Ironman Mont Tremblant

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Brick Of The Year

Since I tore my calf muscle back in October by running without orthotics, I started running again last week.  I ran three times but only for 20 minutes.  I also checked with Dr Stoddard and he confirmed by ultra sound that my calf has healed.  The first couple of runs were brutal.  I literately was chugging along at a 6:00 min/km pace. 

Yesterday, I planned to do my first brick of the year by riding two hours and then a short run of 30 minutes or so off the bike but once again, power tap issues.  I started riding and the power tap was reading one watt, three watts, five watts and if I really hammered it, twenty watts.  I knew the batteries in the hub were probably dead and unfortunately I don't have the special wrench to take the cap off.  I made an executive decision to end the ride after two minutes and do my long run (all 30 minutes) and strength training.  I changed into my run gear and headed out.  I ran the Rammerville loop, which is somewhat hilly and it took me 37 minutes for about 6.5 km.  Quite brutal.  I usually run it in 32 minutes. 

I called Peter A to see if I could borrow his wrench to change the batteries but he wasn't home.  I called a LBS in Markham and the conversation went like this:
Me:  Hi, can "you" change the batteries in a power tap hub?
LBS:  Well yes, you "could" change the batteries
Me:  Ok (dork), can YOU change the batteries in the hub?
LBS:  Oh sorry we don't have the wrench.  You have to contact our other store in Toronto
Me:  Gee thanks and I hung up on him.  WTF did you think I was asking?

I jumped in the car and headed to another LBS in Toronto.  I had the batteries so they opened the hub up and changed it for me.  No charge

This morning Tammy was going to the gym at 8:10 am so that meant I had to be riding at 5:30 am if I wanted to get everything in.  My trainer has been making a lot of noise and been chewing up my trainer tire.  I've been fiddling around with it and can't seemed to get the correct setting.  If I don't crank the tension, the ride is too easy and I top out in the hardest gear.  If I crank it too tight, then there are flecks of orange pieces of the tire everywhere including on my back.  I'm wondering if my trainer is shot.  I've been mulling over getting a computrainer.  Both Rom and Peter A got one and they love it but for $1,600 new or $1,100 used, it comes down to "do I need it or do I want it?"  A new top end Kinetic trainer would cost about $600.  Crap this sport is expensive.

The ride was pretty uneventful as I'm following my workout schedule from last year but as proof my trainer is screwed, I rode 74 km in two hours.  Yeah I don't think so.  After the ride, I did a complete change of clothes as it was about -5 degree C and I was soaking wet from the ride.  The run went well as I ran at a 5:30 min\km pace but only for 30 minutes.  I don't think I could have held that pace for much longer.

Another thing I've been mulling over was hiring a coach.  Well I think I did ok with NRG last year, I don't think I suffered enough.  This year's race schedule is not set yet but I'm already signed up for the sold out Mont Tremblant 70.3 on June 23rd and thinking about Rev Three in Ohio in September.  That leaves a wide open summer.  Lisa plans to race every Subaru race this summer while, I'll probably do a couple, I won't do every one.  Perhaps, Calgary 70.3 in the end of July as we can combine in into a race/vacation as Tammy has family in Calgary and Saskatoon.  That would leave a half ironman about every 6 weeks.  Do I need a coach to install some hurting or can I just make do with last year's schedule?  Obviously I won't be doing six hour rides this summer

Weight wise, its a disaster.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


 Once again The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.
The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.),  impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10.  Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.),  the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13.  Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15.  Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief  that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or  changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The winners are:
1. Bozone  (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately,  shows
little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running  late.
7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
8.  Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra  credit.)
9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:
16.  Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Outdoor Winter Ride...In Shorts???

Normally at this time of year, there is about five feet of snow on the ground and the temperature is -5 degrees C.  Oddly enough, the rest of North American seems to be having a normal winter but here in Southern Ontario the winter has been balmy to say the least.  We only got one half decent snowfall before Christmas and I haven't even put gas in the snow blower.  We had one cold spell where the weather dipped down to -10 degrees C but only lasted a couple of days. 

The forecast for today's weather was for a balmy 13 degrees C!!!  Unreal!  No trainer ride today.  Yesterday, I emailed Rom and Mike A to see if they wanted to head out first thing this morning but both declined.  I badgered Rom yesterday but he refused and Mike went swimming instead however when I woke up it was rainy and foggy.  It was way too dangerous to ride so we went to Costco to pick up a couple of things and $100 later it was noon and the sun was out.  Time to ride.  I emailed Peter A and Paul S but no response so I decided to head out by myself. 

I had put a trainer tire on my tri bike which is too slick to ride outside, so I dusted off my road bike, pumped up the tires and headed out in the glorious sunshine.  The temperature was about 12 degrees C and I only wore a running shirt as a base layer, a white bike shirt, arm warmers and shorts.  It was surreal riding outside in shorts but it felt odd riding the road bike.  I had not ridden it since June 2011 when I got the tri bike.  I felt very high in the seat and my legs were fully extended.  I had taken the seat off but don't remember changing the height of the post.  I noticed the post was about one inch about the black tape I had marked.  I didn't plan on riding for that long so I didn't bother adjusting the seat. 

I headed north on Mccowan and noticed several people were looking at me rather oddly.  Not sure why.  There was a pretty good cross wind and riding up slight hills required way more effort than I remember.  Could I be that badly out of shape?  I turned west on Elgin Mills and then north on Warden Ave.  The city recently paved the road and I flew up Warden.  I felt pretty good so I kept heading north past Stouffville Road and Bloomington Road.  At this point, I had to stop and adjust my seat post as my right knee was aching and I dropped it about one inch.  For the life of me, I can't remember why I would change the height.  By this time, sweat was pouring down my face as it was pretty warm.  I finally hit Davis Dr and turned back south....right into a head wind.  Well I guess that explains why I was riding so good heading north.  I had a nice tail wind pushing me along.  Duh.  The ride back home was a struggle as my back and neck began to ache.  The set up of the road bike and tri bike are way different.  Thankfully I had left my aero bars on the bike but the stack felt like I was six inches higher than the tri bike.  I didn't feel very aero but it was better than sitting upright.  I kept riding south, regretting I rode so far north as the sun disappeared behind the clouds and my toes began to get cold.  I was wearing wool socks but didn't put my booties on.  

It felt good to be riding outside but by then I was done. 

2:05 hours
55.4 km
1,397 calories


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Forest City Velodrome (London-Ontario)

On Saturday, a bunch of us triathletes decided to drive to London, Ontario which is about a two hour drive from Toronto.  Here is Ontario's only indoor velodrome and while I've seen it on TV (olympics), the thought was intriguing.  Lisa had ridden several months ago and wanted to go again so she booked a bunch of spots.  I emailed a bunch of friends and Rom, Rob N, Mike A, Lisa and me all headed out for some fun.

I told everyone to meet at my house for 9:00 am as our track session started at 12:00 pm but you had to sign paperwork so we wanted to be there for 11:30 am.  I knew people would be late in showing up and I was right.  By the time everyone got to my house, it was about 9:20 am.  Then we hemmed and hawed about who was going to drive.  I volunteered to drive but no one wanted to drive so Tammy said I could take the Honda Pilot.  The only trouble was, that I thought I was driving my car (along with someone else driving) and took out the car seat and gassed up my car.  So I had to put the car seat back into my car (so Tammy could drive it with the kids), take the car seat out of the Pilot, clean and wipe the seats, gas up the Pilot and then pick up Rom along the way to the highway.  By that time, it was after 10:00 am. 

The drive down was fun and all non stop Ironman talk as everyone had done an Ironman.  It was pretty funny as the conversation turned to Slowtwitch and the best threads of the years:
  1. Girl gets dumped by boyfriend before IMFL and then cuts the course during race
  2. Ex-wife tries to sell IMSG finisher jacket husband gave her volunteering
  3. Investment advisor who steals from his clients so he can go to Epic Training camp (You have to qualify to attend this camp)          
We stopped at a rest stop along the way and everyone got Mr Subs because the line for Tim Hortons was crazy.  I got a foot long sub and woofed it down while driving.  I can't remember the last time I ate a foot long sub but figured it was okay as we were going to be hammering it on the track.  When we got there (after missing the turn off), naturally we were late.  The first thing I noticed was how much colder London
(-10 C) was than Toronto (0 C) even though we were only 200 km away.  The second thing I noticed was the hallways in the building were the same temperature as outside.  Clearly heating the building wasn't a prioirty.

The building itself was an old rundown hockey rink were the London Knights (local junior hockey team) played several years ago.  All the seats were still intact but they built a track inside the rink.  Needless to say, the building was a dump.  We signed our waviers and got changed in the crappy old unheated dressing room and headed to the track. 

Another surprise was that all the bikes were Fixies (ie no brakes, gears or peddling backwards).  We brought our own pedals and mounted up.  The first drill was simply to ride inside the track, on the concrete rink floor just getting used to the bikes and learning how to slow down and unclip.  It was a little nerve racking at first.  Eventually we rode around with little jaunts on to the track until we were riding entirely on the track.  The track had different color rings painted around.  Black was the lowest ring followed by red, blue and then at the top of the track, yellow.  No one went above the red line.  The track was very short and only 180 meters around so it took about 10 seconds to complete one lap.  The hardest part was trying to keep the pacing.  I often found I was going too fast and it didn't take long to get too close to the rider in front of me.  Seeing that I didn't have any brakes, the only way to slow down was to back pedal a little or ride higher.  The other problem was that if you didn't pay attention, you ran the risk of crashing into the corners as the straight aways were only about 50 meters long and at 30 km/hr you only had seconds to start turning. 

After a couple of drills, we were split up into two groups of four and five riders. I mentioned to Scott, one of the trainers, that I'd be interested in picking up the pace.  I wore my heart rate monitor and while it was impossible to look at my watch while riding, I knew I wasn't working up a sweat.  Scott explained that this session wasn't about hammering it and more about learning control of the bike.  Because the track is so small, the reaction time to a mistake is literally seconds but he said we would speed up a little bit.  While one group was on the track, the other group was in the middle taking a rest and chatting.  There was a thermometer and at track level, it was 8 degrees C (46 F) and at least this part of the building was heated.  The hallways were much colder. 

On the next run, Scott did pick up the pace to 35 km/hr but I found I was drifting a lot more.  Holding the black line was much harder and required a lot more attention.  I also found that my neck and shoulders were beginning to ache as I was riding by the drop down bars.  They were much more stable and offered more control of the bike but also an unfamiliar position.  The other problem was that the group became more spread out. With only four riders, that wasn't much of a problem but if we had both groups riding it would have been.  I tried to glance back to see how far we were spread out and almost lost control of the bike.  Definitely it takes time to getting used to this bike and track.

The last drill involved everyone but one rider would drop lower to the apron and the whole group would ride higher to pass him and then he would hammer it to catch up to the last guy.  This was much more interesting and a little bit more of a workout.  We were only going at 30 km/hr and while that's a good pace outside, on the track it was a pace that you could hold all day long.  I think it would have been like riding about 22 km/hr outside.

I think we missed the last drill as other people started showing up for there session.  Lisa thought we were either not as skilled and couldn't handle the last drill or we ran out of time.

All in all, it was great fun and I would love to back for session two but it is a long drive which makes it a long day.  We left my house around 10 am (after all the dicking around) and got back at 5 pm.  For the upcoming Pan Am games in 2015, they are building a velodrome in Milton which is just west of Toronto.  That would be a 45 minute drive and much more manageable. 

Rom chowing down