I'm just over a month from Ironman Arizona and I'm absolutely exhausted. My coach, Jeremy, has me doing some pretty intense workouts. Most of my weekday workouts feature intense periods of sprinting and these are hammering my legs. Additionally, I've been lifting weights and doing abs every weekday so I'm putting in about 2-3 hours of training every day. Much like the illustrious Ron Burgundy I don't have much time so I have to sculpt my guns at the office.
On top of this I referee hockey and this year I was promoted to refereeing Jr B hockey (players 18-22 years old). This requires a great deal of skating as well as traveling to small towns around the area so my time is very full. I still find the travel a little stressful after last year's moose hunt. My friend Tyler and I were on our way to officiate a senior men's hockey game a little over an hour from our hometown and about 15 minutes from our destination we struck a moose that was just standing in the road.
This stretch of road was so dark that we had no chance to avoid this big dumb animal. I said, "MOOSE!" and we hit it almost instantly. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic as we spun into the opposite ditch.
Shockingly Tyler and I were unhurt except for a scratch on Tyler's hand and his capped front teeth popped off a couple of days later. Most likely from the airbag. However, there was glass EVERYWHERE. In my teeth, hair, ears, the cuffs of my pants. The worst part was the moose hair. It came through the windshield and smelled like hell.
I called 911 and then after explaining what happened the dispatcher asked where we were. I told her I thought we were about 20km from Athabasca on Hwy 2. She replied, "our GPS shows you about 200 m past Range Road (blah blah blah)." I said, "then that's where we are!" Was she testing me? What the hell?
It was so dark that after the police arrived and put out pylons to divert traffic the first semi trailer that came by ran over all of the cones and the RCMP called for another car to come with flashing cones. During this time the local official that was waiting for us had been calling to get updates on our situation and finally asked "what do you want me to do about the game?" I finally had enough and I said "I don't give a F&$@, we almost died."
Finally the RCMP got us loaded into the police car, with our hockey bags. Apparently someone in town had run over a light post so the cop had a traffic light in the trunk so there was no room for equipment. If you've ever been in the back of a police car you'll know it is not spacious. We were crammed in there pretty good. This experience has stayed with me and since then I hold the wheel a little tighter and drive a little slower.
I started a new job in September working at Centre High. This is the school for all students in Edmonton to go to after their 3 regular years of high school. My position is split between the Emergency Response Career Pathways (ERCP) program and Phys Ed. In PE my role is to assist with anything they need and if they're all working, I can work out. This has been awesome. I lead by example and get many of my workouts completed during the work day. The ERCP program is AWESOME. Block 1 we do physical training with them every day and it's intense. These students are all interested in careers as police officers, fire fighters or paramedics and we hold them to a high standard. We started with 83 and after pushing them hard for a month are down to a very committed 56. Block 2 the students are instructed by working professionals in the various fields and if they complete levels 1 and 2 can graduate the course with their gun license, H2S gas, SCBA cert, first aid, and EMR certification. They also get to participate in a "live burn" with the Edmonton Fire Department where they get fully kitted up and sit inside a simulated garage fire that reaches well over 1700 F. What an unreal job I have.
I joke with my wife that I'm basically the world's crappiest professional triathlete. Working out 3 hours a day, drinking smoothies and creating more laundry than my wife can hope to keep up with. When I work out I sweat. I sweat a lot. I have to take a shower towel with me to the treadmill to try and mop myself up as I go. This means I need more wardrobe changes than Liberace and packing my gym bag in the morning looks more like I'm preparing for a week in Vegas than a day of training.
Despite my exhaustion I'm putting up the best times and lowest body weights I've ever experienced. I'm holding steady at just under 255lbs and this includes some added muscle from lifting. If I can maintain or lower the weight I will be 20 lbs lighter than Ironman Coeur d'Alene last June and 30 lbs lighter than my first Ironman. Thursday I again set my best time for a 10Km run finishing in 54:20. I was very proud and despite being completely obliterated I walked toward the change room basically strutting and as I passed a particularly cute blonde I saw her shoot me a funny look. I looked down to see what she was looking at and saw a trail of blood from my right nipple down to almost my waist. I was riding such a high I didn't feel it... until I got in the shower and the water hit me. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS THAT HURT! (Note to self: read own blog about run training)
It's funny, I'm actually worried that I'm having so much success in my training. The skinnier and faster I get the more my focus is shifting from "just finish" to goals that are more time oriented. I've always made fun of the athletes that cross the finish line and then pout about their time. I was always sick about seeing someone finish an Ironman and not be proud. That's not what it's about for me and I hope beyond hope that I don't become "that guy."