Monday, 29 April 2013

Structured training

So this week was my first week of structured training, under the guidance of tri guru Sheri Fraser. Just at the right time too, as it seems to be getting warmer. I know, I keep on saying that but the temperature always seem to drop down every now and then - very temperamental!

It's still a challenge finding a bike route that has low vehicle traffic during the weekdays. At the moment, I'm still riding on the indoor trainer during the week, but I was able to ride outside on Saturday. 100km ride in 3 hours 15 minutes, an average of 31kph. It was sunny and 22 degrees in the afternoon at it's warmest! Such a rare occasion, we did not need our jackets when we went out for dinner that evening.

I capped off the 14+ hour training week with a 16.7km run this morning, then headed off to Victoria Park in downtown where the Forest City Road Race was held. The London Triathlon Club had a tent there and I put myself down as a volunteer. Thought it will be a good opportunity to get the know the people who I would be training with - which reminds me, I better send in my membership forms soon! One of our girls won the women's 10km run in a blistering time of 39:35!

Looking forward to training with this group of people!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Come out and play

It is now coming to the end of April. But I have to say I haven't seen much of spring just yet. Just as the temperature started to rise, we had a full week of rain and storm. I did almost all my runs on the treadmill that week.

This week however, was a nice change. We had a few days of maximum temperature above 10 degrees. I did both of my runs in shorts and one of them in my singlet. Definitely feels a lot lighter than wearing multiple layers. On Saturday, when I usually do my ride, the weather took a turn and we had some light snow and strong winds. I decided to head to the gym and swim instead, hoping for better weather the next day. Luckily it all changed this morning and it was bright and sunny outside.

I took this opportunity to ride outside. It was still sub zero degrees when I started at 9am. But the sun was bright and soon I could feel my body warming up. In the days before I had been searching for ride routes in London. There aren't many and you have to ride out of town into the country roads to avoid the traffic. Hence, my scribblings of the directions on the piece of paper above.

The country roads were quiet. On average, I had one vehicle passed me every 10 minutes. But just like in town, because of the snow in winter, the road conditions are not very good, many of them have cracks, so I had to be careful. Also, had to re-learn to ride on the right side of the road.

All in all, I had a good ride. 82kms with an average speed of just over 31kph. Definitely beats meshing it out on the trainer indoors. The weather was kind, the winds weren't very strong. The route had some rollers, but mostly flat. I need to look for hillier routes to train for Ironman Whistler in August. Here's to a warmer spring in weeks to come!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

For Boston

As most of us now have heard, this year's Boston marathon was marred by a tragedy. A cowardly act of bombing near the finish line, causing 3 deaths including one of an innocent young child, and many others severely injured - many even losing their limbs. What was meant to be an iconic and special event turned into a horrific nightmare that would plague the sporting community and many of us for years to come. It is probably the worst act of terrorism at a major sporting event since 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and those affected by the bombings. I pray for their speedy recovery and strength to get through this difficult time. Frustration and anger would be understatements of how many will feel towards the perpetrator of the demonic act. But we, being united in sharing the same passion in this sport, are stronger than this. We shall make a stand. We would not be put off by this. We would keep on running.

I did my run yesterday. Sure I did not have anything fancy like a runner's bib to commemorate those who suffered in Boston. In fact, I was dispelling mucus from my ever runny nose all over my worn out fleece top and gloves. And I got lost halfway through the route, so I improvised and did 4 laps of an alternative  route, which is just under 3km each lap around the Western University compound.

But I ran anyway. Did you?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Only 12 months left

A man loves his wife the most.

A man loves his daughter (or in my case, the bike) the best.

But above all, a man loves his mother the longest.

Happy birthday mummy dearest! As my lil' sis said, only 12 months left to retirement and then, you can be a lady of leisure!
Mum seen here with dad at our wedding reception
Birthday dinner with the family (except me). I think I've missed out on mum's birthday for the 10th (maybe more, I've lost count) time now.
Missing you dearly, mum. Sending you lots of love, hugs and kisses all the way from Canada!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Back to work

So I have been working for about a week already - 4 days since Easter Monday was a public holiday. As much as I enjoyed being a full time triathlete and able to train during the day, take naps, watch movies etc. for the past 8 weeks or so, it is nice to be getting back into the workforce and knowing that I'll be bringing in a paycheck at the end of each month.

For the past week, I was mainly an observer as to how my predecessor worked. We have a month of hand over before she goes on maternity leave. The work environment is fairly relaxed although there seem to be quite a lot going on - dealing with research grants, physician billings, secretaries salaries and many others. I'm one out of the two males in the department. Maybe that's why I got the job, to balance the gender inequality haha.

We are currently working in the basement floor of the University Hospital, which is located two blocks away from Li-Ann's office. So it's pretty convenient, we get to travel to and from work together. I have also signed up for membership at the uni gym. I get staff rates - for less than C$25 per month, I get access to the fitness centre, swimming pool and get to hire squash courts etc. A pretty good deal I reckon. My access is only early morning weekdays (6am to 9am) and anytime on the weekends. I could get full access for another C$12 but I figured I'm quite a morning person so I can do with those savings. All this would change though come mid August, when our staff will be moving to Victoria Hospital, about 15km further south but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The weather seems to be warming up, though I wouldn't hold my breath. It was 12 degrees as I did my run this morning at about 10am. Hopefully it will stay warm and we can finally cycle outdoors.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Happy Easter!

As it was the Easter long weekend, Li-Ann and I took a drive down to visit her relatives in Markham, about 200+kms drive away. The freeway was pretty busy, what would usually take us 2.5 hours, became close to 3.5 hours that day. But we were greeted with delicious home cooked meal - BBQ pork, salted vege soup and many others.

The next day, we took a trip to Niagara Falls, which was about 2 hours drive from Markham. We first had picnic at Niagara On The Lake. Li-Ann's cousin cooked chicken curry - my favourite! And it was well complimented with roti canai which we bought on the way. We then headed to Niagara Falls itself. By the time we got back to Markham, it was close to midnight. A long day out, luckily we didn't do any of the driving. The trip was totally worth it as the view was captivating.
In addition to the chicken curry and roti canai, we had lots and lots of other snacks!

Beautiful pictures taken by Li-Ann's niece. If you stand close enough to the railings, you actually get wet from the water droplets and mist.

Finger licking good! Enjoying Beaver Tails in Clifton Hill just minutes walk from Niagara Falls. Clifton Hill is a street of amusement park with Madam Tussauds, Ripleys Believe It or Not, Dracula's Haunted Castle, Fudge Factory and many others.

The rest of the weekend, we did some shopping for our home supplies. Markham has a lot more variety especially in Asian food. We even went to Ikea in North York as the closest Ikea to us is more than an hour's drive away.

Thank you, Li-Ann's cousins and nieces for the wonderful weekend. We truly enjoyed ourselves and were very well taken care of (and gained a few kgs too haha) during this trip. Will definitely drop by to visit again sometime.