Training after an Ironman Season

Yesterday as I was running, I was reminded of a run I did in the spring of 2010.  After that run I wrote this poem to try and capture that moment.

I love to run.

The Run

Flying through the doors; like a school boy on the last day of class, I move towards the road.

One foot down and another forward; I breathe deep,

The wind caress’s my face and cool air moves through my lungs. With a rush of blood, my body ignites. It knows…

Electricity alive, I cannot ignore the cry to run…as far and as free as I can.

Sun basking in my face, trees whispering and cheering me on…I cannot turn back, I must stay forward.

The cars buzz by; ignoring me, missing the experience that could also be theirs should they choose.

A fork approaches, do I turn or do I stay the course?

There is no turning back, and life is in front of me not behind. There are many miles left unturned and a world is waiting.

The decision is made before I need to choose, my legs and my arms have already decided and I go forward. This day, this warm spring day, is a gift and must not be ignored.

Running along the edge of the road, it is me and the world blending together. My thoughts, stress and desires slip away and are replaced only with beating of my heart and the air filling my lungs,

I am alive and could run forever.

Over and Out


Lessons learned from 2011

In my mind, I have been rewinding  and reflecting the year over and over, trying to sort out the good and bad from 2011.

It’s been a great year, where I physically took myself to places to I had never before believed possible. Here are some of things I learned.

Some Geek stuff…

Periodization and Peak VS Random

In 2011, with Ironman coming in July, I really needed to focus. In Joel Friel’s  book the Triatheletes Training bible, he speaks about this topic. I gave myself over to my coach early on the year ( confusing statement I understand, I’ll explain a little later ) and he had me peaking right at Ironman Lake Placid. It is truly an amazing feeling, being physically so fit, so strong and so ready for the race. Peaking for a race is different then being ready for a race. More often then not, we run races based on fitness and experience and this is especially true with Random training. Continue reading

Muskoka Ironman 70.3 Race Report

Well 2011, you were a heck of a season!

On Sunday, I closed out my season racing the Muskoka 70.3. The race itself, is set in stunning terrain with no limits to finding beautiful scenery. For anyone who has questioned whether they should race this one, I say do it!!…but consider yourself warned! I went into this race thinking I was racing something comparable to Timberman and boy was I wrong. I love a good challenge and I found one.

This was not my “A” race for the season, so basically my plan was to go run on fitness and do a solid race, but not worry too much about the seconds.

We stayed at a resort called HVresortHidden Valley which is walking distance to Deerhurst.

Continue reading

Tomorrow is Race Day

So tomorrow is race day and I am interested to see how it goes. I am definitley hoping that my fitness and drive pull me through, because I have allowed myself to slip into a slow mode since Cornwall.

For anyone that has not been to Muskoka before, it’s a slice of heaven tucked north of Toronto. The view is simply amazing and with the race being at held at one of the premiere resorts in Ontario does not hurt at all. We’re staying at a sister resort just about 1Km down the road so its great. No driving race day means nice and easy!!

We arrived yesterday afternoon around 3:30pm and once we had our stuff, went right to the back deck and had a beer. Okay…maybe two. This is “sign number one” that I am in the beginning of season end mode because I would never have considered this earlier in the season.

I had a flash of fantasy that saw me leaving my life in Eastern Ontario and moving here. Ahhh but the glory of reality came back soon enough.

So whats on the docket for today?

We’re heading out for a swim around 8:00 am this morning, and will probably follow that up with a really small bike ride. Check the bikes in, get our gear, and then chill out all afternoon. A pasta buffet is available at the resort here, so we’ll probably minimize traffic and just eat here.


All in all, so far a great weekend and I am really enjoying it.



Just for fun

My coach recently competed at the Hy-Vee Worlds in the age cat championships.

It’s still very much an unrealised dream of mine to compete at a “Worlds” anything, and given my age ( 40-45 cat), its not going to be easy. I accept that challenge and I also believe that it will happen because I believe I am capable. Cocky? No..not really, I just choose to believe as opposed to accept defeat. (cue – My Body  by Young the Giant)

So back to my coach…by email today, he was talking about how much fun he had. I need to quote him

“…We had lots of fun !  Laurie went hard and came third.  I went strong , but really just enjoyed it as much as you can at 95% instead of 100%, and was smiling and chatting up fans and spectators all the way.   Felt no pain,( except the last 300m uphill at the finish line), and smiled  the whole way.  Very nice way to end the season.

Try it in Muskoka.  Very fun, no pressure….”

Richard is an amazing guy, and when he says he had fun, he means it. I can very clearly see him chatting it up with people as he says he did. From a personality perspective, he is a lost mold and you cannot help but like him. But it’s his last words that strike me…

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Back to the Pool–the end of Summer.

This morning I had a choice, I could drive to Cornwall and do the 5K Steeplechase or go to a pool and do drills.

The steeplechase is a 5K race the Cornwall Multisport club puts on and is a lot of fun. The event has wave starts based on your age. This, in theory, levels the playing field and anyone is capable of winning the event. There will of course be two times…the race time and your time based on the wave start.

I woke up to rain this morning and it cemented the deal. Given that Cornwall is 1 hr 30 minutes away…it’s a tough sell to go that far for a 20 “some” minute race in the rain.

So there I was, jumping into the pool and looking around underwater. If I could have sighed…I would have. It did not seem like long ago I had left the pool in utter disgust and burnout from hours of lap swimming.

Living in a Northern Climate, we triathletes have a very narrow window to swim outside (even with a wetsuit). We normally have to wait until mid June to start and begrudgingly accept the reality that by the end of August we’re losing our ability to swim consistently. Oh sure; we will swim outside beyond August, but its hit and miss and the temperature is dropping. It becomes the pool or nothing.

So I grabbed my workout sheet and started reviewing what I was up to for the morning session. It was an upper body workout that involved some basics and then some sprints. Not very long and not very hard, but considering I am within a week of a “B” race….probably perfect. See below; Continue reading

Post Ironman Lake Placid – Where I am and What I have been doing.

Last week my brother suggested I write a blog. I asked who in the world would really care about what I have to say, my travels and or my exploits. The truth is, I don’t actually believe many people do. There is nothing incredibly intriguing about me and I am certainly not the “Worlds Most Interesting Man”. But maybe that is not the point…maybe the Blog should never be about other people reading it. With this in mind, I come back to my blog with a new approach and if by chance you are a stranger… “Welcome!”

Post Ironman

The two days following ironman were marked with pure exhaustion and rest. Monday we drove back after checking out the “Store” and enjoyed the pure elation of knowing what we had done. When I arrived home I slept off and on until Wednesday. My body was tired, not sore and “wrecked”, just tired. Aside from the race, I think the 9 months of training and 12 months of stress leading into it were releasing themselves finally.

I thought I would be “gentle” with myself and allow myself the opportunity to recover. I decided to give myself  a full ……7 days off. generous! Okay to be clear, I was not going back into it at pre-ironman levels. It was a gentle ramp up. But it was too much too soon. I started showing signs of body fatigue, which I ignored. My knee started bothering me, I had some shoulder discomfort and I developed a cold. I am not stupid, I preach the basics and I know how important it is to allow proper recovery. But…I ignored it.


What have I been doing? Continue reading

IronMan Lake Placid 2011 Race report

I admit, that I am a little embarrassed about submitting a race report for Lake Placid almost a month after the event. The truth is, I’ve been struggling with how to combine that day into a quick enough read that would also benefit those who read it. I came to conclusion, that there is no way to do it justice, so all I can do is talk about the day.

I traveled down to Lake Placid with my best friend Dale, who was also doing IMLP for the first time. We were like two kids before Christmas and once we was like we had arrived at the North Pole. Coming down over the hill and seeing Mirror Lake was a ” HOLY S*$T Moment!” even though we had see it a few times. This time, it was different

Race Morning

DSC_6792Up at 4:00 am, I was quite fortunate that I had 4 friends with me who had also signed on. Two of them like myself, were doing their first full Ironman. We sat on the front porch of our rented cabins eating our breakfast and nervously chatting about the day and how we felt. The conversation was really just a façade and I am quite sure carried no real intelligent “save the world” talk. We gathered our items together and headed into town knowing our families would be following us later. Into the transition Zone I performed a last minute check on the bike and ensuring that I had air in the tires. Once everything was in check, we headed towards the water still chit chatting about the upcoming event but feeling really excited. The energy was in the air and you could not help but get caught in it.

The Swim – I was quite happy with my swim and came out of the water at 1 hr 14 minutes.

DSC_6887I entered the water about 6:35 to warm up a bit. There was something very surreal about the start of the event that is hard to describe. The excitement was there, but also the uncertainty of the day to come. I decided early on, that I was not going to hide from the swim (as if you could with 2600 + people anyway) and put myself about 10 meters back from the start line. Yes, I would get swam over, but that would happen no matter what for the type of race I wanted to complete. When all the racers took to the water…it was amazing and when the crowd gave us our final cheer…exhilarating. I will not bore you with specifics of the swim. The laps up and down the lake are full of people but you can find your own space if you try. Going into the turns…remember that everyone is funneling into the same narrow corridor…so know that you will get hit and kicked. This is where some of those dreaded sprint drills in the pool from the previous winter pay off. My advice – get through quickly. The second funnel point is the beach landing. Same issue here, it does not matter how much space you had… you will lose that space as people come together to get out of the water. Continue reading