Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tonight on CNN - program change

There was supposed to be a documentary feature about the eight years that Sue and I have been married, but it's being replaced with ongoing Katrina coverage.

What some people will do for ratings!

Love you Sue, even if we don't have our own tv special ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I'm in Montreal for the weekend. Stef and I went for a long ride this morning, nothing hard, just keeping an easy pace over mostly paved trails. We got as close as we could to the F1 Track, where the Champ Car Series is having a race this weekend. We were within a kilometre of the track and could see the tents, I could also hear the cars all the way from here, about 12.5 km away. We did do dome gravel trails and a few sections of trails that are still being completed. Some good hills and some good descents (with some nice skidding). It was a great ride, we were gone for 2 1/2 hours and covered 47.5 km, according to Gmap Pedometer.

It was an intense first week. I'm really enjoying the learning, but it's really hard to be away from Sue and Darcy. If you've read Sue's blog, you'll know that Darcy's having a tough time adjusting to my being away. It's having an effect on all of us. Fortunately, next weekend is a long weekend and I'll headed home to see my favorite girls! Yee Haw.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I love Air Canada

Have you seen Windsor Airport? If not, it's small. I think there is one gate. Yet, the last two times I've flown from Windsor to Toronto, my bags have been lost. What is up with that? How hard is it? There was only one plane in Windsor, how come my bags didn't get on it?

I won't even get into some of the other diasters that AC & I have shared. I could write a book about it.

My dear wife, who I totally ADORE for her wisdom, suggested last week that I take a uniform as carry-on, just in case. Being the obedient husband that I am, I followed her advice and packed everything I'd need for one day in my carry-on. Except toileteries. Now, my first day is done and I STILL DON'T HAVE ANY LUGGAGE!!! I'm told that they will be delivered today, but I'll believe it when I see it. Big points to Sue for coming up with her idea. Wow, I'd be so totally up the creek without that suggestion.

So here I am, with the clothes that I wore yesterday and the one uniform I carried on. Hopefully my bags come soon.

Like right now would be nice.


UPDATE: 9:00pm

Apparently I'm quite a powerful writer. It turns out that as I was writing my little rant, my bags were being delivered that very minute. Hah. Oh wait, they were only 22 hours late, so it's really not THAT funny.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Some things

There are some tri pics up on my Flickr page. Jake took them(thanks eh!). I tried to post some here, but blogger can be stupid about those sort of things.

If you notice the one with the floating sludge, maybe that'll explain why I had a mini-barf or 'vurp' while I was swimming. I had forgotten about it until Monday afternoon. About 3/4 of the way through I had swallowed too much water and the GU energy gel I took before the swim was starting to fight back. Mix the two things together and a burp with a tiny little bit of flavor is what I got. Thankfully, nothing more than that.

Jake noticed that I came out of the water way sooner than he expected. There were about 15 pros who start 3 minutes ahead of everyone and then the men under 40 were the next wave to go. He figures I was in the top ten of my wave out of the water. I was first in my age group, but didn't know that at the time. It's funny though, here I am disappointed with my time, but top in my age group and well ahead of everyone else. When I got out on the bike about I started getting passed by a number of people who were flying. At the time I thought to myself, "Why are these guys so far back?" Never realizing that it was me who was so far in front.

Last night I went for a 5 km run. I had decided earlier in the day that I was going to break my PR of 21:11 and then Jake challenged me to break his record of 20:35. I got to the halfway point at 10:13 and was pretty sure I could match Jake's time. It was very hard work, but I cranked it out in 20:19! That works out to 4:04/km or 6:32/mile. Shattering my own PR by 52 seconds. I was gasping for air like I never have before; an awesome run. This way I leave my job with the fastest 5 km time at the shop, if only for a day.

That's right, I'm done at the print shop. It was hard to say good-bye. I had been there for seven years, three months and fifteen days, give or take. With both of our family's being out of town, we've taken to adopting people as our family. My co-workers were family and it's hard to see them go. I leave Sunday for my training period. It's 13 weeks long, but fortunately I'll be home again in two weeks for Labour Day. Sue will be on her own for a week and then she's taking in a boarder for a month or two. She's a girl who's getting pushed out by her current landlord and is getting married in December, so doesn't need a lease. The timing is perfect and Sue is excited about having adult company. Also, after Labour Day my sister has agreed to stay for a week to take care of Darcy. It sounds like Stef has a whole curriculum planned, hopefully she can keep up with Darcy's pace.

I'll have internet access while I'm away but I doubt I'll have much to blog about. My goal is to study hard and pass everything. They have great facilities so I'll also be able to keep my swimming, biking and running at a good level. No fall races for me this year. Next year I'll do an Olympic tri for sure.

Titcombe out.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Race Details

It was a perfect day. A little chilly when I left the house, but beautiful by the time the race started. We couldn't have had better conditions.

The Swim (800 metres):
Same course as last year, straight out & back along the shore. Because of this it's really shallow the entire way. My strategy this year was to be more aggressive and get towards the front of the pack. I was near the front, but really didn't settle into a good rhythm until the second half. Even though the lake was very smooth, I kept swallowing water and, for some strange reason, my goggles decided that today would be the first time they leaked. So I had to keep emptying them. I felt good the whole way, a decent effort, tired but not too tired. Here's where things get weird. I got to the timing mat and hit the split on my watch, 14:30. What? Two full minutes slower than last year. Very strange.

I did some looking at the results and compared times of big name people with their times of last year. Almost everyone, including the pros, was about 2 minutes slower. So, it seems a little fishy that everyone would slow down by nearly the same margin. I can see myself slowing down that much, but not the pros. There were some world class racers there and it just seems impossible that I would slow down by the same amount as they would. My conclusion is that either this years swim course was too long or that last years swim course was too short.

Anyway, I was now two minutes behind schedule and had ground to make up. After the swim, here is my placing:
14:30 - 40/161 overall & 1/19 age group

T1 (swim-bike):
As I'm running up the beach the swim cap and goggles come off. Last year they had kiddie pools to wash your feet of in (I slipped and almost fell), but there were no pools this year. Fortunately, I had planned to wash my own feet off anyway. I got to my bike, sprayed one down, put one sock on and slipped on one shoe (thanks to my YANKZ laces, highly recommended), then repeated the process on the other foot. Voila, I've got my shoes on all I have left to do is get my shirt on. Somehow I managed to put my shirt on half inside out and got stuck. So I wasted about 30 seconds wriggling out of my shirt, getting it the right way and finally getting it on.
Time: 1:54 (1:13 faster than last year).

Bike 30 km:
There's not much to report about the bike. I worked hard and kept the pace as high as I could. We were blessed with a tiny headwind for the first half, but I knew that the would be a tailwind for the second half. I was drinking gatorade every ten minutes and took a GU energy gel after 30 minutes. I think that I ended up over doing it on the bike and had too much stuff in my stomach for the run. Oh well, lesson learned.

My time on the bike was:
55:45 (32.3 km/hr) - 71/161 & 12/19 (18 seconds slower than last year).

T2 (bike-run):
Put the bike back on the rack, take off the helmet, start running.
Time: 43 seconds (15 seconds faster than last year).

Run (6 km):
I knew I was a much stronger running this year. It showed right away as I really didn't feel too bad off the bike and ran with a good stride immediately. A few people passed me in the first couple of km, but after the halfway point, I did not get passed once and must have passed a dozen or more people. I was running stronger as they were fading. In the last 2 km, an older gentleman and I were running together and started picking off people ahead of us. We hit the 5 km marker and I picked up the pace again, he was a few seconds behind me at the line. Turns out he was Richard Kniaziew, a local man who once did the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. His daughters have both been very successful triathletes. One of them, Blaire, place eight in her age group at Hawaii last year. Clearly I was in good company.

I was very happy with my splits:
4.28 - 13:44
4.18 - 13:13
Total run time:
26:57 - 51/161 & 7/19 (1:08 faster than last year).

The official standings have me at:
1:40:03 - 58/161 & 9/19 (3 seconds slower...)

They say that the clock doesn't lie and I won't argue what the clock says, but I know something is not right. Initially, I was disappointed about the swim putting me so far behind, but I figured that with the amount that I actually swim, the result was fairly predictable. But now I know that something was different from last year, either way I know I improved. I'll just have to go out and crank it up another notch next year.

Time = Huh?

The official results aren't posted yet but, according to my watch, my time was 1:40:00. Or, exactly the same as last year! Huh? How is that even possible? I knew I wasn't going to set a world record, but I was hoping for some improvement. Like not even a second or two? Weird.

Once the official results are posted I'll write a report and all that.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Release the hounds!

Sunday is race day for me. I'll be competing in the annual Windsor Triathlon. It's an 800m swim, 30 km bike & 6 km run. Last year I finished in 1:40:00 and I'm very confident that I will improve upon that this time around.

As usual, I give myself three goals:
I know I can do less than 1:40:00.
I'd really like to do less than 1:35:00.
I'd love to do around 1:31:00 or better.

One last easy swim-bike combo tomorrow morning and then rest until Sunday morning. Then it's time to hammer.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pirates - Movie Review

Warning, if I haven't seen it I will ruin the plot, not that there was much of one.

Okay Disney, what's the deal? I can't figure out who you're marketing this movie to. It's way too long for anyone, way to gory for kids under 10 and way to predictable for anyone older. What's up with that stupid love triangle? And I'd also like to question your lack of imagination and recommend that you try to invent new monsters.

So, it's too long. It runs around 2:20 and could easily be 40 minutes shorter. As most people that I've talked to have said, "It's long and nothing happens." Ohhhh, there's Capt. Jack Sparrow using himself as a human pole vault! Ohhhh, there's Turner being overbearing and super-clever. Ohhh, there's Capt. Jack again speaking circles around everyone. Ohhhh, there's Turner escaping from a rolling prison ball, and then from a rolling water wheel. Ohhh, a three man sword fight. And my favorite, ohhhh, a scary octopus like monster that can will swallow you whole and then keep you undead for a hundred years on the ocean floor.

This monster has already been in some small films that have had limited success. I believe you'll find it in "Return of the Jedi", he eats Bobba Fett. And it makes a cameo (in it's flashy new water form) in "Fellowship of the Ring" as the fellowship is entering the mines of Moria. Seriously, this is the best Disney can come up with? Pretty uncreative.

What bugged me the most was how Keira Knightley's character turns herself into a no good pirate floozy. She challenges Jack to do what is right and not to force her into a situation where her honor would be compromised. For a moment we think he's abandonned everyone and his beloved ship, The Black Pearl. In the end he returns to what he wants most, his ship and goes down with it, proving that he is a man of (moderate) honor, after all he is still a pirate. Knightley's character, one the other hand, abandons her honor to lure Capt. Jack into being trapped on the Pearl while it is under attack. Is that really the character type that Disney is looking to sell to young girls?

Writing: poor, trying to be way to clever way too often.
Acting: Depp is very funny, I like him. Knightley is nice to watch, but a terrible character. Bloom tries to do too much with very little.
Action: Cool, but repetitive and the sequences are too long.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Word verification

I've been getting some 'comments' lately that haven't been contributing to the blog. So I've turned on the word verification thingy.

Sorry for any inconvenience. Spammers stink.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Oh boy.

I was at the pool this morning and I've started to recognize some of the regulars. Two that really stick out are a pair of older men and that are seriously overweight. I'll call them Mr. Big #1 and Mr. Big #2. They know each other and are forever talking about different business ideas in the locker room. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Big #1 is the owner of a couple of local restaurants. Sometimes Mr. Big #2 makes it into the pool for a swim. I think Mr. Big #1 just uses the hot tub.

Today they and I were the first three people in the locker room. The combined weight would have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of 860 lbs., and I tip the scales at 160 lbs. Since the triathlon is next weekend, I was using this as a chance to practice getting dressed while wet and getting used to biking after swimming, so I was getting my locker set up and putting my stuff in order when I heard a clapping sound.

I turned around to see that Mr. Big #1 had sat down on the bench between lockers, but he was naked. His enormous 350 lbs. butt was firmly planted on a slotted bench in a communal locker room. I shuddered and nearly gagged. As I promise to myself, I will never touch that bench or any other bench in that locker room ever again.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

After thoughts

It's Thursday and my legs finally feel normal again. I can walk downstairs again without any trouble and I had some decent power on my bike rides today. Which is good, because I'm going to do my first post-race run today. Just an easy 2 miles to remind my legs what it feels like to run. Hopefully they cooperate.

I was looking over my splits. Each 5 km got slower, not surprisingly.
5: 23.35
10: 24.37
15: 25.05
20: 25.35

This race offered free massages to anyone who signed up. I thought that was going to be a treat. The problem was that the tent was full of people who ran the 5 km race and were getting full-body massages, so the people who ran the 10 km had to wait for them and the people who ran the half-marathon (21.1 km) had to be last to get a massage. Jake told me that the same thing happened to him after running the Forest City Marathon (London) in May. He eventually saw an open table and just lay down. Someone got mad that he cut in front of her kids, who ran all of 2.5 km, but he didn't really care. After all he had just run a marathon, that's 42.2 km, if you care.

Maybe I'm coming across like a jerk (it's my blog, I can do that here), but does anyone who ran 5 km really need a 45 minute full-body massage? I ran 21.1 and I only wanted my legs. There's got to be a better method of giving free massages. Surely there could be cut-off time frames for the other races and then when the half-marathoners come in, they get priority? But again, unless you set the world record, does anyone who ran 5 km really need a massage? So after signing up, I waited around for almost 15 minutes and still had at least 20 minutes to wait when I decided to leave. That could be part of the reason that it took four days for my legs to feel like legs again.