Ironman Mont Tremblant

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Run

This morning's swim workout was a little better than Tuesday's unstructured mess.  Masters swimming ended for the summer break this week but I missed the newsflash and showed up anyways on Tuesday.  Serge gave me a lane to swim on my own but offered no workout so I just goofed around and did a pathetic 1,500 meters as I got bored.  Masters swam at 5:30 am but regular lane swimming starts at 6:00 am in the summertime.  Not quite as good but will have to do.  I don't think many people realized as the pool wasn't that busy and there were only three swimmers for two fast lanes.  Bonus!  I printed off some of the workouts I downloaded from Slowtwitch last year and knocked off around 2,200 meters.  Not bad as the different drills helps breaks up the boredom of pounding out lap after lap.

I went to the sports doctor on Tuesday to get an update on my stress fracture and unfortunately it is still a little tender.  He advise no running for another 1-2 weeks but I can pool run or run on an elliptical trainer.  Both wonderful choices.  They rank right up there with watching glaciers melt or paint dry.  He still believes I'll be able to race Calgary 70.3 on July 31st with only two weeks of running outside given the base I've built up (coach said he was on crack).  Later on Tuesday, I went to my podiatrist to get new orthotics for my dress shoes.  He informed me that the ones I am wearing, he made in 2004.  Seriously???  I believe these might have contributed to my stress fracture although the ones in my running shoes were made last year.  As a former marathon runner and a podiatrist, I asked him if it would be possible to race on July 31st given my stress fracture and my target date of running outside of July 15th and he concurred with the sports doctor that given my base I "should" be able to run and I |might| do better than I think.

My friend lives in a  condo and in the past I've used his very small pool to water run.  The condo also has a small gym with an elliptical trainer so I left work a little early but not early enough.  My errands for preparation for the long weekend took me way longer than I anticipated so I didn't get to his condo and started running until 3:30 pm.  I've never run on an elliptical but heard its basically a waste of time.  The plan was to go for an hour run and see how I felt.  I started running and within five minutes had a good sweat going.  The sports doc was correct in saying that there would be minimal impact on my legs and I managed to keep running without going crazy.  I had my ipod and was watching the Prince William and Kate do the tour in Ottawa on the overhead TV.  One might have thought that everything else in the world has grounded to a halt given the coverage of them.

The run itself was tougher than I thought it would have been but the numbers on the trainer seemed a little dubious.  Towards the end, my cardio was fine but my legs were getting tired and I wondered how long I could actually run on this contraption but it did the job.  It is a lot harder than pool running and if I can run a couple of times doing the week, it would help significantly when I get back to running outside.   I must admit the elliptical trainer was a lot tougher than I had expected and am bagged from it.  Of course, I haven't run since mid May so going out and running a full 60 minutes probably isn't the brightest thing but than I've never been acccused of being too bright.

Obviously, I'm still clinging to the fact that I "might" be able to race Calgary 70.3 despite the overwhelming (non medical) advice not to race which I greatly appreciate your input.  Don't worry, I do have a backup plan if I get hurt and can't race Muskoka 70.3 on September 11th.

I have planned two interesting bike rides this long weekend.  That is, if I don't get smoked during the heavy holiday traffic.  I'll tell you about it if I survive

Happy Canada Day (July 1st) and Happy Fourth of July for our American friends.  Drink lots of beer or something.  I know I will.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Decisions - Calgary 70.3

I just came back from the sports doctor and he said it will be another 1-2 weeks before I can start running again.  The stress fracture isn't fully healed and Calgary 70.3 is on July 31st.   That would be around July 15th that I could start running outside.  I have a fairly good base built up as I've done the Chilly Half Marathon, Around The Bay (30 km) and the Toronto Marathon in the last three months but have not run since the marathon (May 15th).

So the question is, can I run a half marathon on two weeks of training?  If I plan to run it, I would need to ramp up the water running or elliptical trainer to match my outdoor training.  For example, if I need to do two hours of running that would mean two hours of water running or two hours on an elliptical trainer (which I don't have one nor do I belong to a gym).  UGH!!  If I bail from this race, we could shorten our trip out west and come home earlier.  This would save about $1,500 from paying race fees, van rental, hotels, food etc.

What should I do?  What would you do?

Obviously I missed last week's announcement that there was no more Masters swimming for the summer.  I showed up at the usual 5:30 am and it was just the kids swimming.  Serge was kind enough to give me my own lane and so I just swam aimlessly with no structure workout.  I figured I banged out somewhere around 1,500 meters.  Going forward, I'll just have to swim by myself, lap after lap after lap...............And worse, it will be public lane swimming where I'll have to dodge the breast strokers and other ahem, swimmers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Making Cookies

And I wonder why I can't lose weight.........

Awesome ride on the weekend with Doru and Lisa.  Rode up to Zehpyr and back for a short 63 miles or 101 km but got soaked one kilometer from home.

Now to ice the cookies and crack open a beer.  Oh wait, its only Monday night.  Doh!

And my wife thinks all I do is yell at the kids every time she goes out.  Hah!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Triathlon Race Season Over

Or is it?

We'll find out next week...........

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Canadian Century - 100 Kilometers

I picked up the new bike as an early Father's Day present on Friday afternoon.  Coach fitted me to the bike and we were good to go.  I went out early Saturday morning leaving at 5:15 am and wanted to ride hard for an hour by myself before meeting up with Lisa.  I love this time of year as it is so bright at 5 am but the sun literally begins to rise later on June 22nd.  I headed over to Kennedy Road and went north until I hit Stoufville Road.  I tried to get used to riding in aero position but it felt weird and I assumed that it was because I was used to a road bike.  Then I realized the handle bars were slipping down and I had to keep pulling them up.  I was supposed to meet Lisa at 6:15 am so I didn't want to stop and tighten them so and went east until I reached York Durham road and went south.  This road is nice and smooth so it was a great place to test the bike and Powertap...drooping handle bars and all.  I passed a guy on a road bike and said hi as I cranked it up.  I hit 55 km\hr generating some 550 watts of power.  I held this for a couple of kilometers and then backed off.  I looked behind me and the guy I passed was about five meters behind me so I cranked it up again and after one kilometer he was only five feet behind me!!  I couldn't drop him as he easily kept pace with me.  He caught up with me and we chatted for a couple of minutes before he met up with his ride.  My legs were fried after those two long blasts and after getting mixed up I finally got to the spot where I was supposed to meet Lisa.  The handle bars were moving around so much that I had to stop and tighten them as now it was becoming dangerous.  I tightened them at the wrong height and could not ride in aero position for the rest of the ride.  That really didn't matter as my legs were fried and I was wiped out.  We rode for an hour but I was done like dinner.  According to the Powertap, my top speed was 55 km\hr and I generated an average of 175 watts for the ride which is not bad but needs to be around 225 watts.  Lots of work to do.

When I got back, it was time to head out to Guelph for Tammy to enter her first sprint Duathlon.  We left a little behind schedule and I was worried about getting in there in time as last year I entered the Aqua Bike and because it was so busy getting into the park, I barely made it.  The Try-A-Tri, Sprint and Sprint Du were sold out but luckily they were at different times so getting in the park was a breeze compared to last year.  It was a great day to be racing but I got to watch from the sidelines and play with the kids.  Tammy did great and finished 1:40 good for 13/23 for her age group.  \

While we were still in Guelph, Paul S called me and wanted to know if I wanted to join him for a ride Sunday morning.  I initially declined as I needed to be refitted on my bike and Sundays are an off day.  I was still a little tired from Saturday's ride.  Later I called Coach and mentioned the troubles and he said to bring the bike up when we got back into town and he would fix the problem.  After getting refitted, I called Paul back and told him I couldn't ride the entire five hours with him but I would go out for two hours to keep him company.  Paul is a very strong rider and is training for IMC so this would be a great opportunity to ride with someone who is much more experienced.  We agreed to meet at 7:00 am (holy that's late).

Paul showed up at 6:30 am Sunday morning and I was a little unprepared.  I rushed around to get ready and headed out.  I fully intended to only ride for 1.5 to 2 hours with him and only had one bag of GU Chomps, one gel and two bottles of water.  It was a great day to ride and we headed west and then doubled back to head north.  Paul gave me a lot of tips especially about the importance of holding a steady cadence of 85 revolutions per minute.  This allows for easier peddling and as we went up hills, I had to gear down in order to maintain the cadence at an even 85.  It was an awesome day to ride as we headed out west and then double backed to go east and then straight up York Durham line where we eventually hit the small town called
Zephyr which was about 40 km from Markham.  Normally there is a store that is open on Sunday mornings as I was running low on water and needed to refuel but for whatever reason, it was closed.  This was going to be a serious problem.  I had ridden a lot longer than I antipicated and did not have was getting tired and hungry.  We made the decision to turn around and head back home despite that Paul had originally planned to ride for another hour before heading back.  We rode for about five minutes when I told Paul I would ride back by myself and he should continue his planned ride.  Why should he screw up his ride becuase of my lack of preparation?

The ride back was tough as the countryside was pretty hilly.  Not as bad as Muskoka but still pretty tough.  I ran out of water and stopped at a house to reload.  Paul gave me one of his gel and I used it up as I was heading into a slight headwind.  My legs were burning and on some hills I had to shift into the easiest gear in order to make it up some of the hills.  I was pretty happy when I hit familiar roads and turned down my street.
All in all, it was a pretty good unexpected ride.  The roads were much hillier furthur north and that's somewhere I'll have to ride more often if I want to improve my bike time.  Total distance was 100 km and I burned over 2,000 calories.

So my triathlon season is pretty much over.  The plan is now to do a couple of Aqua Bike events like Peterborough half iron next month and maybe Calgary 70.3 but it will be tough to bail on the run.  There is a slight chance of doing Muskoka 70.3 in September.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 Triathlon Race Season Over

The Toronto Marathon has taken its toll.  A stress fracture has ended my season but Father's Day came early...........

With Powertap

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Suck It Up Buttercup

As so quaintly put by Scobie in reference to my "fretting" of which IM course to get killed on.   And he's right.  At the end of the day, 140.6 miles is 140.6 miles.  There is no hiding that there is going to be a lot of suffering regardless of which course I do.

Right now, although Coach is saying to do IMLP, but I think IMMT might be a better venue as it would be more family friendly (in case you don't know, I have a 7.5 year old, 5.5 year old and an almost 4 year old). 

Also it appears that several fellow bloggers are thinking about IMMT.  Misery loves company as I always say.  Most of them have young families around the same age so they could hang out together for the day. 

On the injury front, my shin splints have almost healed but I can still barely walk as there is another problem with the bottom of my foot


With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) forces the ball-of-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot.

Marathon training sure takes a toll on the body.

Muskoka Long Course (June 26th) is highly doubtful.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

A lot has been going on in the Triathlon world over the last couple of days.  One of the biggest complaints, as Ironman goes mainstream, is that its so hard to get into a race.  In order to guarantee your race spot, you have to sign up at the venue one year in advance.  You could try registering on line but that's totally hit or miss.  Or you could *cough* up $1,100 US (good thing the Canadian dollar is stronger than the US dollar) for a community foundation spot of which you would receive a tax deduction for about $550 except as Canadians, that deduction is worthless.  Popular races like Lake Placid, Canada and Wisconsin typically sell out within days if not the same day they open registration.

Rumours have been flying around on Slowtwitch that the WTC is going to open more races in the northeastern part of the US/Canada as it has a combined population of over 50 million people and having only a handful of races available and it finally happened.  On Monday, WTC announced that there would be an Ironman race in Mount Tremblant, north of Montreal, Quebec and if that wasn't enough, a couple of days later, the WTC announced that New York City would host an Ironman as well all in the month of August starting next year.  Online registration starts on June 15th so it should be interesting to see which races sell out (if any).  Like everything in life, there are pros and cons for these races.

Ironman Mount Tremblant. 
*Absolutely stunning scenery with tons of accommodations as its awesome skiing in the winter time (I don't ski). 
* Family Friendly - I think this place would be similar to Muskoka 70.3 where the race start/finish is well within walking distance of your accommodations and Tammy could take the kids back to the hotel and play around all day while I flounder on the course.   
* Reasonably priced - given all the accommodations, the prices would be reasonable as opposed to Lake Placid where the rates double or triple during race week.
* Driveable - Mount Tremblant is probably about a six hour drive from Toronto

* MOUNT Tremblant
* Tough tough tough course

Ironman NYC
* Probably "easiest" of all three races
*  Its in New York City - do I need to say more?
*  Driveable - NYC is about 11 hour drive from Toronto or less than a 60 minute flight

* Probably will sell out immediately
* Smoking hot
* Smoking expensive.  Rumours of entry fee somewhere between $700-$1,000
* Staying in NYC for a week will be very expensive.  I can see dropping $10,000
* Logistics of the course seem to be a disaster
* Not very spectator friendly
* The thought of Tammy trying to keep track of three kids in New York City doesn't sit well

Ironman Lake Placid
* Probably won't sell out given the two new races
* Driveable as its only six hours away
* Well known course - both my brothers have done it

* Tough course
* Accommodations are expensive due to the large demand on a small town
* Race is in July which will make for tough training in April and May - busy time of year for me

So there you have it.  What to do?

I've only run once since the Marathon and gone to see Kevin (chiropractor) a couple of times to fix my shin splints and its definitely working.  I'm almost ready to start running.  I'll probably try tomorrow morning for a short 5 km run and see how they hold up but I'm having other issues with the bottom of my foot near the toes.  Its a little sore when I walk but Kevin said not to worry about it.  I froze a water bottle and rolled with it last night and that seemed to help.

On Saturday I rode 70 km and Sunday I rode another 45 km.  Sunday's ride was crappy as I was pretty tired from the hill repeats on Saturday.  This Saturday, we are going to a friend's cottage and I was thinking of riding the 150 km but I'm not ready to ride that kind of distance.  Maybe I'll ride part of the way except its supposed to pour.

This morning I headed out at 5:15 am and put in a 55 km bike ride before work.  It turned out a little longer than I expected as while I was doing hill repeats, a biker passed me and seeing that I was finished the repeats, I went to chase him down (hmmm a little competitive?). 

That's pretty much it.  Not much else going on

Friday, June 3, 2011

First Run....Uh Oh

It seems like last year when I last ran when actually its only been 26 days since the Toronto Marathon.  My shin splint was feeling better as I've been icing, stretching (sort of) and massaging.  I haven't done any of the runs on my schedule but they were only 30 minutes so no big deal.  This morning I felt I could run so I ran the Rammerville loop which is normally a 34 minute run which is about 6 km.

I started off as a slow jog and my shins were sore but I kept running as I hoped the pain would go didn't.  Next, according to my Polar, my heart rate was 165 beats per minute, even though I was running at a 7:00 km\min pace (very slow).  Stupid Polar.  I stopped running and my heart rate dropped to 16 beats per minute.  Eventually I turned off my watch.  Do I really need to monitor my 6 km run?  This was a tough run and I couldn't believe how hard it was to run.  How long ago did I run a marathon?

I got home and used the roller on my shin.....PAIN!!!  I emailed Kevin (chiropractor) to see if he had any appointments this morning.  He responded 30 minutes later saying that he had time at 9:20 am.  Not bad considering it was 7:00 am when I emailed him.  What service!!  Anyways, he proceeded to kill me as he worked on my shins.  I brought my ice pack with me so I could throw it in the freezer at work and ice throughout the day.  I knew it was going to be painful and it was!

Tonight I talked to coach to give him an update on my status and looks like Muskoka Long Course (June 26th) is out as I can barely run.  My next race is Calgary 70.3 and is about six weeks out and that could be in jeopardy if I don't heal in time.  I also talked about Ironman Mont-Tremblant to be announced on Monday.  He thought it would be a very tough race as it would be similar to IM St George (Utah). Very hilly on the ride and run so that would change my thinking back to IM Lake Placid or IM Canada for 2012.  Part of the problem is finding the hours to dedicate to training.  According to Coach, in February, I would be logging about 15 hours a week.  Given my occupation, there is no way I can log those hours in at that time of the year as it is the busiest time of year for me.  

What to do?