Ironman Mont Tremblant

Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Should Make The Swim Interesting

Vineyard Warrior Triathletes Warned To Be On The Lookout For Sharks

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV


BOSTON (CBS) – Close to 300 people have already signed up for the first-ever Vineyard Warrior triathlon, to be held on Martha’s Vineyard in September.  Participating in such an event is a test of one’s physical and emotional endurance – no less so when the swimming segment of the triathlon is set to take place in waters where shark sightings are being made.

“It’s a big mental game and especially with the news going on lately, it’s really in my head now,” says first-time triathlete Tom Kennedy. “I’m just going to kind of go and shut my eyes, and hopefully I’ll finish. That’s my goal.”

Kennedy’s wife Melissa will be joining him. She’s run marathons before, but acknowledges the preparation is quite different for this type of event – especially when she takes the native wildlife into consideration.  “My e-mail was going crazy with everybody sending me the links about sharks and Martha’s Vineyard and all that going on,” she said. “So I’m just trying not to worry about it as the day gets closer.”

Great white sharks made their annual reappearance in local waters this May, earlier than usual. State officials confirm another half dozen great white sightings off Chatham this weekend alone.
“We have friends who said, ‘you must try it here, it’ll be a great first triathlon for you’”, explained the Kennedys’ friend Mhairi Maclean, who agreed with the suggestion “until I got the news today that apparently I might be an object of desire for a shark.”

The sharks like it here because they feed on gray seals. They tend to stay in the area until September. That’s cutting it a little close for the Warrior event, scheduled for the eleventh.  The Vineyard Warrior will also be Lori Baronian’s inaugural triathlon. She jokes that there is no way a shark will mistake her for a seal.

“I think I will be swimming so slowly they will mistake me for a buoy, so I’ll be totally fine,” she says.  The would-be triathletes can have a little fun with the shark sightings, taking heart from that fact that it’s been 75 years since the last confirmed shark attack in Bay State waters. Besides, they say, it adds to the excitement of the event.  Said Baronian: “I get a thrill out of doing events like this, really challenging you physically and mentally.” Neither she nor any of her friends have plans to skip the event because of the shark sightings. Event organizers say they will do everything in their power to keep participants safe.

In honour of those racing Calgary 70.3 today, i did a cheesy 2,000 meter swim....hung over

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's Up?

I've been falling behind on blogging and barely being able to keep up with reading some of the blogs as work as been very busy.  Since the Victoria Day Weekend (May 23rd), the work volume dropped off a cliff.  I could leave the office for several hours and come back with no phone messages and only one or two emails.  I could waste hours reading Slowtwitch or blogs but all of a sudden, work has been so busy, and not necessilary "good busy".

Tuesday's workout was great.  I started with a 6 km run and moved the run\walk from 5 min run x 1 min walks to 10 x 1s and ran five minutes longer than the previous week.  The only thing was the humidity at 5 am in the morning.  You could cut it with a knife it was so thick.  I finished the run completely dripping wet, jumped in the car and drove off to swimming where the nice cool water was so refreshing (I took a shower before getting in the pool in case you were wondering).  I brought a 2,600 meter workout fully expecting not to finish it because of time or I'd be too tired but to my surprise, we finished the entire workout!  I was pretty happy about it.

Because of some stuff in the family life, I moved my long bike from Saturday morning (today) to Wednesday morning so that meant getting up at 4 am to eat and be out the door before 5 am and still get into work before 9:30 am.  One thing I love about June 21st is that it is the longest day of the year (around here) and it begins to get light before 5 am.  The one thing I hate about June 21st, is its all down hill after that day.  It starts to get light later and later so when I headed out the door at 4:50 am, it was pitch black.  I decided to play it smart and ride along Major Mackenzie road which has street lights instead of just heading north of it where there are no lights and there could be a body lying across the road and I wouldn't see it.  It must be because of the new bike.  I went west on Major Mac for about 20 minutes and then headed north up to Bayview by that time, there was some daylight but still could barely see the road as there were no streetlights.  The ride as uneventful and boring.  I mixed the Perpetuem so that each bottle had about 250 calories.  I ended up drinking two bottles, one gel and 3 salt tablets and felt fine but I think part of the problem is that when I ride this early in the morning, the weather is nice and cool so I'm not sweating as much but during the race at Peterborough a couple of weeks ago, it was hot and I was running into hydration and electrolyte problems.  Oddly enough, with the Perpetuem, I felt full all day and didn't eat very much at lunch or dinner.  Maybe this could be the new diet drink although I don't think I could handle drinking that stuff all day.  I have mixed feelings about the Perpetuem as it does the job for calories but it taste ok but nothing great.  I think I need to keep experimenting what works

I emailed coach the powertap file for the long ride and told him I wanted to increase my ride time up to five hours by extending each ride by 15 minutes.  I feel my bike is probably the weakest and needs the most help. He must have been in a pissy mood as when he called me at work later that day as he laid into me as a dumb idea as it is unnecessarily and increases the possibility of injury.  The key to getting stronger on the bike, is not extending the long ride but increasing the number of rides per week.  He rambled on for half an hour before I had to cut him off and head into a meeting.

I'm still miffed at missing Calgary 70.3 which is tomorrow.  If I could have started running three weeks earlier, I would have raced it.

Monday, July 25, 2011


One of the things I've begun to figure out for a 13 hour Ironman finish, about 40-50% of that time would be spent on the bike.  I remember talking to Scobie about how my two hour bike rides would morph into four hour rides and then six hour rides.  Not a chance I told him.  I'm perfectly fine riding for two hours but as my races have moved from Olympic distance to 70.3 to Ironman next year, I'm a woefully weak rider.  With that in mind, as I head into the last (and my first), triathlon of the year, Muskoka 70.3, I need to build up my bike.  I thought with my new bike, I'd be faster but at Peterborough, my bike time was almost the same as last year Muksoka (minus the flat).  Well, at least I look faster on the new bike.

So on Saturday, with the humidity lower than the last couple of days, I decided to move my ride from a 3.5 to a four hour ride, with the intention of getting up to five hour rides by the end of August.  One of the biggest problem I've had is the nutrition so I took coach's advice and tried some Hammer Perpetuem. I mixed two bottles with two scoops each for 200 calories per bottle.  I also brought some GU Chomps and GU Gels and three salt pills in a salt stick.  The weather was about 22 degrees but the humidity made if feel like 29 degrees Celsius when I left the house at 5:45 am.  It was nice and cool but warmed up with sunrise.  All in all, there is nothing to write about other than:
a)  my nutrition was better but still needs adjusting.  I need about 300 calories per hour.  Today was about 200 calories per hour
b)  three salt pills are not enough for a four hour ride even though it wasn't hot.  I need to figure out how to carry more
c)  it sure is boring riding by yourself for four hours.  I can't wait for those seven hour rides
This morning, the weatherman was actually right and I woke up for thunder and lightening so I rode inside on the trainer for 65 minutes.  It was dreadful and I struggled to finish.  I compared the power tap numbers with an outdoor ride and what a difference.  All the numbers from riding indoors were lower by about 30%.  What a difference

Finally, congrats to all those who raced IMLP yesterday.  Looks like it turned out to a nice day. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So How Hot Was It Today?

Current WeatherThurs. Jul 21, 2011, 19:00 EDT Pearson Airport

A few clouds
A few clouds

I ran at 5:15 am this morning but it was only for 5.5 km.  I was dripping wet after I finished and then I went for a nice cool 2,000 meter swim.

FYI:  46 Celsius = 118 Fahrenheit 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Speed Wobble

Summer has finally arrived as it has been smoking hot on the weekend.  Last week was a recovery week from the Peterborough Half Agua\Bike.  I went to the sports doctor to check out why my left foot had swollen so much after the race that I could barely walk.  Dr Stoddard suggested my foot has widen (as in got fatter?) and the riding shoes I've been using the last three years are too narrow.  Okay.  He suggested I get the shoes widen by a shoe store.  We also chatted about the Peterborough race which he did as well.  I talked to him a lot about nutrition and cramping as he is a sports doctor and the inventor of e-load and a fellow triathlete as well.  Bottom line, for Peterborough, given how hot it was, I just simply went too low on sodium and water.  If the race was another 15-20 km, I would have bonked.  After I talked to coach about widening my riding shoes and he suggested I wear riding socks instead of running socks which are a little thicker.  Once the shoe is widen, there is no going back so I'll try riding socks first but I really really have to figure out this nutrition as on several races I started to cramp up badly.

On Thursday, I did a short 30 minute test run to see how my leg felt and it felt GREAT!!  I couldn't believe what a difference another 1 1/2 weeks made!!  The last time I ran, my leg felt stiff and not flexible as I shuffled along but on Thursday it almost felt normal.  I ran 5 minutes and walked one minute and was pretty happy.  After the run, I jumped in my car and drove to the pool and swam 2000 meters.  My swimming buddy was away so it was a pretty boring swim plus it was a little more challenging after the run.  So the plan is to run twice a week and slowly ramp up the run by increasing the time by five minutes per week.  On that note, I asked coach again about racing Cobourg Olympic distance on Aug 13th for a nice tune up for Muskoka 70.3 but coach said forget it as I probably hammer it on the run.  I didn't respond to his statement, nuff said as  yea I would have hammered the 10 km run.  Nothing to gain by racing Cobourg.

Saturday's ride was only two hours as there was no one around to ride with.  Everyone was away on holidays so I rode by myself.  I did the good old route of going up Kennedy Road north of Aurora Road to the Twin Hills and did four hill repeats on the twin hills before heading home.  A pretty uneventful boring ride.

Today's ride, on the other hand was interesting.  I waffled about riding outside as the forecast called for 60% chance of thunderstorms and something about riding a bike outside during lightening strikes.  I headed out at 5:15 am and took the chance.  I was dehydrated from the previous day of being at a picnic and it was smoking hot.  I drank half a bottle before I got three kilometers so I swung by Angus Glen community center which is always open and refilled one of my bottles.  It was really humid and windy.  Riding north into the 30 km\hr wind was tough and I was glad to have aero bars as it made a huge difference.  I reached the turn around point and headed east (perpendicular to the wind) and was almost blown off the bike by the 45 km\hr gusts of wind.  It was quite scary as three times the front wheel lifted up and moved a couple of inches to the right.  If I was riding with Zipp wheels I would have ended up into the farmer's field.  I headed down south with the wind at my back and hammered it down my favorite hill.  I didn't bother going into the aero position as I hit 65 km\hr.  I made it home in record time.  What a difference the wind makes.  I wonder what coach will say when he looks at the Power Tap file?

Oh yea, after a birthday party on Saturday and a family picnic on Sunday, I managed to gain five pounds in two days.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Repo Games

This is a new show on Spike TV.  If you have nothing to do (like me), this eposide is hilarious

Redneck Rampage
Get More: Redneck Rampage

Training wise-its a recovery week after Peterborough so nothing to write about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tempting Fate - Home Run Derby

And this is just after someone died at a Texas Rangers baseball game trying to catch a baseball.  He already caught three balls and wanted the fourth to complete the cycle

“He tried to catch it, I grabbed his legs and his brother grabbed his arms,” said friend Aaron Nelson, who, along with Kraig Carmickle, held Keith Carmickle from a 6-metre fall. “So when he went over the ledge, we pulled him back. He wasn’t going down, I was holding on.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

Post Peterborough

Today I feel like crap.  I'm constantly thirsty, have a wicked headache and very tired.  I suppose waking up at 4:00 am doesn't help.  I don't remember feeling this bad after Muskoka 70.3 last year.  I wonder if I got too dehdrated on the bike yesterday given how hot it was.  Coach called to discuss the information from the Powertap and he was quite pleased with the results (even if I wasn't).  According to the numbers, I was riding in zone 5 (highest heart rate zone) for about 75% of the race.  This was the type of information he was looking for to build my future workouts.

The good news is the swelling in my left foot is going down and I can walk without limping. Sports doctor appointment on Wednesday

In case you missed it yesterday, one of the many Tour De France crash.  How's that for support?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Peterborough Race Report

Wow, what a race.  Just look at that smoking swim time!!  It doesn't get much better than that.


Cat Ovr Time /100m
90 km
Cat Ovr Time km/h


27 46 67:30 3:2321 27 3:12:34 28.02:44

So we left the house about 5:45 am and Peterborough is only about a 90 minute drive.  The race is supposed to start at 8:24 am so we had loads of time.  We stopped off at a Tim Hortons (famous Canadian donut store) before driving into the park.  I went to registration and then went into transition to get ready.  I checked my watch and saw I had tons of time but had trouble finding space for my bike as all the racks were full so I racked my bike under the Duathlon bikes.  I couldn't find my race kit so I started to panic but saw that I dropped it a couple of yards away.  After I was finished, I thought I forgot my strap for the Power Tap but found it in my bag.  Not off to a good start so far.  I walked down to the beach to where Tammy and the kids were playing.  I checked my watch and still had a good 10 minutes to get ready so I started to put my wet suit on.  I looked over to the water and saw a whole bunch of athletes in the water swimming.  The course is a two loop swim so I watched for a couple of minutes and then I noticed that there were a lot of people with the same color swim cap that I had.  I checked my watch again and had about three minutes to race time but there were people running along the beach and heading back into the water for their second lap.  I started to get a little concerned and ran down to the beach.  I ran into Jen, Scobie's wife and asked if he was already in the water and she said yes.  I thought the Aqua\bike started at 8:24 am while the regular group started at 8:00 am.  Jen told me to check with the announcer on the beach and he cheerfully told me that everybody started at 8:00 am but not to worry as I had plenty of time to make the swim cutoff.  He zipped me up and I ran back up the beach to the park where Tammy was playing and I yelled to her that I was supposed to have already started.  I then ran down to the water and jumped in.  The slower swimmers were starting their second lap and it was a horror show as they kept crashing into me.  It was impossible to draft off anyone and I finished the first loop with a ton of people behind me.  I was wearing my Road ID bracelet but if fell off during the swim so I had to carry it for the last 300 meters.  I ran up the beach and Cathy S yelled at me so I tossed her the bracelet and headed out for my second lap.  This time I was completely by myself.  I tried to hold a steady pace and if I didn't know better, I could have sworn they moved the buoys out further for the next race.  According to my watch I swam somewhere between 41 and 42 minutes and as I ran out, Cathy was there yelling.  I asked her if I was winning and she gave me the thumbs up. 

Running to T1 was brutal as it was at least 300 meters and my shin was aching.  I finally made it to the entrance and did my usual horrible transition time.  I headed out when a race volunteer yelled I had racked my bike in the wrong spot.  I should have been on the left side with the Half Iron instead of the right side with the sprint.  I asked if it made a difference and he said I would get crowed out.  Whatever that means.  

I was so far behind everyone, I was riding by myself.  I took off and tried not to hammer it.  The sprint had gone off at 9:00 am and the first riders caught me around the 7 km mark.  One of the guys that passed me was Derek who swims at Centennial.  He very fast and has a whole bunch of tattoos on his arm.  I recognized the tats and yelled at him as he blew by me.  At the 10 km turnaround point for the sprint, I saw one girl slow and turned around while another lady behind her plow into her.  They both went down hard and when I passed, one was calling for an ambulance.  I kept riding as there was nothing I could do but there was a race official about one kilometer down the road so I slowed down to tell her there was a crash and to call an ambulance.  I rode through a small town and the roads were open to traffic.  There was a tractor pulling a wagon of hay chugging along and five cars behind it when I came flying up.  I passed the cars on the right but there was no room to pass the tractor so I swung to the left and blew by the tractor except I crossed the center line and probably got DQ'd.  Doh

I was bagged and began to slow down but then realized that its an out and back so the turn around point was at the 45 km mark.  This part of the course was all down hill and it was great but it would be trouble coming back in.  I saw Lisa around the 40 km mark and if I wanted to catch her before the end of the bike, I would have to boogie.  As soon as I hit the turn around point, I ran into some strong headwind and I had to ride mostly uphill.  This wasn't going to be fun.

I was able to pass more riders on the hills as I worked my gears and was in the easiest gear quite a bit.  The goal was to keep the cadence about 80 rpm on the hills.  The heat, hills and wind began to take its toll as I started to crap up in my legs, my boys were killing me and my back was sore.  I had trouble holding the aero position for long periods of time.  Traffic wasn't too bad but one one climb, a pick up truck with wide mirrors wouldn't pass some riders going up a hill.  There were 6 cars behind him when I came up.  I was passing the cars until I came up behind the pick up truck.  There was no room for me to pass him so I yelled at the driver to pass the bikers through his open window.  He gunned the engine and blew by the bikers and the other cars followed.

As I got closer to town, the cramping was bad and I ran out of salt pills.  I was also in danger of running out of water.  I came up to the bottle exchange and was unsuccessful in grabbing a bottle on the way out as it just bounced out of my hands but this time the guy handing the bottle out was good and he moved forward to make it easier for me to grab the bottle.  I emptied the water bottle as well as my other two water bottles and the two bottles of Amino Vital and was still thirsty.  If the race was any longer, I would have had serious problems.

As I got closer to the park, there already were runners on the course.  At one point, I could not even see any other bikers behind or in front of me.  I slowed down and asked a volunteer if I was even going the right way.  She said yes and just follow the road in to the park.  I saw some riders ahead of me and burned it in.  I was totally bagged and thankful I didn't have to run a half marathon.  Lisa came in just ahead of me so I made pretty good time on the bike.  However, when I saw my time on the bike, I was pretty disappointed.  I thought I would be faster on the new bike but that was basically my Muskoka 70.3 time for the bike (minus the flat).

Much work to be done.  Also Calgary 70.3 is out.  The side and bottom of my left foot is all swollen and I could barely walk after I came in from the bike.  Wonderful.  More injuries.

So lessons to be learned from this race?
1.  double check the start times
2.  work on the nutrition -  need to figure out how to take more calories on the bike and salt pills
3.  work on the water situation.  I had two bottles of water and two bottles of Amino Vital and it wasn't enough
4.  start taking the B and C races a little more seriously. Drinking beers Friday and Saturday night before the race probably didn't help
5.  Don't leave the suntan lotion in the car.  It doesn't help when you're in the sun for four hours

Oh and in case no one knew the song of my last post

Friday, July 8, 2011

And I Ran, I Ran So Far Away

Anyone recognize who sang that song and what year?

I went to the sports doctor yesterday and got the medical clearance to start some LIGHT running.  I was kind of surprised because I didn't think my shin felt any different than last week.  The other day, I was meeting a client downtown so I took the subway.  He told me what stop to get off but for whatever reason I took the wrong subway line and got off the wrong station but right street.  I started walking looking for the address when I realized I was one kilometer away but it was such a nice day and the sights were ummm "interesting" (I don't go downtown much) so I decided to walk the distance, in my suit and dress shoes.  That wasn't such a great idea because I was hot and my shin was a little sore afterwards.  But the doctor said I could start running.

The plan is to run for 30 minutes but break the run into blocks of five minutes.  I would run for three and walk for two minutes.  That sounds exactly like my Ironman pace for next year.  So after dinner, I went for my first run in about two months and it felt weird.  My leg felt stiff and running in my new shoes, felt well, different.  I think part of the problem that contributed to my stress fracture was that my running gait had changed and my shoes were no longer appropriate.  The new shoes were totally different and it felt like I was scuffling my right foot on every step.  In terms of timing and pacing, the run was horrible as at one point, I was running at 8 minutes per KILOMETER.  At that pace, I don't think I can call it running, more like shuffling.

Calgary 70.3 is seeming like a distance pipe dream.  If my shin holds up, I think I need to do this "shuffling" three times a week and my long runs on an elliptical trainer otherwise on July 31st I'll be in Calgary but not at the race.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Riding Backwards

This guy probably rides faster than me

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canada Day Weekend

This weekend we were invited to a friend's cottage northeast of Peterborough.  With Canada Day being on a Friday, I wanted to leave early Friday morning to avoid the traffic heading out of the city as well I wanted to ride part of the way.  The cottage is over 200 km away and that's too far to ride so the plan was for Tammy to let me off about 100 km away and I would ride the rest of the way.  I wanted to be on the highway by 8:00 am but as usual, it took us forever to get out the door and then after driving for 10 minutes, I forgot my water bottles in the fridge so I had to turn around.  So we didn't get going until close to 10:00 am by which time the highway heading east of the city was just brutal.  Within 15 minutes of getting on the highway, we were crawling along at 40 km\hr as traffic was bad.  I was so annoyed by the late start I drove right by the place where I wanted to be dropped off. I was just on the outside of Peterborough before I realized I drove too far.  In hind sight, it turned out to be a good thing. 

Here's the route I took.  Ride to Kassahabog Lake (the link might not work so you have to refresh your browser).  If you look on the left hand side of the page, there are a bunch of options including to turn on elevation for the route.  Starting along Division Road which runs parallel to Highway 7, there were a lot of rolling hills but not as bad as Muskoka.  The weather was pretty warm but traffic was very light or non existence on this secondary road but at one point it turned into a packed hard crushed gravel road.  I didn't really like riding my new bike on that road but after checking my map, I didn't have much of a choice but it only lasted a couple of kilometers.  I eventually headed south (even though the cottage is north) simply to avoid riding on Highway 7 as its a two lane highway with minimal shoulder and very heavily travelled.  I rode through a couple of small towns before heading east and then finally north.  I reached Havelock which is famous for their country music Havelock Jamboree.  This small town of five thousand will get over 100,000 people in August.

The town was pretty busy for Canada Day but I didn't hang around. I started heading north on Route 46 to Kassahabog lake and while the road didn't have any shoulder, it wasn't too busy.  I just hoped I didn't get smoked by some drunkin' cottager.  The road had lots of false flats and I was constantly gearing down.  On the outside skirts of Havelock, I realized I wasn't going to make it with the amount of water I had left.  I probably had less than one bottle of Amino Vital and a little bit of water so I stopped off at a locals house and begged for a two bottle refill.  The lady was kind enough to add some ice cubes but in this heat, they didn't last long.  The turn off to my friend's cottage was Fire Route 75 and by Fire Route 65, I was barely hanging on.  There was a tough double hill climb around the 65 km mark and I stopped at the top of the hill where I promptly got bit by massive horse flies.  Talk about an incentive to keep riding!  I counted down the Fire Routes until I hit Fire Route 75.  Thank god!!!!  I was cramping pretty bad in both calves as the sun and heat were taking its toll pretty quickly.  The Fire Route is nothing more than a gravel road carved out of the woods and my friend suggested I call him for a pick up but the horse flies had other ideas so I rode my bike down the final 2.5 km.  Bad idea.  The flies were even worse as the road cut through the forest and there was no wind and I didn't want to go fast because I thought I would either get hit by a car flying around the blind corners or run over a rock and crash in the gravel.  Somewhere along the way, I lost my rear light as it must have jarred loose.  I almost wiped out when a car passed me and I pulled over to the side where the gravel was deeper.  I felt my rear tire sliding out and I knew if I went down, the gravel would cause a lot of damage to me and my new bike but I was able to peddle my way out of danger.  Whew.  I finally made it to the cottage!  It was only 75 km but I was wiped out.  The hills and sun took its toll and its a good thing I missed the earlier starting point and eliminated the extra 30 kilometers!  I don't think I would have made it.  All throughout the day I was constantly thirsty and drank a ton of water.  I only had about six beers for all of Saturday.  I woke up at least three times to pee during the night and on Sunday morning I was so thirsty. 

I also brought up my wet suit to do an open water swim and so on Sunday, with my friend in the canoe beside me, I swam down the lake.  This is my first OW swim and I remembered last year's first swim was at Guelph Olympic and I died.  Its a completely different feel and effort between swimming in a pool and OW with a wetsuit.  Within 10 minutes I was exhausted and had to rest a couple of minutes.  I started out way too fast and paid for it.  I kept having to stop and rest for a couple of minutes while my friend looked on with amusement.  He's a non athlete and just shakes his head at some of the things I do.  So all in all, the OW swim was a disaster as it took me about 43 minutes to swim 2.1 km with a least 5-6 stops where I treaded water or did breast stroke. 

Needless to say, this Sunday's Peterborough Aqua/Bike Half Iron might be more like a disaster as this weekend's workout showed that I wasn't a fit as I thought I was.