Ironman Mont Tremblant

Friday, April 30, 2010


So I was out for my run yesterday afternoon and I was running by a school field when I noticed these two guys kicking a ball around. As I got closer, I realized they were kicking a footy around!! Wow! I stopped and talked to the the guys. One of them was wearing a Hawks jumper (jersey) but it didn't look like any I've ever seen before. I was thinking my old team, the Broadview Hawks, had changed their jumper but when I started talking to the guy, he explained that it was his jumper from back home (Australia) and he was up for a month visiting someone. The other guy was a Canadian and I assume that's who he was visiting. I was dying for a kick, so I took off my water belt, ipod and foot pod and started kicking the ball around. It was great and I really miss playing Aussie Rules Football. I played for 11 years here in Toronto and most don't realize that Ontario has the biggest Footy league outside of Australia.

So what is Aussie Rules Football or otherwise known as Footy?

Footy is to Aussies what ice hockey is to Canadians

Oh how I miss playing (how about you Scobie?) Unfortunately the footy season ends in September and that's when Muskoka 70:3 is. I wonder what coach would say if he saw me playing footy given how he complains about my ice hockey? If you're interested in watching a game TSN shows the games but at 6 am Saturday morning. I would tape it but a) I would never get a chance to watch the game and b) the PVR is full of Hanna Montana and CSI....neither of my shows

On another front, my knee didn't hurt after a 40 minute run (not including the 20 minutes I spent kicking the footy around).

This morning was weight training and I made sure to nail the glutes and hammies. I'm sure they're going to be sore tomorrow

PS: I got beat by a 13 year old at swim practice on Thursday. It was the coach's daughter and she smoked me by 5 seconds in 50 metre free style race.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Must Do Exercises, Must Do Exercises, Must......

So things were looking pretty good as my new shoes and orthotics seem to be working pretty good but last week my right knee started to ache after each run. Usually around the 40 minute mark it started to ache in a couple of different spots. On Monday's run, I was suppose to go for 50 minutes but due to a miscalculation in my route I ended up going about 1:15. My knee was really sore and I knew there was something wrong. I spoke with the coach and he basically reamed me for not doing the exercises. Fortunately Tammy was going to see Kevin the chiropractor today and she arranged for me to see him after her appointment (Jake peed twice in his pants while I was watching him).

Basically Kevin said the problem was not serious but seriously I needed to do the exercises in order to strengthen my glutes and hips which were basically screwing everything else up as other muscles have to work overtime to compensate.

I already signed up for Milton sprint, Guelph Olympic and Muskoka Long Course Sprint so I'd better get this fixed asap. Must remember to do the exercises........

On another note, Tammy ran the Legacy 5K (fund raiser for Markham Souffville Hospital). She ran it last year as her first race and was looking to beat her time of 28:49 but this year they changed the timer and it was gun time and not chip time. Her time was over 32 minutes but she started way back of the pack so no idea what her real time was. What a disaster but I did see one of my old swimming buddies from Centennial pool. Derek wasn't happy with his time as he was hoping to run in under 18 minutes and he ran just over. Sick. We were swimming one time and in the time it took me to swim 50 metres, Derek passed me twice. Sick

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Return Of The One-Leg Drills

Today was a good ride as I went a little longer than scheduled. I'm continuing to do the 60 seconds hard and 60 seconds easy drills up Warden ave. Once I crossed Stouffville Side Road, I started doing the one legged drills and along Bethesda Road which is a great road to do drills as there is hardly any traffic. Once I crossed Kennedy Road, I did the out of the saddle drill until I made it to McCowan Ave (about 2.1 km). Normally I would have turned south to head home but this morning I decided to head north to Bloomington Road as there is a good hill to climb. Once I hit Bloomington I turned around and headed back down the hill but nearly crashed my bike as I was too busy trying to see how fast I was going and not realizing I was drifting over to the shoulder. That would have been a painful crash at 45 km/hr.

By the time I got home I was bagged and starving. I really need to eat more before I head out as well as start taking gel shots. Once I got home I checked my heart rate monitor and found that I burned 911 calories in 1:19 minutes. Not bad as I don't ever remember burning that much in one ride which is probably a good indication of the lack of intensity in my rides.

Swimming is going great as over the last couple of practices, we've been doing 2200 metres and I haven't been as tired as I used to get.

The one thing that I am worried about is my knee. I still feel slight pain after every ride and run so I've been icing and trying to remember to do the exercises. The new shoes and orthotics definitely help but I'm always wondering when my knee will blow up and everything comes to a crashing halt.

Tomorrow is a rest day and Tammy is running in the Markham Stouffville 5 Km race. She hoping to beat last year's time of 28:49. As usual, its suppose to rain

PS: I'm totally starving and been eating like a pig

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wiped Out

I rode this morning outside and it was little chilly to say the least. With my clean and tuned up bike I was ready. With a late start due to poor organizing the night before, when I left when it was almost 6 am. Given about my concerns for a weak cycling, a couple of triathletes have commented that I should be exhausted after my rides. Clearly that's hasn't been happening as whether I ride indoors or outdoors, I haven't been riding very hard.

I decided to try a different tactic. After a 15 minutes warm up, I rode hard for 60 seconds and then easy for 60 seconds. I did this about 5 times and then rode out of the saddle for 2 minutes four times. By the time I got home I was wiped out. Its been a while since I was this tired from only riding.

Its now after lunch and I've eaten everything I brought to work and I'm still starving. Signs of a good workout

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Is An Expensive Sport!

Well today I found out that this sport continues to be expensive even after all the spending last summer to get started. In never seems to end.

I rode for 45 minutes this morning (its a down week) before taking my bike to the coach for its spring tune up but before I did, I found my knees were aching after my rides so one thing the orthotic guy said because of the way I'm built (bowlegged) I should turn the clips of my riding shoe inwards about 10 degrees so before my ride I unloosened the screws and tried to angle my cleats inwards but I think I screwed it up as my knees were aching during the ride. During the ride Tammy came downstairs and let me know she was going out for her 20 minute run so as soon as she got back I'd be finished riding and could take my bike to get it tuned up. Well by the time she got back and I had the bike loaded I was running a little late but as I was about to jump on the 404, coach called me and wanted to know where the hell I was as he had to meet another athlete somewhere else at 8:30 and he couldn't wait around for me. He would be back in an hour. Crap!! I was pissed but it was my fault I was late. I had wanted to go to Price Choppers and buy some more dirt for seeding the lawn. Yesterday I ordered one yard of dirt (about one tonne) and used it all up(does this count as strength training?) and I needed about another 20 bags (about half a tonne) more so I stopped in and got the dirt(ahh the joys of home ownership) and headed up to the coach's place.

As usual he started reaming me up about my bike maintenance (or there lack of) as I don't lube my chain, put the tire on backward etc etc etc. Then I told him about the cleats on my riding shoes, oh that was a mistake as I quickly realize that I shouldn't have changed the positions without consulting with the coach and I think he's right as the way he explained it seems to make sense so in order to realign my cleats I need to do another bike fitting which will cost $125. Crap crap crap crap crap. Chalk it up to inexperience. He also took a quick look at my running shoes with the new orthotics and after 5 steps he said the shoes didn't work with them and I needed new shoes ASAP......great more $$$$$$$$$$. So I arranged to meet him at Running Free at 3 pm and mentioned two friends also needed to be fitted for new shoes as well.

Well turns out it cost about $450 to fix the bike (I also loaded up Amino-Vital and got a free riding shirt that looks really cool) and my new shoes plus some stuff Tammy wanted cost another $200 (I guess I'm lucky that Tammy didn't need new shoes as well) and the swim coach just sent me my bill for half the year of another $230. Not a bad week. Did I mention that our bank account is in an overdraft of $1800 and I just got paid 4 days ago?

I suppose I shouldn't complain as I could be buying some cool Power tap wheels at $1000 a pop.

Tomorrow is a rest day and Tammy was kind enough to let me go golfing with my friend at Deer Creek. Its suppose to be four degrees in the morning. How fun will that be?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Dog Days of.....April???

Must be something in the water as it seems a couple of fellow triathletes are running out of gas and its only April. I went thru this in February when I working 6 days a week and was just bagged. After one of my numerous injuries in early March, I shut it down for 5 days straight. This helped as I felt refreshed and hit the training schedule again.

Lately over the last week or two I've been having off (blah) days where I just seem to be going through the motions, like today's ride. Fortunately its a down week so I don't need to worry about the intensity but if I'm this tired now, how in the world could I train for an Ironman? Right now, I'm only training about 9 hours a week (including hockey) but for an Ironman I would have to double it to about 20 hours a week. How in the hell do other people (those with kids) do it? I spoke with the coach yesterday and had mentioned that because I've been riding outside since March break, I wasn't doing the riding drills and he wasn't to thrilled. The thought of doing cycling drills outside when its dark really doesn't strike me as the smartest thing to do. I mentioned to him that I am worried about Muskoka especially the cycling as I believe it to be my weakest leg. He basically said the drills are to build me up for Muskoka and I should be doing them...period so I've been riding back inside. Boringggggggggg

I also mentioned that I haven't been able doing the strength training and predictably he was unsympathetic. I like doing the workouts after I have rode or ran but lately it seems they're always trouble upstairs and someone is usually yelling or crying or both. That usually kills my workout. I am a big believer that everything in life is a trade off and while I could just ignore the screaming and yelling upstairs, it would only lead to further problems so something usually gets missed (ie strength training).

Of course my coach has no sympathy. He's single, lives alone and has no kids. As he always tells me, "you're not the only athlete with kids." True but I doubt they are as young as mine (6.5, 4 and 2.5 years old) or they have help ie nanny or in-laws. Which leads back to my original question of how could I possibly train for an Ironman without getting divorced? I guess I already know the answer that its simply not possible (especially if Tammy goes back to work) for at least several more years. That's not a bad thing as even though I've ran 5 half-marathons, I have no desire to run a full marathon unless its part of an Ironman.

Maybe I can put that on my "bucket list" of things to do before I hit 50 years old, which is how far away??????

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ohhhhh My Abs

I really haven't been doing much strength training, abs or the exercises that Kevin prescribed in the last couple of weeks. I've also been worried about my cycling as I believe its the weakest link. I talked to Scobie (IM Germany 10:04) and he said that his workouts are generally heavily weighed towards cycling which my definition is the leg that is the longest of a triathlon. He also mentioned that he does the one-legged drills (which I hate) and riding out of the saddle even when he's riding outside. Since the weather has been warm enough, I've been riding outside and ditching the drills. Well this morning it was about three degrees with a nasty wind chill so I decided to ride inside and concentrate on the drills. I really hate doing the one legged drills (did I mention that?) but did them anyways. Two minutes each leg three times as well as three times out of the saddle for two minutes (they are as bad).

After the ride I decided I needed to start working on the core muscles and strength training so i really nailed the abs and as I sit here watching the crappy Leaf's last game of the season, I can feel my abs so I have a pretty good idea what they are going to feel like tomorrow.

I emailed the coach about my concerns about cycling and he responded that I should be doing the drills inside (for safety reasons) and I also read an interesting article in Cycling Magazine � Preparing for the season: "Jourdain borrows something called 50-50 training from cross-country skiers. The athletes ride hard for 50 seconds then ease off for 50 seconds, repeating it for eight to 10 minutes. They will repeat this after a short recovery break. It's a workout that can be done in an hour.

'You choose a good terrain to do this,' Jourdain says. 'You're not doing this on the hills, you are on flat terrain, without wind if possible and without a big gear. You need to manage your intensity. 'That is the new philosophy. It means you don't have to wait a month doing slow long distances before introducing interval training to increase fitness.'"

This sounds ideal once I resume riding outside as my one hour outdoor rides are pretty tame (ah more like lame) and this sounds like a great way to build up my endurance although I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to hammer it for 50 seconds when I'm riding outside at 5:30 in the morning as I can't see anything let alone my watch.

Tomorrow is my dad's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hey What Happened To Spring??

Brrrrr literally overnight the temperature had a double digit drop and when I ran this morning at 5:30 am it was only 2 degrees but with the windchill (30 km wind) it was more like minus five degrees. What a change from Wednesday's run when I finished I was dripping wet partly because it was pretty humid.

So Wednesday and today's run were for 40 minutes each but unlike last week (30 minutes), I changed routes and ran around Rammerville as opposed to running around the block (literally). The Rammerville run has some small rolling hills and is generally a lot harder than the "around the block" route. If I haven't been running the Rammerville run for a while, I usually am a little sore the next day.

So far the orthotics seem to be doing their thing. I'm only running a zone two pace (about 6:15 min/km) pace as I build my endurance back up after being off for so long. Some minor aches and pains but nothing serious......yet.

Yesterday's swim was tough as I was just thinking that I would need to start ramping up the yardage. We started with 600 metres of kicking drills and finished off with 3 by 400 metres (48 laps) of front crawl except that we had to time each set of 400 metres and we should be swimming faster each set. The first set was a piece of cake as I was averaging about 3:50 per 200 metres but the second set was a struggle and I accidentally kicked one of the girls in the head when I tried to pass them with a flip turn at the end of the pool. Cathy was not impressed and although I apologized she didn't say anything to me for the rest of the time. Doh. I hammered the last lap to get my time under 4:00 minutes but was bagged. Now it was 6:30 am and no one seemed interested in completing the last 400 metres so I did it alone but forgot to set my watch so I had no idea what pace I swam at but it is safe to say I was no near 4:00 min per 200 metres. This is something that Serge (swim coach) keeps hammering in our heads about maintaining our pace especially in a race.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nothing New Going On

I rode outside this morning leaving at 6 am just as it was getting light out. The sun doesn't rise until 6:50 am but it usually gets light about 30 minutes before sunrise. Next week the sun will rise by 6:41 am so I can start leaving earlier. Once I ride north of Major Mackenzie, there are no street lights so I can't see if anything is on the road in front of me until its too late. So by riding along Major Mac (which has street lights) and then turning north after 15 minutes it is light enough to see the road.

Today was a great morning to ride as it was cool but humid. I like riding outside of the city and as I was heading back the sun was coming up and someone had started a fire so you could smell the smoke.

One problem about riding in the country is that when you come up to an intersection (I have the right of way), I find drivers going the other direction will roll up to the intersection, looking for on coming traffic and if I'm in the aero position they don't see me so I've learned to sit up as I approach an intersection. Last year I almost got hit my a lady who didn't see me even if it was the middle of the morning.

Run tonight and looks like its going to be pouring rain. Not fun

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oh How Humbling!

Today at Master's swim practise, we were doing kicking drills the coach stopped everybody and announced that Brian (about the same age but not a tri-guy) would race against two of the kids from the Mallards swim team. We would swim 50 metres front crawl and the kids would swim kicking-only either butterfly kick or freestyle kick. I couldn't see who the kids were as they were a couple of lanes over so I asked how old they were and Serge said they were 12 and 15. Great, I was only three times older than one kid and three and half times older than the other kid. This should be a fair race.

So we took off and I was really just trying to keep ahead of Brian who was besides me. I think I breathed once on the way down and three times on the way back. I was neck and neck with Brian but I nailed the flip turn and by the mid point back I had pulled slightly ahead. Looking back, I made the same mistake twice....At the start of the race and after the flip turn I should have glided under water for a longer period of time as its easier to swim under than on top but its been 27 years since I swam competitively. My time for the 50 was about 33 seconds and change but I couldn't hear Serge because I was huffing and puffing. I beat the 12 year old and Brian but the 15 year old beat me. Kicking only. How embarrassing. I think my time from the good old high school swim team would have been roughly the same as this was a water start.

I'll probably run tonight as I'm playing in a charity fund raiser hockey tournament tomorrow morning. I got my new orthotics and normally I just go and run but these feel a little difference so my old ones must have been totally wrecked. I'll wear the new ones over the weekend and just run on my old dress shoes with weren't as bad.

I had a long talk with the orthotic guy (who isn't a Podiatrist but a Certified Pedorthist - what's the difference???). David has run over 200 races and his fastest time for the marathon is 2:40 so I guess we can say he's experienced. I asked about him about the Newton and he said he's never heard of it but will check it out and let me know his thoughts. Clearly he was skeptical and thought it was a fad. This mid-foot versus heel strike is extremely confusing. What to do??

Its going to be a smoking hot next couple of days with the temperature hitting 30 degrees on Saturday. Definitely will be riding outside. Maybe Paul will want to go riding seeing that he's back from his three weeks in Florida