Discipline to Get It Done

16 09 2014

Life is so full of distractions, and it takes so much discipline to stay on the course that you  need to stay on to be successful.   Whether we are talking about your health and fitness goals or work and family goals.     This year, I dont think I have become a master of discipline in that many times I have had that extra beer or scotch or cookie and checked my email way more times than i needed to – or procrastinated on projects around the house.   That said – i did manage to achieve a few goals that I set for myself.  I wanted to podium at Worlds 70.3 Ironman Champs in the masters category at Mt Tremblant and I came close with a 5th place finish,   Getting to that race in contention to win – meant a lot of early rises and a ton of miles on the bike in the pools and on the trails.   What would be my secrets to mastering discipline so that you can achieve your own goals – whatever they may be?

  1. Set a goal and be specific about what the goal is – dont say I want to get healthy – say I want to run a 10k in under 40 min or lose 6 lbs by February.
  2. Find others that want similar things and hang out with them – if the people you hang with are doing the things that you know you need to do to acheive your goal – you want have to think so hard about doing that activity and it will become routine.
  3. Establish what you are going to do to reach your goal before you go to bed each nite – and hold yourself accountable to it – dont let the potential of doing what you need to do be short-changed by not having the discipline to avoid distractions.
  4. Schedule in downtime as well – but just a little to relax – not enough for that downtime to become more regular than the focus time.
  5. Repeat repeat repeat – form patterns that lead to good things as opposed to patterns that lead to bad things.
  6. When you fail to live up to your own expectations – dont wallow in self pity – just dust yourself off and get back on track. Success is never a linear path – it always has to endure through hard times!!

So – till next time – be Disciplined and enjoy the good things that comes with it!!


Week 2 – Sounds and Inspiration

3 03 2014

Its been an interesting week. The challenges with most of us I can imagine is finding time to do fun things.  Writing lyrics and songs is so much fun – too bad we all have to work for a living though eh!   

This week i was inspired by a couple of sounds. On wednesday AM i drove my daughter at her bequest to something i hope i dont have to repeat any time soon.  We went to minipop audtions and heard a few hundred hopeful kids singing their hearts out in hallways and stairwells.  By the time they got in front of “judges” though – they were marched in, in groups of 10 and all told to sing for about 10 seconds.  Cows come in – they all go mooooo – then off you go – we will get back to you if we like how you mooed.  The entire thing seemed so pointless to me.  This was contrasted by the sounds i heard that same evening – when i had the opportunity to listen to a senior children s choir sing amazing harmonies that was just so beautiful.  I started the day thinking – i am not sure about this music singing stuff and ended the day with such clarity around what the art is about.   This inspired this little diddy that i hope to finish as soon as i can steal some more time.   I have been on a steep learning curve with Logic Pro, and my plan is to jam out the songs and post them later in the course. 

Week 2

X needs Y 

Be hopeful kid, you got a chance

Call the gods and do a rain dance

Voice of an angel is a start

 But x needs a y declared Descartes


Cuz Dreams don’t hang on perfect notes

Or twisted tales turned into poems

Art pop and culture is not choice

It’s a P-E-D – a anabolic steroid


Don’t let self-indulgent tell you different

Peripheral brilliance – you are relevant

Cause You’re the queen of your kingdom

Illegitimi non carborundum


Songwriter Workshop Week 1 – Born and Raised in a Buick

24 02 2014

Born and Raised in Buick

 Born and raised in a Buick

Just daddy and his baby girl

A perfect mistake for a crazy world

A classic car to make or break it


With a V8 Nailhead under the hood

That 66 Wildcat convertible

Freed us from Flint – he was unstoppable

Protecting his girl like a daddy should. 


The American heartbeat always

Home on the back roads, byways,  

Surfing the turnpikes and highways

When we fell she picked us up

Gave us shelter when down on luck

The two of us and a dual carb Buick


If those red leather seats could talk

About the stories of kindness on the drive

This countries love, kept us alive

With momma’s picture in a locket


Luck turned south on Route 1 California

The thirsty engine drank itself dry

The Gulf just up the road in sight

And my scream was too late to warn him


The American heartbeat always

Just off the back roads, byways,  

Turnpikes and highways

When we fell she picked us up

Gave us shelter when down on luck

The two of us and a  Buick


Hard –fought, hard-knock, school yard

A classroom built on street smarts

Taught to finish everything you start

Full ride scholarship from Buick to Harvard


Quarter century gone like a flash

She’s idled in park

A young daughter named Skylark

And the Wildcat safely stashed


But on the nights when Skye won’t rest

Daddy and his fussy baby girl

Heed the call when the convertible purrs

Cruising with Grandpa Buick is best


The American heartbeat always

Home on the back roads, byways,  

Surfing the turnpikes and highways

When we fell she picked us up

Gave us shelter when down on luck

The two of us and a dual carb Buick

Songwriting Challenge – Week 1

21 02 2014

I am really quite a rookie in this songwriting world – but its fun to learn something new and with any luck come up with a melody that Mikalyn can bring to life.

Here are some interesting themes, titles and first lines that grabbed me.



First Line

Funky Folk Spirited

Wondering where the Lions Are

Sun’s up, uh huh, looks okay. The world survives into another day. And I’m thinking about eternity. Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

Funky Folk Spirited

I Will Wait

Well I came home and like a stone I fell into your arms

Funky Folk Spirited

Cats in the Cradle

My child arrived just the other day

Pop – Broken Love

Just give me a Reason

Right from the start you were thief you stole my heat

Pop – Broken Love

Say Something

Say something Im giving up on you

Pop – Broken Love

True Love

Sometimes I hate ever single stupid word you say

Social Change

Pride (in the name of love)

One man come in the name of love one man come and go.

Social Change

Rise Up

Rise up Rise up O Rise and Show your Power

Social Change


In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.

Michael  Ideas

Broken Love



You say you lost your soul somewhere

Through the holes I can only see now


Lost Souls

Into the Blue

Stuck in the middle neither good nor bad

In the place between happy and sad


Longing Love

Cheap Seats

To find love the back row is best

only fools chase it with longing hearts


Be Conscious


KARMA is no glitch boy

No matter if your rich boy

Or a digging ditch boy

the all seeing eye

will knock you down to size

so don’t try to hide

no one gets out alive


Only way is Up

Born and raised in a Buick

1 11 2013

Cascading Strategic Plans

28 10 2013

Cascading Strategic Plans

This is my attempt to simplify how strategic plans are cascaded down across and between the levels of a complex organization.

2013 Muskoka 70.3 and Annual Recap

9 09 2013

I haven’t  done a race report since Vegas 70.3 last year.   I figured it was time to rehash the past year.   Each year its a fun challenge to figure out how to optimize and balance my training so I don’t disrupt family life.  I figure if no one notices me training – they cant really complain about it.

This year I planned a progression  similar to previous years.  I would do Around the Bay 30 k to force me into some big miles in the boring winter as well as get my swim time down to close to personal bests.   Then the plan would be a spring 10k and then Peterborough as a test half iron, nationals age group Olympic in Toronto in July, Goderich triathlon in August, and then Muskoka to pick up the spot for Tremblant next year.  I still feel like I have unfinished business at Worlds 70.3.

Hiccups – in the build up to Around the Bay – three weeks out I tweaked my calf early on a run and I decided to push through which was a big mistake.  I couldn’t rehab the calf and had to stop running for about a month – which really sucks when running is your rock.    The bright side to the injury was that I quickly put on a couple pounds of muscle and I started to really roll in the pool.  Which in my opinion is ideal for February and March.  I got my 400 down to 4:45 and I hit 19:24 for 1500 in lunch swim TT by myself.

In June – some local masters runners invited me to run in the RAGNAR Relay from Cobourg to Niagara Fall.   It was tough decision because the race was held on the opening weekend of triathlon in Canada (June 18th).   I decided to race it and my calf held out – my focus was to run 3:45/km pace for all three of my legs 14k, 11k, and 12k, and as well make sure that my last leg was fastest.    I achieved that goal and our team one the masters division of the relay.

I also jumped into a masters 3000 on the track and managed to sneak under 10min in early June.

July brings the tour de france – which means that I get pretty excited to be outside cycling.  I did peterborough half and was a bit flat (typical for first triathlon of the season).  I raced it in 4:19 with a great swim, avg bike (300watts) and decent run (the bike course is only 86k for some reason).  I think I was 4th or 5th.  I won this race in 2002 in 4:08 with 90k bike.

DSC_1831 12x12-LNationals and the Toronto Triathlon Festival was next.  What a rush this race was.  Brought me back to a race I did in 1998 which Graham Fraser organized.  Funny thing was – 24 yrs ago the prizes were so much better.   I knew it would be tough race when I saw that Calvin Zaryski was racing.  He is a tough bugger and neither of us likes to lose.  The 45-49 yr olds were one of the later waves so the swim was a bit of a gong show.   Cal sat off to my right and we both made our way through the bobbing heads of the earlier waves.   This heads up swimming related to a slower than usual swim for me.   Coming out of transition I smiled at Cal and said – you ready to roll 🙂 .    He tried to assert dominance early in the technical portion of the bike through CNE grounds. I was happy to oblige as I didnt have my front tubular glued on (flatted at 10pm nite before).   Once onto the Gardiner I went to the front and he marked me.    He stayed in my rear view until the technical portion where he once again tried to get a jump  (we biked 40kph (avg 323 watts).  I decided that I needed to assert dominance so I pushed past him running into transition.   Early in the run he passed me and I immediately passed him back with a surge.  At 3k of the run he tried again – this time I let him get a lead and let him push for about 1 minute and then I surged ahead again.   At 5k he tried to pass me once again.  This time I decided to go all out for a couple km’s and see if I could drop him out of my draft (we were in a head wind).  I succeeded and hung on to the pace to get the win by about 15 seconds.   I ran 36:30 on that course – which I was pleased with.   I ended up in 10th or so overall and Cal and I were the first masters by a few minutes in 2:01.   Lionel Saunders won the race with a blistering 32 min 10k off a stellar bike – watch out for this guy!!    Check out Cal’s take on the race – very similar to mine and in the bike picture below that is Cal marking me for the battle.  http://www.criticalspeed.com/blog/item/60-coachcal-s-toronto-adventure

18177-874-19787342 18177-874-19764994

Muskoka 70.3  – by September I am always a bit tired and beat up from the long training progression so I am never really sure how it will go.   That said – I had some good TT bike numbers and I knew I was in pretty good shape.  The goal for this year was to race strong and win the AG and go faster than that crappy day here in 2008.   I had a nice big breakie at about 6:15 and headed over the airfield to take the bus to the resort.  I didnt start till 8:36 so I didnt fuss much about being too early.   I was the last person ordered out of transition at 8:00 am.   I did see a over zealous OAT official ranking jerseys and gloves that were preciously hung on bikes because she said people are not allowed to mark their bikes in any way.  Good grief is not likes gloves sitting on your aero bars are helium balloons.   In the old days I used to baby powder my feet into a nice arrow shape as I carelessly spilled it all over the ground around my spot (the good old days).   I did a short warm up swim and watched the pros roll buy.   Then off to our wave start.   It was a heads up swim for sure due to all the waves before us.  I stayed relaxed and decided to swim on the feet of a guy that was moving well in order to conserve energy.   I also tried something that I had never tried before which was to pee while swimming.  I did it – good I thought – one less leak on the bike.  No one was on my feet thankfully.   I was out in 28:00 or so.  There were wetsuit strippers there so I took advantage and used them.    The run up the hill was definitely oochy ouchy.    Very rough stone – wish they used fake astro turf.  Its a long way.   I put on socks and then started to roll on the bike – coming off the pan handle – I was only averaging 33kph despite pushing 315 watts avg.  Oh oh I thought – not a fast day.  I kept the watts in that range and around 60k in I had brought it up to 37.3 kph.   Then a nice guy from my age group caught me (while I was peeing :)).  I let him roll ahead for a bit and then caught him and said – “how is your run”  He replied “not bad, how is yours?”  Not bad I replied 🙂

I rode within sight of him or vice versa for the next bit until we hit the panhandle again where i picked it up a bit just so I could say no one passed me on the bike 🙂  I was off in 2:36 at avg watts of 306.  I weigh 84kg,  I drank 1 bottle of eload (200cals)and 1 bottle of eload and fly (600cals), 1/2 bottle of gatorade (70 cals) 1 bottle of water, and 3 gels.  I also had to take 3 leaks (uggh).

The run was very pleasant and I had one of those days where it came ez.  I suspect it was because I didn’t over bike.  I had a few more gels and just took water, coke and Gatorade from amazing aid stations.   I wanted to negative split so i hit the lap button out at the turnaround (which is incidentally right at the old muskoka long course swim start). I averaged 4:12’s on the way out and 4:08s on the way back which is not bad cause its slightly more uphill on the way back.   My offical run split was jut over 1:25.  All in all a good day (finished in 4:35 – 1st master and 45-49 in 17th overall),

Logistically I enjoy Muskoka.  Securing the 70.3 spot was a bit of gong show.  My suggestion to them would be to verify that you are keen to go by tagging it on your entry form.   They would then have your permission to secure your spot and charge your Credit Card.   If you decide that you dont want your spot you need to immediately let someone know immediately after the race or within 2 hours) .  Then anyone who thinks they might get roll down can meet somewhere at set time and see if they get lucky.

Well that my friends was my year in a nutshell.   Off to Centurion next weekend for pain in a completely different realm.    I will follow that up with some much needed down time (which for me means core and weights) and then I will be back at it – formulating my plan to be ready to race my best race at Tremblant next year which I hope will be good enough to win a medal there.  I know I can make inroads if I take some time to work on bike position.  I push the power well enough – just have to work on my lanky albotross profile 🙂   Best of luck to all in chasing what ever it is that gives you your motivation when you get up in the morning 🙂