Monday, June 30, 2014

Long Weekend Lowdown & Speedy Swims

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Hi all, hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Tomorrow is Canada Day so I have an extra long weekend with today off as well. The kids just finished school last week and to celebrate one of Kennedy's friends had a slumber party. That meant that on Friday night it was just Michelle, Jackson and I, so we went out for some appetizers and drinks.


We went somewhere nice and close so we were able to walk over. Not all of us were able to walk back under our own power though...I think maybe J had too many French fries :)


We made it up to the cottage later on Saturday and it has been a weekend full of friends and family, and of course the beach. The weather has been great, nice and hot! We had friends come up on Sunday and it was great getting to spend the day with them. Kennedy was especially excited because one of the couples that came were bringing their baby and she hadn't had a chance to meet her yet...Kennedy loved holding her all afternoon. Jackson spent the afternoon biking, eating cupcakes and working on his selfie skills with Michelle.


Moving back a bit to last week, I had my Splash n Dash on Wednesday evening at Lake Whitakker. I was coming off a pretty successful race at Guelph (despite the cheating incident) and my swimming confidence was really increasing. There are usually a couple of swim packs on Wednesday nights and typically find myself near the front of the second pack...this week I decided to try and swim with the lead pack instead. I was able to stay on the back of the lead group the whole time as I stuck on the feet of one of the girls the whole time...I was out of the water with the lead group in 27 minutes (1600m) and then out onto the 5K run. I stuck with the same girl I drafted in the water and sat on her shoulder most of the time as she's a real fast runner. On one of the final hills I decided to make a bit of a push and was able to pass her and cruise home to finish in second place for the night, along with the fastest run split at 20:45. I even managed to stay on course the whole time, no cheating! My time was almost 3 minutes faster than the previous week, so I am continuing to get better week over week with the Splash n Dashes...they have been awesome training!

Only two more weeks until Musselman 70.3...yikes!

Who's enjoying their long weekend?



 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

3 Cheap Runners Weekend Wrap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

While the 3 Cheap Runners enjoy their day off, here are a few of the happenings that caught their eyes during the past week...

 

Links we Liked

 

In case you missed a day...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Snapshot Saturday

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
Enjoy some photos snapped by the 3CheapRunners this week as seen on Instagram.
 
 
 
 
 



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Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Fav's

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Happy looong weekend to some of our Canadian Friends. Canada Day actually falls on Tuesday, but some people get Monday instead - or you could just be like Mike and have Monday AND Tuesday off.

It's been a tough week in our neck of the woods...but to quote Bobbi "I am choosing Joy". So let's talk about a few fav's this week

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1.

I can't get enough of this song. And sometimes I just listen to the song on repeat while I am sitting at my desk working...although if I'm being totally honest...I really like anything Pitbull

2.

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I've still been a faithful aqua-fit attendee...it's nice having something to go to on my own...it's therapeutic and a good solid workout all rolled into one (as I write this I can smell myself...I smell like chlorine 'cause I just got home from class)

3.

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Funky crazy print pants that I can wear to work...it's the next best thing since sweatpants are not in the dress code

4.

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This view...it never gets old...I could totally handle the Florida summer heat

5.

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I think this speaks for itself

What is one of your favourite summer drinks?

Anyone racing this weekend?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why do I do This to Myself and Back to the Olden Days

Posted by CheapRunnerRhoda

I got my hair done the other night. 3 hours of foiling and here’s how I look.

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As I am sitting there getting this done, I was thinking to myself, why do I do this to myself. I hate getting my hair done!! I do like the end results though and after 5 hours of sitting in various chairs, I was happy!! No pics of that though #bloggerfail.

After almost a week of doing no exercise at all, I finally got my butt out yesterday. I have been fighting with a cold or some allergies or something and have been very congested. Yesterday was a little cooler out so I thought I would give it a try and see if I could breath and how I would feel. I went to put my Nikeplus watch on and found that I was completely dead, so I went and grabbed my old sports watch and thought I would just run for 40 minutes or so. I knew a good 8k trek so headed out to do that.

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This is the watch that I used when I first started running outdoors 3 years ago. I used to just say, I want to run for 30 min, or 40 min etc. today and that is what I would do. I did that for the first year of my running before I got my Nikeplus gps watch. It really brought the memories back to me of when I first started running and I felt so Old School but it was nice to reminisce. I ended up getting the 8k trek done in 42:30 min and I felt great the entire time. My Saucony Kinvaras, in these pics, are getting near the end of their days so I am trying to finish them off to make room in my closet for my newer ones. They are now 8 k closer to retirement Smile I followed my run with some trigger point therapy foam rolling.

After my successful run yesterday I thought it was time to reward myself…

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One I bought in Canada for about $1.75 and the other I bought in the US for $1.00. Can you guess which one???

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Then it was time for some food.

Nachos it was!! I seriously hadn’t had nachos in over a month!! That is probably a record for me in the last 15 years of my life! They were everything I thought they would be.

Note my bowl size of sour cream and salsa…. This is how big they should be. It was the perfect amount!

Anybody else fighting off a cold or allergies right now?

What are in your plans for today?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guelph Lake 1 Olympic Triathlon Recap…and an Apology

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

This past weekend I raced my first triathlon of the season -- and the first tri I've done in 20 months -- up in Guelph Ontario.  It was the Guelph Lake 1 Triathlon, part of the Subaru Triathlon Series and I competed in the Olympic distance event (1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run).

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The race was Saturday morning and I had to get up way too early…I was out of bed by 4:15 so that I could pack up the Jeep and hit the road for the 2 hour drive.  Saturday was the first day of summer and therefore the longest day of the year, and it sure felt like it.  I saw the sun start to bring the day to life shortly after 5am…that just ain't right.

I arrived at Guelph Lake Conservation Area right around 7:00 and the race was set to start at 8.  I went and racked my bike, got my bib and swag bag and then went to body marking.  Once that was done I went about setting up my transition area.

I kept an eye out for people I might know as I knew there were a few folks from the Wednesday Splash n Dash competing as well as Don from Masters Swim.  I spotted Don coming into transition and we wished each other well then I got ready to head down to the beach for the swim start.

I was really looking forward to the swim for the first time ever in a triathlon and I was curious to see how I would do.  In the past I have had some panic set in at the swim start, getting a little claustrophobic out in the water with the crush of people on me and I've never felt good getting out of the water, being dizzy and light-headed.  This year would be different though…I had a wetsuit for the first time and more than anything I knew my hours in the pool would pay off.  I was hoping to have a swim under 30 minutes, a 2:00/100m pace.

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1500m Swim - 25:24 (1:42/100m, 4/30 in Age Group)

I was in the second wave and we were off at 8:03.  I took off at the horn and tried to get going, but I took a pretty good swat to the head knocking my goggles askew.  I kept going for a minute, but my goggles were filling with water so I just took a second to clear them and get them back on properly.  This quick break also allowed my to find some clean water and settle into my own rhythm.  The swim was going great.  It was a pretty basic one loop out and back swim with just two turns to worry about.  I made a real effort to spot well so that I could swim as straight as possible and it seemed to work as I only once found myself swimming off course.

I made my way back to shore swimming past all kinds of red caps (athletes from the first wave) and plenty of blue-cappers as well (second wave like me).  This was a real confidence boost, as was the great feeling as I came out of the water and made the sprint up the beach to T1…I felt awesome, no dizziness at all and everything was going … ahem … swimmingly.

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I hit T1 and the first thing I noticed was that there were still a LOT of bikes on the Men's 35-39 rack…like almost all of them.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was 4th out of the water for my age group (of 30 athletes) and I had done the swim in a little over 25 minutes…much faster than my goal time!  I ditched the wetsuit and got geared up for the 40K bike…I was in and out of T1 in 2:09, just a little slower than I would have liked but I wasn't rushing anything.  I wanted to make sure I had everything I would need.

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40K Bike - 1:08:48 (34.9kph/21.8mph, 6/30 in Age Group)

The bike was something I was really looking forward to.  I love my new bike and couldn't wait to race with her.  The course was a 40K out and back over rolling countryside.  The roads were pretty good for the most part, with the exception of some really rough surface at the start/finish.  There were also quite a few corners, something that I learned I will need to work on…I had quite a few guys open a gap on me in the turns.

The bike did great on the hills and was so nice and light.  I never felt like I was working too hard and just kept my legs spinning the whole time, working the gears in aero.  It was a blast!  Coming back was mostly downhill so I was able to build some really good speed, so much so that on one of the shorter climbs I actually passed a couple of cars that were out for a (slow) drive.  Any of the motorists who found themselves caught up in the middle of our race were great…very slow and very careful, which was greatly appreciated.

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I hit T2 after a 1:08:48 bike, which I was very happy with considering the course was a bit hilly and had some rough patches coupled with a number of corners.  I had been shooting for 35kph and ended up at 34.9kph, so we'll say I hit the target.  As I crossed the mat heading into T2 I heard the announcer call my name…"There's Mike Cooke from London, who is having himself a great race today!"  It was a nice boost, as was a rack that only had 3 bikes on it so far…I was sitting in 4th place in my age group after the swim and bike, and I was heading into my strength, the run.

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10K Run - 38:35 (3:52/km 6:11/mile, 2/30 in Age Group)

I threw on my shoes, watch and visor and hit the 10K run course.  It stayed entirely within the park and had a few little rolling hills.  The legs were a bit jello-like at first but I was still putting down a good pace.  Once the legs felt normal I was able to up the speed a bit more.  It was really getting hot at this point so I had a couple sips of water, but most of my cup ended up being dumped over my head.  I was passing a few people and nobody really passed me…it was a strong run.  As I came towards the end of the run I started to notice that my watch was off at the kilometre markings, which was strange but not entirely unheard of during a race.  My watch has been off by as much as 500m over a 10K race before, so I didn't think too much of it and continued to drop the hammer and take time out of my pace.

I made the turn to the finish line and saw 2:19:xx on the screen.  I couldn't believe it.  I had wanted to break 2:30…so ya, I think I might be able to break that goal.  As my wave started 3 minutes after the official start my finish time was 2:16:30!  Unbelievable!  My previous best in an Olympic race was 2:37:52, and that was on a nice flat course with a shorter swim.  This was incredible.  This was the result of lots of hard work through the winter and spring.  I was so proud.  I found the results not long after finishing and saw that I had placed third in my age group and 25th overall (out of nearly 400).

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I was able to get up on the podium to get my bronze medal and even got to mug for a few photos (thanks for the pics Kevin!)  After that I dropped the top on the Jeep and set off for a beautiful drive to the cottage on an amazing sunny day.

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What a great day and an awesome race, right?  Well, the post title says there's a recap and an apology.  Here's the apology part.

I didn't have access to a computer over the weekend as I was at the cottage, but when I got home on Sunday night I went to upload my GPS data and take a good look at my results.  I ran a sub-39 10K.  While I have run that fast before, I certainly haven't run that fast off a 40K bike.  My watch showed 8.843km, nearly 1200m short of 10K.  I went to the race website and pulled up the course map.  I went into the Nike site and viewed the map from my GPS.  There was a second turnaround.  I missed it.  I don't know how, but I did.  I continued looking on the race website, this time for a contact email, and proceeded to send this.

From: CheapRunnerMike
Sent: June 22, 2014 6:03 PM
To: "Subaru Triathlon Series"
Subject: Guelph Lake I Result - Olympic Triathlon

I'm not sure where I should send this, but...

I cheated.

I didn't mean to -- I honestly didn't even know I had -- but it seems after looking at my results and my GPS today, I cut the second out and back of the run.  I can honestly say I didn't see anyone out there directing me to turn and I can't remember ever missing a marked turn, but I obviously did.

What really sucks is that I had a great race and would have still had a great race if I ran that second out and back.  I would have easily PR'd and smashed my goal for the day.  Instead I have to explain to all the people I told that I didn't actually do as well as I thought, and that the medal I earned wasn't earned at all.

I placed third in my age group, Men's 35-39, and received a bronze medal.  I try to teach my kids to do the right thing and this is where I need to lead by example.  Please let me know where to send it, and please accept my apologies.

Sincerely,
Mike Cooke
Bib 102

--------------------------------------
From:
"Subaru Triathlon Series"
Date: June 23, 2014 at 10:24:41 AM EDT
To: CheapRunnerMike
Subject: RE: Guelph Lake I Result - Olympic Triathlon

Hi Mike,
We appreciate your honesty. Your kids can be proud!

We will contact our timer and have this result modified. We will be sure
that the appropriate third place finisher get his medal mailed to him.

Do not worry about having the third mailed back to us as we have quite a few thirds left over :)

Blair Hutchings
Subaru Triathlon Series

So yes, I cheated…and I'm sorry.  I figured out that if I had run the second out and back I would have taken another 5 minutes and would have come in at about 2:21 and 5th in my age group.  I would have been thrilled with that…too bad.  Lesson learned -- KNOW THE COURSE.  I had looked at the course map, but I hadn't studied the course map.  Big difference (obviously.)  Once I knew the medal wasn't mine, I didn't want it and wanted to do whatever I could to make it right.  To Bob Hayes of Toronto, congratulations on third place and I'm sorry you didn't get to enjoy your moment on the podium.

Have you ever "cheated" during a race?

Do you study course maps before a race?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fireworks

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Well friends I've just returned home from a whirlwind work trip to Florida. I was hoping for a little R&R in the sunshine the day we arrived, but alas the clouds and rain had rolled in...so what else is a girl to do given those conditions...but shop.
First up was a stop for lunch at Crispers. Crispers is a Lakeland, Florida based chain of fast casual restaurants with an emphasis on health‑conscious fare and a menu that consists mainly of salads and sandwiches. (Wikipedia)...and lunch was ah...mazzzzing!!!!

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Then we headed to the outlets (while my boss headed to the golf course - win/win!) It was a fairly "early" night for the trip, as we were back to the hotel by 10pm to hit the hay. I had good intentions of getting up for a run on Friday morning, but after an extremely long Thursday (up at 2am to head to the airport, after only 2hrs of sleep...and then no nap during the day)...I literally passed out, and I knew I needed my sleep, as the next few days were going to be long ones...so sleep it was - and then off to work for the day...to watch dress after dress for 9 hours straight come down the runway...I swear after awhile they all look exactly the same...and then try doing that for another 2 days. Every time we break or have lunch, I like to get out of the AC and into the Florida sunshine (those from Florida think I'm just plain 'ol crazy)...but seriously...how can you pass this view up

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Friday night we headed to the yacht club (yes I know...my job doesn't suck). I'll let the pics speak for themselves

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Saturday night after work - they arranged for the entire office staff and all of us international distributors to head out for some bowling. I was a little skeptical at first...but we ended up having a blast!!! It was great to get out of the office with everyone, and spend some time together in a more relaxed environment - and just having some good 'ol fashion fun together

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When we headed back to the hotel - that's when the fireworks happened...in my hotel room...

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I had decided that I should probably plug in my GPS watch to charge...the sparks started flying so I quickly pulled the plug out, at which point the edge of of watch fused to the plug...so I literally had to rip it off...so now I need to "shave" the 2 exposed metal areas on my watch so that I don't injure myself...talk about a scary moment.

And today I leave you with this

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Have you ever electrocuted yourself?

Do you get to travel anywhere for work?

Monday, June 23, 2014

One Day At A Time

Posted by CheapRunnerRhoda
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Happy Monday friends!! I hope everyone had a fulfilling and relaxing weekend!

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is life. How can we not think about that right?? I mean it’s something we do everyday! Live life.. My life has certainly not gone anything like I thought it would be and sometimes this upsets me and can bring me down. I am a pretty positive person and really don’t let too many things bring me down, but when I think about being 36 and having no family of my own, it makes me sad… I don’t talk about my personal life often, in fact, I don’t think I ever have on this blog but I thought maybe I should share some things… Maybe other people are struggling and it will make them feel better to know they are not alone in going through these things…

When I say, a family of my own, I mean someone who I can go through life with and if children are meant to be a part of that then yay! I have never been that girl, who just wanted to get married and have children. I love children but have never had that burning desire for my own. Maybe I am not meant to have children, maybe it has something to do with my relationship with my mother (that is very up and down and we are not close at all) I don’t know, but I have always had an open mind about it, not knowing who I would meet and what they would want. One thing I have always wanted though, is to find a partner who I can go through life with and be there for every step of the way and have them beside me for every step of my way. Not too much to ask for right?!?!

I have always been a firm believer that I am right where I am supposed to be and making the best of it…

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I love that and still firmly believe in it! I have had to say that to myself a lot in the past year.

In the last year, my life has completely changed. I have had a lot of minor changes, which everyone does in a year, and a couple pretty major changes.

I had been in a relationship for 5 years, where we shared a house, cottage, home, a life together. That ended May of 2013. I went from never wanting to be in a relationship again, to meeting a man, that so far has made me happier than I have ever been. It scares me to give my heart over to someone again but I realize I need to enjoy the moments and take one day at a time. This has always been my mantra and advice I give people all the time. So I will continue to tell myself that and see where this takes me…

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I had worked at the same company for 15 years and had been in the same department for the last 10 years of that. In April of 2014 I decided to move to another department. I went from knowing exactly how my day would go, when I would take my lunch, knowing most things and being that person that everyone came to because I knew what was going on to knowing basically nothing… Even though it is still the same company, I am in a completely different world. 3 months into this job, I am enjoying it immensely but get scared when I think about the future and how I am going to maintain this job…. Again, I need to remind myself to live one day at a time…

I know we all go through tough times in life and these tough times are what make us stronger, and wiser individuals, so I am thankful for these things.

One day at a time is the best way I can sum up how to live life. We don’t know what tomorrow brings and we don’t know if we have tomorrow. All we know is that we have today! Lets make the best of it!

Have a great day everyone! Whatever your struggle is, whatever your mantra is-Live life!

What is your Life Mantra??

What is the most exiting thing you are looking forward to today??

Sunday, June 22, 2014

3 Cheap Runners' Weekend Wrap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

While the 3 Cheap Runners enjoy their day off, here are a few of the happenings that caught their eyes during the past week...

 

Links we Liked

 

In case you missed a day...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Snapshot Saturday

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
Enjoy some photos snapped by the 3CheapRunners this week as seen on Instagram.
 
 
 
 
 



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