Ironman Mont Tremblant

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hot Wheels - Adult Version

Too Cool!

This morning's workout was a 90 minute ride for 44 km.  I was on the road at 5:25 am.  Totally awesome to be that much daylight so early in the morning. Unfortunately, it won't last as June 21st is the longest day of the year.  After that, the days get shorter and shorter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long Ride

A friend invited us up to their cottage in Minden which is about 150 km away.  Naturally the thought of riding up to his cottage would be a great way to test my endurance.  One small trouble.  My longest ride has been 36 km and I've only been riding outdoors for one week and we were invited up in two weeks.  So for Saturday's ride, I decided to ramp it up by going a little further than the normal 36 km loop but it started out as a disaster.

Normally before any workout, I have everything arranged the night before so I don't waste time fumbling around in the morning.  I been riding outside with my trainer tire (last year's tire that the tread has worn down) and have been too lazy to switch over.  Saturday morning forecast was rain so I wasn't sure if I was going to ride outside or on the trainer (for two hours? Ugh) so I didn't switch the tires over rather I would wait until I got up Saturday morning.  I got up around 5:30 am and checked the weather.  The roads were wet but it wasn't raining so I decided to ride outside so I  had to change the rear tire.  If you recall from last summer, I had about eight flats so changing a tire should be fairly simple right?  Nope.  I fumbled around for about 15 minutes and then took the bike outside.  I rode about 15 feet when the rear wheel kept rubbing against the break pads.  Upon closer inspection, there was the inner tube bulging out of the tire.  I didn't push the value up to ensure that of the inner tube was inside the tire.  I'm lucking it didn't blow when I pumped it up.  So back into the house to fix the problem.  Another 15 minutes later, I was back riding and about 400 meters, I came to a stop light.  I stood up to start riding when the back wheel locked up and I almost went over the handle bars.  Looks like I didn't tighten the fly nut tight enough and the wheel popped out of the brackets.  I guess it was better to find out when I was stopped as opposed to be flying down a hill doing 50 km\hr.

Finally I got riding and headed north up Warden Ave.  I hit my normal turnaround point at Bloomington Road but kept going.  I was flying along thanks to a nice tailwind.  I hit Davis Drive and was going to turn around when I saw another rider about 500 meters ahead.  I decided to chase the rider down and it took me about 5 km until I finally caught up to her.  Small victory but it would come with a price.  I was bagged and I was far from home.  I turned east to head home and then south.  I forgot about the tailwind and now had a slight head wind.  I had one gross tasting Power Gel (from the Marathon) and that helped but I was a little shaky as I had burned a lot of energy chasing the rider down.  I was averaging about 38 km\hr as Warden is flat as a pancake.

I forgot that Mccowan Ave isn't a continuous road this far north so I had to detour further east to Highway 48
By the time I hit Aurora Road, I had to get something else to eat.  Thankfully I had five dollars so I stopped at a gas station and got a bagel plastered in butter.  It tasted sooooo gooooood!!  I was about two hours into my ride so I called Tammy and let her know that I would be about 20 minutes and she reminded me that she wanted to go for her ride.  On the ride home, I passed about 200 riders training for Ride To Conquer Cancer.  There were some people riding mountain bikes.  Oh that was going to be a painful 200 km ride!  Naturally with that many riders, traffic would be backed up but at least there weren't many cars on the road. But there was one idiot who tried to pass the riders by driving in north in the southbound lane....the lane I was riding in.  I got out of the aero position and stood on my pedals to make myself as visible as possible.

I boogied home with doubts about riding to my friend's cottage as my back was killing me.  The ride was about 69 km and took me about 2:20 or so.  Not bad but 69 km is way short of 150 km.

On another note, Tammy has a friend whose husband had a stroke a couple of days ago and is in the hospital.  The thing that's most bizarre is that Tom is only 40 years old and is in better shape than I am and probably has half the body fat I do.  He is totally ripped and in good shape.  There is no history of strokes in his family.  Hopefully everything will work out.

Friday, May 27, 2011

P90X And Update

Not much going on as the recovery process dips into the second week.  I thought I'd be good to go by now but I have nasty shin splints that aren't going away.  I've had this problem a couple of weeks before the race but looks like the Marathon did some damage as they are still sore.  The usual icing, massaging and stretching doesn't seem to be working but looks like the cause of the shin splints has been solved.  Coach had dropped off Tammy's new bike on the weekend (more on that in a minute) and I mentioned my shin splints.  I ran up and down the sidewalk for about 10 feet as Coach watched me.  Actually, it was quite painful running that short distance!  He quickly concluded that my gait had changed quite significantly as I've grown stronger and the current shoes that I was wearing, no longer properly fit.  Even though I just purchased the shoes in February, all the marathon training had changed my mechanical significantly.  Great, there goes more dollars!!  That said, I probably had only two or three months left on those shoes.  Last night we met Coach at Running Free and both Tammy and I got new shoes as she has Plantar fasciitis.  So that cost only $400 but it was worth it.  I could immediately feel the difference and it wasn't as painful to run.

A while ago, Tammy had decided she didn't want to train\run any half marathons this year and next year and....well forever but did still wanted to do some running.  She thought about doing Duathlons and has been riding only on bike at the gym on a stationary bike.  I was reluctant to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a bike only to have it gathering dust, so a couple of weeks ago we went to a bike swap.  There was a bike that seemed to be the right size for Tammy but it was for $600.  With the kids running around it was hard to concentrate so we ended up getting the bike figured that Tammy would need a fit from Coach.  Turns out that it needed more than a "fit" as it was slightly too big and needed a new seat and post and several other adjustments including a safety kit, water bottle cage and speedomoter.  So another $600 later, we would have been better off buying a brand new $1100 bike from Coach....doh.

So with my shin splints, I've ditched all my runs for the next week or two and concentrated on riding, swimming, yoga, strength training and abs.  This morning I did the P90X yoga workout for the first time in about two months and it showed.  Not only did I work up a sweat, I can't believe how hard some of the poses were even though I could do them two months ago!  Lots of shaking and falling over!  I definitely need to work on the strength training and stretching as we roll into triathlon season.  The next race is Muskoka Long Course (2 km swim, 55 km ride and 13 km run).  The goal is to beat last year's time of 3:55

Tomorrow I'll ride for about two hours as my biking really sucks.  Oh and I just found out that the loop I've been doing is shorter than I thought so therefore I'm not riding as fast as posted a couple of days ago.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

First Ride Outside

How pathetic.  Its the third week of May and I rode outside this morning for the first time this year.  So much for being a hard core roadie.  Reality is, marathon training got in the way and the days I was supposed to ride, it was either pouring rain/cold or its was too early to be riding at 5 am outside (ie not light enough).

Today was perfect as I headed out about 6:15 am.  The sun was already up and a slight breeze.  The temperature was a little chilly at 15 degrees Celsius but I figured it would warm up.  The plan was a light easy ride for about one hour as I'm still tired from the Marathon.  Oh speaking of which, the shin splints have almost gone away but I'm still limping as under my right foot behind the big toe, its all swollen and painful to walk on.  I'm not sure where this injury came from as it didn't start hurting until a couple of days after the race.  In fact last night, I woke up around 3 am (courtesy of Jake) and it was throbbing.  I couldn't get back to sleep so I came downstairs and iced it.  I'll get Kevin (chiropractor) to look at it tomorrow.  The clinic is closed but he'll open it for me.  How awesome service is that?

I rode my usual my usual loop with no real intentions of anything but taking it easy.  I rode along Warden Ave where there is a nice 6 km straight away and I usually tried to keep my speed at 30 km\hr.  The first time I rode outside a couple of years ago with my brother, we averaged about 22 km\hr.  There were a couple of riders ahead of me so I used that as an incentive to chase them down.  Once I caught up to them I kept at 30 km\hr and decided to take the longer route up to Bloomington Road.  On Warden there is a gradual hill but the hill on the next road over is twice as steep.  I love bombing down this hill and this morning I hit about 63 km\hr in areo position of course.  I boogied home at a pretty good clip (for me at least).  I was kind of surprised that I was riding at this speed but I did take the easier route.  Kennedy Ave is easier to ride southbound than ride northbound.

I did the 41 km route in 1:13 for an average 34 km\hr which includes getting caught at two stoplights.  Maybe all those stupid one-legged drills are paying off.  That said, I'd be hard pressed to go out for a longer ride.  A friend invited me out for a 100 km ride.....ummm not a chance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This week and next week are recovery weeks and that's not a bad thing.  I'm still limping because of my shin splints.  My manager just shakes his head and asks "why I do it?"

I got an useless massage on Monday afternoon.  One of the advantages of my work is I can come and go as I please.  The massage did help somewhat but wasn't worth the $85.  The place is close to one of my offices and usually I can get an appointment within a couple of hours.  I've been there three or four times and gotten a different person each time.  The quality of therapist is hit or miss at best

Thanks to those who posted comments from the race report.  Matty O posted a great article on recovering from a Marathon.  He and his wife ran the Cleveland Marathon on the same day and got pretty much the same weather.

I had lunch yesterday with a work colleague who gushed over my time.  He just did 3:19 at Boston and did the Sporting Life 10k in 39 minutes so I'm not so sure why he was so impressed with my time.  He was absolutely insistent that I could qualify for Boston in a couple of years.  I told him he was nuts as I need to knock off 24 minutes which is around one minute per mile or roughly 45 seconds per kilometer.  And that's before the new rules for next year.  I think it adds about 5 minutes and then its based on the fastest time for the age category.  To be honest, I'm not sure how "accurate" my actual time is as we had the wind at our back all the way down Yonge Street (17 km) and for mostly running west to the turn around point at the 30 km mark.  Only running west back to the city did we run into the wind and north up University Ave for about 4 km.  So, if there was no wind, would I have been able to knock out the same time?  I doubt it.

Other people that ran on Sunday, Doru and his wife ran the Mississauga Half Marathon.  Great time Doru although your "worst hangover race time" is about my fastest time. And Daryl who ran the Mississauga Marathon in a smoking 3:01.  Holy crap!!  Still waiting for your race report.

Today is supposed to be 30 minutes of spinning but I'm so far behind in work, I'll use this time as another rest day.  Tomorrow is swimming and its probably one of the best ways to recovery from a hard race but I died on the kicking drills yesterday.  Serge just looked at me and shook his head.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Toronto Marathon Race Report

Whooo hoooo a PB!!!....Oh wait, this is the first full marathon I've done so any time would have been a PB!  I could have crawled and it would have been a PB

The weather was just nasty but at least it didn't pour but rather light drizzle and the wind while averaging 30 km\hr I'm sure there were several times it was over 50 km\hr.  That was a painful run but I'm glad I did it.  I'm some what disappointed I couldn't hold my pace as I died running up University Ave into the wind but that was expected.

Last night's sleep was horrible as I don't think I got more than five hours of sleep as I tossed and turned.  I'm glad I got a solid sleep Friday night with the help of a sleeping pill.  For some reason, the sleep two nights before the race is more important than the night before.  Why I have no idea.

I was constantly watching the Weather Channel for the last couple of days and they were pretty accurate with the forecast.  We got down to the start line at North York City Hall (not far from where we used to live) just after 7:50 am.  The Half Marathon went off at 8:00 am.  The area is surrounded by condos and office buildings and the wind was very strong and it was freezing cold.  I got ready while the kids waited inside the truck and then we headed over to the Starbucks to warm up and get the kids something to eat.  I had to go to the bathroom and there were two line ups in the Starbucks.  One for coffee and one for the bathroom.  While I was waiting, a lady with a small kid walked up to the front of the line, not realizing the line up was for the bathroom.    The lady in front of me told her sharply that she had to wait her turn.  Once she went into the bathroom I turned around and said to the lady with the small kid to go ahead of me and she looked very relieved.  Clearly you can tell which people that have small kids.  When a kid has to go, they have to go....immediately.  There is no waiting.  After I was finished, we headed over to the start line and the kids had to stop at every puddle to play.  The race was starting in less than five minutes and as usual, I was running to the start line.  At least this time I managed to make it to the start line BEFORE the race started.  I looked around for the 3:50 or 4:00 pace bunnies but couldn't see them.  I did spot the 4:15 pace bunny at the front of the pack near the start line.  WTF????

The race started and I jogged easily for the first couple of kilometers.  My brother Glen and his family were there as we headed down Yonge Street with the wind at our back.  Sweet.  Within two km, I was warming up fast and I ditched the garbage bag I was wearing (I was getting funny stares in the Starbucks).  The rain was on and off but more importantly the wind was at our backs.  I ran with an old neighbour for a couple of minutes as we chatted.  She remembered my name but I didn't remember her name.  Doh!

One of the problems I've had during long training runs was nutrition.  I talked to coach before the race and he said I should be consuming 300 calories per hour.  I never came even close to that amount so I was a little bit hesitate to crank up the calories but I didn't want to run out of gas during the race.  I calculated that would be two GU gels per hour and one bottle of Amino Vital. Coach suggested I use the 35 mm canisters that film came in and fill them with Amino Vital and add one salt tablet.  The plan was to run with one water bottle and when I emptied it, I would refill it at the water stations and add the Amino Vital as I ran.  I had to drink one bottle per hour so I ran with four canisters and about eight GU gels.  I wore my riding jersey that had three deep pockets plus I had two GU gels in the running belt.  This strategy worked out quite good as I knew they would be giving out Power Gel on the course as well.  They taste gross but do the job.

With the help of a nice tail wind, I hit the 21.1 km mark at an easy 1:54.  As we ran along Lake Ontario, I followed a guy that was running at my pace.  At some points I was running so close to him, if he stopped suddenly, I would have ran him over.  I was only about one or two strides behind him.  I hoped I could draft off him on the return trip back to the city (eastward into the headwind) after the 30 km turn around point.  Unfortunately, he couldn't keep up the pace with the headwind quickly taking its toll and I passed him around the 34 km mark and never saw him again.  I was beginning to struggle as the winds were quite furious at some points.  I knew I wasn't able to hold my earlier pace and it was only a matter of how much the headwind would slow my pace down.  I tried to hold a 5:30 min\km but it ended up more like 5:45 min\km and some times it was at 6:00 min\km.  By the 36 km mark I started saying to myself, "ok its only 6 km to go.  That's only one loop of the Rammerville loop I sometimes run around my house.

As we headed up University Ave, my pacing really began to slowdown as I kept drinking the Amino Vital.  I could feel my calf really cramp up but figured I could gut it out.  I hate the finish line as its 3/4 around Queens Park Circle and it feels like it will never end.  I managed a slight sprint at the last 200 meters but had nothing in the tank.  As soon as I crossed the finish line and stopped running, both my calves seized up and I fell on the ground.  Several volunteers ran over but I was ok after a couple of minutes.  I collected my big honking finishing medal which weighs about 5 pounds and got one of the solar blankets to keep warm.  The wind was whipping around and it was cold.  I made my way over to the food tent where they were giving out bagels, bananas and tangerines.  Pretty pathetic.  Someone gave me a carton of chocolate milk so I sipped that and collected my bananas.

I hobbled my way to the exit as my shin splint was killing me and looked for Tammy and the kids.  I prayed I'd find them quickly as I was absolutely freezing and my teeth were chattering.  I couldn't find them and I knew this was going to be trouble.  I told them I would meet them in the "family area" which I thought was on the southern part of Queen's Park so I hobbled\shuffled to the southern end (about 400 meters) only to find it empty.  I turned around and headed back to the finish line.  I was absolutely freezing at this point and hypothermia might be a problem.  I borrowed someone's phone to call Tammy but only got her voice message.  I headed back into the finishing area where they had warm tents for massages.  I signed up for one as my calves were killing me but was worried that Tammy and the kids would be waiting in the cold and rain. I headed back to the exit and I asked (begged) a volunteer to call Tammy.  Again, he got her voice mail and he left a message.  Just then, Tammy appeared at the exit gate and thankfully she didn't have the kids.  She left them at a friend's house.

We hobbled back to the car which was parked a long way from the finish line and I was absolutely freezing.  Finally we got in the car and I cranked the heater to 30 degrees Celsius.  Traffic was heavy heading back uptown and it seemed like it took forever as my teeth were still chattering.  We headed back up to Tammy's friend house near the start line.  We stopped at a Tim Hortons were I shuffled out to use the bath room.  I sure got a lot of strange stares just like the Starbucks six hours earlier.

All in all, not a bad race given the weather but not great.  I was on pace to finish around 3:48 but the end killed me.  I ran the first half at 1:54 but the second half at 2:00 for a finishing time of 3:54.  Good for 498 out of 1,296 and 61/115 for my age group.

Thankfully I didn't have to ride 180 km before this run or swim 3.8 km before the ride.

Funny of the day # 1:  I ran by a guy running with in bare feet.  I asked him if he forgot his shoes and he replied he didn't want to get them wet

Funny of the day # 2:  I ran by my daughter Rebecca before the one kilometer mark.  She yelled encouragingly that I was almost done

Funny of the day # 3:  In order to qualify for Boston, I would needed a 3:31 finish.  Not even close.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

This is going to suck

May. 14
May. 15
May. 16
May. 17

6am - 6pm
Cloudy with showersLight rainLight rainCloudy with showers
Cloudy with showersLight rainLight rainCloudy with showers



WindNE 15 km/hNE 35 km/hNE 35 km/hNE 25 km/h
24-Hr Rain10-15 mm15-20 mm

I went to pick up my race kit today and met John Stanton and he was handing out pace bands.  He asked me what time I was aiming to finish the marathon and joking I said 3:30 would be great and he handed me the 3:30 pace band.  I laughed and said not in my dreams.  I told him 3:50-4:00 is more realistic.  I talked to him for a bit more and he said to look as the marathon as a 30 km training run and 10 km race.  

With each racing kit, runners were supposed to get a six pack of Molson 67 (3.2% alcohol) but that was squashed by the lawyers.  Booooo

I'm still not 100% sure on the nutrition.  I walked to coach and the plan is for 300 calories an hour so that is two GU and one bottle of Amino Vital with one salt pills.  I need to figure how I'm going to carry the Amino Vital.  I guess the best thing is in film canasters and refill my water bottle and the stations.  I guess I'd mix them on the run.  This is should be interesting.  What's that saying about not wearing, eating or trying something new during a race?

Also the weather is going to be a serious problem.  With winds up to 35 km\hr, running down Yonge Street will be straight into the wind for about 17 km.   Wonderful.  I'll be looking to draft off of some big fat guy.  Also, I guess I'll be running with a garbage bag on for most of the race.

On the good news front, oddly enough during this two week taper, everything is dialing down, I've been starving and eating like a pig BUT my weight is down.  I'm down to 170 this morning.  SWEET!!!

So this is the plan
Friday night (tonight) - To night's sleep is the most critical so I'll take a sleeping pill but that means no beers
Saturday night - Carb loading although I've never believed in it.
Sunday morning - Four hours of hell
Sunday afternoon - Beer

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tapering Down

Well only eight days to go until a world of hurt.  After last week's long run of 3 hours and 45 minutes, I was still hurting Monday morning and couldn't do any speed work so I just ran for an hour at an unbelievably slow pace.  At some points, I was running (or shuffling) at a 6:45 min\km.  I emailed coach and told him I couldn't do any of the speed work (ie 5 x 1,000 meters @ 4:30 min\km pace) and he said don't worry about it as it was critical not to get injured this close to the race (well duh).  On that note, I skipped Wednesday's run as I was very tired and very hungry.  I couldn't believe how much I was eating.  Holy Oink Oink!

Thursday's swim was a write off as we totally screwed up the drill and we got it totally mixed up.  I didn't even bother finishing the set when 6:30 am rolled around.  Friday's run was better as I tried to run at a quicker pace rather than use heart rate.  I felt better but my shin splints were killing me after the run.  I've been stretching, rubbing and icing them.  Its bearable but I know they can get a lot worse without treating them.

This morning is a scheduled rest day so I decided to do P90X yoga which I haven't done in about six weeks and it showed.  After 20 minutes, I was bagged but all the Downward Dog stretches certainly helped my calf and my shin splints.  I couldn't even finish the total 90 minute work out and bailed before the balancing sets.

After breakfast we went to a bike swap to look at a new bike for Tammy (could this be her Mother's Day present?).  There were about 30 used bikes including a Scott Plasma (hmmm).  She ended up getting an used Devinci Silverstone for $600.  I've never heard of it but reading some online reviews (after we bought the bike...duh), it seems to be ok.  Tammy didn't really have much fun last year running the Hamilton Half Marathon but thought perhaps Duathlons would be more fun.  Her schedule had been set up with the Victoria Du (may 23rd) in mind but there was a small problem.  All of her biking had been inside at the gym and she didn't have a bike for outdoors.  I borrowed my sister-in law sister's bike but it turned out to be a mountain bike with knobby tires and it weighed a ton.  After "discussing" the situation with coach, we decided to scrap the Victoria Du and go for the Guelph Du next month which was a shorter course and gave her more time to ride outside.  We'll see what the summer brings but hopefully Tammy will stick with riding.

That's all I got as next week is the 2nd week of tapering.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

When Ya Gotta Go...Ya Gotta Go!

Yesterday was the loooonnnnngeessstttt run I've ever done.  A whoppin' 3 hours and 45 minutes and it was long but not as bad as I thought it might be.  I left really really late as I slept in and didn't wake up until 5:45 am.  By the time I ate and got out the door it was about 6:20 am.  Not a good start.  The temperature was a little frosty at three degrees (Celsius) but was supposed to be sunny.  My goal was to run up to Aurora Road (18 km) and then west to Kennedy and back home, so in theory I should have been able to go further than last week's 35 km run.  There was a slight headwind but sunny and cool.  As the sun climbed higher, the temperature warmed up.  One thing about running north of the city, there isn't a lot of businesses or residential area but there are a couple of really nice golf courses.  I ran by one course and noticed they had a port-a-potty.  My stomach was acting a little funny, probably because I didn't leave much time for my breakfast to digest.  I debated to stop or not but finally common sense came through, as in "where would I go, if I really had to go?"  Fifteen minutes later and several pounds lighter, I was back running.

I hit Aurora Road at the two hour mark and was way off last week's pace so I just turned around and ran south.  The temperature had warmed up and I began to overheat so I took off my gloves and hat and stuffed them in the back of my running jacket.  I had already drained one water bottle which I mixed Amino Vital and threw it away and was almost done my second bottle of plain water.  The sun really made a difference as I had to stop at a house in Lemonville (cool name for a town eh?) and got a refill.  By the time I got to Stouffville Road I had to stop and take off my running jacket.  Fortunately, it folds up into a little pouch with a draw string so I could wear it around my waist but it bounced up and down all the way home.  Somewhere along the way, I lost my GU Chomps.  I only had 2 or three left but was almost home.  I stopped at a gas station and refilled a second time and finished the run.  I wasn't hurting as bad as last week but by the time I got home it was 10:30 am.  It seemed my "pit stop" took longer than I expected.  Tammy had the kids ready and was heading out to take them to dance and swimming.  Usually I take Jake swimming but there was no way I could as I was a mess and needed food and an ice bath so she took all three of them.  Doh!  Now you know why I try and get out the door by 5:00 am.

I stopped by coach's house to check out a tri bike and had a power tap. I took it out for a spin but it felt weird.  I not sure I could handle riding it for six hours as my neck and back would be killing.  I had consulted with John Proc previously and he didn't think it was that great of a deal as it was a 2008 bike but I might go for the Power tap as biking is my weakest sport.

I told coach about my long run and I mentioned that I thought I had no chance of qualifying for Boston and he laughed at me.  I originally thought I might make it as I can run a Half Marathon in under 1:45 but wasn't sure about holding that pace for double the distance.  I told him how exhausted I was after each long run and he asked me about my nutrition.  Before yesterday's run I had:
two pieces of brown bread       150 calories
one hard boiled egg                   90
Cliff bar                                  250

During the run:
one bottle of Amino Vital              150 calories
most of a package of GU Comps   160

For a total of 800 calories.  Not quite enough for a 3:45 run.  Coach told me I should be taking at least 300 calories an hour or about 1,200 calories which probably explains why I'm so exhausted and hungry all day after my long run.

Oddly enough, my Polar was working and I averaged a 6:08 min\km pace which would put me to finish a marathon around 4.18 but if I can get my nutrition fixed, he figured I could hold a 5:45 min\km which would put me on target for a 4.02 marathon which sounds doable.

Oh yea, my blister on the bottom of my foot had fully healed from last week but using body glide on my feet prevented it from ripping open again.  Thanks A Couple of Hounds

Finally, congrats to my brother Paul and Sarah who had baby Hannah two months early.  She weighs only 3.2 pounds!!!