginning of the fifth lap. But for the entire race we were within arms length of each other. We lapped Lorne and Sue starting our third lap, their second. Then we corralled Chris towards the end of either our third or forth lap. We weren't setting any speed records with the course being as it was, we were at about 20 minutes through four laps.

Into the fifth lap and things started to heat up, not literally, it was still really cold. With so much traffic out there we kept yelling "LEFT LEFT LEFT!" Which to runners means, "I'm about to pass you on your left." I did hear one lady say, "Oh our left, not theirs." For the record, my left is on the same side as her left. With Jake leading, he did most of the calling out. We caught Lorne again half way through our last lap and coming into the final corner we caught Sue again. Jake got by her right before the corner and this is where I made a big blunder. I thought, for a split second, about cutting inside to get by her, but I knew I had to stay on her left. Of course, with the split second delay, I pretty much bumped right into her and slowed right down. Thankfully, I didn't knock her over, or I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be here now to write this! I don't think that this had any effect on the outcome, but Jake was now about twenty feet ahead and we both started to really pick up the pace. I got back within arms length about 50 feet from the end, but that was as close as I could make it. Jake won, he gets the Nano, I was a step behind him. He said later that if the line had been ten feet further, I would have beat him. He could hear my spikes coming hard and was really worried. It was an excellent race. I'm disappointed to lose, but not too much because I know we were so close.

Our time was about 24:30, which seemed really slow to us, almost a 5 minute kilometre. But with the bad conditions, wasn't a huge shock. Anyway, I checked the distance on Gmap pedometre and came to realization that we had actually run further! Check out the course that I mapped out, we went almost 5.6 km! Which puts out pace at 4:24, which is closer to what it felt like.

I think part of the reason I didn't beat Jake is that I spent a lot of time thinking about what he was doing and not thinking about what I should be doing to take control. I kept saying to myself, "Stay a couple of steps behind him." Unfortunately for me, that is exactly how the race ended. I should have been focusing on how I felt and how I could have taken the lead in the final lap and done the work to stay ahead. Being behind, I never got to see what kind of pain he was in, and he told me that he was hurting, that I really pushed him in the end. Next time I'll take more control.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Previously, I've written about Wednesday night being Daddy/Darcy night. Sometimes she treats me to really special occasions. Tonight was one of those nights.

We were done eating supper, I was putting a few last things away in the kitchen and D was singing and playing in the other room. Then she came into the doorway and said, "Hi Dah. I deh a boom boom." She was tapping her butt, just in case I wasn't sure what she was telling me.

How special is that?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Favorite Words

This week D has been going on with her two new favorite words: "MOOOMMMMY!" & "Ehmo".

Return of the Diaper Bag

We got the diaper bag back! There was a knock on the door this afternoon and a complete stranger was there holding our bag. She said her kids had found it at the park near our house. Most of the stuff was still there, including her jeans, but her books and a couple of toys are gone. Someone had taken the time to dump a handful of sand into the bottom, but that can be cleaned up.

The woman who returned it said that she saw it was full of baby stuff, and our cheque book. She said that once she saw the cheque book she knew we needed it back. So we have the cheques back, completely undisturbed. It weird because everything else was wet from being outside for a week, but the cheque book is fine.

Yee Haw!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

She's the birthday girl!

Happy Birthday Sue!

Here are some facts about this date in history.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

She did it!

Sue went out and ran 5 km yesterday! It was more than a km further than she's ever gone and probably ten minutes longer than her previous best. I was totally impressed. Since she started running last September, for the first time ever, she got close, but since going back to work she has struggled to find the time to keep things going. But she hasn't let herself get discouraged and has stuck with it. I am very proud of her. In two weeks she'll run her first official race, I can hardly wait to see her come across the line!

Oh, the other day I wrote that my goal for the weekend was to do a hard 5 km run and break 20 minutes. I meant to write that my goal was to break 21 minutes. I went out way too hard and suffered in laps 3 & 4, but brought it home strong in the last km to finish in 21:11, matching my previous best. I suffered partly because of the stupidly fast start and partly because I didn't fuel myself properly at all.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Who Said What?

Spoken last night in our house:

"She still falls a lot, is that bad?"
"So do you. Good night."

Stressed Out

This was a horrible week. Save for running home from work twice, there was no end to the stress. Work was beyond insane. Keeping up with Darcy is always crazy, then I went and left the diaper bag on the trunk while we drove away this morning. Insert your own descriptive adjective here. To top it off, our 2002 Neon needs about $700 of work. Insert another descriptive adjective here. I took it in for service last week and they found that two of the tires I had installed last October are worn out. They need to be replaced, the bushings on both lower control arms in the front suspension are worn out and those arms are sitting on the chassis. This isn't immediately dangerous, but causes the car to shake at high speeds (120 +) and is contributing to the premature tire wear. So I went to talk to the guy where I bought the tires, he said right away that they are worn from poor alingment and that he wouldn't get anything for them from warranty. My only option is to get two new tires. But unless I get the bushings fixed (a very labor intensive job) and get the wheels alinged, those tires will wear out prematurely again. I'm so glad that this is right before Sue's, my brother-in- law Steve's and my own birthdays. Not to mention Christmas. I guess I'll ask Sue for lower control arm bushings for my birthday, maybe she can stuff my stocking with new tires.

I'm really grateful for the days when I can run home. This week Thursday was particularly stressful and I even had to stay late at work, which is VERY rare (this makes 4 times in 6 years that that has happened). So I ran home, all stressed out and ready to hate the cold. It was an amazing release. My wind breaker kept me perfectly warm and I felt 100% less stressed when I got home. Too bad running every day isn't in the cards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

'Tis the season

Windsor is typically warmer then the rest of Canada. That's one of the few things going we have going for us down here. That and being south of the US.

However, I saw, get ready for it, the dreaded 's-word', S N O W here today. It didn't last once it hit the ground, but I did it whisping along the ground in the wind a bunch. That looks nice, but I only appreciate it from the comfort of a vehicle. We're also getting a lot of US Thanksgiving hype here, which means that the Christmas season is almost officially here.

So this talk of snow has sent a pretty powerful message to me: Running outside in the winter is going to suck. The Santa Shuffle is 17 days away and it's only getting colder. Hopefully it's just initial shock of actually seeing snow and I'll get over it. But all I can think is that running outside in the winter is going to suck.

As an update for the race, Lorne (the owner) is in. He's been running for about six weeks now on his treadmill. He's started to do some outdoor runs, but has found them to be a lot more difficult. My schedule has a fast paced 5 km on Saturday, my goal is to break 20 minutes. I hope I feel more positive Saturday morning than I do now.

New words

D has put some new words into her vocabulary.

Last week she was thrilled with the poppies on our coats and learned to say "poooppppi." But really she wanted to be eating the poppies with pins. That didn't exactly work. She's also learned the word 'out'. Most often it's used in this context, "Darcy get out of there," as her latest trick involved going into a room and then closing the door behind her. It doesn't really matter if you're in there or not or even if the lights are on. I open the door and she'll then say "ooouttt," with a real strong Canadian accent.

Also new is the scowl that she'll give us when she doesn't get her way. She's got quite the little attitude for a little girl. Almost 18 months, going on 18 years. Great.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Family Resemblance

Does anyone else see the family similarities between Uncle Marc and Darcy?
I think it's uncanny.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Word of the week.

This weeks word is "water". Most of the time she'll say "whhhaaat", but you can get her to go "whhhaaat err".

In the bath she'll be splashing around going "whhhaaat whhhattt whaaaaat err".

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Shirt

If you've ever watch track & field in the Olympics, you probably know that the best distance runners are from Kenya. They are always the hardest ones to beat and almost always seem to win.

I found this and I think it might be appropriate on race day.

I could pass for a Kenyan.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Found Time

It's November now. I haven't biked in about ten days, for the most part it's too cold in the mornings to ride. So last weekend I cleaned up the back yard, brought in things that had been stored out there since the basement renovation and put the bike away for the winter. Then this week has been warm again and I could have riding every day. Too bad for me.

I don't want to get out of shape this winter. My plan is to keep running and building my distance to be ready for some 10 km races next year, along with a sprint distance triathlon and if things go well an Olympic distance one as well.

With our busy schedule, Sue being back at work, the days getting much shorter, it's been hard for either of us to run consistently. Ideally, I'd like to be going three times a week. But that just wasn't happening. Until I realized that the shortest route home from work is 4 miles, right at the distance I've been running. So twice a week, usually Monday & Thursday, I take my running gear to work and run home. It's better then car pooling, I have to get home some how and this way I'm done my run by the time we eat supper. Also, Sue doesn't have to drive the extra distance to get me across town after picking up Darcy, so we use less gas. Yee Haw!

I've done the impossible, I've found the elusive 25th hour in the day.

Friday, October 28, 2005

This is a sentence.

Darcy talks, she's got a few good words and some sounds that are close enough for us to know what she's trying to say. Her word of the week this week has been "hot". She knows that if her food is hot then she needs to blow on it. Yes, because her parents are to lazy to do everything for her. While she does know the meaning most of the time there are the occasions when I realize that she hasn't quite mastered it yet. Like when she's pushing around the computer chair saying, "Hot. Hot. Hot." No, not exactly sweety.

But just ask her about her day and she'll go on for a while without letting you get a word in edge wise. For the most part, however, she is fairly incomprehensible. Here's a typical sample of a conversation.

"Darcy what did you do today?"

"Ehhflaph ooob llalallaharramm mamama shhheeeplal bbbb tta."

Tonight was a different story. She found a couple of divided plates that we haven't used yet and started carrying them around like they were the greatest toys ever made. Not too surprising, she loves new things (typical woman). Another good word she has is "hat". She'll go and get her hat when told to and put it on or bring it to you and say, "Hat." Well, she decided that her divided plates were to be worn on her head. So I asked her about it.

"Darcy what is that?"

"This is a hat."

It was as clear as day. Sue was sitting beside me on the couch and we both looked at each other at the same time and said, "This is a hat."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Marathon Day

Today was the day, my friend Jake ran his marathon. It was cool, but dry. All week the forecast for the weekend was for rain both Saturday and Sunday. So I was grateful he had great conditions to race in. It is the only marathon in the world (so I hear) that feature two international border crossings. They start in downtown Detroit and run across the Ambassador Bridge, then along the river in Windsor and back to Detroit through the Tunnel. Running through the tunnel is the only 'underwater mile' in the world. You even get a split time for your underwater mile.

I went downtown early this morning to watch and try to find Jake to take a few pictures. Just as I got there the first runner went by, then a few wheel chair people and some more runners. They were moving. Jake was running in the '3:45' pace group and he had told me that he'd be wearing a red shirt and an orange cap. Thing is, there was a lot of people wearing red shirts or orange caps. Finally, I saw him and yelled out. He came over and I ran with him for 30 seconds or so.

He looked good and I talked to him early in the afternoon. At mile 20, typically known as "the wall", his knees started to hurt and he fell off the pace. He finished in 4 hours. Very cool, that's a long way to go and I know he's happy with his first effort.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No Favorites

Normann Stadler:
2004 - Ironman World Champion.
2005 - 3 flat tires, 1 bee sting, 1 thrown bike, lots of tears & DNF.

This is not how a champion is supposed to look while defending his title. But the lava fields don't discriminate.

Heather Fuhr:
Second on the all-time Ironman win list.

She started the run, her strongest portion, within reach of the podium. Then the wheels feel off. She gutted it out and got her finishers medal because beating your own inner demons is a big victory in itself.

Monday, October 17, 2005

This is why I don't gamble

Neither if my picks to win the Ironman came through. Peter Reid finished third in a time of 8:20, a full twenty minutes faster than last year, but still six minutes off the pace. Heather Fuhr finished a disappointing 25th in the women's field, I wonder if she had trouble or got sick. Her run time was really slow, for her... Still her time of 10:03 is not really shameful. Windsor's two Iron(wo)man competitors really showed their stuff on Saturday.

Shelley McKee has great lead up and time in Kona stories on her blog. As well as some pictures, but those seem to be giving her template trouble. She finished in 14:36. I'm sure she'll remember that forever.

Blaire Kniaziew lived up to her qualifying time and finished in 10:27. That was good enough for eighth, in her age group, IN THE WORLD. Insane.

Getting back to gambling... Darcy wasn't eating her chunk of burger tonight. Instead she was rolling them like dice. She's 16 months and playing craps already. Casino Windsor, here we come! Although we've really got to put a stop to playing craps at the dinner table.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The BIG One

This weekend is the Ironman Triathlon World Championships, Windsor has two people going for broke. Not so secretly, I'm envying anyone who's racing. I mean Hawaii in October (I'm not picky, any time of year would be fine), with the best of the best racing along side you? That would be so amazing. It's compared to playing in the Masters with all the greats of the PGA.

In truth there is very little chance that you'd race "along side" the pros. They get a head start of 15 minutes and are freakishly fast. The chance that I would ever compete is Hawaii is pretty much just a fantasy. You have to qualify to get in. But there is a back door for getting into the race. Every year there are 150 lottery spots; 100 of those are designated to US citizens and the remaining 50 are picked randomly from entrants around the world. The odds are rather staggering that you'll get picked.

Back to the part about people from Windsor racing. One of them, Blaire Kniaziew, actually qualified for her age group by coming second at Ironman Germany this summer (an insane time of 10:24). She teaches at the high school two blocks from our house. When she's not teaching, she doing triathlon. This past weekend she competed at the World Championships for the Olympic distance, in Honolulu, and finished 13th in her age group. The other, Shelley McKee, rolled the dice and got picked in the lottery. Good luck to both of them.

If you're interested, there's lots of interactive stuff about the race here. I'm picking an all Canadian championship. Peter Reid will bring home his forth title and Heather Fuhr will improve on her second place finish from last year to claim her second title.

Going Digital

That's right, the Titcombes of Windsor have moved up the social ladder to join the ranks of those who have abandoned conventional photography for digital. I believe the proper expression for such a leap in dans is "Yee Haw!" Sue's mom combined our birthday and Christmas presents and bought us a digital camera. It's a Kodak Z700.

After Darcy went to bed last night, I took this picture. Look her foot falling out of the crib.

Tonight for dinner she had eaten practically a whole put of macaroni, so she was rewarded with a chocolate covered graham cracker. Please notice the chocolate coating on Darcy's teeth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fast Times

I wrote previously that Jake had put up an awesome time of 21:05. Saturday I did a hard run and came out with a new PB of 21:11. Now Jake always sprints the last 100 metres or more of his runs, I did not sprint at all. My time put me one second per kilometre slower than Jake. I know I can go one second per kilometre faster for the first four and then two seconds faster for the last kilometre.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Two Great Debates

It is said that the first step to recovery is admitting the problem. What do you do, however, if your spouse thinks you have a problem, but you really don't think it's a problem?

It's no secret, I wear bike shorts. Those extra tight spandex shorts with the built in pad, I wear them every time I ride my bike. At first I was ashamed, I even said to the guys at work, "I did something I'm not proud of, but it had to happen ... I bought bike shorts." It took a little while to get used to them and I still generally keep my shirt untucked. I mean my butt looks good, but I don't want to be a distraction to motorists. Yeah, that must be it.

But you know what; I really like them! They're comfortable, the pad really eases saddle sore and they've got these little rubber legs grippers that keep them from riding up on me.

The first debate is this: To wear bike shorts or to not wear bike shorts? A warning, there is very little that will convince me to not wear them.

I have been told that I'm not allowed to shave my legs. There's not a big debate there, I don't want to shave my legs. But combining bike shorts with unshaved legs leads to the second debate.

Should the hair come through the spandex?

Now I have two pairs of bike shorts, my daily shorts and my race shorts. My daily shorts are not the top of the line, so the hair shows through more readily than the race shorts, which are a very high quality.

Recent posts on some other blogs have lead me to believe that such discussion about undergarments is kosher.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Race for the Nano Update

So we are eight weeks out from the innugural DigiPrint Road Race. It looks like there will only be three competitors, Chris, Jake and myself going for the Nano.

Jake really set the bar last week. Instead of going for one of his marathon training runs, he went for a hard 5 km and turned in a time of 21:05. That's 90 seconds better than his previous best and a minute better than I've done, so far. His marathon is right around the corner; he did his last long run this weekend, 20 miles. The program he's used has really worked for him, he knows he'll be fine for the race. His long runs have been after pretty heavy weeks of running, so he's felt tired (Yeah, 'cause you're not supposed to feel tired after running 20miles!). Now he's into his taper and will be fresh come race day. His goal is 3:45, but says that it should probably be 4 hours. My money is on 3:45.

Chris has come back to earth a little from his first few runs. He's felt really sore (due to his age) add to that the grind of working full time, parenting two kids, working on the second year of his MBA and trying squeeze building up to a 5km race. I know he'll show up to play on game day.

I've been keeping steady. Most of my runs were only 5km, but I've started to increase my mileage. I've discovered a nice little 6 or 7 km out and back route that I've used most recently. It's nice to do long, slow distances, in running circles it's called LSD. I still get out two times a week, at most three times. My goal is that one run will be around race tempo and the other one or two will be to increase my base. At this point my goal over the winter months is to increase my distance so that I can do 10 km in the spring with relative ease.

It's 30C here today! Plus 76% humidity. And it's October! Needless to say I'm still biking to work.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Shoe Lover

Shoe Lover
Shoe Lover,
originally uploaded by Titcombes.
Clearly this girl has a thing for shoes. The picture was taken during the summer over at Auntie Jerilee's house. Darcy could have been playing with Auntie Jerilee, her most favorite person ever (because she doesn't make Darcy eat vegetables). Or Darcy could have been playing with her best friend Alisa, but she choose to spend about ten minutes trying to get Auntie Jerilee's garden shoe on. Once she'd get her foot in it, then she'd try to take a step. Her foot would of course come out and the whole process would start again.

Tonight while Sue and I were eating, Darcy started bringing Sue's shoes from the foyer into the living room. She would bring in one at a time and she made six trips. To my astonishment, when she was done there were three exact pairs of shoes in the living room. I didn't know she knew how to match shoes.

I see trouble ahead.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Out of gas.

Darcy woke up early this morning. Like an hour and a half early. 5:30 am. Screaming. She calmed down after a minute or two, but then at 6:00 am she was screaming again and you could tell there was no hope for her going back to sleep on her own. I went in to turn on her music box, that usually settles her right down, but she was moaning in pain from her teeth. So I picked her up and we went to the couch in the basement so that at least Sue could get some sleep.

I have never been clung to as hard as Darcy clung to me this morning. It was really sweet, but broke my heart to hear her in so much stinking pain. She was asleep on my chest as soon as we hit the couch, but she moaned in her sleep for at least twenty minutes.

So now I am out of gas. Too bad I'm going to be out until after 9 pm tonight.

Oh, when I picked her to say good bye this morning, she didn't want anything to do with me. As hard as she was holding on to me earlier, now she was trying just as hard to get away from me. Nice.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mark your calendars - Dec. 3rd, 2005.

This will be Sue's big day. Across Canada, the Running Room holds an annual Santa Shuffle . It's a 5km run as well as a 1 km elf walk. People do fundraising and then the proceeds go to the Salvation Army. Last year the youth band that I'm involved in was the entertainment during the race. We sat outside, in early December, on metal chairs, holding brass instruments, for about an hour, playing Christmas carols. It was a nice day, but it's worth repeating that we were outside, sitting on metal chairs, in December! There's no way to keep warm doing that. Soooo...

Sue has picked this race as her 5km race. Hopefully the temperature doesn't fall too far below zero and there's not too much snow on the ground. If that's the case, then I know she'll make it through and I guarantee she'll be a lot warmer than I was last year.

While the Santa Shuffle will be Sue's big day, there will be a competitive event taking place at the same time. The first, possibly annual, DigiPrint road race. My good friend and co-worker Chris (who incidentally introduced Sue and I) has challenged myself, co-worker (soon to be marathoner) Jake and all the other staff members, there are only nine of us, to a 5km race. Now it's more then just a mere race for bragging rights. Since we are deeply involved in a tech field, we all suffer from 'tech envy'. For example, when one of us buy a new Mac iTem, the others drool enviously over it for a few weeks until someone buys something new, and so on... For our inaugural event an iPod nano is up for grabs. The cost will be offset according to how many of us DigiPrinters participate. Everyone puts in their share, I win the race and go home with a nano. Pretty sweet deal.

So far, three of us (Chris, Jake and myself) have committed to the race. Lorne, the owner, is still contemplating the idea (but he's had his nano for like three weeks already) and Jerry, the smoker, is on vacation, so we haven't heard from him. Yes, the trash talk has been fierce. Each of us with our own good reasons why we'll win. Chris has just over ten weeks to train. He's not out of shape, he plays tennis regularly and was a stellar runner in high school. His best 5km was easily under twenty minutes. Unfortunately for Chris, tennis ain't running and, for him, high school was 18 years ago. Jake is running a marathon and plans to, "keep up with Nick and then go ahead at the end." Unfortunately for Jake, training for a marathon requires a lot of SLOW running. While he can do the distance on one foot, I have my doubts about him being able to keep up a fast pace. I, on the other hand, have been running this distance with ease since the mid-June. I have also been running it at a reasonably quick tempo and I'm ready to up that tempo.

Place your bets & watch for updates.

Monday, September 12, 2005


When people ask me what I do I just answer, "I'm a printer." Actually, I run the digital print department.

But what is digital printing? It's the next wave of print technology. Each year Xerox holds an awards competition for "Printing Innovation with Xerox Imaging" (PIXI). It is done throughout the world, this year we, DigiPrint, won the bronze for Monochrome & Highlight Colour.

This competition was for North and South America, printers from both continents entered and we were one of three Canadian companies to be recognized. Our owner, Lorne, and sales guy, Chris, went to Chicago this past weekend to accept the award. It is a really big deal in the print world. Xerox pulls out all the stops and throws quite a party. It's like the printing Oscars.

This is the second time in three years that DigiPrint has been recognized at these awards. In 2003 we received an Honorable Mention in the short-run digital category.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Brother down under

My brother Eric has gone down under for a couple of weeks. The closest I've been is Cape Town, South Africa. First in January of 1997, then again for July and August 1997.

This picture was taken from the top of Table Mountain. From this shot you can see the Indian (left) and Atlantic (right) Oceans. The Cape of Good Hope is in the middle.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Check it out!

Hey, I'm published!

If you've read my race report then you're not going to see anything new here. This site allows anyone to submit an article for review. If it's deemed worthy, it gets put on the site. I actually learned a lot of do's and dont's from reading other peoples accounts of preparing for triathlons.

The world now gets to gaze upon me in 'performance attire'. Hooray!

Monday, September 05, 2005


We caught the end of "Return of the Jedi" on TV the other night. You know the part when Luke is back with the Ewoks and he sees the vision of Ben, Yoda and Anakin? Well, in the version that I'm used to seeing, Anakin is of course an old man, just like the one we saw five minutes earlier when Luke takes off Darth Vader's helmet. Then Anakin dies.

George Lucas has committed a crime with a new edit at the end of "Return". Instead of having the old man Anakin appear with Ben and Yoda, the young Anakin appears. Hayden Christensen has now been inserted into a movie that was made when he was two years old. I said to Sue, "What's he doing there?" If I hadn't been laying in bed, I would have fallen on the floor.

George, you totally struck out with Episode I-III, why would you do and ruin VI as well?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Big Brown Jug

This will have special significance for some more than others.

Back in the day, when all six Titcombes lived in Lachine, we went through a lot of food and drink. So, to make things last a little longer, M&D mixed powdered milk into a big brown jug with regular milk. If you were lucky enough to get to finish the jug, you got the special honour of trying to avoid chunky, un-dissolved milk powder. Uhh, I still get shivers. That in itself is a whole other post.

I think this must have been at least a four litre, one gallon, jug. It was big, it had to be. After dinner, we'd all have a glass of milk with dessert. Let's say that Stef had the jug. Someone would ask her to pass it. She's lift it with one arm and get half-way to the person and then it began. A controlled epileptic fit, isolated only to the arm with the jug. She was shaking madly. "Hurry! Hurry! You guys, I can't hold it!"

Good brothers that we are, we'd make her wait a little while longer. The shaking would get a lot worse. Sometimes, if the jug was full enough, she'd start splashing milk out the top. Oh yeah, she shook like CRAZY! Finally, WHAM her arm would give out and the jug would slam back down the two inches she had it off the table.

We cried over the spilled milk, but only because we were laughing so hard.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Triathlon Photos

If you're interested, the official race photos are available on-line. Once September roles around, there will be more on Flickr as well.



Run 1, 2, 3. There are some good action shots here.



By request, here is the pick speedo guy coming out of the water. He was RIGHT in front of me. Ugh.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Lucky Number Seven

Today is mine and Sue's seventh wedding anniversary!

Homer: I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes!

Happy Anniversary to the one I love. How about seven more? I'm up for it.

Love you,

Marge: Homer, is this how you pictured married life?
Homer: Yeah, pretty much, except we drove around in a van solving mysteries.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ironman Canada

In case you didn't know, Ironman Canada take place this weekend. It's been held annually, for the last 22 years, in Penticton, B.C.

Five brave men from Windsor are participating this year. Two (Matt & Mark) of them were in the Windsor Triathlon and one (Mark) of those taught Sue's running class last year.

You can follow the progress of the race pretty much all day Saturday.

Some things just shouldn't be true.

Have you ever seen or heard of a beached whale being blown up? It's an old story, 1970, but fascinating nonetheless.

It's been a little slow at work this week. Here is something to thank the internet for.

I'm sure most of you have QuickTime, but if not, you'll need it. If you still can't watch the video, you can read the transcript.

File this under "What were they thinking?"

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Darcy Copperfield

Darcy is really good at feeding herself. We'll put the food on her tray and she just goes at it. It has made life much easier for meal time. While her skills are good, she still struggles with gripping the food. Generally when she drops something down the side of the hi-chair she'll say, "Uh-ooh!" reach down and pull it back up.

Today for lunch she dropped some of her peach, made her statement and went digging for peach. I thought she'd come back out with peach, but her first grab resulted in bread, then squash, then more bread, back to the squash for a few pulls, then finally another piece of bread. I looked to see if I could find the peach, but it was gone. No smoke and mirrors. She's got talent.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Stupid Motorist

I've been riding a bike since I was four years old. I can still remember the old yellow bike that I think was a hand-me-down from Robbie McIntyre. I remember the day that I first took it out with training wheels. After going half way down the block I got off and moved the training wheels off the ground, because they were getting in my way. Since that first half a block, I've put a lot of miles on my bikes; since April of this year I've logged almost 1300 km. I know how to cylce in traffic and, more importantly, I know what the laws are regarding vehicles vs. cyclists in Ontario. Of all the things motorists can do to cyclists, the one that grates on me the most is honking your horn.

Tonight, on the way home from work, an idiot motorist came up from behind and honked at me for not being on the sidewalk. I turned around and gave it right back to him. That apparently made him nervous and now he wouldn't pass me. Finally, on a road three lanes wide and with no on-coming traffic, he went by. However, a block later he was stopped at a red light. He further infuriated me because while he was going straight through at the light, I was turning right and he had left about six inches of room between his van and the curb. So as I walked by his van I gave it to him again. He seemed sincere in trying to wave an apology, but I really wasn't in the mode to have him brush me off and I know he heard what I had to say through the window. If he had taking one second to look at what I was wearing, he would have known that I'm not an inexperienced rider. But I think after hearing what I had to share with him, he may have gotten the idea.

I was fuming at this point and need to vent my frustrations. So I hammered it the rest of the ride home. It was about 4 km and most of it was at 40 km/hr. I got all the green lights, caught, passed and stayed ahead of a city bus and set myself a new top speed: 53.2 km/hr. I admit that this was going downhill and with the wind at my back, but that is flying. It was fast enough that I made it up the next hill at 35 km/hr. Going that fast up hills is nice, it makes them a lot shorter.

That's all I've got. Drive safe, bicycles belong on the road.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

So what now?

No more triathlons this year. Time just will not allow that. I'll keep biking to work as the weather allows it and I'll run a bit to keep up what fitness I've gained. I'll just keep a good level of fitness so that I can go farther and faster next year.

Since this race is over I've wondered if it was far enough. Seriously, an Olympic length tri is 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike & 10 km run. I know I could have biked another 10 km and I felt strong enough during the run to keep going, the only real question would have been the swim.

Honestly, I have thought about doing an Ironman (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike & then a full marathon). But there's no possible way that we would have time for me to train towards that until Darcy is older, 2010 has a nice ring to it. However, using these years leading up to that extra-long term goal will provide me with the fitness base that you need to torture yourself for about 14 hours.

Next year, at least one triathlon and depending on the dates and locations possibly another. But for now I'm going to concentrate on getting Sue up to 5 km (Yes, Sweety I'm telling them again). In April, while she was still off work, she was right at 3 km so I know she's got it in her. I'll keep those updates coming.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Race Report

It's over! What a day. It ended up being really fun and I was impressed at the organization and just how well we participants were treated.

Here are the results for those of you who don't want to read to the end of this post.

It was an early morning and I really didn't sleep well. There were dark clouds and lots of wind before I left the house. I biked to the race site, about 6 km, as my warm up. When I got there, shortly after 7 am, the wind was howling. I couldn't lay my towel out because it just kept blowing away. I wanted to have my stuff laid out to save some time, but that didn't seem like it was going to happen. So I went to check out the water. Ever heard of white caps? Not the preferred swimming conditions. I kept myself busy by walking through the transition area and getting myself familiar with where my bike was. I really did not want any trouble finding it. By 9 am the winds had calmed down and the water was smooth, for a lake. That was reassuring, the swim wasn't going to be too bad and the bike should be good without much wind.

The "Swim":

I watched the start of the "try-a-tri" and noticed that most people were doing 'dolphin dives' the whole way. Some were just 'running' through the water, there was very little swimming going on.

My group, the blue caps, was to go after the elite athletes were away. Most of the elite were dolphining as well. Apparently, because the course went along the shore, the water never got very deep, like waist deep at the half way point. So my "easy going" strategy changed to "dolphining" then and there. If it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for me.

I dolphined for about 80% and swam the rest. I was able to see Sue, Darcy and Brian cheering me on as I came out of the water, that was cool.

My 'swim' time: 12:29, 1:34 minutes/100 metres. Ridiculously fast.

Transition One (swim-bike):
I ran up the beach and at the top they had little kiddy pools filled with water, to wash your feet off. I slipped and very nearly wiped out but managed to save it. That got me a couple of cheers. I took my time getting my socks and shoes on and getting myself out onto the bike course.

T1: 3:07, to slow, but worth getting it right the first time.

The Bike:

Windsor, actually all of Essex County, is flat. Completely flat. So the course is flat and fast. Without much wind I was able to push it pretty much the whole way. The volunteers were great cheering everyone on as they went by. There were a lot of people who had spent a lot of money on their bikes. I noticed this as I passed them all. Well, I didn't pass everyone, but no one who passed me was riding a 20 year old classic. Some of the older men, who started after me, flew by me on their rockets.

My bike time: 55:27, average speed 32.46 km/hr. Fast.

T2 (bike-run): Rack the bike and take of the helmet, start running. 53 seconds.

The official race results say that my bike time was 59:27, that includes both transitions. I kept my own splits because of that.

The Run:

At this point I was tired, but I knew I had to fight through those first 2 km to get my legs back. Things went really well for the run. There were plenty of water stations and each kilometre was marked. Here are my splits for the run:
Km 1: 4:58
Km 2: 4:48
Km 3: 4:33
Km 4: 4:38
Km 5: 4:40
Km 6: 4:23
Total: 28:05 (right on target)

I couldn't believe that my splits kept getting lower! I started to run harder after I passed the "5 km" sign and picked a few people that I wanted to pass. When I got to the last 200 metres a guy came up behind me and yelled "Come on, let's go!" I accepted his challenge and we 'sprinted' for the line and I KICKED HIS BUTT! That felt awesome.

I came in 80th overall, 11/19 in my age group. My time was 1hr40m00s. A full five minutes faster than I had expected. I am totally thrilled with how things went.

After some time to think about it, I did everything I could have to perform as well as possible. Knowing what I know now, I'll look to change a few things next year. I'd be more aggressive on the swim, I know I could go faster. I would also make sure to take less time on T1, that cost me a couple of minutes. Hopefully next time I won't be dealing with a blister and I'll be able to run harder the whole way. The difference maker for today's blister; Sue's socks.

I bought her a pair of special running socks. They're very thin and work to move the moisture away from your skin, eliminating the friction. This and especially how thin they are kept my foot really comfortable the whole way.

A big thanks to all of you for your support and interest. It's been a lot of fun. Now I have to find a new topic for this blog.

Special thanks go to Jake Dimmick (my co-worker). He is training for the Detroit Marathon in October and gave me the shoes that I ran in. He bought them but they didn't work for him, so he thought it would be worth me trying them. They worked for me! He also loaned me his bike helmet for the race. There's nothing wrong with the one I have, but his is newer, lighter and most importantly, breathes better. Thanks Jake.

Lastly, I need to thank Sue. For being the initial inspiration for me getting back into fitness with her own running, for putting up with the extra hours of training, early morning swims and late night runs. Through it all she always showed her support and enthusiasm for me getting to my goal, while her own goal (to run a 5 km race) was put on the back burner. I couldn't have done as well without you there to cheer me on! Now we'll work on getting you to that 5 km finish line.


The results are in!

1hr40m00s, a full five minutes faster than I expected! WooHoo!

Check the results page for the detail, full race report to come shortly.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Last Post

"There's a double meaning in that!" - Benedict, Much Ado About Nothing

This will be my last post until at least Sunday night. The race starts around 9:15am Sunday morning, I hope to do done before noon! More about that later.

I've been watching the forecast, it's not all that promising. Chance of rain on Sunday is 70%. I seriously hope that that holds off until the afternoon. I really don't want to be biking at 30km/hr in the rain, that spells suicide. I've also been watching the water temperature and that has encouraged me. Generally the water is above or equal to the air temperature at 9am. The should feel nice.

Here is my official race strategy:

Finish the race.

For the swim: Don't get kicked in the face too many times! Nice and easy. Only once has an Ironman race been won in the swim, so why burn yourself out there? This neither an Ironman nor am I going to win. So again, why burn out on the swim. Prediction: 18+ minutes.

For the bike: No flat tires! The course is set up to about 15km with the wind and 15km against the wind. It's hard to tell which wat it'll be going first, but my plan is the same. When I am going in the same direction as the wind, I will push it. My hope to see 35, 37, possibly 40km/hr for that half. But that's only half. My goal biking into the headwind is to keep my speed at 30km/hr. Prediction: 57m30s.

For the run: No blisters! I've set this up in my mind as a 5km run. I know I can run that in my sleep. The final km will be about adrenaline. "I've trained too long to quit now." That's what I'll be grunting to myself to keep me going. If I'm able to find Sue and Darcy in the crowd and get Darcy to give me a high-5, that will get me through to the end. As long as my heel doesn't flare up, my prediction is 28 minutes.

Total Prediction: 1hr45m00s. Including about 90 seconds to put my shoes, shirt and helmet on after the swim. If it's rainy, I have no idea what to predict.

Hopefully things start on time and run smoothly. I hope to have fun and I know I'll learn from the more experienced competitors. I have to remember to run my race, not to get all excited if someone passes me and burn myself out trying to pass them back.

Starting to get the jitters.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who is Darcy's Greatest Aunt?

The competition is stiff.

Aunt Lynn: Has provided 2 cousins. Big cousin Laura is Darcy's favorite person in the world. She adores Laura. Certainly a good start.

Aunt Stef: Has provided a super-cute Swiss Cow and authentic Swiss clothing. Plus, she also provided Darcy's parents with LOADS of authentic Swiss chocolate. That can never be overlooked.

A very tough choice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Does it get any better?

Wednesday night is Daddy-Darcy night.

Tonight we were in the basement and Darcy was about to climb onto a couch. I said, "Darcy, come give Daddy a hug." She stopped what she was doing, walked clear across the basement and gave me a hug. Then I said, "And a kiss?" Smack! She planted it right on my cheek.

Although, I do wish she'd stop eating the stuffing from the couch.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Old Peugeot

The Old Peugeot
The Old Peugeot,
originally uploaded by Titcombes.
This old bike (circa 1986) has served our family well. Since April 2005, it has been ridden over 1100km and will be my ride for the triathlon on Sunday.

This year I've updated some features. I got a computer for Christmas, bought a new seat, toe clips, bar tape and a clip-on aero bars.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Big week

I ended my big training week yesterday. Here are the numbers:

Swim: 1050m
Bike: 148km
Run: 18km
Total: 167.5km

Sunday my plan was to do a big brick, 35 bike & 5 run. I did the bike no problem at all. It took me 1:06:51 to do 35km on the bike and then I hit the pavement for the run. I felt surprisingly good, but slow. I had put moleskin on my heel, but I think that hindered my run. It doesn't seem to stay in place very well on a sweaty heel and then it turns into something that's adding friction to my heel. I didn't end up with a new blister, but some of the new skin tore off. I stopped running at 4.3km, that took me 20:45. That pace puts my 6km time around 28:15, which is about what I'm expecting.

An 'easy' week this week:
Swim: 1000m
Bike: 60ish km
Run: 6-7km

Sorry to not post this sooner, I didn't realize there were such anxious readers!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Healing heel

The past two night I have run with no discomfort on my heel. They were both short runs, 3.2km, but better than no runs. I wore a blister bandaid under my sock and it did very well. Tuesday, however, I got a bit of a scare when I checked the bandaid after the run. It looked like another blister was forming right at the top of the bandaid. What actually happened is the bandaid had slipped down my foot and some of the glue was still where it had been applied. Once I peeled off the bandaid I was able to tell that there was no new blister forming and I just had to rub the glue off my foot.

I'm behind schedule, I had hoped to be running my race distance 6km by now, but my goal is to be back at full strength by the weekend.

Last weeks total were:
Swim: 1km
Bike: 113km
Run: 7.75km
Total: 121.75km

This is the last week of heavy training. My goals are:
Swim: 1km
Bike: 145km
Run: 20km
Total: 166km

Ten days.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

A triple

Well I did all three sports this morning. I biked to the pool to warm up, swam 1km, did a 10km ride home and then the whole family went out for a jog (well Darcy took it easy and sat in her stroller).

It felt good. Going from the swim to bike was a good learning experience. I certainly didn't feel fresh on the bike, but was able to keep my speed around 30km/hr into a headwind the whole way. The run was at Sue's pace, which with her shorter legs was slower than mine. But that was also a good thing. My blister didn't flare up and my legs felt strong the whole time, not like the usual bricks. Now I'm thinking about taking the first km of the run portion really slow to get my legs to feel better. Hmm, something to think about for sure.

My blister was covered with a Bandaid Blister bandaid, then moleskin, then a sock. There is more moleskin inside my shoe. Hopefully things don't get bad again.

I also tried my nutrition strategy for race day. Regular breakfast and drink, then after the swim I had a "24 Carrot Energizer" drink that I use while on the master cleanser. This got me through the bike fine and then I'll just take water throughout the bike and run.

Two weeks tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hot new wheels

It's been suggested that I purchase some of these for my bike.

It would certainly turn some heads.

Yea or nea?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Life of Sue

Hey, I've been meaning to post this link for a while. Check out Sue's space. More Darcy stories. Good times and good pctures.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Flipping BLISTER!

During last Tuesday nights run (a PB 5km in 22:15), I developed one heel blister on each foot. The right foot was pretty minor, the left foot was a good blister.

I taped up the inside of my shoes and feet for my other runs and didn't have any further problems. Good.

It rained today, so I couldn't bike to work. After Darcy was in bed I went out for a brick. A 10km ride and a 5 km run. Well, 3.3km into the run I had to stop. I had torn the blister off my left foot. I decided that if it was bleeding then I would stop. If it wasn't bleeding I should probably still stop. It was bleeding and I was about a mile from home. So I took my shoe off and walked.

Fortunately a friend of ours lives right along the route I was going and he was out cutting his lawn. We chatted a bit and then he gave me a ride home, that was a good thing.

So I'm two and a half weeks out and I have an injury. That bites. "Bandaid" is supposed to have some good blister bandaids. Look for a review shortly.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Puker

Last year, about a month after Darcy was born, my older siblings came to meet her and visit us. Of course, one the honours of meeting a baby for the first time is getting to hold them. I asked who wanted to hold her and Eric volunteered. Darcy graciously greeted Eric by puking all over him. Down his shirt, onto his pants, onto the couch. At the time, that put the amount of puke that had hit him ahead of me. In the year since then, I have been lit up several times.

With good reason, Eric calls Darcy 'Pukey'. Although it is rare that she vomits anymore, it's a good name for her to have. Especially this weekend.

Sue got called by the babysitter Friday afternoon. Darcy had a fever of 102 F, so she went to pick her and went to a walk in clinic. The doc diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed some antibiotic. She came home and gave Darcy a dose of Advil, and then the antibiotics. Darcy puked all over. Poor little girl. Fairly messy, but not too bad because she hadn't eaten in a while. She didn't eat much for supper and was pretty miserable all evening. We tried to give her some cereal before bed and she actually ate some of it. Then we tried the antibiotic again she gagged on the first taste and did a mini-puke, and then she blew up. Apparently she ate a lot more cereal than I gave her credit for. She was sitting on my lap at the time and it went everywhere. I ran and put her in the kitchen sink. This girl was in rough shape. Her whole body was quivering, she didn't even have the strength to stand up.

We made through the night, only having to get up once. Sue gave her a cup of water and she drank the whole thing really quickly. We both thought that might be enough to set her off again, but things went well. She got up at 7am, her normal time, and had sucked back 2 cups of milk by 9am. She then took a two hour nap. Good for her! Or so we thought...

We went back to the clinic and got a new antibiotic. One that won't make her puke.

She didn't eat much for lunch, but that didn't really surprise us. No big deal, she was still drinking well, so she wasn't getting dehydrated. Sue had to go get the new prescription and by 1pm, Darcy was ready for another nap. I meant to give her some Tylenol before the nap but forgot. She had only slept for 40 minutes when I heard her crying. She was burning up, so I gave her some Tylenol. Again she gagged and I knew that she was going to blow. I saw lunch again, then all of the milk she drank this morning. Huge chunks of cottage cheese like white barf. All down her, all down me. On the carpet, on the change table. I ran her to the bathtub this time and sprayed her off with the shower. But then she was in a remarkably good mood, laughing and talking to me as I tried to get milk barf down the shower drain. What a good helper.

Darcy is on the mend now. She didn't vomit new antibiotic and we've given her Tylenol suppositories to lessen the fever. Better her than me!

So, all this to say that 'Pukey' is certainly an apt name for her. The difference between one month old baby puke and thirteen month old baby puke is the smell. When babies start to eat grown up food, everything that comes out of them smells like it could have come out of me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Can I do it all in one day?

This has been a question that I've been answering a lot lately. Sure, I can swim and bike and run, but what happens when I try to do them all one after the other? My guess is that it will hurt.

One of my favorite sites is A number of other beginner triathletes and some pros break down what has worked for them in training and how they get ready for a race. Basically, I take what I like and try that. The key with all endurance sports is building up your mileage in training to a heavy load, then cutting back and rebuilding. Each of the four weeks before my vacation was heavier than the last. I peaked at 116km (111km bike, 15km run), then I cut back while on vacation. So now I rebuild.

Including this week, I have four weeks before the race. This week I will go a medium distance, between 85-100km. The next two weeks will be heavier and then I will taper the mileage down on race week, to avoid fatigue.

The key to combining the events is the brick workout. Going from bike to run is brutal. But the more you do it, the more your body gets used to it. All of the training plans preach the importance of doing bricks. They are all right. I have done a few days with 20km bike rides and 5 km runs and felt okay in the end, that's practically my race mileage. Knowing how I'm going to feel coming off the bike and heading into the run gets me over a huge mental hurdle.

So can I do it?

Well I've paid the entry fee, so I don't have a choice now!

Her new trick

When it's hot, or not even that hot, Darcy is a sweaty little beast. She looks like an Olympic athlete after the race of her life. It just drips off of her.

Anyway, while we were in Montreal she was going down for a nap and I wasn't sure if leaving her shorts on over her diaper would make her too hot. So I opted to just put her down in her diaper. After a decent nap she woke up crying, which is fairly odd. When I went to get her I noticed there was an overwhelming scent of pee in the room. As I took the two steps from the doorway to the playpen I thought to myself, "Man, she must have really peed a lot ... why is my foot wet?"

My little genius daughter had opened up half of her diaper and peed all over. There was pee in the playpen and somehow she had peed up and out of the playpen on to the floor (until last June I thought that aiming your pee was strictly a male thing). Now you may be thinking that the pee had just soaked through the bottom and dripped out. No. There was a book right under where she had peed inside the playpen and it was completely dry. About six inches away from the playpen there was a puddle, that's what my foot was in.

I'm reminded of this story because this morning Darcy woke up just after 6am, about an hour early. After some fussing she calmed down, but I heard the distinct "RIIIIP" of the velcro tab being pulled off her diaper. I decided not to do anything about it and everyone stayed in bed. When I did get up and get her she was standing in her crib with her diaper again half pulled off. Fortunately her t-shirt was still on and that was holding everything in place. I'm pretty sure the reason she tried to pull her diaper off this morning is because she had done a nice big poop.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Post Vacation Blues

We've been on vacation in Montreal for the last week. That was great, but now I'm suffering from post vacation blues. And I'm realizing how exhausting it is to travel with a one year old.

Darcy was a big hit with her aunt, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents. She also made a number of good friends at the Biodome. I think she may have had her picture taken with one girl and I know she got into someone's video. No, she doesn't take after her parents at all.

The last display at the Biodome is the Antarctic. It features penguins. For us grown adults it's fun to watch them swim around jumping in and out. For kids it's a crazy good time. When we got there all the penguins were starring at the back wall. Some of them were swimming right up to the glass and 'playing' with the kids there. All of a sudden the penguins made a rush for the back wall, then the feeder man came out. We were there about 15 minutes and he hadn't fed all of them yet. Darcy seemed to love it.

On Wednesday night, after Darcy went to bed, Sue and I went to the fireworks. It is very different from the blast fest that happens every year on the Detroit river. What we saw was very artistic, what happens here on the river is more HOW LOUD AND BIG CAN WE MAKE THESE? USA USA USA!!! I don't know how many people come out to see them, but I'm pretty sure three of the stupidest ones were standing right behind us.

Here's some of what we over heard.

Daughter - I thought we were just going to see regular fireworks.

Daughter - These fireworks are getting old.
Father - There only getting old because you don't have a chair.

The teenage daughter was at one point lamenting the fact the we were far away. Her mother responded with "Well, I think it's better than being close. This way we can see underneath them."

As a small plane flies over.
Mother - I bet they have a great view.
The genius daughter was dead serious when she asked, "Really? Do you think they can see them from up there?"

26 minutes into the 30 minute show.
Father - I think they'll go about four more minutes.
I bit my tongue and did not say "Really Sherlock?"

It was the first time we had both been out past 10pm since June 5th, 2004. So we figured we'd take our time going back to my parents. We strolled through Old Montreal, saw some street performers near city hall, stopped for some over priced ice cream, $8 for two small cups. We had a good time.

When we got off the Metro there were a few rain drops. By the time we got to the end of the first block it was raining hard, but the trees were keeping us mostly dry. Then the skies opened up, the rain was torrential. There was another couple across the street, we just laughed at each other. There is a special bond between strangers when you're caught in the rain. We laughed at them because it sucked to be them. They laughed at us because it sucked to be us. We had another block and a half to go, so we went for it and got drenched. We were dripping. About halfway there Sue was laughing so hard she practically hyper-ventilated. My shirt was still wet the next morning.

Darcy made a few big discoveries this week. Like Grandma's hard floors, nasty chair legs and her innate Swiss ability to climb. We weren't there more than ten minutes and Darcy took a header onto the floor. A big lump came up almost right away. A day later she slipped pulling herself up on a chair leg and cut her chin in the groove in the wood. Then she found the stairs. A nicely carpeted set that has one turn, leading to the top floor. She'd do these at least five time a day, more if we hadn't put up a gate. She's still trying to walk, but won't go on her own yet. That's was fine, because Grandma and Grandpa were happy to be dragged around the house, but now were stuck with a girl who expects her parents to do that! Good luck honey.

It was a great trip. I did manage to get some swimming, biking and running in. Not much, but it still counts. Less than a month to go!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Good Long Weekend

This was the weekend that I really wanted to see how I was doing. Judging from how things went, I think I'm on the right track.

My goal for the swim is 18-20 minutes for 800m. Saturday morning I swam 600m in about 12 minutes.

My goal for the bike is 60 minutes for 30km (+ or - 5 minutes for wind). Today I biked 30km in 59:22, an average speed of 30.3 km/hr. That included one wreck. Note: Wait to take a drink until AFTER you've turned the corner!

My goal for the run is less than 30 minutes for 6km. Friday night I ran 5 km in 22:48.

This week I will up the bike daily bike mileage. Next week we're on vacation, so I need to get the most out of what I have.

ps: See my Montreal family soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Old Time Photos

Check out my Flickr page. I've started a set with old family photos.

It's in her genes

Darcy is definitely a Titcombe.

First she loves Cheerios. Not a trait that is unique to the name, true. But only one of her parents enjoys them and that's the Titcombe side. Secondly, she's rapidly becoming quite the little cheese snob. We started her on shredded Mozza, but that was too messy, so we went to cubes. She has since moved on to Mild Cheddar. She can't get enough of it! She's like a hamster the way she crams it into her cheeks. Third, she likes salmon. Whenever we introduce a new food she make a weird face and then spits it out. On her first try of salmon she made the face, but kept the food in. Then she had more.

Lastly, she's a swimmer. We already knew that she loved her kiddy pool. But Saturday, at the lake, I took her in and she couldn't get enough. Have I mentioned that the water was cold? That didn't deter her, she gets that from me I think.

No doubt about where her genes came from.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Swim

I got LASIK done last September. Mostly because I hated wearing glasses anymore and couldn't stand contacts for very long. I knew that I would be more likely to be active, not having to worry about seeing what I was doing anymore. That has definitely been the case.

So I went swimming yesterday, with my goggles, because now I need to protect my eyes. It was a cold murky lake, weeds grabbing at my legs; the perfect environment. There weren't any distance marker, but I figure I went about forty metres, there and back, twice. About 160m total. But it was hard, even with goggles I still couldn't see anything. In the six weeks I have left I'm going to have to put a serious effort into finding time to get some lane swimming in.

I'm not expecting to win the event, or my age group. But, I don't want to do side-stroke for 700 out of 800m!

My goal for the triathlon is about 1:45, but if the swim goes bad I can see 2 hours. That would be brutal.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A brick

In the triathlon world there is workout that is called a 'Brick'. It is where you go for a bike ride (like home from work for me) and then immediately go for a run at the end of the ride.

I try to do one a week and I knew right away why they are called bricks. It has nothing to do with building your exercise one on top of the other. No, it's called a brick BECAUSE THAT"S WHAT YOUR LEGS FEEL LIKE!

The craziest part about it is that once you fight through the first km or mile of the run your legs actually start to feel better. I did a brick yesterday. It was same usual fight through the first mile of the run, but then I felt better. My run is slower coming off the bike, but that's to be expected.

Six weeks of training left, plus race week. Maybe I should start swimming a bit?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Open for business

Well, I've been inspired by my two older siblings, Stef and Eric, to give this a shot. I played around with some links and settings. I'm pretty sure that I won't change the world with my cutting edge style or witty commentary, but hey, it's fun.

Right now I'm training for the Windsor Triathlon. It will be my first triathlon. On a good week I do almost 90km in training. Once I reach my goal for training, I should be close to 100km per week. Most of that comes from riding my bike to and from work almost everyday. I feel fit and my belt keeps getting pulled tighter, so something must be working!