Sunday, December 30, 2007
Had my first ride outside in what seems like months. We’ve had a fair amount of snow and a couple of freeze/thaw cycles that have left a lot of ice here and there, and turned the windrows (i.e., piled up snow) into something akin to rock. (Managed to damage one of my car's integral mudflaps on one of them yesterday). But, in general, the road surfaces are clear, no precip. in the forecast, and the temperature around freezing. For the whole ride the temp. stayed steady at 1°C (about 34°F), with no wind, so pretty good. I underdressed my feet and perhaps my torso, but the rest of me felt fine—oh, and I wore my glasses, which acted as a heat sink and gave me an ice-cream headache without the benefit of the ice cream! I'm so glad I got out today instead of doing a two-hour trainer ride watching meaningless pro. football games.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Marathons save lives!
The current British Medical Journal has an amusing, maybe even fascinating paper asserting that fewer folks die in marathons from heart attacks than would have died if roads hadn’t been closed for the marathon. BMJ is letting you read the whole paper for free here.
Rethought objectives for the year
I’ve been thinking about the objectives I drew up for 2007/08, and have come up with a slightly reordered and extended list:
1. Learn to suffer.
2. Improve my time management, with respect to working out.
2½. Be more consistent. This is a new objective, but I think it may well fall out of No. 2.
3. Get to the weight room twice a week at least. This was No. 4 in my Oct. 28 list; I moved it up because I need to increase my focus on it—I haven’t reached this objective in any seven consecutive days.
4. Improve my technique, in all three disciplines, but especially swimming.
4½. Improve the weaknesses Scott identified. This was in the biomechanical assessment I wrote about here. Especially after I worked with the trainer at my gym, I think that upper-body strength is important—because it’s so lacking!
5. Lose some weight: <170 lb.
6. Maintain a positive mental attitude. This is new, and is derived from an article by Jason R. Karp, “7 Habits of Highly Effective Triathletes”, in Triathlete No. 284 (Dec./07). The “7 Habits” are:
1. Effective training.
2. Consistent training.
3. Adequate recovery.
4. Setting goals.
7. Positive mental attitude.
Nos. 1-6 are covered in my objectives. No. 7 intrigues me. All my life I’ve alternated between cheeriness and gloominess. For a variety of reasons, my gloominess has dissipated as I’ve careened into my fifties, and I find that having a “positive mental attitude”, insofar as one can cultivate such a thing, helps a great deal. One example: in the gloomy days, if I lost a work-out, especially through some poor planning or lack of focus or commitment on my part, I was inclined to see it as proof of my unworthiness to aspire to an Ironman, and I would then bag my work-outs for a couple of days. Nowadays I’m much more inclined to shrug, make note of what I could, maybe, have done differently, and move on with my training plan. We’ll see how this goes, but I’m pretty, yes, positive about it.
I’ve also settled on the races I’d like to do:
Feb. 24: YMCA Half Marathon, Peterborough, Ontario
Mar. 30: Around the Bay Road Race (30 km), in the town of my birth, Hamilton, Ontario
May 19: Victoria’s Duathlon, in Waterloo County, Ontario
June 15: Muskoka long-course triathlon (swim 2 km + bike 55 km + run 15 km), in and around the resort town of Huntsville, Ontario
July 6: Peterborough Half Iron Distance Triathlon (swim 2 km + bike 90 km + run 21 km)
Sept. 7: Ford Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon, in Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin
Only Ironman Wisconsin is an “A” race. The rest are really “C's”: I’m doing them for fun, for practice.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
“6½ Questions for 2007”
One of the senior Triathletes of the Dead Runners’ Society sent “6½ Questions for 2007”. Her questions are in bold italics; my answers are not:
1. What one word describes your 2007 season? Does it match what you said last December in anticipation of this year?
2. What one word comes to mind when you think about your 2008 season?
3. Did you race any new distance this year or try any new type of racing or sport?
4. What was your greatest thrill or joy this year from training or racing?
Learning to swim in open water; being able to do the Ironman-distance swim in training and in the race (albeit slower than I wanted).
5. What was your biggest disappointment this year from training or racing?
DNF at IM Wisconsin.
6. What was your favorite race in 2007?
Only did one: IM Wisconsin, which I enjoyed despite DNF.