Alisa and I Are Now “Real” Triathletes

In early September Alisa and I participated in an Olympic length Trithlon at Cultus Lake.  Yup – we did that.

Back in March when I completed my sprint length tri at UBC Alisa was already gearing up for her first sprint in the North Shore race.  After my race I was a little uncertain about wanting to go full on for a full tri as there was a lot of training involved just to get me ready for a sprint.  I couldn’t imagine how much training would be needed to get my ready to double the sprint distance and survive (that last part is important to me).

Alisa though was convinced that we had to do a full tri, and that we had to do it together.  I remained unconvinced but in the end caved in because I just like to make her happy.

Continue reading Alisa and I Are Now “Real” Triathletes

Triathlon Results – Not Bad for a New Guy

Well that wasn’t so hard, now was it?  I mean showing up at the Triathlon and signing in – the event seemed very well organized.  The actual work though, well, that was tough.  But not too tough.  Here are the numbers and then I’ll lay out some details,

Overall Time 1:48:50.92
Overall Place 185/240
Rank in Age Group 11/16

Specific details such as leg times and ranks are found in the overall results.  Not much of note there other than that my swim time was quite good overall.

The overall results compare me to everyone, which might be a little unfair in some people’s eyes. Thankfully the race results for my age range (M3539) are available too.  So the details ….

Continue reading Triathlon Results – Not Bad for a New Guy

Here We Go!

It is the eve of my first Sprint Triathlon.  I have taken to calling it a “Sprint Triathlon” as I feel like I’m not telling the whole truth if I say just “Triathlon”.  In any event, I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet … and then my whole body, and then traipsing out into almost freezing rain to straddle a bike.

No seriously.  I’ve been working towards this day since September.  Proof is in the pudding as they say … here you can see my training log.  The grey blocks represent workouts that are “bricks”, or workouts that are done in succession to one another.

As you might be able to see I switched gears mid-October.  I stopped following my plan for running an Olympic distance at UBC.  I ended up missing so many days due to illness that sticking to the plan felt ridiculous.  Then at the beginning of February I decided to go for a UBC sprint triathlon and set myself back on track with a planned workout.  I find it much easier to follow a training plan than to just “workout”.

So I have my gloves packed (2 pairs with different weights), my wet bag contents separated from my cycle transition bag, and am going to bed early.  I’ve had my dinner of pasta, and my kids are asleep as they’re getting up early to come watch part of the race.

Overall I have enjoyed the training immensely, and will consider what training to do going forward soon enough.  Right now if I don’t do some workout within a 2 day period I start to feel restless.  It’s a different kind of sick, but it feels good.

Oh, and my goal?  I’m really just here for the fun of it.  I’d like to make sure I finish in under 2 hours, but secretly hope I can shave some minutes off that time somewhere.  We’ll see how the race feels.

I’ve Gone Loco – Triathlon Style

Alisa’s passion for fitness has, at times, made me think she is slightly loco (or so I’ve joked).  It seems to be catchy though – with her subtle prompting I’ve decided to train for a triathlon.

I’m thinking of working up to an Olympic distance for my first time – I have 20 weeks or so before the UBC Triathlon so that might be my first one.

I’ve been training since mid Sept and have discovered my strongest and weakest legs.  Strongest is definitely swimming, which surprised me.  I haven’t done a lot of swimming in the last decade.  My weakest is the other two.  I can’t tell which one is worse yet.  Or put another way, I can’t tell which one I can improve the most.  I suspect biking – right now I’m biking at a pace of 2 hours for the 40km, and that’s a lot of biking.

I’ve been tracking my training in a spreadsheet that I hope to publish in some way, to help with accountability (nothing like public shaming to motivate!).  Stay tuned.

Hold Off On the Seasonal Flu Vaccine A Moment

There’s some evidence that suggests there may be reduced  immunity to H1N1 if you’ve received seasonal vaccines in the last couple of years.  Suddenly those innocuous little needle pricks don’t seem so purely helpful!  Note that everything is still unclear as the findings are only seen in Canada and the paper is not yet even peer-reviewed and published.  So just hold off until things get a little more clear.

Here’s An Idea … Share Nutrition Information Electronically

Just had an idea, and sent a quick email inquiry to Health Canada to see if someone else is already doing it.

In Canada all processed foods must by law have a nutrition label on it detailing specifics about the food inside the package.  It’s very helpful for anyone counting calories or trying to maintain healthy eating habits.  it’s quite shocking what these labels reveal sometimes.  For example I’ve been enjoying a “Natural Trail Mix” from Costco recently – no sugar added, no salt, yogurt chips for sweetness.  it looked quite healthy.  Then I saw the calorie count in a serving, and the serving size.  This product looks quite similar – looks quite healthy right?  Then you see the nutrition label.

120 calories per ounce? PER OUNCE? Wow! Not a healthy snack after all. My trail mix was similar and I’ve since stopped using it for a snack and have reserved it for trails, where I need a light food that provides a lot of calories.

But I digress.

I sent the email below to Health Canada because I see a real opportunity here.  I’m not sure the opportunity is for the Government of Canada, nor is it necessarily for the food manufacturers (though I think someone smarter than I could figure out how to market this idea successfully).  At the very least I see an opportunity for someone – an entrepreneur who wants to somehow entrepren (??? see, I don’t know what to do with this idea).

Subject: Electronic communication of nutrition label information

I was wondering if there are any initiatives underway to provide a standard means of electronically communicating the nutrition information for foods.  There are a large number of web sites that help people track their nutrition information, and in order to do so there is usually the need to manually copy into the website the info from the label.

This seems to be an opportunity to me, as I know that some computer somewhere has already collected that food’s info – why do I have to input it again?  Why do thousands of people have to input it manually?

I’d love to see a service provided by food manufacturers where their website not only provides the info to web browsers, but also provides an electronic interface for software.  This interface could answer queries from software or other websites to retrieve the nutrition information automatically, meaning we people don’t need to manually enter the data anymore.

We have the standard info and label (thanks very much).  The next step seems to me to be sharing that info across the Internet.  That’s the whole point of electronic communication – efficient sharing of data.

Are you aware of any such initiatives?

I think something similar exists for communicating recipes in software (Meal-Master is a standard format I think?).

Just for the sake of being thorough, I sent a copy and inquiry to my Member of Parliament too, to see if he feels there’s something here that Health Canada can get behind to help Canadian consumers navigate the nutrition information online.

Another Reason To Not Let The Youngin’s Watch TV

From the article:

Young children who spend more than two hours glued to the TV every day double their subsequent risk of developing asthma, indicates research published ahead of print in Thorax.

So let’s see … prolonged TV viewing is now associatd with asthma, obesity, diabetes, promiscuity and smoking.