Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011, looking forward to 2012

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. Today I have some free time and I thought that instead of checking Facebook again a better use of it would be to update my blog.

The only major sport event that happened since my last update in August, was Ironman 70.3 Muskoka in September. Briefly put, I sucked while Miha had a PR by almost 30 minutes. She forgot her wetsuit at home and we had to rent one. This was for the best because she liked the rented wetsuit so much that she decided to buy it. And it was worth every penny because this was her first triathlon when she did not have a panic attack during the swim.

Dan, Miha and I after finishing Muskoka. This was Dan's first Half Ironman and he had a really great time.

2011 was an "easy" year for Miha and I, with modest training and modest results. Here are mines:
   Feb 27 - Peterborough Half Marathon  (1:43:23 4:55min/km - I sucked)
   Apr 16 - WWF CN Tower Climb  (14:47min PB)
   May 15 - Mississauga Half Marathon  (1:35:41 4:35min/km AG:22/198, 163/3430 overall)
   Jun 05 - DVP Ride for Heart (50Km - 32.7Km/h - very crowded)
   Jul 09 - Warrior Dash Barrie  (31:41 6:12min/km AG:52/701, 451/4894 gender)
   Jul 16 - Rattlesnake Point Trail Run  (1:02:43 4:57min/km AG:26/79, 68/320 overall)
   Aug 13 - Cobourg Olympic Triathlon (2:36:48 AG:15/29, 57/189 overall)
   Aug 28 - Toronto Island Sprint Triathlon (1:52:55 AG:18/40, 103/385 overall)
   Sep 11 - Muskoka Half Ironman  (6:03:09 AG:58/112, 350/874 overall)

The kids, unlike us, had a very good year, triathlon-wise.. Maria finished first in her age group at East End Kids Of Steel and 5th overall. She also finished second in her age group at Toronto Beaches Kids of Steel Duathlon.

At Orillia Kids of Steel in August.

For 2012 we have bigger plans. We have already registered for Around the Bay 30k in March, Toronto Marathon in May and Ironman Mont Tremblant in August. This is going to be Miha's first full Ironman. She's a little bit scared and excited in the same time. It's going to be my second IM and I, too, am a little bit scared and excited in the same time. After an easy 2011 I look forward to a more challenging 2012. 

Happy New Year everyone and I wish you all a great 2012!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

House of Payne Beer Run

The 4th edition of House of Payne Beer Run was a blast! Drinking, running, laughing, fooling around and then repeat. After a couple of beers I felt like a kid at Wonderland. And it's no wonder, considering that almost everybody was wearing a costume and was acting like a kid.

Bryan raised the bar this year, making the Beer Run a World Class event. He got a new banner, a major league trophy cup and had some professional voice over work done for the opening ceremonies. This year also there was a record turnout for the HOP Beer Run: 17 people.

People were stopping on the street to stare at us. And they had a good reason. Where else would  you see Osama bin Laden (a.k.a. John B.) walking side by side with a 200 pounds baby girl (a.k.a. Matty-O), followed by two bunnies hand in hand (John and Fran).

And here's me, dressed as a beer bottle. Not very creative. Next year I'm surely going to do better. 

The Beer Run is a prediction run, everyone writes down the time they think it will take to finish, then they run with no watches or timing devises. The winner is the one whose actual time comes closest to their predicted time. Last year I predicted 18 minutes and it took me 44 minutes. Running is the easy part, drinking fast is the really hard one. This year I chose a more realistic time: 36:59, thinking that if I drink slower from the beginning I can beat my last year's time. The first beer and the first Km were easy and fast. The second was still OK. By the third I was already trying not to puke. I had to slow down with the drinking otherwise I 'd have puked. Puking is considered a penalty and you have to drink one more beer and run one more km. So, I slowed down and slowed down and in the end I managed to finish the race in 45:38 min, worse than last year. At that time I did not care anyways. I was in the zone and I wasn't the only one. It seems that everyone else lost their inhibitions. Then is when the humping started. It was everywhere.

This year the winner was The Captain himself. He was ecstatic when he heard the results, as you can see from the picture:

After the race was done we moved inside, where we had more beers and wings. The beer was flowing from the kegarator and everybody had a very good time. Then is when Al took me on the trampoline for a wrestling match, or the Battle Royal as it was named last year. Al is twice my height and weight, not really, but that's how he looks like when is your adversary in a wrestling match. I did not stand a chance until Matty jumped in to help me. Together, (mostly Matty ha-ha), we managed to cripple Al. Then I had my revenge, sitting on Al and pulling his cheeks and just making fun of him. Al is very stubborn though and kept saying that he's not going to give up, no matter how hard Matty and I was trying to make him to tap out. It was then when Bob, who is a fireman, came in to help Al out. Matty and I were no match to Al and Bob together and we tapped out quickly. Luckily no one else jumped in, so this year I ended up only with a bloody knee, which is not bad considering the circumstances.

I had to leave the House of Payne at 10:00 PM because the next day I was doing the Toronto Island Sprint Triathlon and I knew that if I stay any longer than that I won't be able to wake up in the morning. 

Here's the official 2011 House of Payne Beer Run video:

For more videos and pictures go to:

Some other participants HOP Beer Run posts, as they remember it:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Warrior Dash

We had a blast at Warrior Dash, just as we expected. Three of our friends did the race as well and we liked it so much that we we all decided to come back next year. And next time we're definitely going to wear some crazy costumes.

Here are a few pictures:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting ready for the Warrior Dash

Tomorrow Miha and I and bunch of friends, some of whom I had to get drunk in order to get them to register, are going to do the Warrior Dash.

My plan was to choreograph this properly but I had a very busy week and did not have time for it. Our wave starts at 1:00 PM and hopefully I'll have enough time to come up with some good ideas about how make this experience even crazier than it already is.

Here are a few pictures from previous events. I'm so looking forward to it. Wooohooo, we are going to have a blast!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

East End Kids of Steel

On June 4th, Maria and Stefan participated to the East End Kids of Steel triathlon. They were very excited about it as it was their first triathlon this year. The night before we practiced the transition with them until we made sure that they knew exactly what they have to do the next day. Stefan is 5 1/2 years and Maria is 7 years old and they both were now in the same age group, 6-7 years. That's because Stefan is going to be 6 in November and they consider the age as of December 31st and not as on the race day.

Maria is very competitive and she was quite nervous before the race. Stefan, on the other hand, doesn't care that much about his finish time. He's the one who enjoys the race, smiling and waiving at the spectators.

Just before the race we were announced that the swimming is cancelled due to some problems with the pool. My kids are pretty good at cycling and running, but they are not good at swimming, just like their parents. So, this was actually a good news for them, especially for Maria who was kinda scared of the swim.

Getting ready for the race

They had wave starts, with the youngest kids starting first. Stefan was the first one to go. He kind of missed the start, probably because he did not pay much attention, so he was almost the last kid to start running. 

But then, to our surprise, he picked up the pace and passed quite a few kids as the race progressed. 

On the bike he passed some more kids, even though he learned how to ride his bike without the training wheels just a month before.

Usually he is a BOP (bottom of the pack) finisher but this time he tried harder than usual and finished in middle of the pack, 19 out of 32 kids, even though he was probably one of the youngest kids in his wave.

Maria, is exactly the opposite. She is really ambitious and tries very hard to finish as fast as she can. Because of this, she's usually quite nervous before every race. 

She had a good start and by the time she got to the transition, she was the first in her wave.

Once she got into the transition, the problems begun. Because she was so nervous, she had major issues buckling up her helmet. I think that she spent about 3 minutes with that helmet. At some point I thought that she's going to start crying, as more and more kids were passing her. 

Finally, she managed to put on her helmet and start the bike leg. 

She is very good at cycling and I knew that she'll probably make up for the lost time in transition. She started in force, passing everyone in her sight.

After the first turnaround she was already in the front. 

And after the second turnaround she was way up front.

She finished strong, being the first in her age group. She beat all the boys in her wave, too, but there were faster boys in the other waves so in the end she finished 5th overall.

It seems that both, Maria and Stefan, genuinely enjoy triathlon more and more. They keep asking us when is their next race. I am sure that in a few years they will probably kick my ass in a Sprint triathlon and I look forward to it :-).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mississauga [Half] Marathon

Miha and I were supposed to do the Full Mississauga Marathon this weekend, but about a month ago we decided to switch to Half Marathon because of our lack of training. We knew that we were not in shape to finish a full marathon in a decent time.

Surprisingly, I had a very good race on Sunday, way better than expected, considering that I did not train much for it. My goal was to finish it in under 1:45 and I ended up finishing it in 1:35:41.

That's 8 minutes better than my time at Peterborough Half Marathon a month and half ago. This time though, I did not not get drunk the night before the race, which probably helped a little.

We were really lucky, weather wise. On our way to Mississauga it was pouring rain and windy, the kind of rain that makes you wish for faster windshield wipers in order to see where you're going.  I was wondering how the heck are we going to race in this weather. But then the rain slowed down and by the time the race started, the rain almost stopped, which made it a pretty good weather for running.

My plan was to do this race based on HR and try to get a negative split. I kept my Max HR to 165 bpm for the first 5K and then I gradually raised it to 170 bpm and kept there for the next 11K. For the last 5K I did not care about HR anymore and I tried to run as fast as possible. I managed to finish strong, with a 4:13 min. time for the last Km. And I got a negative split, by 30 seconds or so, exactly how I wanted it.

Miha had knee issues and she had to run slower than usual. She finished in 2:10h, which is better than she expected, considering that the day before the race she had doubts about participating.

Our friend Dan, who is more and more into running and triathlons, participated as well. He had problems with his knees since the Around The Bay race. I saw him at the finish line and he looked like he went through a lot of pain. But he HTFU and managed to finish with a sprint, in a total time of 1:57:28h, which is not a PR, but it's a pretty good time for him, considering the conditions.

Here's a picture with all 3 of us, after the race:

All in all, this race went well for all three of us. I am planning to do it again in the future, even though it is scheduled now at the same time with Toronto Marathon. I like the route and the event is well organized.

On the training front, it's going a little bit better lately. I managed to train regularly for the last two weeks, even though it was only for short periods of time. My average weekly training time is only 3.5h. That's probably also because I managed to fell off the bike and damage my rear derailleur. Now I cannot ride my bike until I find the time to take it to Wheels of Bloor and have it fixed.

One thing that makes me happy lately is that Maria is now big enough to ride her bike while I am doing my 10K running sessions. She gets a good workout, especially from the hills, and I get to talk to her a lot and spend time with her, while training. It's pretty much a win-win-win situation.

Here's Maria and I. before heading out for our regular 10K biking/running session:

Another good thing is that I feel in a good shape, not as good as last year, but much better than how I felt two months ago. I started to enjoy training again and hopefully in a couple of months I'll manage to gain back the fitness that I lost during the winter.

I want to congratulate everyone who raced this weekend. Here are just a few blogs to check out for some really good and inspiring stories:  RodneyQ, Matty, Peter.