Friday, March 19, 2010

My New Vibram Five Fingers KSO

So I got myself a Pair of Vibram Five Fingers. The KSO style.

I went to MEC and got sized. I have now put them on and they feel, well, normal. I did a small run in them. Less than 5 minutes. I noticed right away that I running on the balls, or mid point of the balls of the feet.

I will be getting back into training as I am preparing to run my Marathon A Day across Canada. So I will try out some of my shorter distances with these new thingies. on.


So here are my new shoes. Can't wait to try them running!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Half of the Goofy Challenge 2010 is over.

Now all that is left is a full marathon tomorrow!

The run was fantastic. It was truly one of the best organized marathons I have done. Granted I only done Chicago, and then the Marathon part of the Ironman. It was well organized and well controlled. Truly an event.

Con's; some of the same old runner issues. A group of people walking side by side. Not letting the runners through. Walkers that don't turn to the right. One weird quirk, there were all these school bands there to keep the runners motivated. It was really great. The only thing that was odd, was there were all these big diesel busses sitting with there engines running. So all the runners are there almost single file getting nothing but exhaust fumes. Other than that there really wasn't anything else to note.

Pro's; Well a your running through Disney World! What else needs to be said. The others runners are all mellow. No one is running for time, or personal bests. So people were pretty supportive.

One thing I have noticed about endurance sports. The fellow runners are usually very supportive of the others. You get the occasional (usually male) that like to tell other people how to run. Ya know the guy that tells ya some stupid point about your running form, or some tip that should make you run faster, or some gear that will help you finish stronger. I usually ignore the know-it-all's. Other than that it was a really good run.

Looking forward to doing the full tomorrow

Oh my Spot and my Video recorder did not function at all. Don't know why. Will check it out.......now

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have arrived at Disney World for the Goofy Challenge

I am in Disney world. It was the flight from hell with the security restrictions, lost luggage, hotel not ready or 12 hours after a being up for 24 hours. Then we spend one day at Disney World and I get sick. Perfect.

Have not run for 4 days. Keep getting up at 6:00 ready to run, but this cold is kicking my ass. So I am taking a rest day today. Slept till 3 pm. and staying in the hotel.

So I am eating light and dealing with a fever, sore throat and more snot that I ever thought possible. Just want the headache to go away.

I am hoping to feel better by tomorrow, get some running in and meet up with my family.

Back to bed now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

2010 Goofy Challenge at Disney World

So I thought about making a new blog for the Goofy Challenge. Then I thought I am actually quite lazy. I have two blogs; one is about life with a brain injury. The other was my journey to the Ironman. I am going to keep this blog and even though I am no longer on my journey to the Ironman (I will be doing another one down the road) I am going to use this blog and my sponsors information and log my road to the Goofy Challenge.




This should be interesting because it's one thing to train for the Marathon, it's another thing to wake up the next morning and run a half-marathon. So join me as I research and document what works and what does not work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Ironman Ink

Thanks to Sacred Heart Tattoo in Vancouver. A special thanks to Lacey. who was a rockstar!! Truly an artist, the whole crew there were awsome, but she was the icing on the cake. Lacey's Portfolio
I came in and I told them what I wanted. They got it right on and rocked out this kick ass tattoo. Truly professionals and a great bunch of people. Thanks for helping me with my dream guys!!
Thanks again Lacey for being part of my Ironman dream. Oh I did of course wait the suggested time before taking off the bandage, really I did! It only looks goopy because I reapplied stuff...yeah.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am an Ironman



Mandy and I arrived in Penticton on August 27th. The drive there brought back allot of memories for me. I used to camp near Penticton as a kid. The drive there was just stunning. The weather was perfect, we were not rushed. One thing that we both noticed was the amount of devastation the pine beetles are having. This is very sad as the interior has always been such a prestige forest for me. Compared the city it was always so remote and raw!

We get to Penticton and out hotel. We were staying at the Apple Tree Inn. It was inexpensive and as close as we could get to the Ironman. (Another comment about Penticton, I understand that the Ironman is a big part of your income. I get that it has been hard year financially. It has been hard for the athletes as well. To make us pay for a minimum of a week for a hotel is just price gouging. I am already missing work for the days I am up in Penticton. I can’t afford to take a week off. You would have more people come up and they in turn would spend more money. You don’t need to milk from the few people that can make it. Make it more affordable and you would have a plethora of people to feed money off of.) The hotel is just a short drive from the start and the owners were very nice. Their son was also participating in the event.

The entire town is awash with energy. There tri bikes everywhere. There are people running and biking up and down the streets. Mandy commented to me “everyone looks like you”. Meaning that everyone was dressed in running gear, they all had this look of someone who has worked out hard for at least a year.

We unpack that night and the next day we go to the expo and I get in line for my athlete’s bib number, my stickers with my bib #, and my running bib. I get a free water bottle (more on the swag later) and a typical package of many events. Local coupons, town maps etc.

After waiting in line for the athlete’s package I join Mandy in a line for some free Crock slippers. While waiting in line I hear some noise and decide to go check it out. I am walking through the expo and I see a test center for the new Cervelo P4. After drooling a little bit and talking myself out of a test ride. I notice a video camera and some news stations all around a small group of people.

I take a seat with some other people and realize that this is the press room for the pro athletes. They are all there. Tereza Mace, Belinda Granger, Jasper Blake, Luke Bell, just to name a few. The meeting is near it’s end when I get there and the athletes all make a quick exit, except for one, Jasper Blake. He is the only one that stays to sign autographs and talk to the fans. I work my way up and introduce myself as he is the one that dropped off my 7systems to my job. I shake his hand and chat for a minute. Then I head back to Mandy.

We leave the expo and head out about town. I have an athlete’s dinner and mandatory athletes meeting after words. Mandy and I head there only to find out it is for athletes only. I try and argue that I am a person with a disability and that Mandy is needed for me. I won’t remember what happened in the meeting. No dice, we are told that we can go back into town and get a ticket for her. Mandy says “don’t worry about it, I will go to the hotel”

I feel really bad. I am torn between going to the meeting and leaving my wife. We are now tying up the huge line. Mandy again tells me to go. I reluctantly go in.
The food was all vegetarian, that was perfect. I ate allot. There were salads, Lasagne, breads, lots and lots of fruit. When I get to the table to eat there are bottles of water, Gatorade, soft drinks, everywhere. I sit down and eat. I am surrounded by entire meeting hall of other people just like me. There is some tension as no one really knows what to talk about.

I ask the guy next to me if he has done an Ironman before. He states he has, but this is his first time in Penticton. This starts a conversation between us so I don’t feel like I am by myself.

After the dinner the Athletes meeting started. It was all about drafting, the rules of the road, time limits, swimming info, etc. Pretty typical stuff, if I do it again I think I will skip the line ups and have a nice dinner with my wife and an early night.

The next day is all about checking in your bike and your T1 and T2 bags. This is hard for me because of my brain. It takes a few hours of concentration. I need to plan ahead what I will need for my bike, my run. On race day I will bring my wetsuit and a dry clothes bag to put the things I change into.

I get everything all together and after I dropped of Mandy for her Spa treatment (this was her anniversary and birthday present all in one) I head back home and pick up all my stuff to drop off.

The gear drop off goes really well. The volunteers were amazing from start to finish. Everything was clearly marked and people are literally directing you exactly where to go.

So I walk away, with no bike, no Garmin, no running shoes. All I have left is my swim suit!! It is really happening. I drive out and pick up Mandy she is in a better mood and looks so beautiful. We take a nice slow drive back through Penticton. We go a little tourist and take some pics and just take in the beauty of the town. We head back to the hotel and take the night slow.

We were up at 4:30am. I had prepped everything the night before. I have my juice, my oatmeal, and I take some yogurt and fruit and granola with me. I have my green tea and we head out.

Mandy drops me off and I head through the entry point. It’s all on me now. The last year of training, the coaching, the hill training, the running, the swimming, getting sick, moving. It’s all come to this. I go zen!! I go and sit down with a bunch of other athletes that are all just visualizing the day. I do some stretches, I go pee about 5 times. I strip into my cycling pants and I start putting Chamois Butter on my body.

I slowly put on my wetsuit, I am paying attention to the announcer and I hear the words I have been waiting to hear. “Athletes please make you way to the swim start” We head through the timing section to make sure all the athletes are there. I head into the water.

This was something quite amazing to see. All these swim suits in the water, 2000 plus athletes all hanging out in knee deep water. A big huge start line dragging across the lake, the buoys are set up in the swim path. I take the opportunity to get on my swim cap, and my glasses, my ear plugs and I drop into the water. I go for a light 100 meter swim and get my body temperature down.

The pro’s are off. Amazing to see, so fast. Then it is time for everyone else.

I am off. I am in the water. Someone is on top of me, someone is front of me. Someone is beside me. They are everywhere. I get kicked in the head. I am ok, I was prepared for this. Someone tries to swim over me. I get aggressive. I elbow them, they go away. My feet hit someone. I don’t care, I am not trying to kick you, but if you swim into my feet there is nothing I can do. I start to get into my groove. The swimmers start to span out. I get to the half way point and I start to head back. I am doing well, and then my right leg starts to spasm. I yell out in pain into the water. I stop swimming and get run over. I can’t stop, so I start swimming. I close my eyes and deal with the pain. I try to move my foot, and stretch my calf muscle. It’s not going to happen, the muscle is locked. The spasms calm down, and the pain settles. It is now just a dull deep pain. I stop kicking and just swim.

I get to the swim end and head out of the water. I swam 3.8km in 1:23:58.

I am limping up the beach and head to the “strippers” I have already taken the top of my swim suit down and I lie down and the strippers rip of the rest. They pull me to my feet, and shove the suit at me and then they direct me to my T1 section. I limp to my bag of my swim gear.

I had brought a change of bike shorts with some extra padding and I put more Chamois Butter on me. I made a mistake of running into the girl’s tent before being redirected by a volunteer. I am still limping, confused and excited. The swim is over. I am now getting to my bike.

My calf muscle is still tight, I have an argument with with my Garmin, and I try not to run into any other cyclists. So many people yelling and screaming, so many cheering, it’s crazy loud, it’s exciting. I am doing this.

The bike is awesome. The city is amazing, the course amazing. My leg is killing me. I am able to adjust my pedaling so I am putting less pressure on my right calf. As soon as I start biking all my gels, and my homemade energy bars and my salt tablets fall out of my cycling shirt pockets. There are plenty of aid stations and I am able to get water, and bananas, and fruit’s. I have my Vega Sports Drink in a condensed amount in my bike bottle. So I just add water.

I hit the first hill and I hear my name being yelled out. I look over and there is Marcel and Hans and Mandy!! I am so surprised. Here I am biking up Richter pass. I am huffing and puffing. Out of nowhere is Marcel yelling at me!! It was amazing it was just what I needed. My biking buddy had made it to Penticton just to cheer me on. Later on Hans, Mandy, and Marcel drove past me. Yelling at me and getting some video. It was great.

I finish the bike in 180kl in 6:27:35

The same incredible volunteers are there at the bike finish T2. They take my bike and direct me to my T2 bag. I change my pants. It feels so good. I put on my water belt, and realize I forgot my hat. I have my classes and I put on my shoes. I am out of T2 in 11:37.

I start strong, mostly running off of pure adrenaline. My calf hurts, but I figure I can run it off. If I get some blood flowing. I head out. I don’t get very far. Maybe 10kl before I have to walk. I am limping. I am walking/running. I stop and try to stretch. My calf is locked. It is as hard as brick. I try punching it, I try stretching it. Nothing, it was locked. I resigned myself to walk. I was ok with this. I had a few hours to walk it before the cut off time. So I figured I could walk a marathon before midnight. I met with a few other people who were walking as well. I got to chat with them, and meet some incredible people.

At one point on the walk a group of us past a screaming baby dear. It freaked me out. Seriously it was screaming at all these strange runners. At some point my leg loosened. I don’t know what happened. It just unlocked. It was around the half way point on the marathon. I started running again, my run for the 2nd have was way faster than the first half.

There were a few more points where I walked, but I mostly ran. I came back into town and I was blown away. So many people, so many lights, I was running with everything I had. I was in my own world. I just wanted to here. “David McGuire you are an Ironman”. I pass the finish line no loud speaker notice that I am an Ironman. I raise my hands and I did it.

More volunteers directing me where to go, I get my shirt, my metal, my hat. I am so confused; I am directed to a photographer. It is done. I have done it. I am an Ironman.

I make my way to my bike, I am limping I get my bags, they are all organized, I take out my cell phone and I call Mandy. We manage to meet up and start walking to the car.

As I start to get my bearings, I realize after words that I could have had a massage, and some food, and some other things. I just wanted to relax. I see Mandy. She is an angle, so beautiful so happy, I am so excited to see her. I did it Baby!! We did it!!

All that hard work, all that effort, I am an Ironman. Yes I am an.

A truly special thanks to so many people. My trainer, Carla Hastert, to Training Bible Coaching.

Blueseventy and Shawn Lucas. Thank you guys so much for everything. I was so fast in the water.

To 7systems and Jasper Blake! Not only for the supplements but the incredible customer service and professionalism, you guys rock.

To Skins and specifically David Decker for you support and hard work to get me so much of your product they made my training sustainable, and my recovery faster. (I forgot my skins socks when I left for Penticton. I think if I had had the shorts or pants I would have been able to deal with the calf spasm) Amazing product. I can’t say enough.

To Vega, not only for the fantastic products i.e. the sports drink, the Whole food Health Optimizer, The Thrive Diet book by Brendan Brazier that gave the recipe for my own energy bars. These kept me fuelled not only during training but during the race itself.

To Sugoi for the best cycling pants and some amazing clothing; The best cycling gear I have worn. I have worn allot!!

To Speed Theory in Vancouver. For increadible staff, great service and a great bike.

To Brooks for the Dyad’s; All 9 pairs of them from the Dyad 3 to the Dyad 5

To Foot Solutions for the support, the job, the shoes, putting up with me and my quirks, and so much more; Thank you all so much!

To my Family for putting up with me, for all your encouragement and positive thoughts




To Marcel for cycling with me and making me push myself on the hills. Richter Pass was nothing compared to the hours and hours of hills we did.

To Hans for driving all the way up with Marcel!!





My wife, Mandy I love you. Thanks does not come close to describe how much gratitude I have for you. I push myself so hard, but it is nothing compared to what you do every day. I see you. I know what you do, and I know who you are. I love you. Thank you.


To so many other people that helped me get here. All of you played a part in helping me overcome so much.

Not bad for a guy in 2005 was sitting in the hospital with unknown future ahead of him. Thank you all!!

I am an Ironman

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I am in Penticton for Ironman Canada 2009

Mandy and I arrived two days ago. It has been a pretty steady input of information. A few last minute workouts. Finding the course, the way around town. Getting adjusted to the weather, the neighborhood.

Yesterday I did a 20 min swim in the lake. Made sure I have all my gear for the swim and that everything works. I went for a 45 min bike and got used to a bit of the route. I then had a 20 min run and just went straight down the road and back.

During the race pick up. When we get our chips, and our race numbers. Mandy and I toured the athlete's area and I got to catch the tail end of the Pro's media coverage. I saw Jasper there and Belinda Granger. There was also a few others that I recognize from the Triathlon Magazines.

Penticton is a awash in energy. There is such an increadible feeling of support, good will, athletic drive. It is in the air. Mandy said, as we driving through the town. "They all look like you"

What she meant was that everwhere people are on tri-bikes, run close, water bottle containers. Everyone is wearing sports gear. At the athletes meeting I was concered about the dinner. I had no reason to be. It was all pretty much what I eat during training. Lot's of fresh fruit, rice salads, whole grain pasta, no meat. Truly an amazing experience.

After the dinner, we had the athlete's meeting. They walked us through the rules of the course. I.e. drafting, information about the open course. I thought that was odd, but I guess I didnt know what to expect. It's a long bike course. How could they close off to traffic.

I then came home and got my T1 & T2 bags together. Put in everything I would need. With my TBI this is hard and I have to give to Mandy for helping me remember, organize and plan.

This morning we woke up and took it easy. I skipped my workout as I had to get my bike and bags to the athletes tent pretty early. I don't think missing one last brick workout will make or break the race at this point.

Odd little notes.
- Jasper Blake was the only pro athlete that stayed to meet the fans. I got to say hello and thank him for his help. None of the other Pro's hung around.
- The town is awash with energy. Everywhere you go people are saying hi to each other. I think that we all know what they have been through, and what it took to get here.
- The volunteers are amazing. Words don't do it justice. The overwhelming amount of support is amazing. This day will be all about me, I have everything. It will be up to me.

I can't thank Training Peaks, and Training Bible Coaching enough. I would not be here without them. My coach has been amazing. This has been a long journey. In a way I am looking forward to it being over. I have added so much to my life, and so many changes that I will continue. I am healthier, I am happier.

WIsh me luck

Next is the Goofy Challenge. I have already registered

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Off to Penticton Ironman Canada 2009

So I have done the training. I have read the books. I have changed my diet. I have tried different shoes, gel's, drink mixes, energy bars. I have been hurt, I have been sick, I have faced some incredible challenges. I have continued to work. My wife still loves me (she says just a little bit less) Now is the drive to Penticton to put all to work.

Tomorrow is the athlete meeting. I have surprise for Mandy that she will get a 4 hour spa treatment and body wrap, pedicure, manicure, body rub....you name it she will be rubbed, soaked and pampered. She was deserves it for dealing with me while I go about this Journey.

I figure if I can make it to the run I am good. I am stoked, I am rested, I am fed, and hydrated. A couple days of some light workouts and the big day on Sunday the 30the.

Mandy has never been to the interior of BC so this will be a nice trip. I grew up going to Osoyoos as a kid. So I am familiar with Penticton and the area. Beautifull.

Ok I am out of here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Penticton Ironman Bib # 657

That's right I got my bib # 657.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sugoi RS Cycling Short Vs Descent Aero X




I have been cycling in the Sugoi RS Cycling Short with the Formula FX chamois on my long bikes for about three months. I have two pairs of long distance bike shorts with extra padding I alternate, the Sugoi RS and Descent Aero X.

I find the padding in the Sugoi RS to be adequate but the Descent is more comfortable for rides going past the 5 hour mark. I find as the ride goes on, the Sugoi starts to chafe slightly. I start changing the position in the saddle more and more to get comfortable.

However I find the Descent to be tighter in my legs. Now, I have large thighs, even for a cyclist. My wedding suit had to be custom altered and they almost couldn't do it. Maybe because I was so fat as a kid, or the long distance bikes I did at a young age. No one else in my family has huge thighs. I am a freak in thigh size, I guess.

Anyway, for me it comes to comfort for the really long ride. While I have yet to complete Ironman Canada (August 30th baby) I am trying to decide between the two.

I have yet to decide and I might choose to wear a specific Tri short under my wetsuit in lieu of either Sugoi or Descent.


Both have a solid moisture wicking ability. They also both share the same felxibility in the majority of the fabric. I found they both made for comfortable saddle usage.

Pro's : The Descente was just a little more comfortable on a really long ride in the butt. I did find the Sugoi however to feel better after the bike.

Con's : The Sugoi started to feel uncomfortable after the 4-5 hour mark. I started shifting allot. While the Descente started to feel tight in the thigh.

Conclusion. While I find the chomois in both to be very comfortable. The Descente Stealth Chomois feels thicker and more shock resistant. However it does start to tighten on my thighs. The Sugoi has great shock protection, and both are equal in the "no chaffing" area. At the end of the day when going for a long distance ride that I will be ending with a marathon, for the triathlon. I am going to go with the Sugoi. I don't want to risk any reduction in circulation to my legs that I tend to feel in the Descente. That being said, for just a great long ride with no run after it. I would go for the comfort of the Descente. I just shift less in the saddle when I wear it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A look at two of my workouts in the last week.

A quick look at two workouts.

Workout # 1: Bike 2:00 Custom
Bike - sorry just getting this to you!!!!

Warm up for 20 min easy pace. THEN do 5 x 3 min intervals AT hard effort - Big chain ring in the front - middle gear in the back RPMS around 85. These should get your HR up. Spin easy for 3 min between each one. THEN ride remainder of time in zone 2!!!!


Workout # 2: Custom 0:20 Custom
after bike strength

wall squats - 4 x 30 sec. Lunges- (regular ones) 4 x 15 reps. Hamstring curls on the ball 3 x 10 reps. Bridge on ball - both feet. 4 x 30 sec


That was my last Tuesdays workout.

Last Sunday looked like this.

Workout # 1: Bike 5:00 Custom
Bike - SAME as last week in regards to nutrition!!
Each hour do your plan AND keep at steady pace. Breathing should not be labored, just steady effort.


Workout # 2: Run 0:45 Custom
Run - off the bike, break into thirds

1st 15 min EASY. THEN pick up pace just slightly for 15 min. Back to easy for remaining time
.

The next two weeks are going to intensify. Then I get a bit of a rest week. That just means no weights!!

I am so tired, and pushing so hard. I love every minute of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Best workout of my life.

So today I had a great bike/run. The weather was perfect, the workout was epic. I had a 3 hour bike followed by a 1:30 run

When I was training for the Chicago Marathon in 2006 I had a moment on a long run day. I was late getting to the long slow run on the Sunday, because of my brain injury I don't make a memory of where I am. I get lost really easy; I have no sense of where I am, where I have been, or where I am going. I have no reference point.

I liked the running clinics because I was with a group. As long as I was not last, I would not get lost.

On this Sunday I was late. The group had already gone out without me. There was a map left for me by my trainer. I had a new Garmin 305 and figured Ok I could do this. This was the longest run we would do. It was a 32kl run, from downtown Vancouver to the Quay in New Westminster.

Not only did I finish the run, but during the run I had some realizations that I could do this. I would finish my first marathon. Despite my injuries, despite my own mental demons, despite some missed days training, I knew when I finished the run, that I would finish the marathon. I just felt it.

Today I had a very similar day on my Ironman training. It was only a 3 hour bike, but I had hill drills and cadence drills. So it was a very intense 3 hours. It was followed by a 1:45 run. I was on my run and I had that moment. I can do this.

Perhaps it was runners high, I don't know but everything seemed to click. I thought about all the people that helped make this happen. Mandy who is the best wife in the world. Who amidst her full time school, working, and tutoring three kids, finds the time to support me in all my wishes. Let me tell you I am the definition of "high needs"

My coach Carla Hastert who is amazing. She has helped me out so much. I would not know what to do, when to do it, or when to stop without her. She truly is an outstanding coach, so supportive, and understanding to my specific needs. The Training Bible coaching and Training Peaks who I upload my workouts too so Carla see them.

Garmin for making these incredible devices that allow me to know what I am doing and not over or under do it.

Skins compression clothing that helps me reduce my lactic acid build-up. To let me push myself that little bit more when going up a 45 minute hill climb. To recover enough overnight in their recovery pants so I can go at it again tomorrow.

To Brendan Brazier for coming up with the Vega line of protein, sports drink, energy bars. Better yet was the book "The Thrive Diet" that has helped me eat better, and make my own energy bars. I have made changes to my diet that not only aids me in my physical abilities but also my recovery and overall health.

To Brooks for making the best shoe in the world the Dyad. The Dyad's have seen me through the marathon, clinic instructing, a couple of 10kl runs and the Vancouver Tri, and now through my training for the Ironman.

To Sugoi for their cycling gear. The cycling pants are the only ones I can wear on my long rides. I have some serious chafing issues in everything but Sugoi. The Sugoi shirt is the bomb, not only fashion wise, but in its comfort and storage capacity for all my bars, keys, phone, and all the other crap I carry with me.

To Speed Theory for the help with my bike. I not only got the best bike, I got the best bike for me. I have had nothing but the best advice and help from people who really know the specific needs of Triathletes. They are more than a bike store, or running store, or even a swim store. They truly are a store for triathletes by triathletes.

To Foot Solutions and the Johannsen's. They are truly family. Not only are they supportive of me and my disabilty. They reached out to me and my wife to help us in so many ways. To Nicole, Nadja, Christian, and Hans. Thank you so much for not only a job, but all your help and support.

To Marcel who is my biking buddy. Also my co-worker and a friend. You crazy German you are truly awesome. Thanks for everything you do!!

To Sue Borden of Microsoft who's help along with HTC and there smart phone and windows mobile, and Vista. Help me get to where to where I am going. With the loss of my ability to make new memories I function with allot of electronics. I would not know where I was, or what I was supposed to do without them. This is not to be taken lightly. I really would not remember to enter my blog comments without the reminders of my Microsoft and HTC products.

To 7Systems for the most incredible supplements. I can't even call them supplements. As a triathlete I push myself hard, I also pay attention to what I eat. I like to know where my food comes from. 7Systems is an Olympians supplements, litterly. They are used by the best of the best, including Simon Whitfield. Truly a uniquely incredible product. From the ingredients to the people who put it all together. They are my start to every morning and help me with my stamina, endurance, and recovery.

I live off of an income that is less than $1000.00 a month. I have rent, cell phone bills, internet, and an intense amount of food. All of the people I have mentioned have taken a financial loss in helping me. They all stood up and decided to help me when they heard my story. I would not be able to do what I am doing without all them.

I wish I could repay them for their humanity, there understanding and their support. I wish I had the money to fulfill everyone’s dreams. The ways they have helped me fulfill mine. I don't have that kind of money, so I will finish the Ironman. I will do this for myself, but mostly I will do it to let them know their belief in me was not wasted.

Every day I Swim/Bike/Run I am swimming/biking/running with them. I would not be where I am without all of them. Not to mention all the people I forgot to mention. So thank you to all of you.

You are helping me reach my dreams.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I think I am becoming Vegan

So this is a journey that happened by accident. I truly had no intention of becoming a vegetarian. I still would not call myself a vegetarian. I just choose not to eat that much meat.

I am out with some friends after we were moving. Getting some late night dinner and not having any food in the new apartment. We went to a Boston Pizza. I am looking at the menu and I am trying to see some food that won't overwhelm me. I worked hard that day, I needed fuel but I also needed to eat smart for my bike the next day.

So here I am looking at calories, looking at protein, doing math in my head. I ask
"do you have any vegetarian meals"?

The table goes silent. Everyone else is ordering Pizza, wings, Nachos and Calamari. I am looking at salad. I follow my question about salad with

"do you have a vinaigrette dressing"?

It hits me at that moment. I am not making this decision to save the animals. Sorry to all those that do choose to be vegetarian for that reason (especially you Nadja). I don't. I am choosing that because of my experience the last month following the Vegan Diet.

I have not only enjoyed the food, but I have noticed an increase in my recovery and my ability to push a little harder when biking. For me it is purely a selfish reason. I hurt less, and I can perform more. It makes economical sense.

I get all the other reasons to do become vegetarian, or vegan (I don't like to call myself vegan because I feel like I will never eat anything from an animal again. I still eat honey)

It just made sense to help my body out. The thrive diet book was well written and explained about how the least amount of processing means the least amount of energy it takes from your body to process it. In short it takes less energy to turn that into gas for your engine. As a Triathlete training for my first Ironman that just made sense to me.

What I did not expect, and what was kind of subtle, was how after a month and a bit, I can really feel when I have eaten “processed food”

I have the Whole Food Health Optimizer and the Sports drink. I eat allot of salads and I have gone out and followed the book. I now have a pantry filled with Hemp protein, nuts, berries and oils. I eat anything that is green and I am getting an addiction to Kale wraps!!

This again was not a pursuit to become a vegetarian; this was to improve my ability to sport.

So I am sitting in Boston Pizza and my friends are looking at me. I don’t care; I know how I will feel tomorrow if I eat all the processed food. I will have less energy; it will take me a day or two to get that crap out of my system. I can actually feel the “weight” of the meal before I eat it.

I came back from visiting my family in Toronto for father’s day, and before I left I was making sure they bought lot’s of greens, lot’s of fresh fruit and veggies. I brought my own protein and made sure there would be grapefruit in the morning.

What is happening to me? Before my accident and even during my marathon training and up to the Ironman training, I had no problem ordering a pizza, eating cheese. I even had the occasional hamburger from McDonalds. I also had a love affair with Taco Dell Mar.

It took a very short time for me to make this change; in fact I didn’t even realize I was changing. It was so natural. It just made sense. I think I will still enjoy some meat now and then. Christmas, special occasion, but even as I type this I start to think how that will feel. Maybe I won’t.

I was recently at my wife’s house and I find the traditional Chinese diet to be less intrusive than the North American diet. I still, however, choose my food a little better.

I was known as the guy who would eat anything. I know look at food completely different. I had a conversation with my wife recently about growing our own vegetables. If you knew me this is an odd thing for me to say.

I stopped drinking coffee during my marathon training. I pretty much drink water and green tea. How did this happen? When did I become this guy? I like him, but it is funny. I truly recommend all the Vega products. Check out their website. http://sequelnaturals.com/en/vega

I mean if a past couch potato, TBI (Traumatic Brain Survivor) turned marathoner, turned triathlete can do this, so can you. It happens and you don’t even know it.
You too will find yourself looking at a menu and wondering if they have any greens!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Skins & Respro mask on the move.

I apologize for the poor quality. It was a 1:15 hill training run. I was tired and winded.

















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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Skins Review.

So today I got my new skins.



If you don't know about skins here is the basic idea. They are compression clothing that help increase circulation (both oxygen and blood) to working muscles. This helps you not only push a little harder, or fade a little later. It also helps you recover faster. I am not going to go into all the Independent studies you can find those at skins.net, I am going to tell you how they help me train. What I notice am I faster, do I recover better, etc.

Why is working harder and recovering faster good. Well if you can add a small percentage of performance into your workouts you become stronger, faster, healthier. If you recover faster, you can get and move at higher rate of performance than someone who hasn't fully recovered from the last workout.

As someone who is training for an Ironman, a marathon runner, I push my body to my limits. I workout allot and if I am doing a 15kl run, a day after a 60kl bike and I have not recovered fully. I see the affects. I watch what I eat, I train hard, now I am going to add compression clothing to the mix.

Keep in mind I am not expecting to be a competitive Ironman. That is not the point. If you think compression is only for elite athletes you are wrong. The recreational athlete will probably see a bigger return in the use of skins. Why? A professional athlete puts all there time into training. They have spent years training, they have big bucks behind them, they have physiotherapist, nutritionists, coaches, sports massage, they take away any inhibition of performance. That is to give them every advantage to get them to perform at there peak.

I am a guy with a brain injury, who works part time, is married and doesn't have the same amount of time to put into training and recovery. I just don't have the time. I have a whole life outside of my Ironman training. The use of skins should help me get the most out of the time I do have.

I have received from the great people at skins. Thank you David Decker and Jaimie Fuller and all of the skins team.

I work at a shoe store and one of my co-worker and fellow cyclist had purchased two pairs of the skin socks.


I laughed at him, until I put them on. I actually put them on to make more fun of him. As I got busy I forgot to take them off. I noticed nothing overwhelming except that I was able to add some depth to my stretches (I have an IT Band issue) and I noticed an increase in the feeling in my feet. It was a "hard to explain" experience. I wound up taking both of his socks.

I played the DVD that comes with the skins, and I started to do my research. I was blown away. I saw the studies, the published papers and the reports. I then contacted the company and they supplied me with Sport Long Tights Pants and the Long Sleeve Shirt, a pair of the Half tights for training. I also received a pair of the recovery long pants.

So today I am going to jump on my bike and wear the pants and the shirt, and report later. I want to spend a few days using them to see my performance gains.

I also want to mention that I have had a great experience dealing with skins. They were responsive, eager to help and took the time to find out my specific needs. A special shout out to Jaimie Fuller for all his help. Without him this would not have happened. I will also be putting a skins sticker on my helmet!!

Thank you Skins.

Ironman Training continues

How do you know your workouts are HUGE? When during a "recovery" week. I only had an 1 hour and 20 minute swim. A 2 hour hill bike, and a 1:15 run with hill drills. This is a recovery week!! At least I don't have weights to do!

Trying to fit everything on top of my Brain Injury Program at GF Strong. and working at Foot Solutions not to mention any kind of social life is getting crazy.

I have a dentist appointment on Friday, and what I am doing is getting up early and planning my bike ride there! There is something really wrong with me, and I love every minute of it.

Before my injury I wasted so much time playing video games, watching TV, wasting time. Now I still do the same things but instead of wasting time, I am training for a freakin Ironman!! Totally increadible.

Not bad for a guy who was never supposed to walk or talk again!

Ok I need to go to bed. It's 12:15.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Update on 7Systems

I have just finished my first month's supply of 7Systems endurance sport supplement.




As a triathlete and training for an Ironman I find I am hyper aware of my diet. It is not that I am some super aware person. I am not a super health freak. It is the fact that the intensity of the training forces you to be aware of your energy input and output.

With the increased effort and stress I put my body into with the bike rides, the running and the swimming, not to mention work, family, social obligations etc. I push my body pretty hard. I belief I have to be extra careful with my diet, not only to make sure I have enough gas to finish, I also need to fill up all the resources I am depleting in my system. I tax my body pretty hard. I need to make sure I keep my fridge full.

As I stated before what I liked about 7Systems was that it had everything I need in one container. Could you find all the ingredients elsewhere? Probably. However you would not find them at one store. You would have to spend allot of time researching the ingredients (trust me I have) You then need to figure out how much you need. As an athlete (that still sounds weird to me) You have extra needs. These needs are not normally added to the ingredients list on the vitamins and supplements you find at the grocery store. They are prepared, and marketed for the averages. I am not average. So how do I know I am taking the right amount?

One of the things I also like is not having to spend the time pulling out all my vitamins and supplements every day. Making sure I take them at the right time, etc. I mean that's no big deal. I do like the convenience of the "one package daily" that 7Systems offers.

I have been using them for 1 month. During this time I did get the flu (not the H1N1 ;')) and I found that I got over it faster than my friends and co-workers. I have noticed a few little things. That while I did get a sore throat the other day. It never got to the point that I needed to take anything for it.

I have made some other changes to my lifestyle recently including following the Thrive Diet so my body is going through some changes.

In a nut shell, I like 7Systems because of the ease of use. The fact that I trust I have all the right ingredients. It is more specific for the needs of someone who is pushing themselves hard physically. I also really like the company. I will update this as I continue my usage.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Running with my Respro Mask.



Running Drills today. Warmed up for 20 minutes, then did this set 15x - 30 sec strong effort/30 sec walk. Rest of run is back to easy.

Super hot today. Knee is feeling way better. Finally over my cold, although my throat is still a little raw.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am sick today.

Missed a swim yesterday, supposed to hill train on the bike for 2:30 but I am not feeling very well. The oddest part of this cold/flu, whatever it is, is the symptoms. Here are my symptoms.
• My lips are chaffing. They actually really hurt and are so dry. I am constantly putting on Vaseline, my hydration is intense. I mean I drink nothing but water and green tea as it is.
• My joints are hurting, even lying down is aching.
• I was so tired yesterday just waiting for work to be over, but when I got home and got into bed, I couldn’t sleep. I just kept turning and trying to find a convertible spot.
• I am sneezing allot
• I am not coughing, but I feel like there is something in my chest.
• My shirt was so weight when I got up this morning.
• A general feeling of crappie.

I am going to have my juice, and see if that makes me feel better. I feel exhausted even though I just got up.

I am kinda pissed because I feel like I am missing my training. I hate missing a workout. I just got over feeling sick for aabout a week. I was feeling better, and then this just kicked me in the ass yesterday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Respro Techno Mask & Triathlon Training.

So my runs and bike distances are getting up there. I am spending a massive amount of time out on the road. I live in a pretty industrial area so I get allot of Big Rig diesel exhaust. I not only get it when I am biking and a meter away from a automobiles exhaust, I also get the smoke of people who are along the sea wall, or the bus stops when I am running.

So the other day I noticed a bike courier with a mask on his face. I started to do some research and I came across this mask.




I went to this website http://www.respro.com/ and did a little more research and found I could pick up the mask at Mountain Equipment Co-op. http://search.mec.ca/?N=10&Ntt=respro&bmUID=1242613725415

The mask was $46.00. I got an extra set of filters for $26.00 and two extra Valves for $14.00. So for $86.00 I get to look like this.






I used the mask for a quick bike to the store the other day, and then today I used it on my hour and 40 minute run through town. While I did get some smells through it. The intensity of the smells was very small. I got no exhaust, and I got no smoke. The only thing that came around was this group of guys (not kids by the way but older guys) sitting in parking lot in the Quay smoking a joint. I did get a sense of the smell, but it was either really bad pot, or my mask worked. I figure because I am in BC the quality was probably pretty good ;*)

I did notice a cop circle the block when he went by me. I guess a guy running down the street with a mask, running hat and glasses looks a little wierd. I got a few other wierd looks buy the waterfront, but I did notice a person on a bike wearing one.

I choose the Techno Mask because it filters out hydrocarbons, sulphur dioxide, lead oxide, and smoke, as well as sub-micron particulates including pollen dust, rapeseed dust and other irritants. The other masks filter either the Hydrocarbons and smoke, or sub-micron particulates.

To me this means it either filters out allergins (I have no idea what a rapeseed dust is but it sounds bad) or it filters auto exaust and smoke (Hydrocarbons and sulphur dioxide) The mask I got covers both.

The mask feels a little weird and I have run into a problem when I put on my hat, or helmet, and my glasses. So there is a little adjustment to happen. The mask comes in two sizes, large and medium. I got the medium.

Like wearing glasses for the first time, I did notice some slight iratation on my nose where the filter touchsed my nose. Other than it worked really well.

I know this comes right at the time of the H1N1 (swine) flu. I am not really worried about that. It is actually the cigarette smoke of the people I run past at Stanley Park, or the Quay. Even when I run by an outdoor restaraunt where the smokers all congrigate.

On a side note, I knew that there was something I needed to do when I ran buy a guy on the boardwalk or exausted a massive of cigar smoke right in my face as I was running by him. This happened just as I was taking in a deep breath, and I not only got his excelled smoke, but I got a nice bit of the smoke right from the cigar itself.

Not one of my best moves ever, I grabbed the cigar and threw it in the river. I didnt say anything to him. I just kept running. I think I left him stunned. So that was the big push to get me to think of a saver way to keep my lungs healthy.

So all in all I recomend this product. It get's a little wet, and it's a little hard to get a drink while wearing it, and I found it hard to blow my nose. Nothing that I couldnt get used to.

The only question I have now is, How long do the filters last?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier

I woke up this morning and went out and bought a whole bunch of ingredients for The Thrive Diet book recipes by Brendan Brazier.

So I am sitting here now looking at a bag of Organic Hulled Hemp Seed, Stone-ground light buckwheat flour, Raw Pumpkin seed, Hulled Sunflower Seed and Organic Amaranth Grain.












Tomorrow I am going to make my first Almond Flaxseed Burger, the recipe looks intriguing and fairly simple. It consists of:
-2 cloves garlic
-1 cup almonds
-1/2 cup Ground Flaxseed (I have flaxseed and with grind it myself)
-2 tlbsp coconut oil, hemp oil, or EFA Oil Blend. (I could not find hemp oil. So I got some UDO’s Choice Oil it has Flaxseed, sunflower, sesame seed, coconut, evening primrose seed, rice germ, soy, oat germ and bran oil.



So I take all of this and I put it into my handy dandy food processor. I have the option of eating it raw or frying it in some coconut oil. I am going to fry it I think. I don’t think I am ready for it to be uncooked. Just me though. I will pick some of the healthiest buns I can find, probably flax seed. I'll use some homemade tomato sauce, lettuce and I think some salad to go with it.

On my way home, today, I forgot the buns. I will wait until tomorrow to make it. Mandy and I are going to look at a few old churches in Vancouver on our date day tomorrow, then we will stop off at Capers or Whole Foods and get the rest of the ingredients. When we get home we will make the burgers and the Garlic Oregano Yam Oven Fries. Recipes that are also from the Thrive Diet book.

It was interesting going into the health food store and picking all this stuff up. I went to the Real Canadian Super Store but couldn't find a few things like the Arame, or Hemp Flour.

Some of the energy bars in the book look good and fairly simple to make. I have tried a few of the Vega Whole Food Energy Bars. Let me tell you they are really good. When I worked at the Running Room I had a chance to try the different brands of energy bars with Cliff Bars and Power Bar being the most popular. Trying the Vega Whole Food Energy Bars was a bit of a surprise. They are not nearly as thick and hard to bite. It had a light feeling, but yet I felt full after eating it. The taste was not that typical “chemical” taste that most bars try to hide with the intense addition of “friendly” flavours. It tasted more like well, fruit and nuts.

Kind of like that fruit and nut basket you got on your trip to a tropical country. You get all those great nuts and fruits that are imported here. You know what I mean? That bag of nuts you find that you buy and smuggle through customs because you are not going to pay $14.00 a pound for them. Even if you find them they sure are not going to be fresh.

Anyway that is what the bars taste like. I have tried the chocolate flavoured one and really enjoyed its non overwhelming taste.

So for now I am really impressed with the Vega bars. Not only does the food just taste less processed, it doesn’t stick inside you. I don’t know how else to say it. I am wondering if the ones I make from the recipe's will taste as well. I will keep you updated.

I am finding this whole Ironman journey a fun one. The training, the eating, trying to find the food can be a little frustrating and it sure isn't inexpensive. However there is a sense that you are doing good. You are being “proper”. I have no intention in turning into that all hemp wearing, save the animals, crusader of the plants vegan. I just have a sense that I am adding to my health, that I making a contribution. It may be small, but it’s my contribution.

The more I do this the more I will expect myself to not only feel better, but I will be able to train a little harder, get sick a little less, look a little healthier. After all, isn’t that what it is all about? We start by making small choices that lead to larger goals, that lead to bigger changes, that lead to a more enriched existence. Oh my god what is happening to me!!!

I also picked up the new Vega Sports Natural Plant-Based Performance Optimizer (that is what they call it) I tried a couple of the smaller one cup options. I needed to replace my regular sports drink and I thought I would try them out.



They are similar in there lightness to the other Vega products. Not overwhelming in flavour. I often found myself watering down my Gatorade, E-load, Ultima, or Gu. I mean when you are out on your bike for hours and hours, or running for what sometimes seems like forever. I don't want to be overwhelmed by chemicals. I need the nutrients, I need to replenish the fluids. I get it. I just want something to taste good. The best I found before the Vega was the Ultima. Gatorade was too overpowering, E-load to chemically, and Gu was exactly that, Gu.

Once again I am extremely impressed with Vega. I don't know if it's the ingredients (well I guess it must be the ingredients) or the lack of noticeable artificial ingredients. When you read the ingredients there are things like spouted whole grain brown rice, organic palm nectar,organic spinach, etc. You wind up with a drink that tastes well, good. Never overwhelming, never chemically, never thick, or Gu-ey.

I think I have found my new sports drink! Try it. http://sequelnaturals.com/vega I have yet to try the Antioxidant EFA I think that's next.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rocket Science Sports Elite Bag

In November of 2006 I ordered my first Triathlon specific back pack from Rocket Science sports. This pack saw me through my first Triathlon in Vancouver. It has been with me on my never ending bike rides, my runs to work and trips to the pool. This is a go anywhere, do anything bag.








I have also purchased the Laptop case that goes into the backpack.

"So what?" you say, "it's just a backpack." Well hold on for a minute. Have you ever gone for a jog over an hour or two with a backpack? Let me just say that chaffing becomes a huge issue. This pack is designed to ergonomically connect to your body in perfect symmetry.

Here is how my day will go. I put on my running clothes and I pack my work clothes and shoes into my backpack. Then I add three meals (hey I am training for Ironman) my wallet, my cell phone, a towel, and my MP3 player. Sometimes even a book or whatever else I need in the day plops into this bag. I run to work and then I get changed. I put my dirty running clothes into the water proof area of the bag, and then I work.

On bike days, it is similar. I also used to run or bike to school. I could carry my books, my laptop, and a change of clothes. This bag also has a transition mat in it. So on race day it carries your swim suit, your bike, your running shoes, your gel shots, everything you need for the day. There is a really good review of the backpack here http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=820 It was this review that got me to purchase the bag in the first place.
I have been brutal to this backpack. I mean I used it when I was taking my carpentry course, filling it with easily 10-15 pounds of book weight. This thing has taken a beating. The quality of the material, the stitching, even the zippers speak of something that was put together with good old fashioned hard work, and commitment to quality.
The bags are not inexpensive, I ordered it from the website and on last lookup the elite bag was $139.99 USD. There is a new bag that I am interested in trying: the Rocket Bag which goes for $179.99

Just a side note too, the water bottles they sell are really cool. They are designed like golf balls, so that air flows over them. The whole bag inside and out is nothing but good quality. I have killed mine, but I still use it every day. I have now stitched some fabric on the shoulder strap to help me get some more life out of it.

Why is this sport so expensive? The gear, the bike, the shoes, the training, the backpacks, the swim suit, the hotel, the travel time, so much money!! Why am I doing this again? Because I can!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer

First let me state that I am not a Vegan, I am not a Vegetarian, I do eat seafood, and I do eat the occasional meat. That being said I am in love with all things Vega

I am a pretty healthy guy, I watch what I eat, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I try to make sure I get healthy whole food ingredients. I am not one for fast food, or processed food. I have grown my own wheat grass, I have used acai berry's. I try to avoid flour as much as possible. I prefer flax seed, I spend time making sure I check ingredients.(I do of course have the same cravings at others; I just try to make healthy choices)

I have a Vita-Mix machine

I use this in the morning. I add fresh fruit, vegetables, and protein. One day we ran out of the usual protein we used. The Green Plus I think, I can't remember. So I am at the health food store next to where I work and I see the Vega brand. I ask the employee and she informs me about the product and I figure I will add this to our juice in the morning.

As Vega has gotten bigger, I started to hear more. I also started to see some other products come out. The whole food bars, the Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.



I tried one of the bars one day

I really enjoyed not only the flavour but also the results. I was full. Now I am a pretty healthy guy, I like healthy food, I like the least amount of chemicals, and processes possible.

The more I try this product, the more I like it. I am really interested in the Vega Sport

I tried a couple of the small packages and I think this will be my sport drink from now on. I have tried e Load, Gatorade, Ultima. I don't like Gatorade, I liked e Load but then a friend (where are you Julian) recommended Ultima and I really liked that. It was pleasant, not to overwhelming and full of lots of good stuff. I tried two individual packs of the Vega Sport and I am now in love with them.

I am not willing to say I am converting to a Vegan, but I am willing to say that as a person who is conscious of what he eats, who is very physically active. I am extremely impressed with Vega. I am going to continue with the Whole Food Health Optimizer in my juice. There is also a smoothie infusion that I will try; the sports drink will be my next purchase.

I don't have allot of money as a person with disability, my ability to work full time is compromised as my cognitive skills are reduced. I think though, I will be purchasing allot of Vega products from now on. I am very impressed. I will update you on the sports drink and the smoothie infusion when I have enough money to purchase.

This is another item in my arsenal to complete my first Ironman.

7SYSTEMS Endurance Sport Supplement Review

So I got my order from 7Systems today. I sent my order less than 48 hours ago, and I got the containers today, super fast!! Let me also state that from my first contact on the website http://www.7systems.ca/ to the email responses on my inquiry solidified my opinion: what a first rate company.

From the start these people are very passionate about their product. Every step I have taken with them provided a great feeling and strong sense of belief in their product. I like that. You never feel pressured; they let their product speak for itself. "We do not pay, and have never paid anyone to use/promote our product - and to be honest we do not have to."

That and the next day delivery, plus my own research on the supplements were enough to get me to try the product.

Over the next three months, I am going to report my experience with 7SYSTEMS. So far it's a good start.

My container arrived today and is nicely packaged, when you open it up, every supplement you need for the day is placed into individual pouches. No more opening up the multitude of individual supplements, vitamins, extracts, and all the other pills I usually have out.





<-- This is what I used to use. This is what I use now ---------------^




Now this review is not going to be on the science, the testing, and the quality of the ingredients. You can find all that here http://www.7systems.ca/?page_id=10

I am going to tell you how they help a guy that is 36 years old get to his first Ironman. I am not an athlete, I am just a guy who almost died and that freaked him out. So despite my disability, I decided to push the boundaries of what I thought was possible for me. Even though I face more challenges now than I did before my accident, I do more, I try harder, and I achieve things I never thought I would ever do.

That is the point of this blog; it's not so much about the Ironman as it is about the road to get there, the challenges, the setbacks, the successes and all the ingredients it takes to get there smart. I want to get there healthy and whole. I don't want to blindly push myself physically and mentally. I want a strong plan of attack.

7SYSTEMS is part of the team of support that is essential for me to get there on my terms. So continue to read as I let you know how 7SYSTEMS endurance sport supplement help me get there

Because you can do this too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Technology and Ironman Training for TBI Survivor

As a result of my brain injury I don't make new memories. I have talked at length about the aspects of my disability here http://temporallobeblog.blogspot.com/ so without going to depth of the disability on this blog, I wanted to shed light on how much I require technology to accomplish the Ironman.

As anyone who trains for Ironman knows it is not so much the actual event itself that is hard (I am not saying it's not hard). It is the training alone, the whole live style of the event that is the difficult part.

It changes your whole life. Everything becomes subject to what workout you have, how long you will be working out, running, swimming, or biking. You schedule everything around work and workouts.

If someone wants to go to a movie, or you have a dinner planned, or some one's birthday. The first thing in my mind is "how long of a workout do I have that day"? "Will I be tired, will I be sore"?

How can I move things around and juggle everything so I have time with friends and family and still feel good about the amount of training I have done.

You add my inability to filter events in my head. I see every event as the same priority, eating, running, work, walking to the bus. They all register in my cortex as the same importance. When I need to remember Mandy's and my anniversary, my brain registers that as the same importance as catching the bus. Everything is over stimulated and I see every impulse at the level of importance.

The same way you know not to walk in front of a moving car, I plan my grocery list.

So trying to plan my planning is very difficult. What is important, what can be moved?

So I have a great coach at Training Bible Coaching her name is Carla Hastert http://www.trainingbible.com/findACoach_detail.aspx?id=1900

Basically Carla plans my workouts. I have supplied her with my Vo2 max information I got from Training Peaks when I trained for my first Triathlon (Olympic Distance) she gets to know me over the first couple of weeks.

With Carla and the Training Bible website http://www.trainingbible.com/index.aspx I am able to know what to do tomorrow. I.e.

Workout Description:
Bike - 3 hours see break up below
Comments from Workout Planner:
EACH hour do the following: 15 min super easy spin, work on cadence a little higher than you’re used to. THEN 15 min climb in your hardest gear, stand for 1 min every 5 min within the interval. Then do 6 x 2 min @ a hard effort, RPMS 85-100, HR high and breathing becoming laboured. Spin EASY for 2 min between each one. THEN start again (2 more times)


So that is pretty amazing. I can get world class Ironman training but expert trainers. I can look at the schedule and see what I have to do. I go and do it, and it's all good.

It doesn't stop there though. I can take the Training week that is prepared by Carla and I can add it to my Outlook Calendar. So I can schedule my workouts with my work schedule, my personal schedule and I can see if it conflicts with anything.

It doesn't stop there though; I can also take my calendar and put it on my smart phone. My HTC S621

So I can now find out what workout I have. I can find out the specifics of the workout, I can then head out.

I also have this great Blue tooth headset that goes with my HTC Smart phone.



So I can run and bike and listen to music (of course I never listen to music while biking) and if I get a phone call I can answer it without using my hands. I can also place calls without having to touch my phone.

So with a trainer online, and my Vista PC, with Outlook 2009 I can know what I need to do in order to get ready for the Ironman.

Those things alone are pretty cool. I mean if you take it all in this means that I can wake up tomorrow. I know what workout to do, I know what my work schedule is, I know if I have a Massage appt, or if I am teaching my running clinic. All in one quick look at my phone, or PC.

Now let's take a look at the Garmin Devices I have. I have a Garmin Edge 705


I also have a Garmin Forerunner 405

I can add some pretty crazy workouts, from fartleks, to Heart Rate workouts, to simple workouts with just time. With my Edge 705 I also have Turn by Turn maps for North America.

You see I forget where I am, where I am going, and how to get back. So I now have a way to not only direct my way, but how to get back home. My family also feels more confident when I go out as they can call me, and I can tell them where I am. If I get lost I can just press a couple of buttons and direct myself back home.

-There is a new Garmin

This Garmin Forerunner 310XT is the first Garmin you can take in the pool or ocean. For someone like me that is such a plus, right now I have to use a Timex and try to hear it under water. This is my future purchase. I just purchased the Forerunner 405 and the Edge 705 with Maps. I am so broke it's not funny. (please click on my adds ;')) I see my next Garmin in the future. Well after the student loans are paid off, we have a house, etc, etc......-

Without my Microsoft Vista Computer, my Windows Mobile Smartphone, my Motorola Bluetooth Headset, and my Edge 705 and my Forerunner 405, and my Training Peaks website and of course my incredible trainer Carla. I would be sitting at home probably not even dreaming of doing an Ironman.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Knee Injury and Ironman Training

So about a week or two ago I was on my bike. I noticed my right knee was hurting when I pulling up on my pedal stroke. It started about an hour into the bike, but I biked through it. It wasn’t a short stabbing pain. It was more like a deep ache.

I did my stretches at the end of the bike. Next day was a 1hour and 20 minute run. My knee started to hurt again, about 40 minutes into the run. The pain was a little stronger and it took longer to go away.

When I stopped at a cross walk, or waited for the light to change so I could cross the street. I was punching my knee with my fist. I don't know why, but it seemed to alleviate the pain a little bit. Again this pain wasn’t enough to stop, but it was definitely noticeable.

I had gone through an IT Band injury when I trained for the Chicago Marathon. So I knew to seek help right away. I can't afford to the time to stop training. I also know that the sooner I fix it, the less I will hurt and the sooner I will recover.

So I went to my Sports masseuse Wylie (see earlier post's) and she worked my leg and knee.

I have also added some more stretches, and will be looking at some weights or other exercises I can do to strengthen whatever it is that is going wrong.

I have good shoes, I have a great bike, I am aware of my posture. I stretch like crazy. I figure I am going to increase the strength training and make it more specific for the knee.

I am a little concerned that the knee is just symptom of something else. I mean I have had a whole world of surgeries, from my skull, to my first rib being removed. I have been hit cars; I have been in a few fights. Most of which I lost ;') so in my earlier years (before the TBI) I was rough on my body.

This is causing me allot in physio, massage, acupuncture, etc.

Anyone else run into knee injuries while training? Isn’t it weird that it was the biking that first started to hurt?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Massage for Triathletes

How do you know you are really into training? You get excited when people get you sports massage sessions as a gift. My mother in law got me a whole bunch of sessions with Dr. Wylie Guo, R.AC. check out her credentials

Therapeutic massage (Tui Na)
Deep tissue massage (body & foot)
Acupuncturist.

She is about 5'2 and maybe 90lbs, but she can make a grown man cry. She is so strong, she just digs in so deep.

When I was on the Cruise ship in Hawaii I had a massage. The lady, sorry the "masseuse" was so soft. I had to check to make sure she actually touching me.

Wylie is not for the light hearted. However she is able to get to those deep areas that no one else can fine. While I am a little bruised, I can still feel the depth that she got to.

My right knee has bugged since I started running distances above about 20kl. I can run for an hour, hour and half, then it starts to hurt. Just a little at first. Only while I run. By the time I stretch and cool down, it has gone away.

The next run it starts to hurt a little sooner, lasts a little longer, and hurts a little deeper. Doesn't go away as fast.

The next run it hurts when I start, I start to loath steps, or sidewalk, or running down hills. As long as I am straight and flat I can run forever.

It took me a long time to get over the injury. I don't know if it was IT Band issue or what, but when I keep the distances shorter, I am OK.

What is weird is when I trained for the Vancouver Triathlon in 08 my knee didn't bug me. This time however, my knee started to bug me while biking. Then it trickled over to the run, then it hurt to just walk around. So I had a few days of rest and intense deep tissue beat down.

Truly if you ever want a truly deep massage, or serous acupuncture email me (or respond to this blog) and I will pass along Wylie's #. Truly a miracle worker.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Canada Games Pool Triathlon Training

So I got my swim in today. I head to the Canada Games Pool in Burnaby after work. It's a huge pool. It was built the same year I was born 1972 and in 1973 it was used for the Canadian Summer Games. So it has lots of room, it still get's crowded, but if you go in the morning the pool leangths are at 50m and during busy times it is cut in half to 25m.

One of the issues I have run into when training is remembering what lap I am on. With running and biking I have my Garmin. I can plan a work out, I can plan out my distances, my reps, what heart rate zone I need to be in, how long, what cadence to have, etc. The Edge and the Forerunner are my personal coach.

As soon as I hit the pool however, it is a different story. I don't know what lap I am on, I don't know how long I have done a drill. I have to remember to press the lap button each time. Did I press it last time? Should I add a lap? or take one off? I can't remember. What drill was I on?

So I have looked for a Garmin like watch for swimming, but there really isn't one. So my Training Bible Super coach Cheryl Hart has come up with a new plan. Do go by time instead of laps, or drills. So I am now setting my watch for various times.

Today was 4 reps of 15 minutes. With a minute rest at the end of each 15 minutes. Basically taking 10 & 1's from running, and putting it into swimming. This may not be for everyone, but I am just looking to finish my first Ironman. It seems to be working. I mean, I swim ok and occasionally I get some free tips from other swimmers.

So far this seems to be working. I skipped the gym because I got to the pool late. So I did some situps and pushups at home. Then I stretched, made lunch, got ready for tomorrow. It's 10:53pm, time for bed, I am running to work tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Uploading from Garmin Connect to my blog

Check out the widget on the right hand side. I can explain how it works, but just check out this link and add it to your blog. http://anathleteintraining.com/
Super geeky, and super cool. I love it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Foot Solutions & my Brooks Dyad 4

I have an odd shaped foot. Well, I don't know it is odd. I should say, it is just hard to find the right shoe for. As a previous employee of the Running Room, I have tried on every single pair of shoes they have to offer. I have worn each shoe for several hours.

As a long distance runner, and someone who has been running for several years, I can notice little things almost right away. Is the toe to close to the end? Is the heal slipping, even a minor amount? Other issues take longer to notice. Will this cause blisters? Is the way the stitching is set in this shoe going to bother me after a while?

Most things in the store are easy. Is it the right size? I often say to customers that shoes are like a pair of jeans. A size 8 in a pair of Levis, is not the same as a size 8 in a pair of Seven jeans.

Some shoe brands fit narrower than others. This may cause blistering, or in extreme situations cut off the circulation. Other times the shoe will fit wide, you will wind up with your feet feeling like they are swimming.

Some brands have really good cushioning, others have to much. I don't like to not feel the ground. I like impact cushioning. I don't like it when I can't feel anything. There is a fine line between good cushioning and too much. I want the full effect of impact, to roll, to launch.

I always tried to emphasise to my customers: "How the shoe fits in the store with pushy sales guys, is a lot different than how it feels on your long run." Every new show feels great. I mean, it's a new shoe! Given that it is the right size, and it shapes to your foot, it should feel great, it is brand new.

What was frustrating for me, at the Running Room, was they did not have shoes for me. I fit a wide shoe. The Running Room is great if you fit into the "average" medium sole bed. If you fit a little smaller (narrow), or little bigger (wide), it is much harder to find a shoe.

One day I happened into a friend's store. He manages a Foot Solutions store http://www.footsolutions.com/vancouver Within a couple of minutes I found out not only was I in the wrong size (too small) but the wrong width.

This started me to my first pair of Brooks Dyad's.http://www.brooksrunning.com/ I purchased two. I was able to finish my first marathon, and I have never looked back.

Now I always try on new shoes. Shoe manufactures are notorious for changing the size, shape, and layout of the shoes, specifically Nike, but others do it as well. I have yet to discover another shoe that fits the same way.

So not only have I finally found the right shoe, I have finally found the shoe store. http://www.footsolutions.com/vancouver

So thanks to Foot Solutions, and thanks to Brooks! But a special thanks to Christian for not only the right shoes, but the knowledge I needed to keep running without injury.

All I do is pray they don't make any changes to the shoes!!!

P.S. Thanks for the suggestions Nicole!! ;')

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Triathlon Training Bible Coaching

One of the difficulties any triathlete has is planning and scheduling. How do you fit in the sometimes overwhelming amount of time needed for each discipline? On top of working, family commitments, stretching, shopping, cooking, and in my case video game playing, there's never enough time.

Because of my brain injury, I find I also need help with scheduling. When you add everything together, the swim, the bike, the run, and additional workouts with speed days, distance days, brick workouts and all the rest, it is very time consuming. You plan your route, you schedule your day around the pool, you make sure your gear is all set up the night before and suddenly there is no time left in your day. I have spent allot of hours planning one activity, only to find out the next day I was planning the wrong one. I have even done the same workout two days in a row.

I can't remember what I did the day before, or where I was on the workout schedule. I can't afford an individual coach, one specific for me. So while reading "The Triathletes Training Bible" 2nd edition by Joe Friel. Litterly the "bible" for triathletes of all levels, I noticed they have online coaching.

I now get my training direct from one of their coaches. Specifically Carla Hastert
See her profile here http://www.trainingbible.com/findACoach_detail.aspx?id=1900 (I got the right person this time!!) So sorry super coach!!

What makes this website different from others (click on the website here) http://www.trainingbible.com/index.aspx
Is that I can upload my workouts from my Garmin Forerunner 405 & my Edge 705 directly to my coach.

So all the information a coach would get in person, is transmitted electrically. My workout is then reviewed. Goals are changed based on my results. Workouts added if they need to be, or taken away. It's all really cool. Just because of the ease of transferring my data, my coach can make intelligent choices on what workouts to offer.

As great as it is to have the technology. What is more important, for me specifically, is the ability to plan out my workouts. I can upload my hours at work. She then takes that information and then schedules my workouts. So I get a week's worth of workouts, and I am able to send her all my results.

This allows me to free up that part of my brain that focuses on the planning. You see there is a way for me to download my workout right to my Outlook. Why is that so important?

Well as I have a greatly reduced memory. I live off of my Smarthphone and my laptop. So my Outlook has everything from where I need to be, what I need to do when I am there, and also how to get to the next apt or home. I have my shopping lists, my bus schedules, my "To do" list, my calender, my scheduler, everything.

So I get these great little reminders of what exercises I have to do. I have time to prepare, and then head out.

I am also able to keep track of all my workouts. I have a tendency to over train. I have a fear of not doing enough, not planning hard enough, not running or biking fast enough, or not doing enough laps. This can be a very dangerous way to work out. Rest and recovery are an integral part of training.

Every question you have on training including nutrition, to race day, to....well you get the picture. It is truly money well spent. I mean our bikes cost a few grand, our shoes, watches and swim suits are expensive too! Paying for training has been the best investment I have made. I highly recommend the Triathlon Training Bible Coaching.