Archive | September 2013

Monday Morning Motivation #18

A little painful to watch at first but the message is very good.

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Meeting Someone I Admire

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered to help out with IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka. Originally I was supposed to be a participant but due to injury, my training was not where I wanted it to be so I decided it was best not to enter. I had volunteered the previous year at the same event and it was such a great experience, I decided to help out again.

The bonus to helping out this year was that one of the triathletes I admire was going to be in the race. That athlete is Mirinda Carfrae, the 2010 World Ironman Champion. Given that this was a smaller event, I knew that there was going to be chance to meet her, especially on the Saturday before the race as I was working the bike check in. Bike check was scheduled to end at 5:00pm and by 4:45pm Mirinda had not checked in her bike. I was beginning to wonder if she had withdrawn from the race for some reason. Not five minutes later we see Mirinda wheeling her bike across the parking lot to rack her bike. At this point of the day, my station was to keep an eye on the pros bike and not to let anyone go into pro in the bike area.

Once Mirinda got her bike all set up, she took time to talk with a number of people that were in the area. I asked her a question about her new bike, as this was going to be the first race she going to ride it in. Listening to Mirinda answer questions, you could hear the enthusiasm and passion she has for the sport of triathlon. She is also a very down to earth and genuine person which is one of the things I admire about her.

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Being a pro, as well as popular, the demand to answer questions and have pictures taken with Mirinda were high but she was more than happy to oblige. I was pleased to see that most people did not take to much of Mirindas time nor invade her space. Though I am pretty sure all those interested in have the same respect for all the pros.

On the day of the race, my job was to be a catcher at the finish line. This job entailed walking with the athlete once they crossed the finish line to ensure that they were ok and that if they needed assistance, get them to the right people. My wife was working the finish line area as well but as a medal presenter. As it was announced that Mirinda was coming through the finishing chute my wife passed me a medal and said “you present it to Mirinda as I know that it would mean a lot more to you than it would be to me”. I have the best wife! A minute later I was placing the finishing medal around Mirinda neck.

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I could not help but notice that though Mirinda had just finished the race, it looked as though she had just done a 5k run and not 70.3 miles. That is why the pros are pros, they make it look easy. Another thing I noticed at the finish line was that Mirinda waited for some of her fellow athletes to finish so they could celebrate, a true sign of sportsmanship.

It was interesting to hear the conversation between the women at the finish line. They talked about how hard the course was, the cheering crowds, the weather and beautiful area around the course. This was in contrast to when the men finished where they talked about how they crushed the course and what their time was.

I have been asked why I admire Mirinda. Well the simple answer is, her never give up attitude and positive energy she always seems to bring to races and interviews. The other thing I appreciate about Mirinda as well as the other women triathletes is their lack of trash talk. If there is one thing that turns me off from a lot of professional sports these days is the amount of trash talk as well as the lack of respect athletes have for one another. Do not get me wrong, I admire a number of the male triathletes as well but over that last number of year, trash talk has crept into that side of the sport.

I truly enjoyed meeting Mirinda and it certainly was a highlight to a year where things have not been going the best for me in my pursuit of a goal to complete an IRONMAN event. It is meeting someone like Mirinda Carfrae that helps lift my spirits to continue on my journey. Working the finish line also gave me inspiration as I saw so many like myself cross that line, reaching their goal and celebrating life.

If you have not volunteered at a race, I encourage you to do so. The people you see and meet will inspire you to take on a challenge that you never thought you could. Heck, make a weekend of it, head to Deerhurst to take in the spectacular scenery and get inspired by all the great athletes.

Until next time…. Mirinda Carfrae’s motto is a quote from Steve Prefountaine: “To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

Beaten, Bloody, Battered, Bruised but Not Broken

No doubt those that follow by blog have noticed my absence over the last week or so. Firstly, last week I went to Huntsville Ontario to work the Ironman 70.3 Muskoka where I got to see one of my favorite athletes. (I will have a blog post in the next couple of days)

Upon my return to Ottawa, I had to pack for a business trip to beautiful Sun Peakes Resort in British Columbia. This was going to be my first trip up in to the mountains of B.C. I was attending a networking and social media conference for Royal LePage. The plan was to spend some time post conference to do some biking, hiking and exploring the area before returning home.

The conference ended on Friday night and I made arrangement to go mountain biking with a colleague on Saturday morning. I awoke to yet another beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. The first stop of the day was to rent a bike and given that we planned to stay on a service road and trails, I decided to rent a hard tail bike. My reasoning behind this decision was that it was very similar to my trek DS 8.3.

I met my friend at 10:00 to begin our ride up Tod Mountain. This was my first time doing any exercise at altitude and it did not take long for me to feel the effects of the thinner air. Being a ski hill, you can imagine the steepness of the grade. Not long into our ride, we were met on the trail by a fox that was none to concerned about our presence. He walked right by us, as if we were not even there.

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As we continued up the mountain, it got harder and harder to pedal up. Now, some of the hills were no steeper than what I climb in the Gatineaus but the air was certainly thinner. According to my Garmin 310XT our highest elevation reached was 6800ft.

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We did not reach the top of the mountain before having to return to the resort due time. The view coming back down the hill was amazing, more so than going up. I made sure to take my time coming down as the road/trail was rough with a lot of loose rocks. As we got close to the bottom of the ski hill, there was one section that was very steep and I did not want to go fast on this section as I was concerned that I might crash.

Well, that was a good plan for about 30 seconds. As I pushed off over the edge, the back end of the bike went over a fair sized loose rock. This caused the bike to become very unstable and me as well. So off I fell on the left hand side of the bike and started falling down the very steep grade. When I came to a stop, I was about 25ft from the bike.

At first, I did not think there was anything wrong until I looked down to see blood squirting from my knee. Right away I placed my hand over the gash and applied as much compression as I could to stop the bleeding. Within a minute, my bike glove was soaked through and blood was running down my leg.

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It took another three to four minutes to get the bleeding under control. I poured some water over the wound just to see how bad it was and from first glance, I knew that I would need a stitch or two as there was a nice hole right in centre of my knee. On top of that, the area around the knee was swelling up something awful fierce.

Up the hill I went to get my bike to begin the ride down the last couple of kilometres back to the resort. My friend was ahead of me so he did not get to see my great acrobatic act off of the bike. When he saw me coming he knew things were not good. Of course he asked me how I felt and I said not too bad and that the knee looked worse than it actually was. The rest of the ride to the resort was done at a snails pace and it was then that my wrists started tightening up.

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Back at the resort, I returned my bike to the rental shop as well as starting to think what was my next move. Given that it was between seasons (biking and skiing), there was no medical help at the resort other than hotel staff with a first aid kit.

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They cleaned up my knee as best they could and recommended that I seek better medical attention as soon as possible. As I sat in a chair in the lobby, I began to shake which I knew was the first sign of shock and most likely a broken bone in one of my wrists. I asked my friend if he could take me to the hospital in Kamloops and I am ever so grateful that he could.

Once at the hospital, I was seen quickly by the medial staff. After the normal questions, poking and prodding, it was off to X-ray to have pictures taken of both wrists and my knee. Once the X-rays were done, it was back to the emergency room so they could clean up and stitch up my knee. Once I was stitched up, I was waiting to hear the results of the X-ray. One of the great nurses came into my room and asked me how my wrists were feeling. I started to answers her that they felt ok and that my left one hurt a little. It then dawned on me she asked the question in the plural form. So I said “it does not bode well that you asked about both wrists. Does that mean they are both broken?” She replied yes.

All the medical staff could not believe that I was so calm and relaxed given the damage that I did to myself. My left wrist had a number of breaks and may require surgery. The right wrist had a good clean break so they decided to put it in a splint so that I would have a little more mobility for my flight home the next next day.

I cannot say enough good things about the great medical staff at the Kamloops hospital. Each and everyone of the staff made me feel at ease and that they would look after me to the highest of standard. From the time I entered the hospital until I was discharged, it was less than three hours. In that time, they did a thorough medical exam, took multiple X-rays, cleaned up my knee wound, gave me a tetanus shot, put a cast on my left wrist, put a splint on my right wrist and put three stitches in my left knee. I love our medical system as all this treatment did not cost me one single cent. It did not matter that I was not a resident of the province, only that I got the medical treatment that I needed.

Though I ended up beaten, bloody, battered and bruised, I will not allow this accident to break my spirit, I am stronger than that! I have many goals to reach and this will only be a small detour on my journey to reaching my ultimate goal of completing an IRONMAN.

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Until next time……Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.

Monday Morning Motivation #17

Great message in this ad

One of My Biggest Fears….

I very rarely do a double blog post on the same day, but being a little under the weather today has allowed me a lot of time to read. I came across a couple of very interesting posts that many cyclist will find an interesting read. This first article is from a triathlete that had yet another unfortunate encounter on the road cycling.

Yesterday, I got hit by a car. It was something that I was always aware might happen again, but not in that day-to-day visceral fear that I dealt with for a while after my first accident. I’m mostly thankful that I’m the one writing this, rather than having someone else write it about me. I’m generally okay. No trip in an ambulance. No phone call from the police to Jill. No major surgery. I am very sore today. And I have some wicked road rash. But I don’t think anything is broken (though I will go today to see about x-rays on my hip, where I landed the hardest). And yet I don’t really know how much further away I was from dying than I was on Mar 23, 2010. One foot? One inch? What if I’d had more of a headwind? What if there had been a tailwind? What if…? I suppose I’ll never know, and I’ll just have to be thankful for that. Though it scares me.
This article gives some insight to cycling on the road:

Story Problem

During the morning commute, a cyclist is riding down a residential street at a healthy clip, going around 12 miles per hour. The street is designated as a bike route, but has no bike lane. To his right, there is a row of parked cars. To his left, a lane with light oncoming traffic. The cyclist tacks a course down the middle of the lane. Behind him, he hears the engine of a large pickup truck. The motorist, who had been traveling at 35 miles per hour, is annoyed at having to slow down for this biker, and doesn’t understand why he won’t get over and allow the truck to pass. Angrily, he waits for a break in the oncoming traffic, dips a wheel into the opposite lane, and floors it. He thinks he’s giving the cyclist about 16 inches of clearance, but due to distortion from the convex nature of his side-view mirror it’s really more like 13 inches.

One of my biggest fears is to be hit by a car while running or biking. When I started running and biking, I was guilty of going out without any form of ID or my cell phone. One day after a close call I realized that this had to change. Carrying photo ID was not something I wanted to do and it was then I remembered seeing an ad for ROAD ID. I checked their site and ordered my first ROAD ID.

Today, I ordered my second ROAD ID as some of the information on my current one is out of date. This time, I went with the Interactive ID as it allows me to update contact and emergency information easily, especially when traveling a lot. When you purchase the Interactive Road ID for the first time, it comes with the first year subscription included and then it is $10/year there after. This is a very small fee given that great service it provides.

Another great item Road ID has is their app:

The all new Road ID App is a great tool for runners, cyclists, hikers, walkers and basically anyone not glued to their couch. With amazing features like eCrumb Tracking, a Stationary Alert, and a custom Lock Screen creator, the Road ID App is your perfect training partner. With the ability to track your workouts in real time, your friends and family can stay better connected whenever you head outdoors…delivering peace of mind like never before.

I urge all my friends to at least down load the ROAD ID app but encourage you to get a ROAD ID in what ever form best suits your needs.

Until next time….Be safe

One of Those Runs….

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After yesterday’s enjoyable fun run, I was up early this morning to head into run club at the Running Room. When I looked in the mirror this morning, it certainly looked like I had a bad experience at a spray tan salon or have jaundice. It was great getting back to the Running Room as it has been a long time since I have attended run club.

Though most of the regular people I would run with were away for the Labour Day weekend, it was a great feeling to be back in the company of so many runners. Since Ottawa Race weekend, I have not been part of one of the Running Room clinics or have attended run club due my stress fractures. With the stress fractures healed, it was time to get back at it and there is no better way than to attend run club. There is always such great energy when you get a large group of athletes together.

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I went in today with no real plan other than to run somewhere between 6k and 10k just to get back into the swing of things. I was hoping to find a group to run with but decided to run by myself just in case my foot gave me any issues. The weather was nice so I decided to do a 6k reverse loop around the Rideau Canal. Once I did some dynamic and static stretching, I got my legs moving and ran up the Bank St bridge.

As I ran along the canal, things were feeling great. I was extremely happy with my stride, pace and form. The temperature started to rise and the humidity along with it and I was concerned as I did not bring any water with me. The normal LSD (long slow distance) routine is to run 10 minutes and then run 1 minute. This routine has served me well in the past so I kept with that routine.

Once at my turn around point, Pretoria Bridge, I again took stock of how my run was progressing so I looked at my Garmin to find that my pace was very good even though I was not pushing myself. By this point, I was soaking wet from sweat so I was somewhat concerned that not having any water was going to come back and bite me in the ass. 4k in and my right foot started to feel a little tender. Was it really tender or was my subconscious playing tricks on me?

Rather than push it, I eased up my pace a little just so that my foot would not be hitting the ground so hard. In edition to easing up my pace, I decided that I would cut my run a little short as well. Finishing my run I could not believe how great I felt, even with the little discomfort in my foot. When I looked at my Garmin I was pleasantly surprised at my time as I had expected it to be closer to 35 minutes given the lack of training in the run area.

On September 22, I am taking part in the Army Run with a goal of setting a PR (personal record) of a sub 30 minute 5k. The results of the run reaffirms that this goal is possible given that my time was just over 32 minutes for 5.2k even with doing 10 and 1s. At no time today did I feel like I was pushing myself to my limits which gives me a lot of encouragement heading into Army.

Today’s run was one of those run that I wish I could bottle up and save for those days when my running sucks. It felt so good that it left me wanting to run further but I have learned that when coming back from injury, less is more and that it is better to run further another day.

Until next time…..

“Remember the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”
-Sarah Condor