Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January

January has come and gone - I had no hard and fast new years resolutions but did set three targets for the month:

1. Swim more metres than I swam in September, my biggest swim month of 2011 (54,970).
2. Get back into the routine of doing all three sports each week.
3. Own the dance floor at Tim and Caryn's wedding.

Number one was made a lot easier by my awesome teammates at the Toronto Masters of the Universe swim team who made swimming way more fun than it would be solo.  Number two was harder than expected due to 'year end'. 

For most, 'year end' refers to December 31, and is usually accompanied by time off work, good food, great friends and associated revelry.  For accountant-types, 'year end' refers to the 45 days following December 31 when all annual statutory reporting is required to be filed with the relevant authorities.  This type of 'year end' involves working almost continuously, greasy fast food bereft of nutrients, work colleagues becoming the only people you interact with, and revelry reserved only for that moment when all documents are filed and normalcy returns (February 9th, not that I'm counting). 

The 2011 version of 'year end' for Canadian accountants is a particularly memorable one, as 2011 marked the year than Canadian companies transitioned from reporting under Canadian accounting rules to International Financial Reporting Standards.  This change was promised to bring increased transparency when comparing companies in different countries; in reality it brought heaps of extra hours of work and piles of billable hours for accounting and law firms.  The result of the IFRS geek-a-palooza was way higher work stress than usual, way lower energy levels available for training, and less overall training stress realised in January than was planned. 
'Revenge of the Nerds', compliance version.
Swimming - 17:00 hours, 55,025 metres
Relative to the competition, swimming was my weakest leg in four of my five triathlons in 2011.  I'm fully committed to returning to a decent level of swimming in 2012, so despite the work constraints I was regimented in my swim plan for the month.  Managed to top the September 2011 total by 55 metres, and also exceeded my ENTIRE 2010 swimming total (including races) by 25%.
Key session was a double-header: on Friday January 27 we did a main set of 10*200 LCM on 3:05, where I averaged 2:52 comfortably.  Nothing to write home about, but in June last year I would have barely made that set holding 3:03's.  Two days later we followed that up with a main set of 5*400 LCM best average on 6:30 (5:44, 5:37, 5:36, 5:35, 5:36).  Still some work to do but happy with the start of the season in the pool.

Lots of time spent staring at the black line in January.
Cycling - 16:55 hours, 528.6 kilometres
Here's where the wheels fell off the training plan.  Most of my cycling sessions were planned for the evening, and as things heated up at the office, bike workouts were dropped.
Key session: none, really.  Never had the consistency to allow for intensity to be slotted in.

Running - 25:55 hours, 340.8 kilometres
Solid month of running, in line with January 2010 and 2011 (though in 2010 was only running, 2011 was running and biking but no swimming).  Feeling comfortable with running 90-100K weeks and 30K long runs, will now be able to add intensity wherever it can fit in around the bike workouts.
First spent pair of shoes in 2012 - 810KM dating back to November.
Key session: 30K run with 16K at 4:25 pace, then 6*5 mins tempo (avg 3:40/k) with 1 min rest, warm down.  Garmin link: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/145615672.

Nordic Skiing - 1:02 hours, 7.5 kilometres
This was an ill-advised foray into classic Nordic skiing at Chateau Montebello.  Five wipe outs and full-body bruising later, there will be no more of this happening in 2012.  Until the next time I find myself at a resort with groomed trails.

Total - 61 hours
Almost a 50% increase in hours over last January, and on par with April 2011 despite zero outdoor rides.

Oh - about Number Three above - although determining if someone 'owned' a dance floor is a largely subjective exercise, I believe the air guitar to 'Paradise City' can be considered conclusive evidence of ownership.
'A hard case that's tough to beat...'
February Preview
Targets for February:
1. Double bike hours from January.
2. Bring Friday AM swim pace down to 1:22/100 or under by the end of the month.
3. Take Tremblant by storm for JT's 'Last Waltz'.  And maybe strap on those Nordic skis one more time.

So based on this ridiculously mild winter we've had so far, what happens if Wiarton Willie doesn't see his shadow on Thursday?  Do we get to replace the early spring with early summer?

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