Ironman Mont Tremblant

Friday, April 29, 2011

Getting It Done

I think all this running is paying off as I feel thinner then ever before although the scale would disagree.  I weighted in this morning at 172.6 pounds.  I stepped on the scale three times and got three different readings so I took the second reading. 

Yesterday's swim was an easy 1,600 meters and I wasn't tired at all.  I went to my parent's place and ran intervals in the afternoon.  I did 5 x 1,000 meters sprint at a 4:30 min\km pace.....I think, as my Polar is screwed up and not accurate.  Stupid Polar!  It was really enjoyable running into a 35 km\hr wind with gusts over 50 km\hr but sure made it easy to hit the pace with the wind behind my back.

After another late night meeting, I didn't get to bed until 10:30 pm last night but was up at 5:00 am and was riding (still inside).  I knew I was hungry and tired from lack of sleep so I actually ate a Cliff Power bar before I rode and drank Amino Vital during the ride.  Normally I wouldn't for such a short ride but I was bagged.  I did the usual drills of 6 x 2 minutes one legged drills, 12 minutes riding out of the saddle and 6 x 1 minute all out sprints which as usual weren't all that out.  Hmmmmm I wonder if a Powertap would help?

Tomorrow's run is 3 hours and 45 minutes.  This is going to hurt.........

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Importance Of Core Workouts

This is how I finished Friday's long run (35 km).  Kevin (chiropractor) had told me that you often see people running like the picture below because they have a weak core and can't maintain their form once they get tired.  I get it now...........

I read Scobie's tweets as he get reading for his return visit to St Croix 70.3.  He wanted me to race with him....well be at the same race.  I told him forget it as there was no way I was doing a four hour bike ride on my trainer.  Anyways he's always writing about doing core and stretching so today after 30 minutes of P90X yoga which was interrupted by the start of a massive Easter egg hunt in our house that lasted all 10 minutes.  Afterwards, I went upstairs and I did 20 minutes of core and stretching.  My core muscles are quite pathetic as I haven't been doing anything in a while looonnnngggg time and it showed.  I did 60 seconds of front plank, 30 seconds of side plank each side and 60 seconds of front plank again.  Within 20 seconds, I started to shake like a leaf.  In between the three sets, I did stretching of the hamstring, IT and hip flexor.  Somehow I MUST work this into my daily routine.

Today was Easter dinner at my house and the diet was pretty much trashed all day.  It started with the first Easter chocolate egg around 7:15 am and it was all downhill after that.  I pity the scale tomorrow morning.  Its going to be under a lot of extra weight...mine.

Oink Oink.  Happy Easter

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Looooonnnnnggg Run

I switched my schedule up a little bit and took advantage of the holiday Friday as well as the fact that it was going to rain Saturday morning.  The run was for 3 1/2 hours and unlike last week, it wasn't freezing cold, windy or snowing.

I headed out with the plan to run the same route as last week but several equipment issues didn't get me going until 5:45 am.  Usually I lay everything out the night before so I'm not wasting time looking for this or that but with equipment failure I still wasted time.   According to my heart rate monitor after running five steps, my heart rate was 160 and then it went to 00 (I guess I was dead).  Then my new ipod stopped working so I had to fiddle around with it.

I started out strong and finished weak.  The foot pod was not recording correctly and it said I was running at a 6:05 min\km and I finished at a 7:20 min\km.  Ok I was going slow but not that slow.  My Polar said I ran 32.5 km but I checked with Google Maps and I ran 35.3 km.  Stupid Polar

Before this season, I asked my coach if he thought I could qualify for Boston and he diplomatically (which is unusual) said I had no chance.  Of my two younger brothers have done multiple Ironmans, only one was able to qualify and race Boston several times.  After yesterday's run, I realize I have no chance unless I'm still running 20 years from now.  I was hurting by the end and my pace had slowed considerably.  Running on the soft shoulder helps a lot but once I'm running on pavement or sidewalk, every step brings pain throughout my body.  I have shin splints on my right leg and the blister I picked up at Around The Bay ripped open on the bottom of my right foot.  The Toronto Marathon is only 22 days away and I have doubts about it.  I've run the Toronto Half Marathon before so I know how the race ends.  Running up University Avenue is a gradual uphill which you don't notice it when you're driving it but when you're running it....that's a different story.  I remember from the Half, that it seemed to be never ending and then running 3/4 around Queen's Park was agonizing long.  I'm strongly considering using the 10 x 1s (run 10 minute, walk one minute) for this race as well just to save the pounding on my body.

I limped home (literally) for another ice bath and a day of lounging around.  I fell asleep for a short nap on the couch with the kids screaming around me and then later in the day I had a longer nap for a glorious one hour.

This morning workout was on 35 minute spin on the bike as I watched the last two shows of Weeds Season Four.  What an ending!  I have to get season five from my manager.  I'm pretty sore and tired so I just took it easy.  I was going to do some strength training but felt too tired.  One thing I've learned about these long runs, is that I need to do more core and glute workouts.  I also need to do more yoga.  The last couple of Sundays, I've missed my P90X yoga.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HTFU And Run!

This mornings weather was better than yesterday's miserable wet, cold and windy day.  I moved my long run to this morning as it wasn't supposed to start raining until around 10 am which hopefully I would be finished my 3:15 run except I didn't wake up until 5:30 am.  By the time I ate and drank 1.5 liters of water it was just after 6:00 am.  The temperature was a balmy three degrees Celsius, no rain but very windy.  It was blowing over 40 km\hr in a westerly direction so I altered my normal running route of a giant circle heading west first and then east back home.  One of the reason I like this route is because I run by a community center (where I go swimming) and can stop and refuel or empty.   But given the head winds, I changed the route to run north up McCowan Road for 1.5 hours and then turn south and run back down.  That way the wind wouldn't be a factor in my running.  Smart eh?

The route I took was the same that I ride my bike but I had a slightly different view running than when I'm riding.  On both sides of the road, there is a small creek and there are all kinds of interesting things in the ditch.  I think next week I'll bring a garbage bag and pick up all the empty beer bottles.  That was I can have my mortgage paid off or at least afford a new P2.  One of the more interesting things I saw (other than the dead animals) was a pregnancy test.  I wasn't going to stop and check to see if someone was knocked up!

The winds were still blowing but whipping across my body as I chugged up McCowan.  The nice thing about running this far north "out of the city" was that the shoulder was basically packed sand and firm enough to run on.  This made a huge difference in the pounding my body took last week.  I could feel my ankle but it wasn't too bad.  I think I'll always run up McCowan Road for my long runs.

I hit my turnaround point (Bloomington Road) and got a face full of wind.  The wind has slightly shifted as it was still coming westerly but slightly north and I was running into the wind.  My pace slowed down even though I was running down hill.  I was running along in a mindless daze when I scared a duck swimming in the creek beside the road.  It quacked and flew in front of me and instinctly, I jumped to my right.  Fortunately there were no
on-coming cars otherwise I would have been smoked.

The sun disappeared and all of a sudden I was freezing.  I should have worn my warmer running gloves instead of the light ones as my hands began to ache they were so cold.  And just when it couldn't get worse, it started to snow.  Didn't I say something about no more snow in yesterday's blog?  Doh!  The wind drove the snow (actually they were ice pellets) so that they were coming sideways and smashing into the one side of my face.  In fact, I had to pull my hat down as low as it could go to protect the one side.  Those pellets really hurt!

I was just thinking what other moron would be out running in this crap when down the road I saw someone riding!  They turned west and into the wind.  Now that's hard core!!  Later in my run I saw two other riders.  I guess they were chomping at the bit because of yesterday's crappy weather.

Speaking of chomping, I used GU Chomps for this run.  They reminded me of big Gummy Bears that my kids eat.  There are eight pieces in the package and are good for 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise.  I've used them on the bike last year but never tried them running as I imagined how hard it would be to chew and run at the same time.  Also I found the pieces got stuck in my teeth, just like Gummy Bears so I just popped two in my mouth and let them dissolve.  This worked out pretty good as I took two of them every 30 minutes.  The only problem is where to put them.  The stupid running jacket that I have doesn't have pockets and the zipper pouch of my running belt is very hard to access when I'm running.  I had to stop and dig them out.  Not very convenient.  I need to figure something out with this water belt.  I need to carry more water and also gels\chomps.

Heading south, once I crossed Major Mackenzie I had to start running on the sidewalk as traffic was too heavy to run on the road.  What a difference as I could feel the difference almost immediately.  The pounding on my feet and legs made running much more painful and my pace slowed considerably.  I ran south into the wind until I hit Highway 7 where I turned around and headed north again but this time I had the wind.  I turned down a road and picked up my pace as I was getting to the end of my run.  I ran at a much faster pace and finished at 3:22 for just under 32 kilometers.  I thought I ran further but running into the wind must have really slowed me down.

I took an ice bath again but this time I drank hot water while I was shivering.  That made a huge difference and I was able to stay in there for 20 minutes.  Later in the day, I went to the mall with Rebecca and walking around was extremely painful and exhausting.  I'm suppose to run tomorrow but that's not going to happen.  I'll take an easy ride on the trainer with not drills and watch Weeds Season Four.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today Is A Perfect Day To....

Run....NOT!  I bailed from my 3:15 run when I woke up at 4:30 am and I could hear the rain pounding on the window so I went back to sleep.  With the wind blowing between 30-50 km\hr and it raining plus the temperature was only a little above freezing, I bailed.  Somehow I just couldn't envision running for three hours, soaking wet and then taking an ice bath.  That sounds like a recipe for disaster.  I'll try tomorrow morning

Rest.  Yes absolutely as I've been bagged and work beginning to slow down but still had evening meetings Thursday and Friday nights this week and probably next week.  It makes for a long day when I'm up at 4:30 am and I'm getting home around 8:00 pm.

Do My Taxes.  God, there is nothing more than I hate is doing taxes.  Well maybe interval sprints.  Just organizing the mess is like torture.  Every year, I swear I'll be more organized and file things as the year progresses but every year its the same mad scramble before the deadline.

Switch The Snow Tires From The SUV.  Ok, I think its safe to take the snow tires off the SUV.  I imagine we are not going to get a significant amount of snowfall and snow tires are probably not the most fuel efficient.  I switched the snow tires from my car last week and talk about back breaking work and the SUV tires are even heavier.  Maybe I should just fork out $30 and have the local garage take care of it.

Catch Up On The Blogs I Follow.  I seemed to be following a lot more blogs and barely have time to read any of them but some are quite funny

Ok, back to sorting out my (*&^%$%^^& taxes

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Am (Not) Going To Kona

Today was the draw for the World Championship at Kona.  (Un)Fortunately, I did not win.   I'm not sure how I'd feel if I "won" seeing I've never done a full Ironman.   I'd be embarrassed to tell people I "won" an entry spot considering how hard some people train to qualify to get to Kona.

Yesterday at swimming we were using flippers for half the session.  It was something different and a lot of fun.  On the first lap, I swam the entire length underwater with the flippers.  Serge yelled at us as we all did the drills wrong but still it was a lot of fun

This morning's bike totally sucked as I woke up at 4:30 am and debated on whether to bail or not.  I had a late meeting the night before and was exhausted.  I'm still riding inside and just continuing with the drills from last month except I had nothing left in the tank to do the six all out sprints after the one legged drills and out of the saddle riding.  Maybe I was still tired from Thursday afternoon hill training.  I went to my parent's house and ran in the afternoon around the old hood.  It was a great day to run but by the time I got to the sixth and seventh hill repeat, I almost puked....almost.  You know when you've had a good workout when you start coughing and can taste the bile in your mouth...........

Tomorrow's run is for 3:15 so I'm carb loading (beer) and its supposed to be windy, cold and pouring rain.  I AM NOT HAPPY! This going to be just miserable.

Sorry, could someone tell me why I'm doing all this shit?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Deal, I Can Do That.....Ok Maybe Not!

On another note, my ride this morning sucked.  I was very tired last night and still tired when I woke up this morning.  I even slept through the night!  I'm supposed to be riding outside but I've been too lazy to switch tires as well as its been cold and dark at 5 am.  I ride north of the city where there are no street lights so its pitch black.  Odd, last year at this time, I was chomping at the bit to ride outside. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

This morning's run was for a short three hours as we gear up for the Toronto Marathon in May.  This is the longest run I've done as Around The Bay was "only" 2:48.  Big difference.
I wasn't feeling 100% which probably had to do with all the beers I had at yesterday`s work conference.  After lunch we went up to a friend`s room for a couple of beers and then attended the afternoon session.  The final speaker at the end of the day was Yvonne Camus who was part of Team Canada entry into the Eco-Challenge race.  A gruelling 500 km race through the jungles.  Hmmm this sounds interesting.  Maybe I should look into this race after I get bored of Ironman.

Here is a video of Yvonne`s previous presentation.  Its a condensed version of her full presentation but a great insight to what it takes to complete the Eco-Challenge race and also survive and succeed at work.

After Yvonne's presentation there was an open bar and the only thing that saved me was I had to catch the 6:30 pm train otherwise it would have been ugly.

Anyways that why I wasn't 100% for this morning`s run.  I left the house at 5:15 am loaded up with water and gel and wasn't looking forward to this at all.  The run was pretty uneventful but gruelling.  I really struggled the last five kilometers as my legs and ankle were sore.  By the time I came to the last kilometer, my pace was down to a 6:15 min km.
I was wiped out.  This was tougher than Around The Bay which goes to show the power of 10 x 1s (run 10 min, walk one minute).  Next week should be fun as my run gets up to 3:15.  Ok seriously, how am I going to do a marathon  That's another 12 km

After I stretched, I decided I needed an ice bath.  I've taken them before and they are NOT fun but they do work.  I lie in the tub and start filling it up with cold water.  Once the water covers my legs, I dump a bowl of ice in and try and sit for five minutes.  I wear a sweat shirt but my teeth are still chattering.  The idea is to cool down the muscles and it promotes faster recovery.   Ice Ice Baby.  Try it.  It works

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Look, Two Snow Flakes That Are The Same!!

Thankfully, its going to warm up this weekend to 21 degrees Celsius and we won't have to deal with this crap anymore!

ice bike

On the injury front, I'm still going to physio and my back/shoulder/neck is getting better.  Yesterday the therapist used acupuncture with electricity.  I almost fell asleep on the table nodding off while being electrocuted. 

On the training front, I've had a couple late nights this week and its beginning to catch up.  On Monday, I went to function for my work colleague's children and Tuesday I took my dad to the baseball game.  We watched the Blue Jays beat up the Oakland As.  Funny how the stadium that holds 55,000 looks so empty when there is only 11,000 people at the game.  How does Rogers (owner of the Toronto Blue Jays) make any money? 

This Saturday is a "short" three hour run and it ramps up from there...ugh.  I need to figure out my water belt/nutrition situation.  In the past, I've only run with those green Gatorade bottles that you get in your grab bag from races.  I've used a fuel belt in one of my triathlon races last summer and it fell off when I started running.  I had to run with my water belt in my hand for several kilometers.  All the new water belts are Velcro straps and not the clip in kind that the old ones have.

That's pretty much it for today............

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Got Lucky This Morning

Well not in that sense!  But the weather was predicting 90% rain/snow with winds up to 40 km\hr.  When I woke up at 4:45 am I could hear the rain pounding on the window and seeing that I don't have a treadmill or belong to a gym, I really really didn't want to run outside in that crap.  Fortuenantly, by the time I was reading to head out the door at 5:30 am the rain had stopped and for the entire run it hardly rained!  Bonus!

This morning's run was about speed work.  After the warm up, I was supposed to run at zone three/four (150 - 165 bps) for 15 minutes twice followed by four one minute all out sprints.   Running at zone three/four isn't a problem but the speed work was as I totally died after the second one and my "all out sprint" turned into a slow jog by the last one.  I'll use the excuse that my body is still recovery from Around The Bay two weeks ago because Saturday's one hour run was pretty crap.  I died at the end and was exhausted all day.  In fact, I had to take a nap both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  I love taking naps but its been a while since I've had to take one nap, let alone two naps.  My naps are usually 15-20 minutes long and I wake up totally refreshed.  Well worth it as the irratiblity drops considerably.

Other than that, not much else is going on.