Farrah – A story of inspiration.

Street-LightIt is easy to look back and think when we were younger we had better manners or were more respectful of our parents than the current generation of children. We played outside until it got dark, or the streetlights came on. It was a cardinal sin to want to stay indoors. I just got kicked out and told to play. That is how we learned to build social skills and prepare us for the challenges that life was sure to throw our way. Could the younger generation still have the same basic respect and kindness that we were taught was a necessity? They seem to spend far too much time indoors playing video games with imaginary friends on the other side of the planet that they are sure to never meet.

565224919This week I got the answer to that question. A wonderful young lady named Farrah touched me. She has a love for animals and desperately wanted to save one from the local shelter. Farrah had been saving her money to pay the adoption fee. You might think this was a bit self serving as she would get to take the kitten home herself. That is where the story takes a turn. She was adopting an animal from the local SPCA to place in someone else’s home! What a selfless and ever so kind act. Being a bachelor I thought this might just be the thing I need. It might do my heart some good to come home to a new pet creating a sense of purpose. After very little thought I accepted the offer to be the beneficiary of Farrah’s awesome act of kindness.

IMG_1416I spent some time at the local SPCA with Allison (Farrah’s Mom!) picking out the perfect partner. To be honest it didn’t take very long. A little orange and white kitten picked me. He cuddled into my coat (leaving fur everywhere) and purred. Game over, he was going home with me. It turned out that he had a fever so we had a false start taking him home. After another day of meds at the SPCA he was ready to come home to his forever home.

With some help of my friends and co-workers I scoured the internet for an appropriate name. I wanted to go with a literary theme as some consider me an author. Gatsby, Dante, Booker, and many other names were considered. I finally landed on Kipling, or Kippers for short. You may have noticed the recent quote from Rupert Kipling on my author page. It was not a coincidence! Earlier tonight Kippers was delivered to my place by Farrah and Allison. The fun now begins as my place is sure to never look tidy again. I have started saving for new furniture that I am sure to need after the kitty phase.

IMG_1432So I have a new kitten and also a renewed sense of faith in our younger generation. Kindness it seems can be found everywhere if you just open yourself up and look for it. Farrah and Kippers have proved that to me.

See you at the next finish line…… (with Kippers)

 

Italy – Here I come!

IMG_3181It has been a long time since I’ve gone on a vacation. Things have been busy and it is time for a little rest and relaxation. I looked around for somewhere interesting to go and for various reasons I landed on Florence, Italy. I was there once before, but it was a day trip. I was captivated by the history, architecture, and mostly the art. I hope to see many museums and write. I am almost finished my third book, but I want to come back from Italy with a plot for book #4. I am hoping inspiration will hit! There is big news in Italy that will make it to the blog at some point soon!

LOGOI am trying to get back into my yoga practice. Over the summer I just didn’t find the time to attend. On Saturday I went back to the morning class and it was really good. I realized why I had missed it as it is very calming for me in an otherwise hectic and stressful life.

triathlon2My triathlon group met last night to discuss the upcoming season. It was a smaller group that have all signed up for the full Ironman in Mont Tremblant in 2019. We discussed lodging, training plans, and warm-up races. The plan for the group is to do a monthly three hour ride indoors to get us through the winter (in addition to the regular training craziness). There may be a trip to Indiana in my future for the Muncie 70.3. I may also run the “around the bay” race in Hamilton in March.

This past week I travelled 151 kms during my training. The running volume is steadily increasing. There are more tempo runs and interval training being slipped into the program. My quads seem like they are in constant pain, lol.

See you at the next finish line….

Fall Colours

Fall-Colors-McKittrick-112-Buehler-yesIt didn’t take long for the cooler weather to change the colour of the trees. It seemed like overnight they went from a deep green to all of the vibrant colours we come to expect in the fall. Last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving. Brittany spent the weekend with Rui and his family north of Toronto, but Brandon and I got a chance to eat some of my mom’s turkey dinner. Brandon had taken the train down from Ottawa and we had a chance to get caught up. We drove through the old neighbourhood in Maitland and got a chance to talk to some good friends. The food at Mom’s was spectacular as usual. It will be a few weeks before I burn enough calories to offset the meal.

1920px-Humber_River_Hospital_After_ConstructionBrittany began her first full time job as a Physiotherapist. She accepted a position at the Humber River hospital in Toronto. It is a dream come true for her. She loves her chosen profession and prefers a hospital setting over private practice. We have lots to talk about now as we are both in the healthcare field. It is interesting for me to hear about the technology at Humber River and compare it to what we have at Providence Care. They are both relatively new facilities.

MOCK UP TRANSPARENT BACKGROUNDMy latest book continues to get positive reviews from those who have read it. It is nice to get stopped in the hall at work and told that someone stayed up all night to read it. It is gaining some momentum via word of mouth. I may do a facebook marketing campaign soon like I did for my first book. It helps with international sales and exposure. I am just finishing up the first draft of my third book. It is called “Buried Past”. Stay tuned.

This past week I travelled 161 kilometres during my training.

See you at the next finish line…

New Book and New Season

MOCK UP TRANSPARENT BACKGROUNDMy second book has been released! It is called In Hiding. It is a thriller that takes place in Key West, Florida. Each book I write is a different journey. After the creative process of the first draft there is months of work that follows. The cover art, the editing, the publishing, it all takes time. I have received plenty of positive feedback so far, overwhelmingly so! You can buy any of my books by using the links on my website at www.mrmceachern.com I also have copies if anyone is looking for an autographed copy. I am working on another author signing!!!

Iron_Stride_vertical_red_400x400I have begun training for next season of triathlons. There are a number of us that are part of the IronStride Team that are racing at Mont Tremblant next year. It is good to have a group that is all doing the same event as it makes the training more interesting and supportive. We have a group meeting planned in October to discuss lodging and other logistical items.

This past week I travelled 142 kms during my training. See you at the next finish line.

Lake Placid (coming soon)

The lead up to my Lake Placid race has seemed less than enthusiastic. I am doing most of the workouts that Randy has posted for me, but they are not feeling all that great. Kind of feels like I am going through the motions. I need to reset my goals for this one. Instead of performance goals (which I almost certainly won’t hit), I need to focus on process goals. If I can have a smooth race and keep a positive mindset I will have had a successful race.

goals

Swim – Calm start and finish my stroke. I am losing power with a short stroke and i need to extend it. That will be my thought for the swim segment.

Bike – Survive the descent into Keene. It is a very fast (I hit 76 kms/hr in practice) downhill and a dangerous section of the course.

Run – One foot in front of the other and thank the volunteers at each station. Keep positive as it will hurt.

Last week I travelled 201 kms during my training.

See you at the Lake Placid finish line!

A Completed Race

Its-Been-a-Year-03It has been almost a year since I raced last. I can’t believe it has been that long. Time has really flown by over the last eventful year. Once the race began it felt natural, but the lead up was unsettling. I wasn’t sure I could do this anymore. It didn’t help that there was plenty of smack talk amongst my friends. Something about the loser having to buy beer. In the end I had a good race. I was actually 12 seconds faster than last years result. Not bad considering last year I was on my final build for the Ironman race and probably in the best shape of my life. I escaped the bar bill. Next stop, Lake Placid. I need to take a trip out that way to do a trial session on the bike course. I hear it is crazy.

My Mom sent me a few pictures yesterday. She saw a triathlete in me at a young age and got me a fancy bike. That is sarcasm. I think if I had used my bike from the 70s with the banana seat I might still be on the course right now. I would be slow, bit oh so cool. Like my “tri”cycle as well? Nothing like matching sweaters. My striped pants would have also been a big hit at the race today.

IMG_2242I got to meet Erica today at the race. She has been a long time follower of the blog due to her friendship with Brittany. She was brave and did the long course today. It was so hot out there I can’t imagine doing a long race in today’s weather. But she did it!! We got a selfie to prove to Brittany that we really did do the race (the sun was in my eyes). Brittany was in Portugal, tough life of a student.

Last week I travelled 147 kms during my training.

See you at the next finish line….

 

Back in the Groove

UnknownI finally found some consistency this past week. My swimming is picking up again as I get  the feel for the water. I have to get  some more open water swims under my belt before my next race. They are the key to my swimming confidence. The bike is feeling better as well. My running is still slow, but the mileage is beginning add up. I won’t be breaking any records anytime soon. The goal is just to get my mojo back.

 

51328_0b53b2Brittany is preparing for her trip to Portugal with Rui. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was jealous. A vacation away from the Kingston area would be very welcome at this point. I have nothing on the horizon as my priorities have been elsewhere. Maybe in the fall I will be able to get away somewhere.

under pressureThe K-town Triathlon is fast approaching. My friends Chris and Laura are planning on mopping the floor with me this year (last year I was the victor). To be honest, if they don’t beat me they should be very embarrassed as they are both well trained. See how I set them up? Pressure mounting a little?

 

This past week I travelled 149 kms during my training. Good luck to my friends doing the full Ironman in Lake Placid. The race is on as I type!

See you at the next finish line….

 

Long Awaited Return

top-15-quotes-about-life-changes-httpwwwetthebestyou-551615It has been an extremely rough start to 2017. I won’t get into the specifics here on the blog, but most of you will know what has been going on recently. It is a tough time in my life and there are many scary things on the horizon. For this reason my planned races for  2018 have not panned out. I was scheduled to race Muskoka 70.3 this past weekend and also the Mont Tremblant full Ironman in August. I cancelled my Muskoka plans and was able to defer my full Ironman until next year without losing any money. Missing both races was very depressing, but it was the right thing to do as my head is not in the game. I think physically I could have done both races but not at the level I would have been proud of and emotionally I wasn’t even close to ready. It takes a strong mind as well as a strong body to do these things and 1/2 the equation wasn’t going to cut it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 1_03_05 PMI have continued to train but not at the intensity that I am accustomed. The motivation hasn’t been there. Skipping swimming sessions seems to be an easy choice on most days. This past weekend I decided I needed to hit reset and plan for a fall race with the hope that I will find some joy and intensity in the training again. I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid 70.3 on September 9th. That gives me a couple of months to get “race ready”.

calendarFor next year I signed up for both the 70.3 and the full Ironman in Mont Tremblant. It will be a repeat of last year with hopefully better results. I will be two years older but I still think I can beat my previous times in both of those races. I am trying desperately not to succumb to father time.

appreciationFor those of you that have sent me messages or called to see how I have been it is much appreciated. My children have been awesome beyond belief. I am trying to get my mojo back. Life doesn’t always go as planned and who knows what will happen tomorrow. I am hoping a handful of race goals will help me stay busy and fit in the meantime.

As always, see you at the next finish line….

Waiting on Spring

dogcar-111Ok, enough of winter. Just when you think it is warming up we get another cold snap. It has really felt like the longest winter in history. I am longing for a nice long bike ride outside with the wind in my face. My training has felt a touch unmotivated. I am hoping nice warm weather will help with that. A little vitamin D never hurt anyone right?

 

IMG_2461Brittany and Rui came to visit this weekend. It was nice to see them again and they both looked good. We went out on Saturday night for Rui’s birthday celebration. He is the old age of 28 now! We went to Lone Star and he got the regular birthday treatment from the staff. Nothing like standing on a chair in the middle of a restaurant. He was a good sport. They are both excited about there trip this upcoming summer to Portugal. Rui gets to show Brittany around his old stomping grounds. Brittany only has a few months left before she will graduate with her Masters Degree. I think it will be hard for her to leave Toronto as she really enjoys it. There are also good job prospects in that area.

IMG_7608Brandon spent the better part of the week in Toronto visiting with Kayla. She only has one semester left before she graduates from U of T. I think they have decided that Toronto might be too expensive to live in long term so they may end up in a smaller town setting, possibly Kingston. Who really knows, things change quickly. Brandon will likely be in Ottawa until the end of the summer when it all gets figured out. They will go where the jobs are!

All of the income taxes have been completed for the year. Everyone is anxiously awaiting their refunds. It is a nice little bonus at this time of year for the students.

UnknownMy training continued, as usual. The running mileage is increasing in distance and intensity now. I had a tough hill workout earlier in the week. Saturday’s swim was also a treat! I travelled 131 kms during my training this past week.

See you at the next finish line….

 

What is this 153 thing?

n0153What is 153? It could be many things. Let’s start with it’s obvious mathematical properties. It is a whole number. It is also an odd number. Did you know that it is also the sum of the first 17 integers? Now we are getting somewhere. We are really getting a good feel for this 153 thing. Do you remember factorials from high school or University? Well 153 is the sum of the first five positive factorials!

8a96b46f25288818b15f932d2913f9d9The distinct prime factors of 153 add up to 20, as do the factors of 154, so the two form a Ruth-Aaron pair. So very interesting right? 153 is also the smallest three digit number that can be expressed as the sum of the cubes of it’s digits. Is anyone still reading, or understanding for that matter. I do have a way of creating compelling content don’t I? Ok, one last mathematical fact. 153 is base 2 (binary) is a palindrome (10011001).

john21-11border

153 was also the atomic number for a temporary element known as Unpenttrium. It was only temporary, so why make a big deal. It has also been noted that Tettragrammoton occurs 153 times in the Book of Genesis. It is also the number of fish the apostles caught when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them.

 

Most importantly, 153 is the number of kilometres I travelled this week during my training. You knew I would find a way make sense of this entire blog post.

I think we should all push to have hashtag 153 go viral. You saw it here first. #153 #153 #153.

See you at the next finish line….