Ironman Mont Tremblant

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Debrief From The Coach

I talked to the coach yesterday. He was pretty pleased with my race results but I told him I was unhappy. He didn't quite understand as this was the furthest distance I've ever raced. I told myself I would have been happy if I finished under four hours beating both of my brothers' previous times but..............

I guess my main point of dissatisfaction was my run time. At an average pace of 5.52 min\km, that probably ranks up as one of my slowest run times ever. I know the course was hilly and I never done a 13 km run after riding 55 km and swimming 2 km but it just didn't sit right with me.

During the debrief, I admitted when I saw Lisa approaching the turn around point (27.5 km out) and I had already turned around, I begin to hammer it back in as I didn't want her to catch me. Basically I rode hard for about 20 km and burned up my legs. Coach was very unhappy about that and made some choice comments to me. He also said I'd probably lost about 20-30 seconds per kilometre on the run because of that stunt. If that's the case, as my quads were burning on the run, that would have put my run time down to about what I was expecting.

To make matters worse, Scobie had warned me about burning out on the ride.

Chalk it up to some people just have to learn the hard way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Muskoka Long Course Race Report

The Muskoka Long Course race is the longest race I've done in my short racing career and easily the hardest. I felt pretty comfortable handling the swim (2 km) but wasn't sure about the bike and the run would probably be the strongest leg. Everybody says how hilly the course is and they have made lots of changes so was a little difficult to gauge.
Check Spelling
Tammy decided to make this our summer vacation (part one) and we stayed at Deerhurst Resort (home of the G8 last month). Clearly none of the diplomats stayed in our room as it was a little disappointing for $250 a night. We had a junior suite which allowed for Tammy and the kids to sleep in the bedroom while I took the fold out sofa bed. The kids were sooooo excited that we were going away that Rebecca wanted to know if we were taking an airplane to get there and the others wanted to pack their bags a week before we left. They started packing Thursday and were ready to go Friday except we weren't leaving until Saturday. I also found out that we were staying for two nights instead of one. I emailed Sharon my assistant to cancel my Monday morning meeting I had schedule. I didn't protest that much as they deserved a summer vacation.

The drive was a little longer than I expected but we made it there with no problems. When we arrived in Huntsville around 1 pm, Jake and Vanessa were sleeping so I wanted to check out the course so we drove the course following the map I downloaded from Tri-Sports website. The map was not very detailed and we seemed to drive forever as it definitely seemed longer than 27.5 km out. There were some nasty hills especially coming out of the town. This wasn't going to be fun. We ended up turning around and drove back into town and off to the resort. By this time, everybody was tired and whinny after being in the car for more than four hours so we headed over the the resort.

Check in was for 4 pm but when we got there around 2:30 pm, our room wasn't ready so we ended up hanging around checking out the place. We waited and waited and waited until finally the room was ready at 4:15 pm. Hardly impressed but what could we do? If the room isn't ready, it isn't ready. After getting settled down, we walked over to one of the restaurants at the resort for dinner. The food was ok but slightly overpriced.

Settling down was a harder than expected as the kids went to bed and I tossed and turned for hours. I was drifting off when are phone rang. It was swimming buddy Paul (whose wife I kicked in the head trying to do a flip turn several months ago). They were staying at Deerhurst as well but in a different building. We promised to hook up before the race and he was targeting a 3:33 race time. Ugh

Sunday morning finally came (I was awake around 4 am) and we headed down to the race site. We parked and as we were walking down, we ran into Lisa and her hubby. Getting registered and set up is always a clusterfuck so at least we were there earlier than usual. Once we were ready I saw Paul and Cathy and talked to them for a couple of minutes before we had to head over to the swim. The walk to the swim start was a lot further than I had figured and we had the wagon with the kids and all their backpacks. The website said something about a train running back and forth from the swim start and the main building but I didn't see anything.

Paul was swimming in a different wave so he left before me and I didn't see Lisa but she's way younger so she would have been at least two waves ahead of me. I looked out the course and the markers seemed so far away. Someone must have measured wrong because that looked a lot further than two kilometers!! My wave started and away we went. Because it was such a wide start there wasn't much jostling around and within a couple of minutes, I found a pair of friendly feet to draft off. Throughout most of the swim I managed to draft and it did make a difference. Coming out of the water I took a quick look at my watch and was somewhere around 40 minutes but it was a little hard to see as I stumbled up the steps and was pretty dizzy from swimming so long. I saw Cathy and the kids and they yelled something at me as I stumbled towards transition. I saw Tammy and kids further up. T1 was better than Guelph but it still felt like it took forever to get my wetsuit off and get going.

Riding out of town I knew there was a nasty hill coming up and I was still dizzy from the swim. When I came up to the hill I shifted down and used my "Granny Gear" - a third chain wheel to make hill climbing easier. I figured it was better to use it than struggle up the first of many hills. I continued along and was booting down a hill in aero position when a race official yelled at me to slow down. I wasn't sure why and initially thought the road was too bumpy but as I rounded the corner there was a police SUV with his lights flashing directing everyone turn left. WTF??? This wasn't the route I thought we were travelling. Good thing the guy yelled at me as I was doing at least 50 km/hr and would have blown through the intersection missing the turn.

As we went on, it seemed like the turn around was never going to appear. There were some more nasty hill climbs that I kept thinking how great it would be going down instead of climbing them. Just past the turn around point I saw Lisa. I figured she would hammer it and try and catch me so I picked up the pace. Coming down the hills was a lot more fun than riding up and I easily hit over 60 km/hr. Unfortunately, my speedometer wasn't working correctly and I was only getting a reading some of the times. Coming into T2, I took my feet out of my shoes and rode barefoot. That didn't work to well as my shoes were dragging and one came unclipped. I had to stop while an official picked it up and handed to me. More time wasted.

The fuel belt I brought kept falling off when I ran and I ended up holding my water bottle as I ran until I drank enough water that I could put the bottle back into the holder without it falling off. I'm not sure why this was happening as I've run before with it on. The run course was the hardest I've ever done. It had lots of small rolling hills and within the first couple of hills my right quad begin to throb. It was ok on the flat surface as several times I looked at my watch and saw I was running faster than 5:00 min/km. Eventually the hills began to take their toll as my speed dropped dramatically. The run course was a double loop in around town and had several out and backs. The first time I saw Lisa she was just starting the run and looked fresh but the second time I saw her, she looked gassed and the last time I saw her she looked bagged. I never saw Paul but than I figured he must have finished a while ago.

Usually during the run, I have enough energy left to pick up the pace and finish at a half decent pace but this time, the hills were killing me and the thought of stopping was getting more and more appealing. Lots of people were walking the hills but I kept remember the article that Lisa sent me about quitting. Finally the finish line appeared and I hammered it home (3:31 min/km pace). Tammy and the kids were there to greet me and thankfully my race was over.

That was by far my hardest race. My back was killing me on the ride and my quads were aching on the run. I thought for sure they would seize up. My final time was 3:50. I said I would have been happy to come in under four hours and although I did beat my goal, this course showed me that I have much work to do for Muskoka 70.3.

Note: Hats off to Derek V and Mike D who completed their first Ironman Lake Placid. Kick back and enjoy a beer or two or three or............You're an Ironman and you've deserve it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Next Up, Muskoka Long Course

This is a taper down week as Muskoka Long Course is this Sunday. Funny, I feel more tired than ever. Partly due to running 11 km starting at 4:30 am followed by swimming at 6 am. The swim was pretty much a write off as my swimming buddy bailed on me and I was totally bagged but interesting enough I walked in with a fellow swimmer and when we went to pay it appears that both of us had a run in with the same lifeguard. This lifeguard is insistent that we swim in a circle (as opposed to lane swimming) even if we're in the lane by our selves. Why? Because its the rules that's why! End of discussion! Never mind that even within the fast lane there are people swimming at significantly different speeds and that causes problems when passing or turning at the wall. I've run into this attitude before in the City of Toronto pools before where I came dangerously close to slugging the fat overweight Pool Supervisor last year.

I can certainly understand why its necessarily to swim in a circle if there are more than three swimmers but why is it necessary if there are less? Simply mind numbing. The only thing I can chalk it up to is power trip. Most of the other lifeguards are ok and don't get involved unless there are obvious problems so why is it always the one or two assholes? I can't wait to go back to swimming with the Mallards but who knows when that will start up (September probably).

Anyways, once I found out the name of the lifeguard in question, I left my business card on the windshield of my fellow swimmer and he later informed me that he discussed this swimming lane problem the pool supervisor. Turns out that the pool supervisor was very understanding and agreed to let the lane swimmers "police" themselves with minimal assistant from the lifeguards. Apparently this change in policy was initiated when a swimmer complained that she felt intimidated and harassed by other swimmers when she couldn't keep up with the pace in the fast lane. Which begs the question, "if she couldn't keep up with the pace then why didn't the lifeguard inform her about lane swimming etiquette?"

Tomorrow is a rest day and Thursday is a swim, ride and run. Seeing that swimming is at a fixed time (either 5:30 am with Serge at Thornlea or 6:00 am at Centennial), I'm not sure getting up a 4:30 to do the ride/run before swimming is such a great idea as I am totally starving and exhausted all day long. In fact, today I had to take a gel shot around 2 pm as I was almost falling asleep at my desk.

I'm not sure what to think of the Muskoka Long Course race. I'm not worried about the distance as I view this as warm up to the big event in September (Muskoka 70.3). I talked to Scobie this afternoon and he gave me some great ideas: 1) drive the bike course when I get there on Saturday seeing that I never got a chance to ride it. 2) take it easy on the bike and hold back saving my strength for the second part of run portion. I figure I can hold a 5:45 min/km pace and drop that to around 5:00 min/km by the end, I think...... It would be great to shoot for a four hour time and I'd be pretty happy. I think it will all depend on hilly this damn course actually is!

We're going up Saturday morning as Tammy booked us overnight at Deerhurst. I guess this is our "summer vacation" so I didn't really say much and quietly gagged at the cost and for 70.3, we're staying there for three days/2 night. Tammy and the kids are getting pretty excited about staying overnight and given all of my crap they have to put up, well they deserve it. This week the "tiredness and irritability" have greatly increased. On Saturday and Sunday, I think I went to sleep before 9 pm both nights. I'm pretty sure all three kids were still up

How I'm ever going to train for an Ironman is beyond me.

Race details to follow..............

Monday, July 12, 2010

Frolicking Through The Sprinkler

This is supposed to be a "down" week and the schedule called for a short 45 minute ride and a 60 minute run. No problemo however what the problemo was the humidity. The weekend was a lot less humid than the week before and when I left the house at 5:30 am, although it was only 23 degrees the humidity must have pushed the temperature over 3o degrees. By the time I came back from the ride the sun had started to come up making it a little hotter. In the past, I've run out of water on the run so I tried using a fuel belt that my brother Don had given me. It holds two flask (6 ozs) and one bottle of water that holds about 18 ozs of water. I really didn't like it as the bigger bottle bounced up and down with every step and then when it was half empty, began to fall out and the little ones were almost useless as two big gulps and they were empty. It was so humid out that within 20 minutes into the run I had drained the bigger bottle and and basically ran with out water in the last 15 minutes but was manageable. I did see one person watering their lawn with a sprinkler so I ran through it but it didn't help and I didn't see anymore. I think a fire hose would have been better. I don't really like running without water as for some reason, I'm always thirsty and if I don't drink enough I begin to bonk very quickly. Hopefully, it won't be as humid on race day or there are a lot of water stations.

This week promises more of the same weather, hot and very humid so there maybe more stupid runs at 4:23 in the morning. Now I know what my brothers meant by Kona North.

Saturday's workout was pretty good as I had to ride 2 hours and 45 minutes (80 km) followed by a 20 minute(4.5 km) transition run. Given that everybody keeps telling me how hilly Muskoka is, I thought I'd better start adding more hills and the route I ride is fairly flat with only two major hills so I incorporated several hill repeats. In fact I did nine hills and I was totally bagged by the time I finished. Thankfully I had a nice tail wind otherwise it would have been a very slow ride home. Ten minutes into the run, I was ready to start walking. I'm not sure how far I could have ran after that ride but something tells me I could be in a rude awakening for the Muskoka Long Course which is two weeks away as I start to taper down and there are no more opportunities for hill work. Interesting enough, due to the G8 meetings they have changed the course as need trails/roads were built so the run course has been reduced by two km to only 13 km. I was originally disappointed when I first heard that they were shortening the course but maybe that isn't such a bad thing after all.

In trying to better my times in T1 and T2, I've been practising mounting and dismounting the bike leaving the shoes clipped on the pedals as its far easier to run in bare feet than in riding shoes. This is far harder than it looks but practise makes perfect....sort of.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This Is A Stupid Sport!

Since the weather is so nice and warm, as in 40+ degrees with the humidity, I decided I'd rather run at 4:23 AM as opposed to running at 4:23 PM. The humidity was like a wall when I stepped outside and I think I started sweating as soon as I got to the end of my driveway (about 20 feet). Thankfully it was only a 45 minute run but by the time I finished I looked like jumped in a river. Oddly enough, I didn't see any one else running at that time.

I had just enough time to refill my water bottles and boot over to swimming by 5:30 am. The water was nice and refreshing as I didn't even need to take a shower......just kidding. That would have been gross.

One of our swimming buddies, Pierre, had returned and was slowly getting back as he had crashed his bike on a training ride up in Muskoka several months ago. I think he had a separated shoulder and can't swim, run or bike. That would suck as needless to say his race season is over. He was going to do Muskoka 70.3. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to talk to him as Serge gave us about 2,000 meters of drills to do and by the time 6:30 rolled around, Pierre had left. I'll catch up with him next week for more details. No chance on finishing the drills.

Driving into work this morning, I was falling asleep at the wheel so I pulled into a McDonalds drive thru to get a diet coke (for the caffeine fix), but forgot my window wouldn't roll down so looking like a retard, I had to open the door to pay and get my drink. And then, it was a Root Beer so I had to go in the store anyways.

Some days, I wonder why I even bother

Ok so maybe this isn't a stupid sport. Maybe its just me for running at 4:23 in the morning

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

That Was Close!

While playing hockey last night, I was ran into my own player and hurt my left shoulder. It wasn't too bad and I finished the game but it was aching by the time I got home. Thankfully this morning it was OK. Whew! Maybe coach was right in that I shouldn't be playing other sports....yeah whatever. At least I'm not playing Aussies Rules Football anymore

Speaking of this morning, with the lovely temperature we've been having, 40 degrees with the humidity, I wanted to get this morning ride in early so I would be back before it got too hot. It was only a hour ride but I need to start incorporating more hills in my rides as apparently Muskoka is quite hilly and riding on the flats ain't going to help. So when I'm riding up Warden normally I would cut across Bethesda Road avoiding the hill but this morning I decided to add it in for as hard as it is to climb, I love riding down it in the aero position at 65 km/hr.

Tammy wanted to go to the gym for a 6:15 am pump class so if my ride is just over a hour that meant I left the house at 4:45 am. At least it wasn't hot.

All in all, it was a pretty good ride as I averaged 31.3 km\hr including climbing the hill. I think going forward I'll start adding hill repeats into my long rides using that hill on Warden.

Now if I can just figure out what afternoon I'm going to do my 45 minute run when the temperature is around 43 degrees.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Good Test

This morning's workout was a 2.5 hour ride (72 km) followed by 20 minute (4 km) transition run. I left the house around 5 am as I definitely did not want to ride/run in the hot sun and also because Tammy had to do her run as well.

Overall it was a pretty good workout with only some minor issues:
1) My left shoulder began to ache which was probably caused from swimming on Friday (2,000 meters in 40 minutes). Need to restart shoulder exercises
2) I began to "feel" my right hamstring so need to continue to do the hamstring exercises but not as intense as before.
3) Google maps isn't quite as accurate as I thought or more likely, I simply didn't look closely at the roads I had chosen for my route.

I basically did my regular route going north on Warden Ave but just continued north until I hit Mount Albert Road (north of Davis Drive) and headed east to Kennedy Road and south. I thought I could take it straight down back to Markham but it ended a couple of kilometers south and I turned east to Mccowan Road and headed south but that ended as well. I should have turned right but I went left and continued east but ended up at Hwy 48 which I absolutely hate riding on as the shoulder is literally one foot wide. I've seen people ride on Hwy 48 and can't figure out why they would risk their lives as traffic roars by at 100 km/hr especially since they could ride either on Mccowan or 9th Line. Morons. You don't want to end up like that triathlon
group in Quebec a couple of months ago when a truck plowed into six riders killing three of them. Anyways, I boogied home and actually got back quicker than I anticpated so I rode around up and down 16th Ave to kill some time.

Overall I was ok with the ride as the terrain was much more hillier on the way back which is a good thing for Muskoka. The transition run was fine as I felt good and know I could have ran longer than 20 minutes. I felt great and so I even cleaned by bike and lubed the chain after my workout (quick tell coach).

The only downside to Saturday's workout is that Tammy is coaching Jake's soccer at 10:30 am and by then its usually smoking hot

Oh yea, also after a long workout like today's, I'm totally starving all day and I'm pretty sure I've consumed way more than the 1,900 calories I burned