Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kayaker vs Swimmer

Dusted off the kayak on Monday; Sam paddled along with Stephanie and I on a two mile swim in Pine Lake. Sam often rides with me during my longer runs and has been a very supportive crew – carrying nutrition drinks and marking the miles for interval workouts – and it’s cool to get him involved with another aspect of the triathlon world. My new carbon paddle was much easier for Sam to swing than my old wooden one, but I still wasn’t sure if the little man could keep up. I quickly realized that a swimming adult is no match for a boy in a sea kayak; he literally paddled circles around us.
Ironman training can and does take away from family time, especially during the summer vacation months and so it’s good to be able to combine my workout with a little exercise and adventure for the kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The More You Have...

I’ve been pondering my consumerism lately. My friend Bill observed: the more you have the more you have to lose, kind of the compliment to Janis’ observation of “if you got nothing you got nothing to lose.” I guess the key is to find the middle ground between having nothing and having too much. How much is too much?

I can’t help but think that the age of American consumerism is over. Watching the Tour I noticed how small the cars lining the road were. A Prius would be considered a full-sized car in Europe. When we lived in Ireland our place was 980 sq feet, and it was comfortable. Times they are a changing; are you going to be a leader or a straggler, this is our choice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The American Dream?

My wife and I have pretty much lived the American housing dream: small starter house, a lot of sweat equity and then the move to the big house in the suburbs - big yard, three car garage, the works. Now were thinking of moving to a smaller more efficient place, if we get the place we are looking at we would lose 1300 sq. feet. My mom thinks I'm crazy.

My four brothers and I grew up in an 1800 sq ft rambler, we were literally shoulder to shoulder in that place. My mom always dreamed of moving to a larger home, where she could entertain - a home like mine. From my mother's point of view I've arrived, my wife and I have played the game correctly and now we get to enjoy it, but at what cost.

The expense of maintaining a large home is becomming astronomical. It's like having a hole in your pocket through which the money drains until there's nothing left. In addition to the financial burden, a big house means more crap. As the late great George Carlin observed, "a house is just a place to store your crap while you're out buying more crap." I think that the age of crap aquisition is over.

Now is the time to slim down and become more efficient. Keep what you need and ditch the rest.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting Lost

Getting lost can definately be an advantage when you need to log those big miles. Yesterday I had a 120 mile bike ride scheduled and was wondering how I was going to go more than a century as I was running short on both time and somewhere to go. I ended up getting lost up by the aptly named Lost Lake and after a few dead-ends and an unplanned back to where I started loop I managed to add 25 miles to my century.

I'm getting closer to being ready for Ironman Canada, but this 125 mile ride reminded me that I'm not ready to jump off of the bike and run a marathon just yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You...

Six weeks to Ironman Canada and I'm in the big volume portion of my training. Tomorrow I have a 120 mile bike ride and on Saturday I have a three and a half hour run. All of the effort I put in at the beginning of the season seems to be paying off as I seem to be able to absorb these big workouts without either burnout or injury. Yesterday, however, was a notable exception.

My coach is into speed, just finishing isn't good enough; I guess that's one of the reasons I went with him. Over the course of the past few months I've learned that in order to go fast you need to train fast, and yesterday I had a killer session of ten one mile repeats. I did the workout on a bike trail with my son on his mini mountain bike. He wore my Garmin 405 and rode ahead one mile and waited for me to catch up, dang I never knew a mile could be so long. He was a great coach, always ready with a high five and an offer of a pull from his water bottle. I managed to go sub seven minutes for each interval and even managed a best time of 6:30.

We did the workout during the heat of the day - 88 Degrees Fahrenheit - in order to acclimitize for Penticton, and the combination of heat and exertion had me sick to my stomach and dizzy till about eight o-clock that night. If you were to tell me a year ago that I'd be doing sub seven minute mile repeats I'd of smiled and kept walking, but I guess pain does bring progress.

Friday, July 11, 2008

All Good

Had a great race at the Lake Stevens Half Ironman last Sunday. Ended up finishing in five hours fifteen minutes, that's thirty minutes off of my previous best time. I'm struggling with the race report - I've become so good at writing about disappointing performances that detailing a good experience has become a challenge.

Woke up at 5:00 AM yesterday for a swim in the lake. My open water phobia is starting to subside, which is good news going into Ironman Canada.