Ironman Mont Tremblant

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Insomina Problem Solved

I'm quickly finding out what a small world it is.  Recently I stumbled across a guy that grew up down the street from me when we were kids.  He moved away around high school but last year I started to see his name pop up in a lot of the triathlon races that I was doing.  I haven't seen Peter A in decades and wouldn't recognize him if I tripped over him.  Recently, Glen (my bro) sent me an email of all the people racing IM Canada from Markham (yes, he has too much time on this hands) and Peter's name was on it.  I also saw his profile on Linkedin so I flipped him an email wishing him good luck.  We traded emails and finally got together for lunch yesterday.  It turns out he lives less than five minutes away and has two kids that are a couple of years older than mine.  I was most interested in how he trained for an Ironman with young kids.

Peter pretty much trains the same way I do, usually very early in the morning and by himself.  We even ride the same routes.  A couple of things I've learned from our conversations.
1.  My insomnia problem is very common in triathletes as the body is too wired to rest
2.  Taking salt tablets is critical during longer races (ie HIM or IM) as the body can't digest the nutrients from gels etc once the sodium levels drop which leads to stomach problems.  During IMC, Peter took 12 tablets and didn't have any problems.  I took two during Muskoka and was ok other than the fact I was very thirsty.
3.  He had a friend who volunteered at IM Lake Placid this year hoping to get an entry for 2011.  Volunteers get first priority when signing up for next year's race however he had to camp out overnight in the line up.
4  The training for an IM versus a HIM isn't all that different.  In fact his mileage really didn't start ramping up until a couple of months before the race and it was only the long bike and long run on the weekends that made the difference.  Peter only did three 6 hour rides.  That said he's not planning to do another Ironman next year

Interesting information

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oink Oink Oink Oink

Losing Weight = Exercise + Eating Less.  How hard can that be? 

Well the numbers don't like.  This is my profile from calorie counter .  I log my weight every morning and as you can see, starting in Dec 2008.  Pretty good until the off season hit last year and so far this year.  Its amazing how fast the weight flies back on as the training intensity drops. 

Saturday's workout was suppose to be a 45 minute run and a 30 minute bike but I ended up bailing from the bike but I did try to do the run at a pretty good clip. Something like 8.5 km in 45 minutes but it was hard to keep going. Halfway thru the run, I wanted to stop. Pretty pathetic.

Sunday is supposed to be a rest day but the weather has been half decent.  The kids were going to a birthday party in the afternoon and then we were having my family over for my mother's birthday at 4 pm.  Well seeing that I bailed from Saturday's ride, I figured I'd go for a ride while the kids were out.  However Tammy had an appointment at Home Depot to have some shelves and desk built in the kitchen at 9 am so who was going to clean the house?  Turns out me.  I really hate cleaning.  Maybe that's that's why my bike is always dirty.  The sacrifices I make for this sport.  I spent the entire two hours cleaning the upstairs and downstairs while getting the kids breakfast and helping Rebecca with her homework.  Did I mention I hate cleaning?

Once Tammy got home, she took the kids to the birthday party and I took off riding.  This was my first half decent ride since Muskoka.  I ended up going 44 km in 1:23 minutes for an average speed of 32 km\hr.  I was pretty happy with that but found the hills were a lot tougher.  I've seemed to lost something but did manage to burn almost 1,000 calories.  When I got home Tammy and the kids were still not home so I quickly did some stretching and then went outside and cut the grass.  It only takes 15 minutes to count the front and back but I was bagged by the end. 

Everybody started coming over around 4 pm which I wasn't home because I had to run out and get my mom's birthday present.  I was starving so I figured I try Payne's recovery  I had about 6 beers along with some salty nachos (oh oh), some steak and chicken.  After everybody left, I cleaned up and the kids went to bed, immediately followed by me.  As usual, I woke up at 12:30 am and was up for 2 hours.  At least I got to watch Mad Men.  The only TV show I watch.  I woke up late (5:20 am) and got ready to go running.  I thought I ate ok last night until I stepped on the scale.......oink oink.  I think the scale yelled "get off fatso."  Nothing like gaining four pounds in four days.

As punishment, I actually tried to run at the prescribed heart rate I'm suppose to run which works out to be about 5 min\km and I had a slight hangover.   I ended up going about 11.5 km in one hour.  Clearly I'm out of drinking shape.  In the good old days, I could run 15 km after drinking 10 beers.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Its almost 5:30 am and I've been up since 4 am.  Prior to Muskoka 70:3, I was having trouble sleeping.  By 8 pm I would be exhausted and ready to crash (except I couldn't go to sleep before the three kids) but usually woke up around 2:00 am until 4:00 am, fall asleep and then wake up and train at 5 am.  Not a great sleep pattern.  I thought it was due to the race and I was worried/excited or whatever.  Since Muskoka it has continued (although not as bad) and I'm wondering if its the "taper-down effect" of the season ending.  Is this common for other athletes?

Coach emailed me some info on the bike.  WOW!!  I'll forward the email to see what some of more experienced and knowledgeable friends think.  Its a smoking hot bike but given the way I ride (like shit) and my bike maintenance (like shit), it might be too much.  Did I also mentioned I like riding when its pitch black outside north of the city and I can't see anything on the road?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ok, One Oink

It seems my weight is drifting back down to race weight.  I'm not quite sure why the spike up seeing that I've tried to be more aware of my consumption (tried is the operative word).   Usually when I have a sudden gain of 3-4 pounds its because I ate something salty (like chips).  For some reason, I retain water like a chick and my weight jumps but usually settles down after 3 or 4 days however I'm still about my race weight (168 pounds). 

Things are prodding along.  I went swimming today up in Stouffville.  Its a bit of a hike but at least the pool is open at 6 am.  The pool I usually go is closed until October 1st for maintenance.  I'm not quite sure what kind of maintenance takes 30 days but what do I know about pools? 

The pool in Stouffville is really nice as are the lifeguards.  They leave you alone unlike one of the lifeguards in Markham.  He was constantly kicking people out of lanes if they are swimming too fast or insisting you swim in a circle even if you're in a lane by yourself.  Control freak.  Hopefully he won't be back when the pool opens although at some point I'll switch over to Masters swimming with the Markham Mallards.  I find swimming lap after lap to be very boring and with the Masters, they offer drills and coaching.  That said, its much more expensive than public swimming.

Speaking of expenses, I was talking to coach a couple of days ago and we talked about upgrading my road bike to a tri bike.  He was thinking of getting me an used tri bike but when I told him I might be willing to spend double the price range he was looking for, he got pretty happy.  He has a bike in mind but will be more than what I was willing to spend.   I'm not sure I'm worthy of such a bike. The last thing I want to do is having a very expensive bike but being a terrible rider.  I do believe the term is called "poseur."  More details to follow but it could get ugly really quickly.   "Sorry kids, we can't go on that Disney Cruise in January because daddy needs a new bike".

When we were at Deerhurst, we met an American named Stan.  He had entered to race 70.3 but crashed and broke his arm.  Seeing that everything was already booked, he came up anyways to cheer on the other racers.  He took this shot as I ran up to transition.

Ok I know the camera adds 10 pounds but I think I need to lose 20 pounds.  I just came back from a two hour lunch....that didn't help.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oink Oink

Hmmm I've seemed to have gained 6.5 pounds since Muskoka 70.3 (8 days ago) and I can actually count the number of beers I've had since then (14 or so).  Or my scale is broken

I need to train like this guy.  Must be the coaching

Bryan sets out on a 22 km run, stops half way and has 4 or 5 beers and then finishes the run.  Now that's what I call training.  Of course, he qualified for Kona this year.  He just did Syracuse 70.3 in under 5 hours.  That's his taper down race

He even organizes his own annual 5 km race with an unique set of rules

Paul (my bro) is attempting a 6.1 km run today.  I warned him about making sure he has enough gel and water.  His wife is on standby in case he needs to be picked up.  After he successfully completes today's run, he'll only have to go another 15 km for Hamilton half marathon.  No problemo

I ran 6.1 km today (first run since Muskoka).  My knee hurts.  Back to the butt exercises. 

Yes my knee pain is connected to my butt.....don't ask.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Now What?

Well the glow of Muskoka 70.3 has worn off and it hasn't been a week.  I'm still in recovery mode and I'm tired by 9 pm.  I played my first hockey game in six weeks and couldn't believe how out of shape I've become. I was out of gas within the first 30 minutes.  Some wonder how that's possible given the amount of training over the last nine months but really it comes down to slow twitch verses fast twitch muscles.  For triathlons, I trained a specific way but for hockey its a different sport that requires the muscles to act differently and although I probably was the fittest person on the ice, I was out of gas at the end.  Also I'm still tired from my race.

The season is winding down, with only one more race to go.  I'm going to run the Hamilton half marathon and help pace Tammy.  This would be her first half marathon and a big accomplishment.  My older brother Don will probably run with us and I'm trying to convince my other brother Paul to join us.  I asked how far is long run is up to and he replied "about 4.6 km."  Good enough, he'll be ready to run 21 km in 50 days (notice the new countdown clock).

Although I'm still in recovery mode, I've found myself sort of down that the season is over.  After last season, I tried to maintain the high level of workouts in the off season and ended up getting hurt.  I also gained ten pounds very quickly.  I hope to learn from the mistakes and take it easy.  After the race on Sunday and Monday, I didn't care what I ate or drank but by Tuesday I was trying to get back into the diet routine.  I think I need to lose another ten pounds by next season.

I talked to the coach and we discussed, in general terms, what my goals are for next year and 2012.  I told him I was thinking about doing two half ironmans, Calgary 70.3 at the end of July 2011 and maybe Muskoka again.  Tammy's younger brother John is expecting their first baby this December, so I figured she'd want to go and visit them at some point.  By July the baby would be 8 months old and seeing that they live in Calgary, I might as well take my bike and wetsuit and kill two birds with one trip.

We also talked about 2012 and decided to shoot for an Ironman.  If that's the case, then which race?  I would like to do Ironman Canada (being a Canadian and all) but coach said it wasn't a good idea because a) you can't ride the course before hand unless I plan to fly to BC and b) with flight and rental of a mini van, this race would cost close to $8,000.  Yikes!!  If I did Ironman Lake Placid, I could drive in 5.5 hours (oh that would be fun with the three kids) and I could go down next year to register and have a chance to ride the course.  Makes sense but I'd have to work out the logistics.  Taking three or four days off, leaving Tammy with the kids won't go down well.  I'll have to do some fancy footwork, whining and dining to pull this one off.  I can't believe I'm starting to plan for a race that's 22 months away.

Oh yea, coach said I should upgrade to a tri-bike.  It never ends........

Monday, September 13, 2010

Muskoka 70.3 Race Report

Well the big day finally arrived.  After nine months of training and one quick summer I toed the line (well at least for a Half Ironman).  The weather forecast promised it was going to be a wet race.  I met with Scobie on Friday afternoon for a quick chat and some last minute advice.  The best things he mentioned was 1) take a sleeping pill on Friday night to get a good night sleep as Saturday night won't get much rest and 2) take it easy on the bike (similar to what coach said).  With the rain predicted that was important as the last thing I needed was a bike crash.

Deerhurst had a three night package (you had to stay all three nights)  so we left around 2 pm and got up to the resort around 5:30 pm.  At check-in I called Paul S and he was already at their room.  We were to meet at the Athlete Banquet at 6:30 pm.  As we were taking the luggage to our room, it turns out that Paul was staying on the same floor as us.

As Tammy got things organized in the room, I went down to pick up our dinner tickets in registration.  I ran into Lisa and we went through the process together and then back to our room to collect the kids and head off to dinner.  The line up was huge and we had the buffet and it was ok but nothing special.  We sat near the front and as luck would have it, Craig Alexander sat at the table in front of us.  Man is that guy every small!!  He'd be pretty quick on the footy field but if he ever got caught, he'd get crushed.  I wondered if he wanted to go for a kick after the race?

After dinner we headed back and got settled for the night.  I followed Scobie's advice and took a sleeping pill.  Around 12:30 am Jake woke up screaming.  I woke up but was too groggy to get up.  All in all, Friday's night sleep was the best I've had in months.  For some strange reason, I've been waking up around 2 am and can't fall asleep.  Well the sleeping pills took care of that problem as I was out like a light.

On Saturday I drove the course.  Yikes!!  Like the Muskoka Long Course, once again I drove the wrong route but at least had a pretty good idea of what the course was wasn't going to be pretty.  Saturday night we went to dinner at one of the restaurants at the resort and who should sit beside us?  None other than Craig Alexander, reigning world champion!!  I watched him eat and can't believe how much he wolfed down for such a little guy!  I guess he would have no problem burning off the calories tomorrow morning.

Saturday night Vanessa woke up screaming at 2:30 am and that was the end of my sleep.  I was up for the rest of the night and finally headed down to transition to set up my gear at 6:30 am.  It was overcast and gloomy but not rain, yet.  This was my first Ironman event and by far the largest.  The transition area was massive and it filled the entire parking lot of the resort.  There were 1,000 athletes registered for this race.  By far the largest race I've ever participated.  The excitement was building.

We headed down to the swim start and Lisa and I were in the same wave (five out of six waves).  There were about 200 people in our wave.  Lisa looked nervous and was very quiet.  As we waited, Tammy yelled at me and Don (one of my brothers) and Barb were with her!  They drove up for my race!  That was a surprise.  I wondered if they were coming as I didn't hear from them at all.  Don said Paul (another brother) and Sarah were on their way as well.  I was very thirsty waiting.  Probably not a good sign.    

Our wave finally made it to the start.  Later on, I found out that Craig Alexander already finished the swim before we even entered the water.  The swim was pretty uneventful other than it was a bigger wave than what I'm used to.  It was crowded and got bumped around and it took several hundreds of meters before I got my rhythm.  There were several times when I had to stop swimming and wait for a path to clear.  I drafted off one guy for several hundreds of meters but he was too slow so I swam on my own until I caught onto another swimmer.  He was pretty quick and I swam behind him for most of the race.  I debated whether to draft off him or blow by him but I decided to play it conservative and save my energy.  I only passed him at the end of the swim in the last 50 meters.  Once I exited the water they had wetsuit strippers waiting.  This is the first race where they had them and it was awesome.  I've never gotten out my wetsuit that fast!  The only trouble was a long 300 meter run up hill to transition one.  After swimming for 37 minutes, it wasn't easy.  I caught up to Paul S in T1.  He started in the wave before me (6 minutes) but I knew he would crush me on the bike and run.  Heading out of T1, my brother Paul and Sarah were there yelling at me.  It was great to see them, as I didn't expect to see them.  I talked to Paul the night before and was under the impression he had to work the weekend.


Throughout the ride, I was ok up until about the 70 km when we started heading back to the resort.  The course was getting much hillier and the slogging got tougher.  There were lots of ups and downs as I was constantly using the granny gears which allowed me to pass lots of people with their fancy tri-bikes (opps I might be one of those next year).  After one last quad burning climb back into the resort, I was anxious for the bike to end but at the same time not really looking forward for the run to begin.

Pulling into T2, Paul (my bro) was at the entrance.  He yelled at me asking how I felt.  "Like shit" I replied and he laughed.  I was dying to take a leak so I jumped in the port a potty seeing that my spot was only five feet away.  It felt like I was in there for about five minutes as T2 was almost three minutes long.  I got confused as to the exit to T2 as there was nobody to point the right direction.  As I headed out, everybody from my family was by the exit cheering me on.  I headed out trying to slow down as I always run too fast from T2.  Paul S was earlier complaining about the run course where they had made it harder than necessary by adding extra hills and I quickly realized what he was referring to.  By the time the course made it back to the highway it started to pour.  I hoped Lisa would be off the bike by then but doubted it as she never passed me while I was dicking around with my tire on the side of the road. It rained for about 20 minutes and I continued at what I thought was an ok pace.  I had reset my pedometer before the race but it was obviously incorrect as there was no way I was running at a 5:10 pace.  As I passed by other runners, I kept asking if they had a pace on their watch but no one did so I just chugged along.  My goal was to finish the run in two hours.  At the 6 km mark I saw Paul S.  He was coming back in around the 14 km mark and was moving at a good pace.  I yelled at him and he just grunted back.  The run was going ok as there were more nasty hills.  I hit the turn around point and headed back into town.  For most of the run back, it doubled back along the same route but around the 14 km mark it veers off into the bush following a path.  I kept hoping I'd see Lisa before the route veered off and I finally did see her almost at the same point I saw Paul S.  She looked ok but I knew she was going to suffer on the run.

As the route changed to the path, there were more hills until finally just before the 14 km mark there was a short nasty hill.  I didn't want to walk it but I just ran out of gas.  At the top was a water station so I ended up walking the hill and the station while I sucked back a power gel that they were handing out.  Although it tasted like crap, I felt it kick in immediately and started to run again.  In defeat, I decided that I would walk the last couple of water stations as we headed back to the resort.  The hills were just killers and they became steeper (or so I thought).  As I headed the last hill back into Deerhurst, one volunteer yelled "only one more kilometer or one hill."  I groaned as I knew exactly what he meant.  I was trying to keep up with Sharon from Ajax Running Free who had passed me earlier.  She told me she was looking to do it in 7 hours but she looked like she was going to beat her time.  I thought she started a wave earlier but later found out she was in the same wave.

Finally Deerhurst came into site!  I was looking in vain for the finish line but didn't realize it went around the transition area.  I was totally bagged by this time and everything was hurting.  As I rounded the last corner, I saw my family yelling at me and I tried to sprint down to the finish line but had nothing left.

My time was 6:12.  CRAP!!!!  If I didn't have those two mechanical issues I would have beaten my goal of 6 hours.  My run time was 2:03.  I wanted to run in two hours but if I didn't walk those last aid stations I would have beaten that as well.

Overall, I finished at 6:12:13

Swim 37:43 or 1:54 per 100 metres.  My fastest time
Bike 3:23:20 or 27.7 km\hr
Run 2:03:01 or 5:50 min\km
T1 5:12 (as Paul S asked "were you doing your hair?")
T2 2:59 (I had to take a piss)
477 out of 863
Age group:  60 out of 90
Total calories burned:  5,171

I rate my performance 7 out of 10.

I'm disappointed because of the bike issues (nothing I could do about them) and the fact that I had to walk on the run portion.

Would I do this course again next year?  That remains to be seen.

Clearly much work to be done in the off season.

FYI:  In the Ironman race report, it calls Muskoka a "tough course"

Friday, September 10, 2010

We're Going To Get Wet

Two days to go.  This afternoon we're heading up to Deerhurst for the weekend.  They had a "special deal" for $180 a night, the only trouble is you have to stay three nights.  I have an all day meeting downtown which  will end at noon.  I hope to leave our place around 2 pm and get up there with plenty of time to get settled.  The athlete dinner starts at 6:30 pm tonight.  I'm not sure I can wait that long to eat

Am I ready?  Well at this point its pretty irrelevant.  It is what it is.

I met with Scobie yesterday for some pointers and he had two really good ones:  1)  Friday night, take a sleeping pill to ensure a good night's sleep as its the sleep two nights before the race that counts.  I've heard this before but still don't understand it  2)  keep an even pace on the bike.  Part of the problem during Muskoka Long Course was that I pushed it too hard on the bike and suffered on the run.  By keeping an even pace on the bike both on the flats and hills that would minimize the chances of blowing myself up.  However, given the lovely weather we're expecting, I don't think I'll be going as fast as I wanted.

Bags packed, gear packed, bike tuned up and packed.  Even went out and bought two new portable DVD players so all three kids would have their own.  Who knew triathlons would be such an expensive sport?

Wonderful.  As my bro pointed out "it could be worse, you could be out there for 14 hours in the rain"

Long Term Forecast Updated: Friday, September 10, 2010, 5:18 EDT
Sep. 11
Sep. 12
Sep. 13
Sep. 14
Sep. 15
Sep. 16
6am - 6pm
Mainly sunnyCloudy with showersCloudy periodsMainly sunnyLight rainIsolated showers
Mainly sunnyCloudy with showersCloudy periodsMainly sunnyLight rainIsolated showers
WindS 5 km/hSE 10 km/hSW 10 km/hNW 10 km/hN 5 km/hN 5 km/h
24-Hr Rainless than 1 mmclose to 5 mmclose to 1 mmclose to 1 mm5-10 mmless than 1 mm

Monday, September 6, 2010

IM Lake Placid 2010

A friend of a friend recently completed IM LP.  His son complied this great video

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Again Another Ride And Another Flat

How is it possible to get so many flat tires???

Again I got another flat in the front tire.  Not only is this getting extremely annoying but also expensive.  I bought a CO2 cartilage at Running Free yesterday and its a good thing as I burned through three of them changing the tire.  Now you're probably thinking how could this idiot use three cartilages changing one tire?  Quite simply, twice I filled up the tire but the tube was bulging on the outside of the wall of the tire.  Thankfully it didn't blow as I didn't have any extras tubes.  I figured out that I wasn't pushing the pin back into the tire before I filled it and as a result it bulged out of the side of the tire.  I'm taking my bike up to the coach for total bike tune up this week before the race.  Maybe I need an extra layer of rim tape or super duper strong inner tubes or something.  Basically I'm screwed if I get a flat in a race.

It was freezing cold this morning as the temperature was only 10 degrees with a nasty wind of 20 km/hr.  I'm not sure what happened to the 35 degree (with humidity) temperatures we had last week but I hope it isn't like this next Sunday.  I saw Paul S running and we chatted for a couple of minutes.  He's looking to finish around 5:30.  I could only dream of such a time.

Oh speaking of dreams, I had one last night that I was in a race and I forgot to set up my transition so I had to ride my bike in my running shoes and I had no helmet or gloves.  I really need to stop drinking.  Oh wait, I only had one beer yesterday.  Clearly my body is telling me something....I need to drink more.