Ironman Mont Tremblant

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Insomina Strikes Again!

Its about 2:47 am and I can't sleep so I might as well catch up on my blog.  Work has been extremely busy and I've had no time to even read anyone's blog.

The recovery from Around The Bay has been fine and I mentioned that I think I ran harder on the Chilly Half marathon than this race.  The difference is the run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute.  I wasn't that sore at all however my neck/shoulder/back is still a problem.  I've had Kevin do some ART on it and it did help but he's in Europe this week. I also got a massage which helped as well but I can't keep getting a massage every day.  Yesterday I went to physio and that helped as well.  In fact I think she helped the most but in fairness to Kevin,  I was very late for my appointment and he squeezed me in and didn't have time for a full treatment.

I wasn`t quite sure what was going on with my neck/shoulder/back but its been bugging me for the last two weeks and it was one of the reasons for considering on bailing from the race.  I wasn't sure how painful the constant movement would be but I didn't even notice it during the race.  It turns out that some ligaments in my neck are over stretched and the pain when I was sitting down was very uncomfortable and in different parts of my body.  On Tuesday at swimming we were doing kicking drills with a flutter board and I couldn't do it because my right lat/ribs were very sore.   There also was pain in my right tricep as well as my right back down the spine and right shoulder.  Interesting, the therapist had me on my stomach and was working on my back and there was pain in my right chest.  She ended the treatment by using acupuncture.  This must be latest "in thing" as my massage therapist uses it, chiropractors and physio therapist as well.  I couldn't care less who uses it as long as it works and it does.  I have another appointment on Friday and despite how crazy it is at work, I'm making time to get his problem fixed.

On another front, I've been having some issues with my coach.  I talked to my friend who is a very accomplished triathlete (IM Germany 10:04) about switching coach.  Basically my beef with my coach is the lack of communication.  Now I realize, communication is a two way street and in fact I've always said how my job and coaching are very similar so communication in my job is very important.  Just to give you an example, before the Chilly Half marathon, I had no idea as to what my coach expected of my performance.  He did email me before the race asking ``how I was feeling and if I was ready.``  I said I was ok but how fast should I run.  He replied go for a PB (personal best).  I took this as a ``C`` race and had about six beers the night before.  I ended up missing my PB my 1.3 seconds and my coached emailed me after the race I told him my time, and he didn`t respond.  I guess he wasn`t happy with my performance.  I didn`t mention I rolled my ankle three times in the race as it didn`t hurt so I didn`t think it was serious.  It turned out to be a problem later that week.  For the Around The Bay race we talked before the race as I was unsure if I could even run but there was minimal debrief after the race as in ``good time`` and that was it.

Now I`m not the type of person that needs a lot of hand holding and have everything explained to me.  If the schedule says run for two hours, I go do it regardless of whether or not its +35 degrees or -30 degrees Celsius.  I don`t need a ``pat on the head or good job`` for every race but shouldn't there be some communication before the race and after.

Oh, one of the reasons for keeping my coach is he`s pretty cheap (Yes I know, you get what you pay for) and he fixes my bike as well as provides me supplies (clothing, gels etc). He almost like an one man local bike store and his prices are a little cheaper.

So to all my followers (all 15 of youse guys) who work with a coach, what do you get from your coach, other than your schedule.......


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Around The Bay Race Report

This run was literally a last minute decision ie at 5:30 am I decided to run.  I was sort of worried about my back\shoulder and my ankle but when I woke up everything seemed ok.  The race started at 9:30 am in Hamilton which was about an one hour drive but we dropped off Rebecca at my parents along the way.  We got there around 8:50 am and I was a little worried about parking but we parked in some restaurant parking lot and headed to the start line.  We walked down to Copps Coliseum when we figured we already passed the start line. People were pouring out the arena and heading to the start line so I followed the crowd.  I was very thirsty at the time but I wanted to save it for the race.  Probably its not a great idea to start a race thirsty.  I meandered towards the start line looking for a place to get some water but couldn't find anything.  I was amazed about the number of clothing people had thrown on the ground.  I hope the race crew picked up the clothing and donated to charity.  Out of desperation, I grabbed a water bottle that someone had discarded and drank the rest of the water (yes I know that's gross but I was THIRSTY!)

I started the race at the back of the pack and took my time getting to the start line.  The plan was to use this as a test run and not try for the 2:35 coach was originally targeting because of my injuries.  Rather, we agreed to use the 10 x 1s and run around 5:30 pace.  The first 10 km was fairly easy with the walk breaks and I ran around 53 minutes.  I had trouble running at a 5:30 pace and found I was running closer to a 5:00 minute pace.

The course follows some of the same streets that the Hamilton Half marathon that I ran with Tammy last fall.  Around the 14 km mark I caught up to Lisa and we ran together for about three minutes and then we split up.  I hit the 21 km mark around 1:57 mark but the course started to get hillier.  The rollers were reminding me of Muskoka 70:3 but not as many (or so it seemed).  The big test was was around the 25.5 km mark where the course goes into a valley and a killer one km hill takes you out of the valley.  There was no way I was walking that hill and managed to pass several people.  By the time I reached the top, I`m pretty sure my HR was pushing maximum but I still manged to run around a 5:00 pace with  four km to go.  As we ran past the cemetery, the Grim Reapers we standing in the middle of the road, high fiving as we ran by.  I could see Copps Coliseum was in sight but I could feel my right foot sliding around in my shoe.  I looked down and saw my shoe laces were untied with one km to go.  What to do.  I stopped and tied my shoe and hammered it down the road.  As we ran past the stadium with only 100 meters to go I saw a runner down on the ground and a couple of volunteers were helping him.  I hope he was ok.  We rounded the corner and headed down the ramp in the Coliseum towards the finish line.  The roar of the crowd was deafening and I sprinted the last couple of meters.  After I crossed the finish line, I looked up saw the stadium was more than half full.  This wasn`t going to be easy finding Tammy and the kids.  We walked under the seats where I grabbed the post race bag and found a place to stretch.  I looked up and saw two girls talking and one of them didn`t have a drop of sweat on her.  I wondered if she even ran the race but she was wearing a race bib and was in the area restricted to runners only, so she must have ran.  I looked like crap.

I headed up the escalators to the seating part of the stadium and was surprised by the sear number of people walking around and the level of noise.  I hobbled over the seating and looked around trying to spot Tammy in the seats but it was impossible.  I went back down towards the runner`s exit and found them.  Unbelievable.  I thought I would be looking for them for hours, because there were so many people there.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this race:
a)  It is a race I`ve wanted to run for a long time (this is the third time I`ve trained for it but only the first time running it.
b)  I originally was shooting for a time of 2:35 but ended up with 2:48 because of the 10 by 1s
c)  I walked this race.....grrr
d)  At least my ankle held up ok (we`ll see about tomorrow) but I have a king size blister on my foot
e)  This was the furthest I`ve ever ran (30 km) and even missed two long runs
f)  Props to John Proc (first road race) and Daryl who had smoking times

I rate my performance on this B race, a B-

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blind Date With John Proc....Ugh!!

So a lot has happened this week.....or maybe not.  As you recall, I hurt my ankle after running two half marathons in 6 days.  I've always had ankle problems but its been a couple of years since its flared up but it dates back to about 15 years ago when I was playing Australian Rules Football and as I ran off the field, I stepped in a two foot hole twisting my ankle quite badly.  Ironically, this is the worst injury I had of playing 11 years of Aussies Rules.  Every once in a while, it would flare up and I couldn't walk for a week or so which is one of the reasons I hired a coach.

On Monday I ran 11 km at race pace to "test" the ankle out.  It held out fine with only a minor soreness so on Thursday, I talked to coach and we set out a game plan.  The plan is to run at a much slower pace than originally planned and use the 10 x 1s to minimize the pounding (the 10 x 1s is to run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute).  The worst case scenario is that if I ran and got a stress fracture, I would be out for about six weeks.  That would eliminate the Toronto Marathon in May but I could always run the Hamilton marathon in November.  I was more worried about wrecking my triathlon season so I went to see Kevin (chiropractor) and he confirmed I had no stress fracture and was ok to run.  Yea!

One of the other reasons I wanted to see Kevin was my right shoulder/back was killing me.  I don't know what I did but just sitting at my desk had it throbbing.  It turns out that all the extra hours of working/sitting at my desk, has caused my shoulder/back to tighten up.  Kevin did some painful ART and suggested a massage.  It felt better but no where near perfect.

This morning I went for a short 30 minute run which was a lot harder than I anticipated.  I actually struggled and my shoulder/back was killing me.  I'm not sure if I can run for 3 hours!!  Also my foot was a little sore as well.  I decided to go pick up my race kit in Hamilton today as I actually had some spare time.  I remembered that John Proc worked in Hamilton so I flipped him an email and after some going back and forth we worked out a plan to meet and pick up our race kits.

The drive to Hamilton was uneventful but once I got downtown, the one thing I hate about the city is all the (&#*$*&&#@ one way streets!!  I drove by Copps Colosseum several times trying to find a place to park.  The one lot I pulled into wanted a measly $10 to park.   Umm no thanks!!  I found a side street to park for free except in Hamilton it looks like they only clear one side of the sidewalks and walking around in dress shoes in the snow is always interesting.

Anyways, I met up with John Proc (christ, this guy's tall).  Its always good to meet other triathletes.  We chatted while waiting for the doors to open (thankfully we lined up inside) and picked up our race kits which is by far the crappiest race kit I've ever seen.  Basically it was the timing chip and a T-shirt and that was it!  We even had to bag them ourselves.  The race expo wasn't all that great either as the prices looked to be the same in the stores.  We did find a beautiful foam roller for John but true to his form, he wouldn't cough up $40 for it.  Actually that was very expensive and I don't blame him.  I told him I could get one for about half price from the Chiropractor College in Toronto but even that seemed to be out of his price range!! Cheap Cheap!!!

I had to boot back to Toronto as I had arranged for a massage for my back as sitting in the car for two hours didn't help it.  The massage was predictably painful but did help somewhat.

So I guess whether I do Around The Bay will turn out to be a game day decision on Sunday morning..............

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Run For Japan

I am of Japanese descent and the recent earthquake in Japan has left me wondering what else can I do besides the obvious of donating money to the Red Cross.  Reading Scobie's blog, he posted this interesting article.  Its called Run For Japan and its a different fundraiser.  Please help any way you can.

The Objective:
To cover 24,901 miles (right around the world) in 28 days with at least one run dedicated from every country in the World. To achieve this runners around the globe are being asked to dedicate just one run to the people of Japan and donate at least one unit of their home currency per mile run.

I'll figure out which run to dedicate and speaking of which, I ran this morning for 40 minutes and while my ankle was ok, I could "feel" it towards the end of the run.  If the race was three weeks away, I could make it but at this stage of the game with only eight days to go, it makes no sense to push it and run the risk of destroying my 2011 race season.  Around The Bay will come and go for me in 2011 but there will be 2012.  I'll target another Half Marathon somewhere around late April.  Email me if you're interested in buying my bib or if you know someone looking for a bib.

PS:  For the record while I know we have relatives in Japan, I think they are in the south.  I've never been to Japan and never met them.  I am a third generation Canadian and my parents have only been to Japan once in there lifetime.    Any relatives we have in Japan are distant, literally and figuratively.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

What To Do?

Tomorrow I'm supposed to have a long run of 2:40 hours but there is no chance of that happening.  My foot pain has gone away thanks to the anti inflams which I stopped taking yesterday.  Today I walked around the Ontario Science Centre for five hours with no pain but I think it would be wise to bail from my long run tomorrow morning.  So here's the dilemma:  I rolled my ankle several times a couple of weeks ago at the Chilly Half Marathon and the following week, my run schedule was too intense.  Last Sunday, my ankle started to hurt.  I've hurt this ankle many of times in the past and it usually subsides after a couple of weeks of not running.  The Chilly was a "C" race and I shouldn't have pushed it when the Around The Bay (30 km) was so close.  This is a race that I've trained for twice in the past and was not able to make it to the start line.  It is a "B" race but one I've wanted to do as it is the oldest road race in North America, in fact older than the Boston Marathon.

I probably could finish the race, but not in the time coach would be expecting me to finish (around 2:30 - 2:40).  At the same time, despite my foot feeling "fine," do I risk further injury and possibility jeopardize my 2011 season?  After this race, I have Sporting Life 10k (C race), Toronto Marathon (I've never done a marathon), Muskoka Long Course (B race), maybe Peterboro Half Iron (A race), Calgary 70.3 (A race) and Muskoka 70.3 (A race).

Or do I go for it and let the chips fall where they may?

Monday, March 14, 2011

This is Trouble.........

On Sunday my left foot was beginning to throb.  We had friends over for lunch so after they left, I started to do P90X yoga as I didn't have time to do it in the morning.  With the time change, a late rise and a mad scramble to clean the house left no time for yoga.

After the friends left, I went down for some much needed yoga.  I was still sore from Saturday's 25 km run and thought this would help.  I completed about 50 minutes before I had to make the kids' dinner.  My left foot was beginning to get sore and by night time it was throbbing.  For Monday's workout, I was supposed to do more speed work but running down the driveway was going to be a problem so I rode instead.  Half way through the ride, I got bored so I rode out of the saddle for about 15 minutes.  Not bad but my foot wasn't much better and in fact I was walking with a slight limp.

I've had this problem many times with this foot as it is on the inside of my left foot.  About 10 years ago when I was playing Aussies Rules Football, I was running off the field and stepped in a hole about two feet deep.  I rolled my ankle badly and its never been the same however its been about four years since its "blown up."

I was quite sure why now but I can think of several maybes....
1.  the Chilly Half was not an "A" race but I ran like it was (the coach told me to)
2.  during the race, I rolled my ankles three times, twice on my left foot
3.  last week I had no recovery week
4.  last week I had two interval runs @ 4:30 min\km and a long run of 25 km so that's two half marathons in six days
5.  the return of Pseudo Gout as I've had way too many beers over the last several weeks.  Pseudo Gout is similar to regular gout and extremely painful but a trip to the doctor ruled that out but at least I did get some anti-inflams.  That means no beer and bloating.  I always gain weight when I'm on anti-inflams

So where does that leave me?  Well, Around The Bay is in less than weeks and that's a race I've missed twice because of injuries.  Its not looking good but we will see how the rest of the week shapes up.  I talked to the coach and agreed to bail on the two interval runs and most of Saturday's 2 hour and 40 minute long run.  Wow good decision coach!   Coach was expecting me to run ATB in 2 1/2 hours but not a chance of that happening now

I've been totally pissed off the entire day

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Update

Work is still busy but beginning to slow down however I have to work in about two hours so I figured I'd post a quick update

Nothing doing as it was a recover day from the Chilly.  I thought about doing P90X yoga but was too tired so I just read blogs.

Masters swimming but I was still tired and didn`t have a good workout.  Hockey was the same that night and we got hammered.  Its only pick up hockey so who cares

A pathetic bike ride as I barely made it through the drills.  Why am I doing drills three days after a race   What happened to my recovery week  The weather is looking really crappy with rain, snow and wind and tomorrow I have to run intervals so I switched it today while the weather is somewhat bearable.  I went over to my parents at noon and ran around the old hood.  Unfortunately I forgot my running jacket and there was no way I could run without a wind breaker and I did not want spend more than one hour driving home and back.  I phoned my brother Glen to see if he had any old jackets at the house.  He didn't but said just to wear any old windbreaker.  That did the trick as I wore my Moms bright yellow jacket which wasn't a bad idea as it was very overcast and rainy but the jacket made it easier for cars to see me.  The workout was 6 x 1,000 meters sprint @ a 4:30 min km in the pouring rain and wind.  This was going to be fun....not.  Clearly if this morning bike workout wasn't a great one, neither was this run.  Did I mentioned I ran a half marathon three days ago  I died on the last sprint and it was a slow jog back home.

Masters swim again which was a little better but I bailed on the last drill of 5 x 100 meters @ 1.45.  I tried swimming the first 100 meters but my goggles filled up with water and that was the end of workout.

Another ride and more one legged drills.  Did I mentioned how much I hate one legged drills
At least this ride was a little better than Wednesday.  I was supposed to pick up pizza for dinner on the way home but ended up getting stuck on a call.  I ended up being 90 minutes late and was starving.  I made the mistake of having one slice and it was all down hill from there.  One slice lead to another and.....  Then I opened a beer and another and.....

Unsurprisingly,  I gained two pounds last night.  This mornings run was for 2:20.  This was not going to be fun.  Did I mentioned I ran a Half Marathon six days ago  I got up at 4:30 am to eat and catch up on some blogs.  I left at 5:20 am and was tired at the end of the first two kilometers.  The temperature dropped and the sidewalks were like skating rinks so I ran on the road.  At that time of the morning it wasn't a problem as traffic was very light and when a car approached, they either changed lanes or I jumped on the side.  It wasn't an exciting run and not much to report other than the fact that it took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to run 24 km.  I did not care about pace or what zone I ran in.  I just wanted to get it done.  Maybe drinking beers the night before a long run isn't such a good idea

Time for a quick nap at 9:50 am before heading into work.

That's all I got.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We went to Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark in Niagara Falls, on Friday for a two night visit.  I've known people who went to it and they said they had a good time but didn't know what to expect.  I tried updating the blog while I was there on Friday, using my POS Blackberry (time to get a new one) but obviously it didn't save so I just summarize our stay there.

As I said to a friend, "I'm glad I didn't pay full price for our stay!"  and he agreed.  All in all, it was okay but after hanging out in the park for hours soaking wet, I had a chill and felt a little sick.  On Friday night, which was two nights before the Chilly Half, I took a sleeping pill to ensure I had a good night sleep and it turned out that I had one of the best sleeps in a long time.  I went to bed around 9 pm and didn't wake up until 6:30 am!!  I was out like a light!!  I guess all extra hours I've been working finally caught up to me.

Saturday morning, it was pouring rain and barely above zero degrees.  I was supposed to do a 10 minute run but I didn't run since Monday so I increased it to 20 minutes.  There was no way I was going to run in that crap for 20 minutes so I went to the gym and ran on a treadmill.  That was painful and I struggled to finish.  How others run for hours on a treadmill is beyond me.

By Saturday night, the rain was pouring down and the winds were howling.  I'm glad the Chilly was on Sunday as the weather was suppose to change and the temperature was to drop below freezing.  That's better than running in the pouring rain but the winds were just nasty.  At dinner I had a "small" 32 oz beer (equivalent to three beers, I think) and then another pint.  This was my version of carb loading.  Friday and Saturday eating were a disaster.  Good thing we didn't have a scale in the room.

Sunday morning the weather was just as nasty but the rain had turned to snow and there was about 5 inches on the ground and more coming down.  The Chilly is in Burlington which is about 40 minute drive from Niagara Falls.  However it took longer than expected as the roads weren't plowed and it was quite slick.  We saw lots of accidents and several cars and trucks in the ditch.  That did not sit well with Tammy as she was on the verge of flipping out and it wasn't as if I was speeding or anything.  I actually was driving fairly slow and responsible.  In fact, I was driving so slow that several trucks were passing me

We finally got to Burlington with 30 minutes to spare and pulled in the parking lot of the hotel that was hosting the race.  I tried to get in the hotel to change and take a leak but it was completely full and they weren't allowing anyone else in.  I went back to change in the car which was a disaster as I couldn't find lots of things that were kind of important, like my bib which the timing chip on the back.  I finally got ready to go and ran to the start line which was about one kilometer away.  Talk about crazy, I was running to get to the start line when the race had already started and runners were coming towards me!! DOH!!

The temperature had warmed up from Niagara Falls to a balmy -5 Celsius but the winds were blowing around 25 km\hr.  It was really hard to figure out what to wear as the windchill would make a big difference.  The roads were very slushy and the city layered down salt which began to melt the snow.  Within the first 500 meters, my feet were soaked but the dangerous part was the slush hid the potholes.  In fact I rolled my ankle three times by stepping in a hidden pothole.  That would come back to haunt me.

Things were going along until around the 8 km mark when a car pulled out of a parking lot and proceed to drive down the street with runners in front of him.  I don't understand why people can't wait or why they need to drive when there is a race in progress.  People on the sidelines were yelling at him and motioning him to pull over.  One girl in front of me, pounded on the driver side window.  He hit the brakes and I thought he was going to get out and confront her.  That would not have been a good idea....on his part.  I finally caught up to the car and pounded on the trunk and then on the other side of the street was a cop standing there.  I yelled at the cop "HEY, GET THIS ASSHOLE OFF THE COURSE!!" and she immediately ran across the street and flagged the car over.  Thankfully the idiot didn't hit anyone.

By the 14 km mark I was beginning to tire.  Eload was one of the sponsors for the event and they were giving out lemon flavored gel at one of the water stations.  I grabbed one and ripped it opened.  It was absolutely disgusting and I dumped it at the next water station.  Sorry Dr Stoddard but your gel sucks.

Around the 15 km mark I was running beside a cop car.  I asked for a lift as I was getting tired and the cop laughed.

Final results:  1:44:44 (missed PB by 1.3 seconds....crap!!! I shouldn't have stopped when I rolled my ankle three times) for a 5:05 min\km pace but according to my watch, I only ran 19.76 km for a 5:18 min\km pace.  Crappy Polar!!

Final verdict:  The carb loading worked as I was hoping to finish around 1:50 plus the chilly  they served at the end of the race was awesome!!!

Not sure how I'm going to do at Around The Bay (30 km) in three weeks.  I won't be running at the same pace, that's for sure.