As usual, against my better judgement, I’ve installed the public betas. I’m mostly interested in the new fitness features of watchOS 11. Although I already have something like Training Load in the HealthFit app, Apple’s take is intriguing. For me it is the simple things, like structured swim workouts and being able to see what the next interval is in a custom workout that will make the biggest differences.

To get watchOS, I had to install iOS 18. Overall, some nice incremental improvements with nothing too significant (at least until some of the Apple Intelligence features get added).

Finished reading: The Rise and Reign of the Mammals by Steve Brusatte is a comprehensive and detailed tour of all of the mammals, past and present, that stays engaging. Such tremendous diversity and curious lifestyles πŸ“š

Auto-generated description: Two dogs, one golden retriever puppy and one adult black Labrador, are resting on a dark brown leather couch.

Dog couch

Finished reading: The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson is a good ending to The Wax and Wayne series. Although the Cosmere hints were intriguing, they also got a bit confusing. Presumably to be clarified in later books πŸ“š

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ 2024 Muskoka Ironman 70.3

Well that was “fun”! The Muskoka Ironman 70.3 was very well organized with great volunteers and an excited crowd of spectators.

Auto-generated description: A map displays a triathlon route in the Huntsville area with details on distance (112.66 km), time (5 hours 34 minutes), and calories burned (5,236 kcal).

I was within a few minutes of last year which I’m very happy with, considering the interruptions to my training with a trip to Portugal and introduction of a new puppy (neither of which I regret).

Not much new to report, relative to last year, in terms of the course. Still super hilly and challenging with some great views of the Canadian Shield. Given the challenges of the run, in particular, I don’t think I’d recommend this as a first 70.3. Definitely should be on anyone’s list that is looking for additional courses though.

As always, a huge thank you to my wife for her continued support and excellent race crewing. And thanks to the One Academy crew for all of the training hours together. These races are not a solo effort.

Auto-generated description: A man wearing blue finisher merchandise poses with his bicycle after completing an Ironman 70.3 triathlon event, with spectators in the background.

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Getting ready

Auto-generated description: A collection of triathlon gear arranged on a table, including a wetsuit, running shoes, helmet, water bottles, nutrition packs, a towel, and cycling shoes.

Finished reading: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson is a fun continuation of the series. Intriguing to see the world of Elendel open up to a wider perspective πŸ“š

George discovered digging. So George had his first bath

A wet, young Golden Retriever is sitting in a bathtub.

Finished reading: Justin Trudeau on the Ropes by Paul Wells is a short, informative, entertaining, and timely look at Justin Trudeau’s tenure as Prime Minister πŸ“š

Finished reading: As Gods by Matthew Cobb is a really good look at the science, politics, and ethics of genetic engineering πŸ“š

🎧 I’ve been enjoying The Universe podcast: a fun conversation about astrophysics. Katie Mack is great at explanation and John Green is a good audience stand in

Finished reading: Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee contains lots of fun stories. Only make sense though if you’ve read the series πŸ“š

Training load and rest days on the Apple Watch are nice improvements. I’m curious to explore the Vitals App too

Finished reading: Witch King by Martha Wells is good. I enjoyed the clever interweaving of the two time periods and the vivid world building πŸ“š

Maybe not enemies

A light-colored puppy is resting next to a larger black dog on a wooden floor.

πŸ”— “Worse than I’ve ever seen” - Paul Wells

I’m not here this week to tell a story of despair. I was impressed by what I saw of the Alberta government reponse to the opioid crisis, which reflects a level of ambition and concerted effort over time that I rarely see in government action anywhere.

I’m glad to see this getting pragmatic attention, rather than rhetoric

Welcoming George to our family

A fluffy golden retriever puppy is resting on a wooden surface while looking into the camera.

So far Lucy is mostly ignoring him

Two dogs, a black one and a golden retriever puppy, are sitting on grass in a backyard near a wooden fence.

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ 2024 Milton Sprint Triathlon

My third year in a row for this one and, despite pouring rain for the entire race, it was still fun and well organized.

My times across the three have been within minutes of each other. Although this one was slowest of the three, given the conditions, I’m happy with the overall results and ended up 12th in my age group.

At least in the swim, it didn’t matter that it was raining. I think they had less time between heats though and swimmers really bunched up for the last 200m.

As usual the trip up the escarpment is still a brutal climb and trip down terrifying. I maxed out at 70km/h coming down this time. With the poor visibility and slippery conditions from the rain that was more than fast enough.

Plenty of mud through the back half of the run. I almost lost a shoe!

Overall the conditions made for a good test of mental resilience which is always useful.

My only real problem was in T2. I couldn’t find my stuff! The area available for my age group was full. So, I put everything elsewhere and then couldn’t find it 🀣. The 3 minute transition was an embarrassment.

Auto-generated description: A collection of triathlon gear is neatly arranged, including running shoes, a helmet, wetsuit, various nutrition and personal care items, and branded bags.

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Ready for tomorrow

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Lisbon trip

The second half of our Portugal trip was fun too. We stayed in SΓ£o Vicente, to the east of the historical core. Lisbon is certainly bigger than Porto, so we used the transit system much more extensively and the Lisbon cards came in really handy with their access to transit and attraction discounts

A serene street at dusk with row buildings on each side and parked cars, leading to a sunset-tinted sky. A tree-lined street descends between urban buildings under a clear blue sky. Parked cars and scooters line either side, while a few vehicles navigate the road. Three people pose smiling together in a sunny square with historical buildings and a statue in the background.

Castelo de SΓ£o Jorge offered some great views of the city, after a pretty steep hike.

Three people pose smiling against an expansive view of a sunlit cityscape with a bridge and water in the background. A smiling person leans against a colorful mural of a fish; urban setting with cobblestones and benches.

A sailboat tour was a great way to see the city, especially since it included beer.

Sailboats glide across glittering water with a sun low in the blue sky, viewed from a boat with a visible cable and part of a person's head. A monument featuring sculptural figures ascending along its edge, stands beside a marina with boats, under a clear blue sky. A person with sunglasses is sitting on a boat, relaxed, with a sunset and shimmering water in the background.

The JerΓ³nimos Monastery was a highlight.

A Gothic monastery stands under a clear blue sky, with visitors queuing outside, set against a backdrop of well-kept green lawns. Ornate cloisters with gothic arches and detailed carvings, illuminated by sunlight, against a clear blue sky.

As was the Oceanarium.

Three individuals pose in front of an aquarium with various fish and underwater flora, giving a sense of a leisure visit to a marine exhibit.

Along with great food and drink

Two smiling individuals are seated, toasting with glasses, in a cafe; a street view with buildings is visible through the window behind them. Four people are taking a selfie, smiling closely together, iron railing and lights in the background.