Saturday, December 20, 2008


Things are better now. Took it easy the last couple days as far as workouts are concerned, unless you count shoveling snow as a workout. That's still happening. The arm rehabilitation has been going well, painfully well. Still trying to push range of motion.

I was up early today, and looked outside about 6:30. It's still dark, and looked cold. The weather channel said it was about -29 outside, with a windchill about -39. I thought about running outside, for about 2 seconds. It isn't the cold, you can dress for that. It's the thought of slipping, and there is nowhere to run without the ice. The roads are polished hard pack in between small patches of black ice. Most, but not all my neighbours are pretty good about shoveling, but at the least you still have to cross roads.

Can you say treadmill? There, I thought you could. I read a hint on another blog about increasing the inclination so I tried that. I set the machine to 5%, and did some 9/1 sets. Six of them, after a warmup walk. This treadmill was set to the SI system, so it took a bit of doing the first set to get into the groove, but I found a pace to keep my heart rate about the bottom of zone 3. The last set was fun. I ran the inclination back to 0, and upped the speed. I hadn't thought changing the inclination would make that much difference. For a while the 'mill said I was running faster than 10 Kph, which is really fast for me. Then I dialed it back down a bit, and eased into a cooldown.

Once home again, I left my half full water bottle outside while I shoveled the driveway again, and got the morning papers. It was outside for about 20 minutes or so, and you could see it getting slushy. Maybe another 5 minutes and it would have been frozen solid.

(Brace yourself Kelly.) Once inside I poured the first cup of coffee for the day, and settled in to read the papers. No cat, she preferred to meow at the door where the other human was snoozing. It's a beautiful sunny day out there. If I owned cross country skis I'd be out in the big open area across the road, or down in Fish Creek.

We had a low key office Christmas party Friday. Lots of really good munchies, and an exchange of Secret Santa gifts. I ended up with a Best Buy gift card and a very full tummy. Somehow, with the workouts, I don't feel as much guilt about pigging out on goodies. (More on this later.)

Last night I found out Google Earth will show me a movie of the IMC bike course and watched that. Then watched some IMC video, marveling at the fitness of those pros. There was one cut directly from a running pro ( I think it was Lisa Bently), to some running age groupers. What a difference! I've spent some time thinking about how far my fitness has come in the last year or so. A year ago now I'd still be called pudgy at best. Susi was kind enough to say my six-pack was 'insulated'. Polar bear class insulation, I say, and there's still lots of it around. I admire Jenna's bravery in posting before and after shots. I'm not sure I'd do that. In fact, I'm sure I wouldn't, unless the the muffin top fans out there convince me otherwise.

But all that goes into musing about fitness goals, and less directly, life goals. I know that sooner or later during a training session or a race, my body parts are going to start asking 'why are you doing this to us? or, We can stop sometime Real Soon Now, RIGHT?' Two years ago, I'd barely heard of triathlon, and certainly never dreamed to actually doing one myself. So things change. I'm still thinking I'll only do the one Ironman. The 'brag the rest of your life' is having a strong effect on me right now. But really, Ironman is only one step in a bigger goal. I feel better about myself these days. I'm sharper and more with it mentally, most of the time. Physically, arm aside, I'm in better shape than any time since my teen years, and I'm loving it. I don't want that to go away.

This is going to sound odd, but I mostly really enjoy the training sessions. Times like earlier this week where I simply don't want to are very rare. They are balanced by times like this morning where I was looking forward to getting onto the treadmill. (Brace yourself Susi.) I can't wait till I can run outside, since a treadmill just isn't the same. I like how things feel as I'm running, both mentally and physically, even if there's still more jiggle than I'd like. I'm loving the bike sessions. Just hanging around people that have done Ironman is a learning experience. I see how far there is for me to go. I've always liked swimming, and just now I'm really missing my inner shark. But he'll be back.

Working out alone, (I train alone, thumpthump, thumpthump) mostly without distraction, gives me the time to think about who and what I am. Mostly I'm liking what I find, and I'm starting to work on the things I don't like. What's interesting is that the more I work out, and the more I hang around positive outgoing people, the parts I don't like are getting smaller.

Part of the time is thinking about training technique, but part of it my imagination is off the leash. I try not to think about races or preparation for races because that tends to drive up my heart rate. But I've thought about some of the documentation for the various software projects I'm working on, the logistical implications of flying cars, resolving the political situation here, wondering why anyone would want to push weights, a warm beach where scantily clad women bring fruity drinks with the little umbrellas in them, trying to make up new songs to go with existing music, and all kinds of other stuff.

Reading about the changes in Jenna's life has been really interesting, trying to get a grip on food issues in particular. My wife is a really good cook, and I eat really well, sometimes too well. That's one of the reasons I was so big. I've been wondering if I really want to go through a period where I write down everything I put in my mouth, and how much of it. I fear just how horrifying the results could be, and how shocked you'd all be. "You ate *HOW* many cookies???" There's a ton of advice about fitness on the web. I think I've got the workout and activities piece under control and in progress (thanks Greg!) The next big step would appear to getting better control of what I eat. Too many sweet things, and probably too much processed food. My problem is that nutrition is like accounting. It probably makes sense in some abstract way, but doesn't have any relevance to the real world. I speak as a guy that is incapable of balancing a cheque book. Proteins? Carbs? Sugars? Fats? Olioglithic triglicerides? It's all Greek to me. Yet somehow I'm going to have to get a grip on this. I can't go on forever using the "lotsa different stuff" model. Can I?


  1. Hey... I'll post my meal plan in a few days and a grocery list. The bottom line - clean eating (no shit) and moderation. Excersize is a drug - it gives you control and satisfaction just like other drugs. You, have become an addict. Congrats babe!! And Merry Ho Ho to you and Linda and them furry cats too!!!

  2. and posting my pictures itsy bitsy is a way of staying accountable - it does help me. Hopefully the final ones will be dramatic:)

  3. Triathlon is a drug -- I too, love how strong and fit I feel. Each year, I get fitter and fitter and like you -- I LOVE that feeling!:)

    Last week, I actually threw a big bag of 50lb. dog food over my shoulder (over my shoulder!) to carry it into the house. I didn't even realize what I was doing, until I got it through the door. In the past, I would have to hump it along a few inches at the time along the ground. :) :)

    I know exactly how you feel about the whole nutrition thing too -- I like to know what I am supposed to eat in plain speak. For example: small handful of almonds, and small handful of raisins, as opposed to x # grams of fat, protein, carbs whatever. I need real examples of food! :):)

    You have come a LONG way Keith -- triathlon has opened doors within myself that I never knew were closed. It's the only sport where there are so many positive people around -- you are so right about that!

    Here's to your continuing triathlon journey -- just be forewarned -- I SWORE I was only going to one Ironman. I'm going on numero cinqo...Hahahahahahaha!!!

  4. The food thing is intimidating to me. I use the excuse that I excersize so I can eat whatever I want. But I do not loose pounds and this irritates me. Not that I think I am heavy or overweight or anything like that, I just think about how much better I could be at biking and running without the extra 5-10. And I am an emotional eater...whenever I am stressed or upset or have something bad happen, I eat. In that moment, I just don't care. Adn my work has been incredibly stressfull for the last several months. I have not yet found the secret to loosing those 5-10...I thought the training would do it but it has not. And this has been disappointing but I soldier on!! Because like you all have said, it is when I am on my bike, or on a run or even at the pool, gives me time to think and plan and figure stuff out.


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