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).

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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….

 

Beta Readers Required!

MOCK UP TRANSPARENT BACKGROUNDWhat better way to spend your cold February than to read a new book. My second novel now has a release date of May 1st. The title of the novel is “In Hiding” and it takes place on the tiny island of Key West, Florida. It is another mystery/thriller (a bit more of a dark thriller than the last novel). That is all the information I am sharing at this point in time. As part of the writing and editing process I am at the stage where I need a handful of beta readers. The purpose of a beta reader is to read the book and answer a set of questions to help me ensure that the novel flows well and has interesting character development. The most important role a beta reader plays is to be objective. If the book is hard to follow and does not keep your attention, I need to know that. If you are interested in performing the role of a beta reader on my new novel please reach out to me and let me know. I will send you the digital manuscript with a set of questions probing you for pointed feedback. Oh yes, you will also have a deadline! In return, you get to say you read my new novel first and played a role in shaping its success. If you know someone who is a big reader, it might be better for them to be a beta reader rather than you. Think it over!

Test-SetsTraining has continued. The swimming, biking, and running is still a major part of most days. I have remained relatively injury free this winter. I think I have learned to listen to my body a little more and back off when I feel beat up. I also believe that my regular yoga sessions have helped tremendously with flexibility and injury prevention. Yesterday in the pool we did time trials. My speed (or lack thereof) was not good. I guess that is a relative thing as it is better than this time last year, but I was still disappointed. Good thing I have a few months left before my first race. This past week I travelled 141 kilometers during my training.

See you at the next finish line…..

The Piano Follies

photo-6We decided to sell our piano this week. It was purchased many years back as Brandon took lessons. It was not a purchase we ever regretted as he progressed through various levels of the Royal Conservatory program. He is quite good now! Now that he has moved out it has become furniture, rather than an instrument that was being used. Well, the cats would play a bit when we were out, but they don’t count. I put it on Kijiji earlier in the week. There was plenty of interest. My concern was getting it out of the house as it was big and heavy. One guy was ready to take it but him and his buddy were going to put it in the back of a pickup truck somehow. It didn’t feel right, or safe. Finally I was contacted by a local family with a young son who is just starting his musical journey. They hired professional movers to come and get it. It felt better than the two guys with the pickup. The family gave us a nice card thanking us for helping to give their son the gift of music.

europe-mapMy Facebook advertising continued this week. I am gaining more followers from all over the world. It is so interesting how with modern technology I can reach people that only a few years ago would have been impossible to reach. I targeted Europe in my marketing campaign and it shows in the “likes” on Facebook and sales in my book. Onwards and upwards (I hope).

119_km_in_mileThis past week I travelled 119 kms during my training.

See you at the next finish line…..

 

Facebook Marketing

FacebookI have been taking an online course to understand how to market using Facebook. It is a very complicated process with many moving pieces but I think I understand it now. I am able to target marketing of my book to a specific country, age, and gender, with a browsing history of James Patterson fans (as an example). Did you every wonder why when you do a Google search on Ford cars that the local Ford dealership ad shows up in your Facebook feed a few hours later? It is all one connected ecosystem. My ads will also automatically be on Twitter and Instagram. I will be everywhere, prepare yourself.

Gold-star-star-no-background-clipartIn order to make all this happen I had to create a “fan” page on Facebook. Thank you to everyone that accepted my invitation or liked the page. Those of you that shared it earn an extra gold star. You are definitely in my tribe, my street crew!

My Ironman training continued this week. Was there any doubt? I travelled 113kms as my run mileage continues to increase each week. I am doing 2-3 runs a week over 80 minutes in duration now. A couple shorter ones are thrown in there as well. My biking is consistent, I will wait util spring to pick up the biking miles.

Finish-Line-PhotoSee you at the finish line…

Crazy Weather and News!

no-excusesIt has been a few weeks since I updated my blog. I could give excuses about Christmas being busy, work being busy, and lots of training, but why bother. The bottom line is I have been neglecting my blog. Time to get back into the habit! The weather has been really crazy lately. We had tons of rain and warm weather and then 24 hours later the temperature dropped drastically and we were shovelling snow. Well, to be truthful I have a good friend who has been kind enough to plow my driveway for the heavy snowfalls. Lucky me.

renewLast year I had a word for the year, it was complete. I wanted to finally complete my book and complete my Ironman. I did both of them! It seems to be a “thing” now. Everyone has a word that will define the upcoming year’s intentions. I have decided my word for this year will be “renew”. I want to have a renewed energy for getting faster in my athletic endeavours. I have set some new time goals for the 1/2 and full Ironman distances. Those goals will either have me not finishing the races due to over-exertion, or hitting new personal bests! I also want to have a renewed passion for writing.

contestblog_24727065261_oI am deep into the final edit of my second book. I expect it will be out in the spring. I am also currently writing my third book. I am about twelve chapters into the story and it is starting to come together. It is a good one, but I am biased. Watch Facebook in the next few weeks as I have created a “fan” page that I will publish soon. It will allow me to interact with my readers! I had a thought. Would you like to see your name used as a character in my next book? Stay tuned!

image_599d688ae75b3My training has been indoors for what feels like months. My swimming continues to improve slowly. It feels like two steps forward and one step back. But that is still forward right? I had an issue with my indoor bike trainer earlier in the week but I managed to fix it. I tightened up some bolts and remounted my bike and it seems to be working ok once again. My running has been all treadmill based. I had a good run earlier today at Planet Fitness while watching the Steelers lose. My brother Mark seems quiet today.

This past week I travelled 156 kilometres during my training.

See you at the next finish line….

The Christmas Season is here.

christmas-tree-clip-art-xmas_christmas_tree_5-3333pxWhere has the time gone? It seems like it was just yesterday when the school buses began slowing down traffic again. It has been a busy fall season. The plans are now underway for the Christmas holidays. Both kids are coming home for a few days. Brittany will be travelling from Toronto and Brandon from Ottawa. It is not often that both kids are here at the same time so it will be nice. Of course, they each have a significant other that will be visiting as well!

My first book release continues to surprise me. I log on to my dashboard on Amazon each day and check out my sales. It is neat to see all of the people in various countries that have purchased my book. Not surprisingly the US and Canada lead the pack, but Australia is not that far behind! I also continue to sell books in person as word gets out that I am an author. I have strangers drop by my office at work looking for an autographed copy. It is a nice gift at this time of year as a signed copy, personalized to the recipient, is a nice touch for a cheap gift. Especially for those in the Kingston area as everyone likes to read about their home town. Hint, hint, hint!!

MOCK UP TRANSPARENT BACKGROUNDThe cover art on my second book has been completed. I worked with the same designer I used for “Higher Education”. She was able to make a distinctly different looking cover, yet it kept some key elements consistent (font, colour, etc.). The title of the new book is “In Hiding” and it takes place in Key West, Florida. It is another murder/mystery and those who have read it claim it is much better than the first book! Let me know if you like the new cover. The new book should be out in the spring.

I continue to train for triathlon. My training hours have been down the last couple of months. I have let my discipline slip a little. I guess that is to be expected as I trained for over a year with very little time off. After Christmas I will have to get my head back in the game if I want to have a better season ahead. I will post my official goals in the New Year. I am being pestered to do a spring race in Texas. Yes, I am talking about you Chris!

got-a-manJackie has had a cold for over a week and it has finally caught up to me. My version is a man-cold so it is much worse. It is undeniable, at least in my mind. This past week I travelled 136 kms during my training.

See you at the next finish line…

Book Release Weekend!

IMG_1681I had a very exciting weekend. My author signing event at Chapters took place on Saturday and it was a huge success. It all began on Thursday night when my friend Chris arranged a few promo radio spots for me for Friday morning. It was not something I had done before so it was a little daunting, but I got through them. It was great exposure and a very gracious offer on his part. Friends are the best!

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At work on Friday a team led by Deb had a surprise meeting with cake to celebrate the book release. I honestly had no idea that it was going to happen, it was quite shocking. The cake tasted awesome as usual and I got to talk a little bit about my book. I sold a number of copies at work as a result.

IMG_1683Saturday was the big event at Chapters. Jackie helped me get setup at the front door and then 1pm rolled around and it was time to go. I had an excellent turnout. Friends from work, the triathlon team, the Swampers, and plenty of family all showed up. An older lady in a walker heard me on the radio and came in just to meet me and pick up the book, it was humbling. I sold many more to the Christmas shoppers. By the end of the three hours I had my sales pitch perfected. Time for another event maybe? I am going to work with an independent bookstore downtown next. Stay tuned.

My workouts have continued as planned. I had a new found love for yoga! It has helped with my knee pain so right now I am just going with it and not asking any questions. I think it is good to add a different modality to my workout regime, it mixes things up a bit and is easier on the joints.

This past week I travelled 132 kms during my training.

See you at the next finish line……