Ironman Mont Tremblant

Friday, August 31, 2012

IMMT - After Thoughts

You will remain the same person, before, during and after the race. 
So the result, no matter how important, will not define you.
The journey is what matters. ~ Chrissie W

It seems like a life time ago that I was hemming and hawing with Lisa (my training buddy) about which race to do.  There was the good old Ironman Lake Placid which both my brothers had done.  There were the new Ironman New York and Mont-Tremblant.  I've never been to either Lake Placid or New York city and the thought of Tammy having to look after the kids for some 14 hours while I floundered on the course was a concern.  The scariest thing about IMMT was the course profile.  Everybody was talking about the scary 6 km hill with a 14% grade.  Where in the world could you train for those types of hills around Toronto?  I've been to Mont-Tremblant a couple of times so I knew it was pretty kid friendly ski resort and every thing looked fairly close to the race itself so last June, Lisa and I pulled the trigger and signed up.  

Later in September 2011, I fired my coach after Muskoka 70.3.  While I knew I could finish an Ironman with him, I wanted someone who was going to give me feedback and in January 2012, I started working with NRG Performance.  Just finishing an Ironman wasn't good enough.  I wanted a respectable time and wasn't afraid of doing the work.  Overall, I'm very happy I made the switch and would highly recommend working with my coach Fiona Gray at NRG.  She gave me the workouts and provided the feedback.  I truly believe that I would have not gotten the results if I stayed with my old coach.

The race and venue was incredible.  The town of Mont-Tremblant and Province of Quebec did an awesome job and spent a lot of money fixing the infrastructure.  After my training camp in June with NRG, I felt a lot more confident as everything was looking great.  I fear that it would be almost impossible to top the experience of my first Ironman.  One of the best things about IMMT was all the people that I knew up there:
    • Lisa (training buddy)
    • NRG
    • Ajax Pickering Tri Club
    • Markham Tri Club
    • Friends (Paul and Cathy S, Peter A, Scobie)
    • Blog buddies (Adena, Mandy and Doru)
    • Old friends from when my brothers raced 10 years ago (Paula, Ed W, Peter F)
I probably knew over 20 people either racing or spectating.  Oh yea, and my wife and kids.

Finishing an Ironman isn't that hard despite what you think.  In fact, baring any injuries or medical issues, I believe the average person can finish an Ironman.  In fact, Sister Madonna just finished Ironman Canada in 16:39 last week.  She's an 80 year old nun!!!  If you do the workout, you can finish.  An interesting observation when I look at my schedule (and what others have told me), your Monday-Friday training schedule doesn't change all that much if you're training for a sprint, Olympic, half Ironman, or full Ironman distance race.  For the half and full Ironman, I had extra workouts a couple of days a week.  Where the biggest difference comes in is the weekend for your long ride and long run.  Saturday rides of 6-7 hours with 30 minute bricks and Sundays with three hour runs (I never did as I was too hurt) is where all the hours add up.  I averaged about 15 hours a week and my longest was 21.3 hours.  My longest swim was 4 km.  My longest bike ride was 183 km (got lost) and my longest run was 20.5 km (I suffered on the second loop of the run at IMMT).  It really isn't that hard to finish an Ironman.  However, to race an Ironman is a whole different story........

So what's ahead for this year and next year?  I toyed with the idea of Muskoka 70.3 on Sept 8th but my first swim back this week told me that wasn't a good idea.  I'm still tired and the race would have been a disaster not to mention the expense (after spending several thousands of dollars at Mont-Tremblant and Montreal). I'm thinking about running the Scotia Half Marathon in October but I need to do something.  For me, this is the most depressing time of the year as the days get shorter and the weight starts to climb. 

For next year, I've already signed up for Mont Tremblant 70.3 in June and will probably race another half Ironman (Rev 3 Cedar Point maybe) and in 2014 a full Ironman.  I beat one of my brother's time and I'm looking to beat my other brother's time.  I missed his time by five minutes.  Hopefully by then, my oldest brother will be interested in joining me after he learns how to swim

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IMMT - Pictures

Ok, I tried to upload some video but stupid blogger won't upload.  Next post, I'll express some thoughts on Ironman in general and Mont Tremblant and of course, my race day

Pre Dawn Race Day

Seriously, did I really swim with that dumb t-shirt?

Go Dad Go

Heading Up To Lac Superior On The First Loop

Coming Down Lac Superior On The First Loop

Let Go Of Me.  I Really Need To Pee

AHHH  That Felt Good

Finish Line Party Around 11 PM

Mike Reilly - Famous Ironman Annoucer

Almost Over

The Finishing Chute

Race Over - Fireworks

My Tax Dollars Going Up In Smoke!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ironman Blues

Stolen from 

The feeling of something missing in your life – Now time to do something different.
Unusual grumpiness – Tired not fully recovered.
Sadness - Like you have lost a best friend.
Bored -plently of time on your hands
Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.
Sudden mood swings - often as a result of procrastination.
Not Motivated - even to enter a favourite triathlon
The loss of any direction will result in feelings of aimlessness & despondency.
Missing the regular e mails, social support and group sessions that were part of the Ironman training culture.
Depression is a sign you have not fully recovered.

Remedy for post Ironman blues.
It is perfectly normal to feel low after the Ironman.
Avoid setting yourself goals and jumping straight back into training in the first 3 weeks. You will make much better decisions 3 weeks after finishing.
Don’t ignore feelings listen to your mind and body.
Sleep in and do not feel guilty, this is part of your reward.
Enjoy not having a target to aim for.
You are a human being not a machine so you need time to charge up your batteries.
Invest your time in other parts of your life to improve and simplify for lifestyle.
There is more to life than just training, time to catch up on things you have not been doing. Especially the things that you did not do when in training mode. Meet up with friends and family.
Be more creative at work even socialize late into the evening.
Stretch rather than train.
Rest and recover rather than stand up.
Reward yourself with a massage.
Learn to feel guilty by doing the things you abstain from while in ironman training.
Exercise can help with mood swings so do not convince yourself that lots of training will dissolve the Ironman blues.


On other news, Lance Armstrong is banned from cycling for life.  If you see him riding, knock him off his bike and yell NO!! to his face

Saturday, August 25, 2012

IMMT - The Run

This picture was sent to me by Derek D who was supposed to race IMMT but life got in the way.  This picture was snapped by his dad after Derek yelled at me as I rode by.  I remember someone yelling my name so I waved.  I've never met Derek but we chatted on the phone once and exchanged emails.  While I'm sorry we didn't get to meet, I'm glad to hear he's signed up for IMMT 2013.  

They say in a triathlon, the real race begins on the second half of the run.  I just wanted it to end.  I was quite worried about the run.  I was hurt in the months of February, March (bailed from Around The Bay), April, May and half of June.  In fact, when I came up for NRG training camp in mid June, I could not run more than 15 minutes so basically I had less than two months to cram for the marathon.  My longest run was only two hours for 20.5 km.  A far cry from a marathon.

Heading out of transition, past the roaring crowds, I knew I could run the first loop but the second loop was going to be a problem.  The plan was to walk the hills and aid stations.  How hard could it to be to run from aid station to aid station when they were only 1.6 km (one mile) apart?  Very hard.  Very very hard.

About one kilometer into the run, I realized I had way too much crap in the pockets of my tri top.  I had a 35 mm film canister of salt pills, another one with Tums, Gu gels, three zip lock baggies of eLoad for my water bottle and a small tin can of mints.  At the first aid station, I threw out the mints.  I wasn't plan on kissing anyone at the finish line anyways.  I took the zip lock baggies out my tri top and ran with it in my hand....all for 21 km. 

Ok, so at this point, you're probably wondering why I'm running with so much crap:

1.  I need to run with a water bottle so I can drink when I need to, not when there is an aid station.  
2.  I tried Honey Stinger Gels (on course gels) a couple of weeks ago and they were way too sweet so I brought my own
3.  I need about 300 calories per hour and there was no way I was going to take in that many gels so the plan was to run with eLoad in my water bottle and refill at the aid stations.
4.  In training, I take in a lot of water so I need the salt pills to make sure that it gets absorbed by the body as well as I mixed regular salt pills with caffeinated salt pills.  One of my brothers took a nap during IMC because he was so tired. 
5.  The mints were to "freshen" my breath after taking gels and liquid nutrition all day long.  In hindsight, a pack of gum would have been better.  It doesn't weigh as much

The first couple of kilometers had some nasty hills that I walked, but once I got going I was ok.  We ran through the small town of Lac Moore where five guys standing in front of a pub were cheering us on with the theme song for the Montreal Canadians (hockey team).

Running along Le P’tit Train du Nord, a former railway bed made of crushed small gravel helped the pounding on the body.  This part of the trail run is roughly 5.5 km one way so with the turn around it works out to be about 11 km long.  The nice thing about it is that you can see runners heading the opposite direction and given all the people I knew it helped distract the mind.   Overall the first loop was no problem other than a bloated stomach.  I brought Tums in a film canister and was popping a couple of them but I didn't want to take too many considering I've never ate them in a race.  I used almost all the salt pills in another film canister (10-12 pills) for the first half.  Half way through the run, there was a light rain shower and I commented how glad I was to be off the bike.  Coming down Lac Superior or Hwy 117 when the roads were wet would not be fun.   Running back through the village of Old Tremblant, the boys were still singing Ole,Ole, Ole (ok, its been about 1.5 hours since I first ran by them). Heading back to the resort, we hit the hills again.  The strategy of walking the hills and aid station was working fine.   Heading into special needs, I picked up my bag and reloaded but I forgot my little baggies of eLoad.  Crap, that meant I'd have to drink Ironman Perform again!!  Oh this was going to be trouble has my stomach felt bloated and was getting sick of taking gels.  The whole idea of using eLoad was it tasted different and better.   Running through the pedestrian village the crowds were roaring.  Half way down, there was a Y split.  The finishers ran to the left while losers, I mean those heading out for their second lap ran to the right.  I'd be interested to know what my pace was as I definitely was running a lot faster with everyone cheering but slowed down once I got back on the main road.  I was really dreading this part of the run.   Running along the trail wasn't so bad the first time but the second time was going to hurt. My stomach was still bothering me as it felt bloated and I stopped drinking water.  I tried to take in more gels but was getting really sick of them.  I ran past the bar and the boys were still singing although they weren't standing that straight.   Heading onto the trail, it started to get darker and darker as storm clouds gathered again.  They had a set of lights strung up about every 500 meters.  One light faced one direction while another light faced the opposite direction.  That trail would be very dark once the sun set and I didn't want to be on it.   Somewhere along the way, I got a small rock in my shoe.  I stopped and tried to get it out but was having serious difficulties balancing and putting my foot down on the gravel trail only attracted more gravel to the bottom of my foot.  I couldn't bend my leg to brush the gravel off my foot.  I ran at least 15 km with a rock in my shoe.  It really hurt by the end of the race. At the aid stations, they started serving warm chicken broth.  I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good! It really did the job but I knew I had to take in more Perform as I wasn't taking enough gels.   Half way to the turn around point, it started to rain.  Steady at first and then harder and harder.  The soup tasted even better at every aid station.  The strategy of walking the aid station was working but I noticed I was walking longer than the aid station.  The simple act of starting to run again was very painful as the rain poured down even more.  It was just miserable but I was thankful I was on the second loop coming back from the turn around.   Through out the second loop of the run, I was running with Paul T who was coached by Cathy S.  We kept running side by side encouraging each other but at one point, I just couldn't keep up with him and kept walking while he took off.  This was the low point as my walking extended and instead of walking the aid stations, I walked to the next aid station.   I had my watch set to my running time when I started the marathon and wondered how long I'd been going so I changed the setting and I was around the 11 1/2 hours and I had about 8 km to go.  HOLY CRAP!!  I might be able to break 13 hours.  BANG!!  Like a light switch, I clicked on and started to run.  I was doing the math in my head as I ran.   My stomach was still bloated and gurgling as I forced down the disgusting Perform, but I started to dilute with with water and drank Coke. Finally I had to stop and use the toilet.  Ahhh relief except there was no toilet paper.  But there was one used piece on the floor.  Oh well.  Ya do what ya gotta to do. I caught up to Paul T and Tony M who were walking and said "come on boys lets go.  We can make it."  With that, all three of us started to run.  I still walked the aid stations and hills.  Running past the bar, where the BOYS WERE STILL SINGING!!!!  (ok I've been running for 4 1/2 hours).  These guys were hammered so I high fived them as I ran by.   The running picked up as I got closer to the village.  I could hear the announcer and the cheering crowds.  One more hill to go!  I ran through the hotel parking lot for the special needs pick up bag but stayed to the left.  I glanced at the people on the right picking up their special needs bag and felt bad for them as they were only on their first loop.   Right before I entered the top of the pedestrian village, I had a stabbing pain in my left hamstring.  OH NO!!  So close!!  I walked for five seconds and then started running again.  I had no idea where Paul and Tony were but I didn't want to get passed by them.  I started running down the village where the crowds were roaring and came up to the Y junction again but this time I cut left to the finish line.  I saw Tammy and the kids with Scobie (bastard - he beat me by almost two hours).  I gave a quick kiss to Tammy and just ran to the finish line.  I wasn't even sure if they called my name or Mike Reilly called me an Ironman.  I simply didn't care.  I just wanted to finish. 12:57:15 209/320 1101/1652 The best part about the finish was that my friend Rom caught me at the finish line.  I was a mess.  Rom had race Ironman New York the previous week and came straight up and volunteered at Mont-Tremblant.  In the next post, I'll have some pictures and my thoughts

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

IMMT- The Bike

The bike, the bike, the bike.  Its all about the bike and I suck on the bike.

Goal Time:  6:45 to 7:00 hours
Race Time:  6:19 (including 4 minute penalty)

Before heading out of transition, I turned on my GPS tracker by My Athlete Live so that Tammy and the kids could know when I'm getting close to the resort.  The bike course is a two loop course and I would be riding by the resort twice per loop.

I headed out of transition and down Montee Ryan for a 10 km ride to Hwy 117.  I rode the course (two loops) in June with a NRG training camp so I had a very good idea what to expect.  The weather was cool (maybe 10 degrees celcius) but I decided not to ride with my over-sized running vest.  I did have my sock/arm warmers half way rolled up (I put them on backwards and couldn't get them rolled up all the way).  The ride down Montee Ryan is mostly down hill and fast to Hwy 117 but at the corner, for some odd reason, the course went through a gas station parking lot and then onto the highway on-ramp.  Much to my disappointment, the drive-thru McDonalds was closed.  I really could have used a Mcmuffin at that time.  In fact, I know someone who stuck one in their bento box and ate it on the bike during IMSG.

It was a beautiful day with the sun out and little wind.  After a long gentle climb I headed down Hwy 117 (northbound) to this awesome hill.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

Looking southbound on Hwy 117
Riding down this hill, I actually passed a couple of guys (I'm much fatter) and hit speeds of more than 70 km/hr.  On my Power Tap, I don't have speed so I never know how fast I'm going until I download the file.
The momentuem carries you for a couple of kilometers.  Its awesome until you have to ride back up it.  I was in aero position all the way down.  I noticed some people were riding the brakes.  I figured, if I'm going to crash, its not going to make a difference whether I'm going 40 or 70 km/hr.  My race is over.

Closer to the turn around, I rode with Ross from APTC.  I've never met him but I know a couple of people from that club.  We were riding side by side for several kilometers chit chatting until we rode by a guy standing on the side of the road.  He flashed a red card at us.  Crap, was that an official?  Did we just get a penalty?  We continued riding together but didn't talk as much.  I wasn't sure if I got a penalty or Ross did or the both of us.  Better to play it safe than sorry and stop at the penalty tent otherwise its a DQ.

One part of the route I didn't ride during the training camp was the short 10 km out and back through the town of St Jovite.  The people were awesome and lined the street yelling and cheering. There were Ironman signs everywhere.  Heading back up Montee Ryan and close to the resort, I saw people from the Markham Tri Club who yelled encouragement.  As I passed by the resort, the fan support was incredible.  People were line two or three deep yelling and cheering.  The climb to Lac Superior was tough but ok and coming down was awesome.  I'm so glad I came up in June for the NRG training camp.

Heading down the hill, I turned right and and volunteers yelled out for the special needs bag.  I pulled in and someone handed my bag.  What service as they waited while I swapped my water bottles out.  The new ones I picked up were insulated and I froze water in half the bottle the night before and then added my nutrition and topped up with water in the morning.  That way, the water was nice and cold after sitting in the hot sun for several hours.  Brilliant strategy!  I rode around the parking lot, crossed the timing mat for the 2nd loop but couldn't find the penalty tent.  I stopped and asked a volunteer and he said it was right beside special needs.  I was so focused on picking up by bag, I blew right by it.  Then I saw Ross standing underneath the tent.  We had a good laugh.

After I served my penalty, I took off down Montee Ryan.  I grabbed one of my full loaded bottles to take a swig and....I dropped it.  CRAP!!!  There was no way I was stopping.  I couldn't figure out why I dropped it until I realized I was wearing these cheap gardening gloves that I put on in transition.  I wasn't sure if I was going to get my special needs bag back, so rather than wear expensive riding gloves and lose them, I went to the dollar store and bought cheap gloves.  If I lost them, they only cost a dollar.  I took off the gloves and stuffed them in the back of my tri top.  Scobie told me that something would always go wrong in a race so figure out a back up plan.  Dropping a full bottle of nurition was trouble but I needed a replacement.  I had two other bottles full so I would have to pick up a bottle of Perform....gross but at least I trained with it.  The rest of the ride to the turn around point was uneventful other than the large pack of obviously drafting riders heading southbound.  Once I turned around, I immediately knew why they were drafting.  The winds had picked up and we were now riding into some stiff headwinds.  Oddly enough, officials were riding by the packs and appeared not to do anything about it.

Riding back to the resort and heading up to Lac Superior, I saw Tammy and the kids on the other side of the fence.  They yelled and waved.  After I reached the top, I decided to stop and visit them for a couple of seconds.  As I came flying down the hill approaching the resort, I looked to make sure no one was behind me and hit the brakes hard.  I gave Tammy a quick kiss and high fived the kids and took off to transition

Transition Two

Goal Time:  None
Race Time:  4:50

Well better than T1.  I did a quick change into my running shorts and swapped my stuff out of my tri top for the stuff I needed to for the run.  I planned to run with my water bottle even though there were aid stations every mile.  I like to drink water when I need it, not every mile.  I brought little baggies of eLoad powder that I would dump into my water bottle at the aid stations.  I felt ok and knew the first 21 km would be ok but the second loop...........

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

IMMT - The Swim

Swim Goal:  1:15
Swim Time:  1:16

Swimming with the Masters Swim Club in the winter had me a little worried as we were only swimming 1,700 to 2,200 meters per swim twice a week.  A far cry from 3,800 meters of the IM swim but as Masters ended in June, coach ramped up my swimming.  I told her I wanted to move to three swims per week with the third swim at lunch time in the middle of the week, but only made it out once.  The workouts she gave me gently ramped me up to 3,800 to 4,000 meters swims.  This gave me a lot of confidence but one swim session at Lake Wilcox destroyed it.  I swam with a couple of friends who are very very fast swimmers.  I tried to keep up for the one kilometer crossing but ended up blowing up.  It might have been the fact that Lake Wilcox is so murky it had me freaked out but a couple of swims at John and Paula's pond help fix that problem.  They have a pond with a 400 meter course mapped out so 10 loops equal 4,000 meters.  My swims came in at 1:17 and 1:14.  Good enough!  I figured I might come in a little faster if I caught a good draft.

Fast Forward:  Mike Reilly yelling Go, Go, Go!!!  (I was still waiting for the cannon)

In hindsight, I should have been a little more conscience of WHERE I was starting on the beach.  I just kept walking down towards the right flag assuming my friends from the Markham Tri Club were following me but when the race started, they were no where to be seen so I waded in.  This was easiest the biggest race I've been in.  All the other triathlons were wave starts and had a max of 300 swimmers per wave.  This race had 2,000 people starting at the same time.  The course was a simple one mile out, 0.4 mile to the right and then one mile straight to the finish.  The line I had chosen was probably one of the worst ones as a lot of the stronger swimmers would be following the line.  About 300 meters out, I ran into someone doing breast stroke.  He kicked me three times as I tried to move out of the way but there were so many swimmers beside me, it was almost impossible to move.  I seriously considered punching him in the back of the head for starting in the middle of the pack and swimming breast stroke so soon.  I moved on.  About 500 meters out, all of a sudden, it got really really congested.  Everybody stopped swimming and I was getting hit.  People started yelling to keep swimming and it eventually opened up.  I think what had happened was that the swimmers who started to the far left began to cut in towards the buoy line and it was like a traffic jam.  I kept trying to jump from swimmer to swimmer to find a good draft but it never worked.

Eventually coming down the back stretch, I caught a half decent swimmer and was able to draft off him for a little bit.  When I looked to the right, I was only 10 meters away from the buoy line but when I looked to my left, I could see swimmers at least 30 meters away.  They were adding some serious distance to the swim.  About 500 meters to go, I got punched in the face.  Again, the swim never really opened up as there were swimmers constantly around me.

I had to take a wicked leak and tried to pee while I was swimming.  Similar to peeing on the bike, it is a talent that I've yet to acquire.  As I got closer to shore, the water is so clear that I could see the bottom.  I kept swimming until I could touch bottom.  Then I started to pee so I took my time getting out of the water.  Scobie had told me a pretty good trick when the swim has wet suit strippers.  Run out of the water and look for the biggest guy and point at him.  I did just that, and he yelled at me to get down and he ripped off my wet suit in a second.  I immediately jumped to my feet, thanking him and started the long run to transition.

Seeing that its about 500 meters to transition, the organizers were kind enough to lay red carpet all the way.  People lined the road yelling encouragement and half way there I saw Tammy with the kids and Paul S (his wife was racing, so he had the kids).  I stopped and gave her a quick kiss and ran into the massive tent to pick up my bike bag and ran to find a chair.  It was very noisy and crowded as most of the chairs were taken (did I really swim that slow?).  The guy besides me was taking his sweet time but around him everybody was moving very quickly.  I dumped my bag and got changed.  It seemed like I was in there forever (T1 is usually very slow for me).  I ran out to find my bike and began my long bike ride.

Mistakes I Made:
1.  not getting to the beach earlier to check out a good swim line
2.  not wearing my tri top under my wet suit.  I wore a bright orange running shirt so at least Tammy could see me.  I was very worried about the air temperature coming out of the water.  The forecast was only eight degrees Celsius (46 F)
3.  putting on my "home made" arm warmers (made out of tube stocks with the ends cut off).  That wasted several minutes as it wasn't that cold
4.  swim a "little" faster or try harder to find a draft.
Transition Time:  11:51
Expected Time:  None

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant - Race Morning

This is going to be a long babble so I'll break it into sections.

The whole reason I chose Ironman Mont Tremblant (over IMNY or IMLP) more than 15 months ago was because the race was centered around the village.  The fact that the family could watch me start the race and then head back to the hotel was very appealing despite the fear on how tough this course really was.  The profile on the Ironman website showed the climb to Lake Superior to be a 14% grade over 5 km long!  Where in the world would I ever find hills like that to train on?  Turns out that the hills weren't as bad as everyone made them out to be.  This was confirmed by the NRG training camp in June.  I felt much better as I did the two loops (minus a short 10 km out and back) in around 7 hours.  That was including a nasty flat tire and also a bout of puking on the side of the highway on the second loop.

One of the tricks, Scobie taught me, was take a sleeping pill two nights before the race.  I have no idea why a good sleep is important two nights before the race.  I've heard it before before but the sleeping pill does the job. The night before the race, sleep is a luxury.  Tammy and the kids wanted to go out for ice cream so at 8:00 pm we walked along the main through way of the village.  I ran into a bunch of people from the Markham Tri Club who immediately questioned me why I wasn't at the hotel resting/sleeping the night before the big race.  I was very tired and this seemed to be a very good idea but the family wasn't cooperating.

Once we got back, I immediately crashed but woke up at 1:30 am and that was pretty much the end of my sleep.  I tossed and turned but couldn't sleep.  I even updated my blog two hours before race time but in hindsight, probably wasn't a good idea.  One of the problems of being so close to transition (literally a 5 minute walk) was that I goofed around too long.

I headed down to transition around 5:45 am for body marking and was shocked on how many people were already milling around.  I looked around for Adena who said she'd be marking people.  I looked around for 10 minutes but didn't see anyone who looked like her (I've never met her and she doesn't have a picture on her blog).  I ran into Mandy and said "hey have you seen Adena?"  And, that's who Mandy was talking to!  Bloggers meet!

After chit chatting, I headed to transition, only to realize, I left three water bottles in the fridge so I had to go back to the hotel.  I finally was set up for the bike, run, bike special needs bag and run special needs bag but I had to go back to the hotel and get my wetsuit.  Tons of people were heading to the beach which was about one kilometer (0.6 mile) away.  I got back to the hotel and the kids were still sleeping.  I was on the verge of panicking as no one wanted to get out of bed!  Finally we headed out with Tammy carrying Jake on her back and I was holding Vanessa's hand (who also wanted to be carried) and Rebecca was limping up the hill with her broken ankle (in a walking cast).  We got down to the beach and it was packed!  People were milling around while athletes were trying to get to the beach.  I said my goodbyes and ran into some guys from the Markham Tri Club.  Like lambs being led to the slaughter we headed to the beach while Mike Reilly sent the pros off at 6:50 am and was counting down.  I was no where near the water.  At 7:00 am, a CF-18 fighter jet flew overhead and a cannon was supposed to be fired but there were too many people milling around the cannon.  Next thing I know, Mike Reilly was yelling "GO, GO, GO, GO!!!"  What happened to the cannon?   I looked around for my friends and only saw a sea of black wet suits so I waded into the water to start the swim with 2,000 other wanna-be-Ironmans.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Hours To Go!

Well its hard to believe that its almost race time.  After training for eight months we're finally here.  I have to admit, I don't feel ready.  A recovery week followed by two week taper has left me feeling pudgy.

The province of Quebec and Mont Tremblant have put on a spectacular venue with hopes of making this a "go to training/racing venue."  I think they've done an awesome job

The cool thing about this venue is that I'm running into a ton of people I know from the Markham Tri Club, NRG, blog buddies and friends.

Pretty awesome

Race report to follow

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday - Two Days Before The Dance

Friday was spent goofing around.  I took the bike for a short spin half way up the hill to Lake Superior and then followed by a short run.  Afterwards, I headed over to the NRG team meeting.  Not much new info but good to hear again.  I ran into Cathy S and we headed over to registration after the meeting.  We got there about 20 minutes before the doors opened and before I knew it, there was a massive line up behind us.  

Registration was the usual except this time they weighed me.  With my clothes and shoes on, I weighted 176 pounds.  Holy oink, oink!!  So much for wanting to race at 167 pounds.  This three week taper was a little too long.  I feel very fat and out of shape.  I also ran into Mandy as I was leaving.  We talked for 10 minutes and it was cool to meet a blogger in real life.  She mentioned she was meeting a bunch of other bloggers so  maybe I'll run into them as well.

The day seemed to slip by as it was rainy and cool.  Better it be today than race day.  We headed into town for some grocery shopping and I picked up some beer at the grocery store.  A real treat!!  In Ontario, we have to buy beer and liquor at a designated government run store.

For dinner, there is the athlete banquet followed by the mandatory briefing.  We hemmed and hawed about Tammy and the kids going to the dinner but eventually we were too late as it was sold out.  Good thing as the food was really gross.  No way any of the kids would have eaten anything.  Well maybe the bun and at $25 per person, that would have been a real waste of money.  I sat with Nigel and Brandon from NRG as the place was packed and couldn't find anything.  They were amused that the speaker who got the biggest cheer was Mike Reilly, The Voice Of Ironman.  Of course they had the usual speakers but what made it longer was the fact that each speech was in English and French - being in Quebec which is French speaking after all.  After dinner, those guys left and I hung around for the "mandatory meeting" which was more of the same stuff.

I met up with Tammy and the kids in the pedestrian village which was packed with people and athletes.  Ironman clothing was everywhere!!  The excitement and buzz was rippling through the crowd.  They had a free concert and afterwards they had about 20 minutes of fireworks.

I also ran into a whole bunch of people from Markham Tri Club that I ride with.  Rom and Ed came up from New York and are going to hang out here for race day.  Both did IMNYC.  It was like a big reunion. 

I have to admit, the province of Quebec, Mont-Tremblant and Ironman have put on a pretty good show so far.  I'd be willing to come back for this race.  The fact that it is centered right in the Mont-Tremblant and there are so many things for the kids to do makes this a guarantee winner

Stolen from Gareth Scobie

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're Here....IMMT

Hmmm it only took seven hours to drive 600 km.  That said, the kids were very good

Tremblant looks awesome.  There are a lot of very fit people walking around.  I ain't one of them.

Happy 5th birthday Jake!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Minute Crap

So panic time is almost upon us.  Last night, I started to assemble my bike bag, special needs bike bag, run bag and special needs run bag.  I had little piles of stuff on the dining room table.  I used Polar heart rate monitor and sometimes my Power tap will pick it up and sometimes it won't so I have to use another HR strap for the bike but it won't work with my Polar watch.  So that means, using a Polar HR strap for the swim (Tammy's), switch HR straps for the bike and then switch back to Polar HR strap for the run.  Except Tammy's strap wasn't working so I bought new batteries.  Nope still not working.  Ok, it must have be the strap so I went to Running Free and dropped another $150 on last minute stuff.  I got home and tried the new HR strap and it still doesn't work.  I switched sensors with the old strap, new strap and it STILL doesn't work.  It turns out that I didn't have the battery in properly.  Presto, old strap works fine.  Now I'm stuck with a new HR strap.

I also bought an aero bottle.  I seem to have issues with not having enough water bottles.  The kids keep losing them and every once in a while, one flies off that back of my bike when I hit a bump.  When I got home, I looked at my bike and realized my Power Tap has to be moved to have room for the water bottle but I don't have the extra parts.  Arrggghhh.  Nothing like leaving things for the last minute.

Last year I bought a soft cargo bag for the Honda Pilot but found out I also need to buy cross bars for the roof rack (yes the bag sat unused for a year) so I started to look around only to find out, the cross bars are very expensive ($400).  I went to Canadian Tire last month and they had one on sale for $260 ($100 off) but I thought I could get one cheaper on ebay or something.  Nope.  Its tough finding the right specifications and the sale ended.  I bought one last week at Canadian Tire but it didn't fit.  I tried to worm a deal on the newer one that would fit but they said, "no deal" as the sale ended a month ago.  I would have to talk to the General Manager for an exception.  Well wouldn't you know it, I dealt with the same General Manager several months ago and she was extremely helpful.  So helpful, in fact, I wrote an email to the franchise owner and a senior executive, commending her.  I popped up to the store and she remembered me!  A little chit chat and she gave me the same deal.  SWEET!!  Now, lets hope the damn thing fits.

Oh yea.  We just found out Rebecca has a broken foot for the last six weeks and she's been running around playing soccer and stuff.  This will be a fun vacation in Mont Tremblant.

Next up...........Ironman Mont Tremblant (this is going to hurt)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Best One Liners While Waiting In The Start Chute

Stolen from Slowtwitch

Five days to go.  Maybe I should ride 160 km and run 30 km to see if I'm ready.....

Hurry up, let's go, I gotta pee

Pardon me.. do you have any grey poupon?

All swimmers and former swimmers to the front, triathletes to the back

Dang, it's so crowded today. Is there a race or something?

I've never seen this many people show up for a sprint!

After I learned how to pee during the swim, on the bike, and on the run, I trained really hard to crap on the fly too. Which is good because last nights sushi is killing me. Alright, let's get in the water, this turtle head is about to pop!!"

RD - "All Half Men, 1 minute until your start."
Me - "Hey buddy, don't let the shaved legs fool you, we're all man over here

IMNYC - "Sh*t happens!"

Hey your shoe is united

Is that your cellphone in your pocket?

I'll race you!

Walking out of the ports john before a race starts.
"today must be my lucky day. Someone left a half eaten powerbar right next to the toilet seat. Must be a new flavor, it tasted like steak and peanuts. Let's race"

Me: "Who's fast? ... Seriously, who's fast, get up here." One guy swims up.
Me: "What's your pace?"
Him: "1:40/100"
Me: "Get to the back!!"

Does blaming your fart on your brother count. Or am I the only one amused. I'm laughing right now!

Did anyone else watch shark week?

"I know I should know this, but how far are we swimming?"

See that guy, that's Myron Baker, get a good look because that's the last you are going to see him today!"
(Guy kneeling, waist deep in water.)
-Is this guy praying in the water?
-Not praying. Spraying.

-Weird! Your swim cap has a different color.
-Wait! What?
-He he he, fooled ya.

So what happens if I press THIS on your watch?

Pre-swim announcement: "If you get into trouble please raise one arm in the air. Do not raise both arms as this might be understood as poor technique by the lifeguards."

Guy staring at tri-goddess, hottie as she licks the inside of her googles: "I bet you wish you were the inside of these googles right now."

RD at the start - "And remember to enter T1 from the rear."
"Thanks, just the way I prefer."

"Does this wetsuit make my ass look big?"

Race announcer: "10...9...8...7...6....5...."
Fellow athlete on hearing 5...."Should I have that timing chip with me?"

 Did you hear they found two snake pits in the lake yesterday? Just make sure to take the first turn wide and you should be ok.

"Is this the first timers wave?"

RD: Any questions?
Me: Is it bad when you bleed from your ears?

"You can start ahead of me - you look fast, and I'm lactate intolerant."

"This wetsuit is really uncomfortable."

Said by guy just before the start of Lake Placid Ironman who had his wetsuit on backwards. Yes, the zipper was on the front.

Ok, but please stay to the right on the bike so we have room to pass

Don't keep me waiting for you at the finish chute

So, you a big Katy Perry fan?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bumper Stickers I Would Like To See

Eleven days to go........

1. Sit, stay, beg . . . Just kidding, here’s your ticket.

2. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear and zigzagging drivers are way less skillful than they imagine.

3. No matter how much you tailgate, I’ll still get there first.

4. Keep right except to pass and stay home if you can’t drive.

5. I’ve never had an “accident.” Every crash was my fault.

6. Yes, I can drive fast safely. I have the tickets to prove it.

7. Street racers finish too quickly.

8. Dip on the road ahead, driving a monster SUV.

9. Pay attention when driving. Stop reading this sign.

10. Luxury sports car: $60,000. Advanced driver training: none.

11. Stop honking! I’m on the phone.

12. My second car is eco-friendly.

13. Lower that finger. No hexing while driving.

14. Can’t drive, but won’t take bus or taxi.

15. This vehicle fuelled by a double-double.

16. Jeez, I can come up with a better bumper sticker slogan than this.

17. No parking, no U-turn, and not good at lane changes either.

18. My car parks itself, because I don’t know how.

19. If you don’t have anything nice to say, post it on the Internet.

20. Warning: This bumper sticker is stupid. But most people will still keep reading it to the end anyway, just in case something changes.

Best bumper sticker I’ve seen: “Unless you’re the lead reindeer, the view never changes.”

Friday, August 3, 2012

Taper Time

Monday evening I finally made it out to swim with John and Paula at their pond.  John's father owns a small farm of 70 acres with a pond.  Both of them have been doing Ironmans and were racing with my brothers over ten years ago.  They've mapped out a 400 meter swim course in the pond and my goal was to swim 10 laps.  I had already rode for 60 minutes and ran 35 minutes in the morning so I wondered how I would feel.  The water was very warm and almost too warm for a wet suit.  Also with the hot weather we've been having, it has promoted lots of algae growth but a least the water was clearer than Lake Wilcox.  In some places, I could see the bottom.  In Lake Wilcox, I couldn't see past my arm.  The swim went pretty smooth and I swam the first 2,000 meters in 37 minutes and finished 4,000 meters in 1:17 but more importantly, my heart rate was about 129 bps.  The last time I swam at Lake Wilcox, my heart rate was racing at 165 bps but I was trying to keep up to my friends.  That swim was a huge confidence booster.

Yesterday, I swam in the morning and had a light 45 minute run in the afternoon.  I came home from work and headed out immediately and that turned out to be a mistake.  I was supposed to run in zone one but that would have meant walking but I did keep an easy pace.  I should have eaten something before heading out as I was starving after 20 minutes and took a gel.  As I continued on, the shakes appeared and I had to take a second gel.  Yes that's two gels for a 45 minute run and I barely finished.  I've never bonked but I think I was pretty close

The taper has already started. Hard to believe its only two weeks to go!!  This week I've been tired and hungry all the time but I'm almost at race weight.  Looking back on Training Peaks since Jan 15th, I've:

Rode:  3,629 km in 164 hours.  Planned workout was 164 hours.  I guess its time to change my chain

Run:  453 km in 57 hours.  Planned workout was 89 hours.  I had running injuries in Feb, March, April, May and half of June).  I told coach I get hurt a lot.  As of Father's Day in mid June, I couldn't run as my foot kept swelling up so I'm basically trying to cram for a marathon in two months.  This is going to hurt!

Swim:  36,900 meters in 57 hours.  Planned workout was 75 hours.  I didn't record my distance while swimming with Masters which ended in June.  I was also surprised how low the percentage completed was but then I remembered I told coach to add a third swim per week but only made it once or twice.

That's all I got!  16 days to go