Ironman Mont Tremblant

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 IMLP New Swim Record

Too funny

Guy swam Ironman Lake Placid in 38 minutes beating professional Andy Potts. Volunteers chased him to tell him he has to swim two laps. They yanked his timing chip at the first bike aid station. This wasn't a mistake

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thirty Days To Go!

Its hard to believe that there is only 30 days until Ironman Mont Tremblant.  Where did time go?  It seemed like only yesterday (Jan 16th) when I signed up with NRG and started a formal training plan.

As we head into the last long ride this Saturday (6 hours) and the last long run on Sunday (2 hours) - the longest I've run this year, I realized that I'm trying to cramp for a marathon.  At the NRG Mont Tremblant training camp on June 14th, I couldn't run more than 15 minutes without my foot swelling up.  Next week is a recovery week and "only" 10 hours and then after that, the tapering begins.

I've enjoyed this training and while the 6 hour rides are beginning to get tiring, I can see that I am not an "One And Done" Ironman (assuming I finish IMMT).  I've already warned Tammy that while I'll probably take next year off and do a couple of Half Ironmans, I have my eye set on Ironman Canada in 2014.

So in terms of readiness, I think I'm ready.  I am a little worried about the swim as during Masters swim in the winter, we were only swimming 2,000 meters but coach has ramped up the number of swims and the distance of 3,000 to 4,000 meters.  Swimming with a wet suit might be a problem but its very tough to do any open water swims as either the weather has been crappy (ie raining the day before) or no one is around.  If I can get one or two open water swims, I think I'll be ok.

Also my bike needs a final tune up and I think I need some of the back cogs chained as the gears keep slipping.  Not a good thing in a race

Taper beckons and the end is in sight

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hard Core MTB

On other news, I lost seven pounds this morning.  I have a 30 minute run this afternoon.  The temperature with humidity should hit 43 degrees Celcius (109 F).  This should be interesting.

Update:  The ice cubes in my water bottle didn't last long.  It was only 45 degrees Celsius (113 F)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Wrap Up

The weather here in Southern Ontario has been smoking hot and with the humidity, it makes it almost unbearable.  I think my favorite channel has now become the Weather Channel as I'm constantly watching it to monitor the ever changing weather. With a long ride (6+ hours) on Saturday, on Tuesday it looked like it was going to storm on Saturday. Yet as we got closer to the weekend, the weather kept changing.  Friday-clear, Saturday-storm, Sunday-clear.  Then Friday-storm, Saturday-light showers  and Sunday-storm.  Then, Friday-clear, Saturday-clear, Sunday-storm.  That sealed it.  The long ride was going to be Saturday. 

Several guys from the Markham Triathlon Club were racing in Musselman (upstate New York) while others were not planning to head out until 7:00 am (too late for me).  I rode with Lisa and left the house at 5:30 am.  The sun is rising later and later each morning and it was a little dark.  The humidity was thick and heavy in the air and I knew this was going to be a long and painful day.

The ride was pretty uneventful up to Zephyr and given the differences in our riding speeds, during the long flat straight aways, I rode ahead like a time trail and then looped back or did hill repeats.  We reached the corner store but it was still closed so we continued to Udora (love the names of these small towns).  We stopped at another gas station but I made the mistake of not refilling my water.  It was hot and I was drinking a lot and gobbling down the salt pills.  I figured I could reload at the connivance store once we hit Lake Simcoe but by the time we got close to the lake, Lisa wanted to turn back as we'd already been out for 3.5 hours and I was almost out. I had to find a refill and fast as I would bonk fairly quickly in the heat.  We headed south and into the town of Egypt where I saw the local community center.  I stopped to see if I could get a refill but the doors were closed.  I did find a garden hose on the side of the building but wasn't sure if I could drink the water.  In some of these little towns, the water is untreated and undrinkable.  I took a small sip and it tasted ok.  I filled up one bottle and was about to head out when a couple pulled into the parking lot.  I asked if they knew if it was ok to drink the water but they weren't sure.  They said the water came from a well so that was ok.  I reloaded and we headed south back to Zephyr.  A quick stop at the corner store and then back home.  The ride home was tough and hilly.  My legs were on fire from the hill repeats as well as the temperature kept rising.  Finally we made it back to Markham and I headed home for a 40 minute run.  I felt better than last week's ride but still felt like death on the run.  I'm still not sure how I'm going to run a marathon but I'm hoping it won't be as hot or humid as Saturday.  I took lots of salt pills and even tried the new salt & caffeine pills.  I didn't really notice a difference but Saturday night, I had a lousy sleep as I kept waking up every hour despite been dead tired.  Normally caffeine doesn't bother me but these salt & caffeine pills might have done it.

Sunday morning was hot and humid even at 5:30 am.  I ran a brutal 90 minute run and was dripping wet by the time I finished.  Afterwards, I went swimming for 60 minutes to make up Thursday's shortened swim (the pool changed its hours).  I swam a couple of laps when I got a cramp in my toe.  A bad cramp.  Often I'll do a run and then swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Once in a while, I'll get a cramp but this time it was different.  It was painful and lasted way longer than normal.  It would disappear for a while and I could swim for 20 minutes or so and then it would come back and then disappear.  I put up with it for 60 minutes when the last cramp in my shin was so painful, I had to get out of the pool.  I'm not sure what happened but I must have been very dehydrated after running in the humidity.  I was drinking water all day and actually woke up a couple of times during the night to drink.  Lesson learned. 

This wraps up the last week of Iroman build.  Next week is a rest week and then I guess I have a three week taper.  Only 15.5 hours of training. 

On another note, I went to my annual family picnic and managed to gain eight pounds this morning.  Neat trick eh?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Help, I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up!

Out of the blue, my foot started swelling up yesterday.  Clearly its the same problem I've been having and why it swells, I have no idea.  I've been to three doctors, had x-ray and bone scans done but no one can figure it out.  ARRGGGUHHHHH!  Mont Tremblant is only 38 days away.  Luckily, I have lots of anti-inflam pills left over from the last episode.  Let's hope the pain goes away and stays away.

So instead of doing today's schedule workout which was a weird ride the trainer for 30 minutes and then run outside/ride trainer/run outside/ride trainer/run outside etc, I opted just to do a 100 minute ride outside.  As we move further away from the longest day of the year (June 21st), the sun is rising later and later.  I left the house just after 5:30 am and while the sun wasn't up yet, it was light enough to ride.  The plan was just to ride straight north and hit some nasty hills 45 minutes away.  As I approached a stoplight, I slowed down and looked to see if I could just blow through the intersection but there were cars coming.  I tried to unclip my left foot but I didn't tighten the strap very much because of my swollen foot.  I tried to turn my shoe to unclip but my foot just turned in my shoe and TIIIMMMMMBBBBBEEEERRRR.  I fell over with a thud.  I'm sure the people in the car beside me had a good early morning laugh.  This was the first time I've fallen over and I swore it would happen to others but not me.  Welcome to the club

A I rode north, I stopped to snap this nice picture of the sun coming up.

One of the things I like about where I live, I only have to ride two kilometers north and I'm in farm country. 

After riding north for 45 minutes, I hit the hills which are part of the same terrain as the twin peaks except they are one road over.  I ended up riding 12 hill repeats and really struggled on the last hill and just to make things more interesting, I didn't use it in the easiest gear.  It sure beats riding the trainer for 90 minutes in my basement.

This is an easier week than last week.  Only 17.5 hours but I already skipped Monday's workout.  I was so tired from Sundays 6 hour ride and 40 minute run, there was no way I could ride Monday morning and in fact I actually slept in. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012


They say that training for an Ironman is like having a part time job.  I disagree. Its more like a full time job.  Last week I clocked in a record 21 hours and 38 minutes of training but that doesn't include all the other little things like driving to the pool, preparation, ice bath, stretching after a workout etc.  Needless to say, I'm very tired.  I skipped today's ride.  I don't think my ass can handle it.

The previous week was a recovery week but Canada Day was on Sunday so Monday became the holiday.  It was kind of weird as some stores were open on Sunday July 1st while other stores were opened on Monday July 2nd (the official holiday).  Coach posted my schedule on Sunday and gave me a four hour bike on Monday followed by a 30 minute run.  That didn't go well with Tammy.

Tuesday and Thursday workouts were 8 and 10 km runs followed by 3,000 meters swim (yes I took a shower before entering the pool).  Saturday's ride was supposed to be a 6 hour ride and 40 minute run but the weather was very iffy.  There were threats of thunderstorms so we decided to play it by ear when we woke up.  Rom would email everyone at 5:30 am if we were riding.  I woke up at 5:00 am and looked outside.  No rain and the sky was a little cloudy.  But at 5:30 there was no email.  I sent Rom and email at 5:40 checking to see if we were good to go but nothing.  Finally I called him at 6:00 am and he answered sounding dead to the world.  He slept in.  The weather was clear so we met up and headed out.  We didn't get very far as he rode north it got darker and darker.  We were only about 10 km when the first streaks of lightening flashed in the distance.  As we rode further north, it got darker and more lightening.  Ok screw this ride.  We made the decision to bail and ride on Sunday.  I raced home to beat the rain.  I could hear the rumbling in the distance and hemmed and hawed if I should run.  I decided to do Sunday's long run (90 minutes) and headed out.  Within 20 minutes it started pouring down.  The thunder was to the north of me and it rained on and off for the next hour.  Eventually it passed overhead and started to thunder to the south of me.  I didn't see much lightening so I figured I was safe.  After the run, I went to the pool for an afternoon swim (Tammy wasn't pleased).  I've never swam on a Saturday afternoon at Centennial and it was a horror show.  The "fast lane" was more like the slow lane.  I wanted to do 3,000 meters but I was tired from the 90 minute ride and 90 minute run.  I swam in sets of 500 meters dodging the breast strokers and other swimmers who were hanging on the the lane dividers in the middle of the pool.  Ok if you can't swim 25 meters without having to stop and rest in the middle, why are you swimming in the fast lane?  All of a sudden, there was this other fast swimmer who was blowing by everyone else (including me).  She was really fast and it turned out to be Jade (who I swam at Lake Wilcox a couple of weeks ago).  We both agreed this was a disaster.  I ended up swimming only 2,500 meters and gave up.

We regrouped on Sunday for our long ride.  Some guys were only going 90 km while the rest of us were going 160 km.  The group took off on our usual route and within 30 minutes, I found myself falling behind.  It appears that Saturday's triple workout left me with no legs....or, everyone is faster than me.  It was a warm day but not as bad as earlier in the week.  I really struggled to keep up and began to dread looking at my watch.  Time seemed to drag on by.  One of the guys made a wrong turn and we waited while a couple of riders went looking for him.  I was thankful of the break.  Eventually we split up and there were only four of us.  There was a strong headwind as he headed north to Lake Simcoe.  I was grateful by the time we hit the lake and turned west.  We kept riding and my legs were burning.  Finally we got to the turn around point and Rom asked if we wanted to take the long way which would add another 15 km or straight home.  Screw that, straight home.  With that, Rom and the other guy took off and I was totally unable to keep up.  I rode with an older guy and knew it was going to be a sufferfest all the way home.  By the time we hit Warden and Bloomington, Rom was so far ahead, I couldn't see him.  I rode and suffered.  Finally I made it home for a 40 minute run.  I felt like crap and my stomach was bloated so much I had to loosen my running belt.  I staggered through the run wondering how in the world I'd ever be able to run a marathon.  My legs felt very heavy and it was smoking hot.  The thought of stopping and throwing up beside the road occurred to me more than once.   I had filled my water bottle with Perform but could not drink any of it.  I finally made it back home and immediately drank a bottle of Ensure Meal Replacement drink.  I felt better and took an ice bath.  I almost fell asleep in the bath.  I guess I was tired.

So I guess my nutrition strategy still needs some fine tuning.  I think one of the problem is that while I try to drink a bottle of nutrition per hour, I tend to drink more in the last 30 minutes than in the first 30 minutes.  I was gobbling the salt pills like crazy but it wasn't enough to keep my stomach from bloating. 

I must admit that this training is beginning to take its toll.  I'm beginning to dread these six hour rides.  I guess I have two more of these rides until I begin to start tapering down.  Even if I start riding at 6:00 am, I'm not back until 1:00 pm and then have to run off the bike for 30-40 minutes.  Eating and taking an ice bath takes up another hour and then I usually fall asleep on the couch.  By the time I wake up, its around 3:00 pm.  Yes, Ironman is definitely a selfish sport.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Long Weekend In Review

Happy Belated Canada Day (July 1st)

Last week was a recovery week so not much to report other than my running is slowing ramping up (30 minute runs, whaahooo). Saturday was a boring two hour recovery ride but Sunday was a little interesting. I went to Lake Wilcox in Richmond Hill (about 20 minute drive). I know of many triathletes who train in the lake but I've never swam in it. I swam with three other people who I usually swim with at Centennial Pool during the summer. All three of them are twice as fast as me. We got to the lake nice and early at 7:00 am and it was actually a little chilly. It must have been around 7:30 by the time we got in the water and it didn't look to clear. In fact, after jumping in, I couldn't see much past the length of my arm.  This was gross.  It didn't take long for Derek and Mike to pull ahead while Jade and I swam sort of together.  She is way faster than me but hung back.  It took a while to find my rhythm and I noticed my heart rate was soaring around 165 bps.  I was a little freaked out by the restrictiveness of the wetsuit and the fact I couldn't see very far.  I found I ran out of gas fairly quickly and had to take short rests.  The lake is almost exactly one kilometer (0.6 miles) across so we swam to the other end and back.  I figured it took me about 40 minutes.  Not great and I'd be hard pressed to swim another lap.  I definitely need more open water swims but due to obvious safety reasons of not swimming alone (not that it would matter in that lake once you went under) and the fact that my kids have soccer Monday to Thursday nights, there aren't much opportunities.  I need to get used to my wetsuit and drop five pounds.

After the swim, I ran for an hour around the lake.  It wasn't quite what I expected as there is only one road that actually follows the shoreline for a short distance and the rest of the route is running through subdivisions with some really nice houses.  I was happy to be able to run that distance with minimal foot pain. 

Holiday Monday's ride was a last minute update from coach as I had nothing on my schedule.  I was expecting something like an one hour ride followed by a 30 minute run but when I looked at my schedule, it was a four hour ride and a 30 minute run (taking advantage of the holiday).  That did not go down well with Tammy even though two of the kids started all morning swimming classes.  She wanted to go to the gym and someone had to watch Jake.  That turned out to be her. 

I rode with Peter A, who pulled off a smoking 5:17 at Mont Tremblant 70.3 with a 2:32 bike split.  He was doing a 6 hour ride and set off at a brisk pace.  It didn't take long for my heart rate to get up to 150 bps and I knew I couldn't hold this pace for the entire ride.  We rode up to Lake Simcoe which took us two hours before heading back.  One thing about Peter A is, he's all business.  There was no rest breaks except when I had to pee or refill my water bottles.  Even at the stop lights, he would only slow down before blowing through.  By the time we got back home (4 hours), I was done.  Peter A tried to convince me to ride another two hours with him (riding alone sucks) but I thought it would be better to stick to my schedule rather than stay out longer and come home to more trouble.  The 30 minute run was slow and painful as my quads were burning.  My neck was burning as I didn't put enough body glide on during yesterday's swim and the wet suit rubbed my neck raw.  After I got home, we picked up the girls from swimming and everyone watched a movie upstairs while I fell asleep on the couch downstairs.  I later fell asleep on the patio for a couple of minutes while waiting for everyone to get ready to head out to a nearby park. 

Looking at the forecast for later tonight, it looks like thunderstorms so I decided to do a 45 minute run before I went swimming.  I left the house around 4:50 am and had a little run.  It was uneventful other than seeing all the rabbits, raccoons and a coyote run past me only four feet away.  It was young but scared easy when I yelled at it.  I'm sure one day he won't be scared so easily as he chases me down the street.  After running, I headed to the pool for 6:00 am and looked at the workout coach gave me.  Turns out to be a 3,100 meter workout.  I found my arms were a little sore from the wet suit swim but I liked the workout.  After swimming I chatted to Paul S who is doing IMLP.  Turns out that was a mistake as Tammy wanted to go running before she took the kids to swimming.  She had told me she wanted to run every morning  and I forgot.  Doh! 

The R word is beginning to appear in our conversations.  Resentment.  Not good as I have 19 hours of training this week.

As my running picks up, I have 6 runs on my schedule this week but they are all short 30-45 minutes, I've noticed my lower back is killing me.  I need to do more start doing core