Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strangers and Macca

It's not like me to wing-it but I wanted to seize an oppotunity. I met Steve at the finish line of Welland Half-Iron last Sunday. He is also doing IMLP for the first time too and after chatting for 20 minutes he invited me to join him and a couple others to pre-ride the IMLP course THIS weekend. haha. Sure why not, I hardly know him, haven't met the others and have little to no plan other than to drive to IMLP and wing it. I know for sure we're doing the 2 laps of the bike course, 1 loops of the run couse and a good 2000m swim. Other than that, no idea. lol! I love the tri-world! You meet some really good people (I hope haha!). I usually plan stuff like this down to every last detail with backup plans, alternates and schedules. So for me to just ummmm 'go with some guy to the States and camp and stuff' reminds me of our mountain bike race teams from years ago. We would just cram 10 guys into a single hotel room and 2 cars and overloaded bike racks just to get to the races. Nowadays nobody does that anymore at my age, everyone wants a 5 star hotel and a shower. Wussies. Where's your sense of adventure!? lol.
If you don't hear back from me by Monday, just keep an eye out for my body on the side of the course on July 24. lol

Got a book to read for the drive up too - "I'm Here To Win!", Macca's book. I only ready a few pages and am already loving it!

Oh I may have underestimated the damage to my body after that Half-Iron. I joined our running group for a recovery jog last night and it was a rude awekening. My hip has some nasty pain that made me hold back. I ran through it and by the 4km mark it felt like it loosened up or beat down the inflamation a bit and was able to at least muster up a 6:00min/km pace. I was hurting. By the end it was warmed up enough that I could now walk on it and not feel as much pain as earlier in the day so maybe I did what was necessary to loosen it up or something. I really dont get it.
When I got home I jumped into our cold pool. It was really cold, but I forced myself to stay in it and work my hip. I sure hope this clears up by the weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Torpedo Lessons

I didn't bother going over the lessons learned from Sunday's race. My race report was long enough as it is! So I'll dab on it a bit here. Things I have learned that I have to consider for Ironman Lake Placid:

Lets get the flaming obvious out of the way - I need to carry backup CO2 and tubes. I admit, I made the concious decision to skimp on CO2. I mean, what are the odds of me getting a flat in the next 90kms when I've gone 1000's of km just fine right? That sounds really dumb right about now, but it made sense a couple days ago before a race. lol! I went 'ultralight' because my objective was competitive, not just finish. For IMLP I am going there to finish, not be competitive. So in that case, I am carrying loads of CO2 and many tubes and patches.

Which brings us to the other lesson of the day - Pay Attention! Those flats were totally my fault, I allowed me concentration to slip since I was hammering hard and looking down for a moment on a supposedly flat road when I got caught by a small pothole. Mark Allen is right - TOTALLY my fault. On the bright side, I won't be hammering that hard at IMLP so I am certain I'll be able to stay more alert. Heads-down hammering has it's obvious risks!

There were several other lessons of the day that don't seem so obvious because things worked out OK this time. For instance, I need to check my Ego at the door. Lets face it, at least half the field at IMLP are above my athletic ability so I have to keep my competitiveness to a minimum and race my OWN race, not someone elses. While one of my goals is to redeem myself after defeat at Muskoka by beating Rodney in IMLP, I simply have to do it on my own terms and ignore anything he does. Pushing hard paid off in Welland, but this kind of insanity doesn't have a place for someone just trying to finish their first Ironman. I took risks in Welland because I already have a 70.3 finisher's shirt.

That doesn't help my lesson that I completely ignore every time - I can't just 'train' a race. Only a month out from IMLP I came to Welland to have fun and get a long training day in. Instead, I hammered my brains out. My motor only has one setting - KILL Mode. I am lucky I haven't majorly injured myself, I guess I have months of training to thank for that!

Injury wise I am in good shape. I have a sharp pain on the bottom of my right heel. My left hips is very very tender, it hurts to walk. I'm guessing inflamation so I'm hoping both those issues clear up in a week. I have abbrasions from wetsuit neck burn - OMG that is painful. Nothing like Doru's though from his IMLP training camp last year - I'm pretty sure those were his photos that burned a horrible image into my mind. I'll spare everyone the details.
Oh and I have a nasty slice on my ankle from the timing chip strap! I didn't notice it last night until I jumped in the pool. Ow!

I took Monday off to heal. Jumping into a cold water pool is the greatest recovery trick ever! Getting my weight of my muscles and joints feels great, and in the water I can really work my range of motion. I felt an immediate improvement. The water is pretty cold so I use my 'training buddies' to help motivate me into the water. I throw toy torpedos into the pool so it forces me to get in and pickup them up. No quick little jump-in and jump-out, the toys force me to stay in. Also it gets me down into the deep end of the pool where the water is colder at the bottom. It works for me anyways. :) All I need is my rubber ducky and I'm set haha!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Race Report - Half Iron Welland 2011


Since we've been 'behind schedule' getting to the last two races, I decided this time we're going to leave extra extra early! With the truck pre-packed the night before it made for a quick easy morning. The main highway to the race was closed for construction so we took some scenice backroads which had no traffic thus we got to the race waaaaay too early! Well I guess that is not a bad thing but when you get there before the transition and tents are setup then maybe that is a bit much haha! Oh well, we took the time to scope out the course a bit. Nothing felt rushed. The drive in had a few spurts of rain but here it was looking nice and sunny. I kept to my standard warm-up and setup routine and with so much extra time I broke one of my rules and decided to go socialize with the other racers. Usually I keep to myself and stay mentally focused on the race ahead but I just felt so comfortable here, no pressure. I've already done my Half-Iron last year and I was an emotional mess getting to the start line of that one. Scared to death lol. Now I am at the start of my second Half-Iron and I'm cool as a kitten. I dont feel pressured to finish, I am just here to have a good time! I guess the difference is, this time I actually trained so I am confident I'll do just fine. :)
Our club had a few first timers out today, so I did my part to help get them situated. I know how they are feeling, it's still all too fresh in my memory - so I told them exactly what they needed to hear.
I was surprised at how many other athletes I knew there. They were coming out of the woodwork, alot from online and blogosphere but overall just people I've met over time during training. There is definitely a special bond amongst triathletes, you get to meet so many great people!

Before I knew it I was one of the first down to the water. With only 20 minutes to go there was nobody swimming yet! I more or less led the charge for the water to get a quick warm-up in. Once in I realized why everyone waited to enter the water - IT'S FREEZING! That's the coldest water I've been in all year. So it was a very quick warm-up as I didn't want to spend any more time in that water than I had to. I froze to death at Muskoka 70.3 in similar water and my calves cramped before the end so I was a bit worried about today. My mind was put at ease over the water clarity though, I could see everything around me! As we jostled for position on the start line, in-water start, I ran into Training Payne! He has been fighting some anxiety in the water and after getting my dose of inspiration from him, he went on his way to get 'in the zone' before beginning the swim. As he swam away though I figured he might be putting deliberate distance between ourselves since TriTwins promised me big rewards if I 'accidently' laid a few flying elbows in Training Payne's direction. He must know us. lol

Meeting Peter finally

First in the water - SHRINKAGE!

Mass start - surprisingly roomy

Countdown - 10 Seconds, 9, 8 1/2 *BANG*  haha - that was not 10 seconds, the announcer was waaay off or the guy with the horn had an itchy trigger finger! Either way it was a perfect mass in-water swim start. I could see the bubbles galore underwater and this helped me keep myself from getting kicked in the head. My anxiety was not present, I got into the grove immediately. Around the 400m mark my swim mask started filling with water. I deliberately swam the next 400m with it half-full. I figured this would be a good opportunity to get some experience with a messed up mask - just incase it happens at IMLP.

Well spaced on back stretch

It was tough to see, but eventually it was bothering my eye so on the next turn I rolled onto my back to clear it. I didn't get get run over! The buoys didn't line up quite in a straight line so I followed the most direct route while the pack of swimmers went wide and follwed the sighting buoys. This means I was mostly alone for a long stretch. I wondered if it would be faster staying in the draft, but considering I was comfortably doing my own thing off to the side with no risk of flying elbows I think it might have been for the better. We swam under a bridge, that was interesting as you had to not run into the support structure. I got back into the pack for the last 400m. Again, felt great because I could see everything under water.

Exiting the water I felt like a million bucks, the long jog down the path to T1 didn't kill me like it usually does. I was in control of my HR and barely felt any exhaustion at all. The adrenaline was pumping from such a great swim, I didn't even know my time - I didn't have to. I was happy as is. Although the last 50ft to the timing mats was on gravel. OW bare feet suck! 34 minutes and change 2000m.

Great for spectators

Rare photo op - race course under spectator bridge!


I cheered when I got my wetsuit off. It came off perfectly, it has never been so fast! Usually it gets caught on my ankles because I can't get enough material in a single pull with such long legs. Anyways, I took extra time because I stuffed my back pocket with pre-opened powerbars and cliff blocks. I couldn't bring myself to use a 'Bento Box' because I think they are hideously ugly and dare not be seen with that on my beautiful bike. I'll shop around to find something more appropriate. I cant stand those things so being a 70.3 I just used my back pocket of the tri suit to carry food.


Immediately I felt great. Flew out of town and relentlessly passed rider after rider like they were standing still. One of the corners had a police office and a misplaced traffic cone that had me go too wide on the the turn and I crossed the center of the road. I was worried I would get disqualified. I just kept hammering though, I felt great! Just before the 30km mark on a straight smooth road I came up on an unexpected small pothole and BAM! Lifted the front wheel over but caught the back one - flat tire. My bottle launched out too and by the time I pulled over I had a long ways back to go retrieve it. No matter, I stayed calm and didn't mind since I'm pretty quick a changing flats. "Because an Alaskan Winter is not a weakness. It is my Strength." As I went to inflate it with CO2 it blew again. That was my only CO2 and only spare tube. Uh Oh. No matter I stayed the course and pulled the patch kit out. A snake bite should be easy to spot so I patched it quick and then went to start begging for someone to toss me a CO2 or pump. It felt like an eternity, none of the lead riders want to help me out so I figure eventually one of my club mates will get here and they'll give me a hand. Nope, they didn't stop either. haha!
I can understand the guys on their first 70.3 and I dont expect them to stop but the ones that have finished before, come on - really?

***POST-PUBLISH EDIT DISCLAIMER: Note the 'haha' as that is meant to make light of the situation! :)  Also note that 'club mates' refers to any one of my buddies or clubs that I train with and that know me! Some people *cough* Jesse *cough* felt like I was centering them out negatively. No dude, we love ya and I don't want anyone thinking I was referring negatively to him. To be honest, I thought you were still behind me at that point in the race lol.  And to be honest, I would be surprised if any of my buddies would stop, as many would love to see me finish dead last hahaha! ***

Whatever, eventually a support motobike showed up and a competitor stopped at the same time. The competitor was pullling out of the race so he didn't need his CO2 - he tossed me one. The motobike on the other hand warned me that if he assists me then I can get disqualified if a race official see's him. I was confused since this was the motorbike from the official race support group with a tent and tool station at the transition area. He made it clear they will take my timing chip if he helps. At this point I cant finish the race anyways, and its a loooooooong walk back to town so whatever, I took his assistance so I can at least get rolling again. Just as we were finishing up, a Race Official going the opposite direction on a motorbike did a U-turn to come back for us.
Not a peace sign. The number 2 for the flats I had.
Ohh great there goes my timing chip. Or so I thought. As he arrived the support bike driver made it clear to the official that he warned me and that he wasn't 'duping' people out of their race chip by 'illegally' helping. He did give me a long winded disclaimer in his defence. To my surpise the race official said to the driver 'that is ok, because we want you to continue doing what your are doing. thank you for your help'.  Wow - that was close. I got to keep my chip and the motobike got to officially support the race.  I learned later that there was confusion since the race announcer incinuated that the technical support was allowed from this bike shop specifically. Instead of robing people of their timing chip over a misunderstanding they just let people continue. Excellent!
In honor of the motorbike guy and the competitor that helped me out - I made the best of the next 60km. I hammered the $hit out of my bike. I went deeep into the hurt locker, so deep I figured I wouldn't be able to run by the end but damnit - I'm going to catch as many people as I possibly can before this bike is over. I was having the ride of my life, even with a bitch of a headwind I just tucked down let the snot and drool fly and thrashed my legs as hard as I could. When my legs cry'd in agony I just pushed harder. What a blast!!
I blew by a couple familiar faces which allowed me to gauge just how far back I was. Wow, I was far back. I know it was at least 20 minutes on the side of the road, but I am confident I could say it is closer to 30 minutes. I dont know for sure because my peice of crap Garmin GPS didn't charge. Even though it was charging for 2 days, it had 'locked up' when I plugged it in, yet again. The charging circuit doesnt work if the unit's software screws up. Luckily I remembered the keystrokes to reset it at the beginning of the race but there wasn't enough juice for it to record the first hour. Garmins suck.
Anyhow I had my fun on the bike and held nothing back.

T2 entrance via Destroyed yet satisfied legs
A wobbly entrance, those legs are well-cooked. I had to take some extra time to empty the back pocket of tubes, spent CO2 and powerbar wrappers. I seen the wife and family on the sidelines who looked confused as to why I took so long and I think I answered with some rather loud profanities lol. No matter, I wasn't upset, I just laughed it off and focused on the run ahead.

Initially I pushed hard with the intention of backing off and just enjoying it as a training run. On the first turn around I seen one of my running mentors that helped get me to the next level of speed work. He inspired me to push myself and now he was within 1Km in front of me! I ran hard and reeled him in. When I caught him he was clearly pacing himself for the long term. It's his first Half-Iron and was exectuting a smart gameplan to ensure he makes it to the finish. Good for him! I on the other hand decided to go a little quicker than my comfort zone and slowly pulled away on him. I figured he would catch me eventually. Tortoise-hare kind of thing. I then seen Training Payne going the other way, I guessed 30 minutes ahead of me. No way I could catch that - he was looking great! I conceded defeat, beating him was a hill-mary of a goal to set to begin with so no surprise anyways. Even without the flats, it was a lofty venture that I'm certain he would have still come out on top. No disappointment here though, I tend to set really lofty goals to push myself. I welcome the challenge. 

 ***POST-PUBLISH EDIT DISCLAIMER:  The next part is completely my perspective on my OWN race on how it played out. In fairness to Jesse he claims he never said the quote below, so I dont want anyone thinking that he's an "Asshole" (his words). He did have words of encouragement, I noted that below, and the context of his words are completely my perspective (I also noted that below already) but he feels like I'm being a jerk to him so there you have it. Oh and he would also like me to note that he thinks that he didn't say the quote below and that "I only heard what I wanted to hear" lol well if it makes him feel better, I'm OK with that too because either way IT WORKED! Obviously I'm motivated by my competitiveness, everyone knows this lol! We love ya Jesse, dont fret it bud***

Anyways my run went on and it was hot. I was happy to see ice sponges at one of the feed zones - that felt great! My first ice sponge ever! Sweeet! I held a pace that was unsustainable for the entire 21Km's but no matter I didn't feel like holding back just quite yet. Then I seen Jesse going the other way. That was another goal for today and here he is way out in front and I'm miles behind. As he passes the other way though he gave me some words of encouragement and then he said something that made my blood boil

"I'll wait for you at the finish line"

Ummmmm OK. He hasn't been part of the TrashTalk that has been going around with Rodney, Training Payne and all so he is completely innocent for saying that. However, thats one of the lines repeatedly used to rib each other on twitter when it comes to IMLP.
So when he said it, I got pissy. Wait for me at the finish line? You assume you're going to beat me? I've already been counted out and the phat lady hasn't sung yet? I'll be damned to lose to a cocky young guy like this, How rude! I know I know, he didn't mean it rudely but damn I had a chip on my shoulder that someone would dare underestimate the things I could do.
"Because I have to believe, even if they don't"
That lit a fire under my ass. I picked it up a notch and ran harder. At this point I didn't know how far he was in front of me, only that I just needed to get to the turn around and then I can decide whether I stood a chance to catch him.

The turn around was far away, and I was pushing hard. I guesstimated he had an almost 3.5km lead on me. I did the math - ok no I didnt. I tried really hard to calculate out how fast I need to run to catch him but between my lungs and my heart I couldn't hear myself think. Besides I didn't know how fast his pace was so it's really kind of futile to do the math. In the end I kept it simple. I promised myself to push as hard as I can to the other end of the island at the next turn around and see if I pulled any closer to him. I kept a steady fast pace and dug deep. The next time I saw him there was a noticable dent in the gap. Close enough that I may be able to pull this off but it's going to come down to a sprint finish. My family and friends were at the turnaround but I was too far into the hurt locker to muster up a wave or hello, all I could do was look down and concentrate on maintaining my run. Their presence was felt though, my Father got up early and drove all the way here to watch, my Son came out to volunteer for the race and my awesome wife was there making lots of noise like usual. My running coach and friends present -  I was on a mission.

"Because of my Father, Because of my Son"
If I could catch Jesse then at least this day wasn't a complete write-off with my flat tires. I like a competition to push myself. Maybe he wasn't out to beat me,  I don't know, but who cares - this is my competition and lofty goal that I set for myself and I'm using it to push me harder. I have to at least try.
"Because when I do, there is always the chance to be extraordinary"
The final lap of the island would bring us to one final turn around where I could see him and gauge the distance. As the turn around got closer, I began to succomb to the heat. I was way out of my comfort zone and I did not expect to last this pace to the finish line. My feet were ON FIRE! Seriously my feet were burning up in the shoes, it was killing me. I have nice shoes, running socks but they did not feel cool or dry. It was extremely irratating. As I got closer to the turn around I did not see Jesse where I expected. As a matter of fact I was within 200ft of the turn around before I seen him going the other way. Wow! I put a huge dent into his lead - I am going to do it! I'm going to catch him! I tried not to look down the road to see how far ahead he was as I was dreading what I was going to do when  I got there. When I finally got to the back of his heels I slowed my pace and matched his. I was surprised to see he was at a 5:30min/km.  He's a fast runner, short distance 5-10km and sprints with wins so I started to psych myself out a bit. Is he going this slow to conserve energy and bolt away on me? Is he planning to sprint the final stretch? If he attacks now, I have nothing in the tank to keep with him. I gave it all I had to bridge the gap and catch him but I dont have enough to pass him convincingly. I hung back there for about 5 minutes and tried to regain my composure. HR was skyrocketing and legs screaming. Out of nowhere he dropped down to a 5:45min/km and I matched but now it became painful. I can't go from a 4:45 to a 5:45 like that, my stride didn't feel right and weird pains were setting in. I had to get a more steady pace. I figured he was trying to force me to pass, it's always easier to pace with someone in front of you. I thought strategy and figured if I rode him to within sight of the finish line, his sprinting experience will do me in. As much as it pained me to to admit it, the only way I can pull this off is if I attacked early and played the long game. I mustered up a bit of muscle and made the pass. I didn't pass convincingly enough, he knew I was there and he knew I was just getting ramped up so it's not like he couldn't respond if he wanted to. I went back to 4:50-5:00min/km pace and just held it for as long as I could. With only 5km to go I was ALL IN. I reached the second to last feed zone and glanced back but I couldn't tell if he was there or not. I didn't drink anymore after this - I just splashed cup after cup of water on me to cool the motor.

Hurt Locker. I am there.

Then it happened - at the 2km to go mark I blew up. My form fell apart, I couldn't get anything resembling a decent technique, my engine overheated and I dropped down to a 5:50-6:00min/km. Damn, thats it - that is all I have. The last 2km was longer, harder and more painful the the previous 100+km combined. The finish line was so close yet so far away. After the final feed zone I glanced back and people were there and closing in on me. Great, this is it - he's going to pass me. As the person behind me made the pass I realized it wasn't him. Every bout of heavy breathing and footsteps that approached from behind made me anxious. Was the next person him? He's coming for me. Oh no, as soon as he see's me he's going to sprint by me to the finish. Damn, after all that I am going to fail. I didn't give up, I continued to give it all I had but there wasn't much left. There was no sprint to the finish. I didn't walk, I kept  hobbling along at a pace that was between cardiac arrest and fainting.

Giving Everything. Means Everything.
"Because I had to try. Again."
I couldn't see or hear the spectators, only the screaming of my legs, the pounding of my heart and the dark spotty figures from lightheadedness trying not to bonk and collapse.

He never did pass me. :)
I crossed the line, grabbed the poor kid not paying attention so he could rip my timing chip off and I B-lined it for the river (canal). I didn't forget about my Finishers medal and Hat, I simply DID NOT CARE.
"Because knowing I gave everything, means Everything." 
All I could think about was if I dont get to that river in the next 30 seconds then I'll be going to medical for heat stroke. I collapsed in the water, I barely remember the volunteers catching up to me to give me my medal, hat and a bottle of water. I submerged myself and it almost felt good. As freezing cold as the water was during the morning swim, it just wasn't cold enough. I layed there on the side of the bank for a good 30 minutes. It took awhile to regain my composure.

Eye'ing medical tent. Opted for river instead.

Salamandors - Biting my toes!!

Post Race River Roll to the shore. I couldn't get up.

Yes. I just crushed this race.

We stayed until the very end. Everyone finished. Everyone won. A great day for our team! I love sticking around meeting people and exchange war stories, it's the best time to make great friends! After I got out of the river I went for the food tent and ate like a king. I consumed everything in sight. One of the highlights of the day was watching our first timers cross the finish line. That is so incredibly special. It really moves me to watch people do these events for the first time. To see the look on their faces when they realize they have done it. That they can do it. That they just vindicated months of hard work. That they believe in themselves. I love that moment. I wish everyone could experience it.
Several of my friends podiumed. And some won door prizes. As soon as the door prizes completed everyone left, but sadly the announcer asked everyone to stay an extra 10 minutes to cheer on the final finisher. Yet very few stuck around. I know it's a long day, heck we showed up before transition was even fully setup.
My Father
Yet we made the time to go cheer on the very last finisher of the day. What a rewarding experience. It might not mean much to those people that left, but in this moment a probable first time finisher has given it their all for almost 8hrs straight and I wanted to be there to see their dream come true. An older lady and an overweight guy finished together to end the day. I had a tough race, but they had an even tougher one. I love cheering people on. If only others would give the extra 10 minutes to make a difference in someone's life. A moment that they will remember forever. A crowd cheering for them at their Half-Iron finish. Forget 10 minutes, I'd give alot more if it meant being part of someone's memory of a lifetime.

Training Payne. The better man today. Inspiration.

My Son

My Son Volunteering

My Awesome Cheer Squad - And Loving Wife!

Half Iron - 5:20hrs. (Includes double flat)

What goes through my mind on a hard run?
See video below...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Outdoor Pool

Seriously, this is one awesome ride and I get to share it with the awesomest woman in the world! In the beginning I had to drag her kicking and screaming all the way to the pool. I had to nag her time and time again to get out and ride. It was tedius, and eventually I stopped nagging. She'll just have to find out the hard way on race day :) 

Alot of that was due to the time of year. Training through those cold dark months can take its toll on you. I know because I had my own laziness to fight so I didn't have any spare energy to chase her around too. So here we are in the warmer brighter months and training is a breeze. Mrs. LoTC hits these workouts without hesitation and the best part is we get to do them together! Her motivation may also be accredited to race day quickly approaching - nothing like scaring you into a workout! lol Its great being in love with your training partner, I love that we can spend this time together!

The Pool
We hit our pool last night. OK its an outdoor pool with clear water and alot of fish but they're 'small' fish and you can watch them from afar.  Anyhow its exactly 1000m loop around and you they cater to triathletes. I even put in a jog around the park which is exactly 1 Mile around. I can't say I'm a big fan of doing laps, but its rare I do them so it didn't phase me. I think next time I will run down the country road instead, much more scenic. The neat part is that the lake gets deep fast, so you can literally swim against the shore within a couple of feet. If you get in trouble, just 'grab the side' or stand up. Its a strange man-made lake. As I run along the edge, I am only a few feet from swimmers, its neat.


Swim - :40hrs
Run - 0:40hrs

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chocolate Comeback


This is the Ironman. What limits?

If you haven't seen Scott Goodfellow's story, then watch the video below.

I've mention his video before, a great motivational piece.
Anyhow, to my amazement, it sounds like he will be joing in us at IMMT along with cdnhollywood !!!
How awesome is that? His story after Ironman is like many, and I'll let him fill you in. Lets just say this guy is on a Comeback and I hope to meet him in person one day!

So on the training front I put in a weak bike ride in last night. It was speedy enough with the killer winds and hills but I felt tired in the legs. Being the longest day of the year I put in a bit extra to take advantage of the daylight. Unfortunately my enemies are back again, and they have erase any extra I did last night. I've gone throught three boxes already today. I need to find a way to ignore them and walk by the remaining ones in the lunch room. I think I'll empty my pockets of all money to ensure I have no way to pay for more boxes. Sad.

I'm sure I closed the sunroof before bed last night. I thought about it and convinced myself I was good to sleep. I slept good knowing that there was nothing to worry about. However in the morning I found that it was actually open haha! oops. It rained all night, but luckily our driveway is angled so the water didn't pour in! Our court is so dark that you can't just peak out the window to check it.


Bike - 2:20hrs

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stolen Races

iPhone camera distorted her face lol
You know that feeling as if someone just punched you in your stomach, then ripped out your heart and stomped on it and put it back in your chest cavity? The one that makes you endlessly sick to your stomach and you have trouble breathing?

Well if you don't know that feeling, it is because you've never had a bike stolen from you.

5 days before her first ever Half-Iron and poor Catherine had her bike stolen from her garage. Heart breaking. Nonetheless we caught a glimpse of her out on an oldschool mountain bike that same evening. Nothing is stopping this chick from finishing her Half-Iron! lol She's determined! No worries, the tri-community takes care of their own and she has received endless offers to borrow a bike. We'll make sure she is ready for Sunday!

Speaking of Sundays Welland Half-Iron..... I'm thinking of doing it. Actually I've been wanting to do this race all year long but its a bit close to Ironman Lake Placid exactly one month away. Given my current condition I'm thinking I am good to go though. I could definitely use the swim experience, the bike is only 90km on a perfectly flat course and then the run I will make sure I go slow and steady and pull out if I feel any pains at all. Its only the run that beats me up really, and I will slow it down an concentrate on technique. 20km is less than my scheduled long run so provided I dont go race pace, I should be fine.
Thats how I justify it anyways. haha! I'll register tomorrow evening if I don't change my mind before then.

Although I just had a great idea passed to me by Peter over from Yadda Yadda Yadda. He says ride to Welland (90km), then sandbag the Try-a-Tri to take first place, then ride home! I love it! haha! Bragging rights AND a great workout! :)

So it has been two weekends of racing in a row. I decided to take an easy night last night and go for a 2000m open water swim followed by a real short run since the park closes early. My back pain has returned, and I figured out why. During my Olympic swim I stressed my back to look 'up and out' to see where I was going in the washing machine. When instead I should have rolled to my side, tucked my chin and looked a bit back. That endless straining of my bake to sight the guys in front of me has taken its toll on my lower back. I need this fixed asap! I sorted through my technique problem during last night's swim, I am happy to have learned from the mistake!


Swim -  0:40hrs
Run -  0:30hrs

Monday, June 20, 2011

Race Report - Guelph Olympic Triathlon 2011

Red Green Carpet entrance

Well we got out of bed even earlier this time. After last week's ass dragging I wanted to make sure we got there in time to get a proper warm-up in! Once again, we were behind schedule but by only 15 minutes. Still, makes for a tense morning as I snap at everyone to move faster and be more efficient! In the end we made it to the race course at a reasonable time.
Things were smooth at race kit pickup with the exception of the body marking which was not very obvious and I would find later that at least half the people that passed me on the run had no markings at all. I expect better from Trisport.

I had the proper amount of time to get a 2km warmup run in. I got lost in transition, I coudn't find my bike. It was BY THAT TREE, except there were a few trees that looked the same and when I found it I wasn't actually near the tree. Ooops. No panic though, just stupidity. I had duct taped my heels before heading out on the run but this time the tape was not holding. I just had to remove it in the end, my blisters are mostly healed now anyways. I've never had duct tape not stick before so I'm not sure what was on my skin to cause that.

My Bodyguards. They had to keep all my fans at bay...

The rack was packed, lots of people in my age group and very little real estate. I asserted my position on the rack and gave a hairy eyeball to the guy that made motion as if he was going to move my bike to make room for himself. If you value your life, you Do. Not. Touch. My. Bike.. So once he realized that fondling my woman bike may be hazardous for his health, he moved down the rack into a perfectly open spot that he should have gone to in the first place. I suspect people wanted to be near the tree for easy finding.
Soooo anyways, shortly before this I had the most horrible experience. Like, one of the worst expereinces of my life. Seriously, I'm a changed man. *shudder*.
I had an urge. Like one of those all of a sudden Warning: Contents Under Pressure, explosive moments. Since we arrived early at the race, I didn't have to wait in line for the porta-potty, YES! There are advantages to arriving early! However, it was bad. Like OMFG I am so glad this happened now and not an hour from now on the race course. I just kept breathing and it just kept coming. Yes, I am sharing this with you but only because it was horrifying. Now its early in the day so the 'hole' is nowhere near full, which is great cuz the odour was practically non-present. Anyways, since the 'water' level was so low there was a good 2 feet down to the ummmm 'stuff'. What happens when you violently THROW a rock into a pond. Yes, big splashes. BIG. And its not like I had any control because the harder I tried to throttle-the-rate it was like putting your finger over the end of the a hose. Except this was a firehose and the splashback was mortifying. Things felt wet. Over and over. Ahhh shit.  No really. So I tired to pretend like it wasn't happening but the evidence was clear - well it was more dark blue than anything(they fill it partially with blue colored fresh smelling fluid) as thats the colour on the TP after a wipe. BAAAAAAARRRRRRRFFFFF  ugggghhh faawwwwk. Thats. Just. Wrong. OK so I didn't barf but there was plenty of dry heaving and profuse sweating going on. I just wanted out. I made sure to double-double-quadripple-extra fortify the hand. Lucky for me TP was free and well stocked. Will someone please kill me now. I can't believe that much splashed up onto my behind. Fuck.
So thats my pre-race story. I promptly took my Biohazardass down to the lake to rinse any remanants. Damn, I just bought that poor tri suit and now I'm gonna have to burn it.

Alpha Male. Thats me.

Not an Ironman, an Olympic. I was worried for a moment there..
So this time I got a good warm-up swim in. I made it back to the shore with 4 minutes left before race start. I did it again, thats cutting it close - I have to stop doing that! I didn't feel rushed but I did feel alot out of place. When they asked my my 'projected' swim time I did some rough calculations in my head and came up with 15 minutes for 1500m. So they gave me the swim cap for the fastest time, which afterwards I read was 23minutes or lower. WAIT a moment here. Obviously I messed up my math and while this was a Mass start, they organize the color of the caps by projected time so people don't get run over. Great idea! That is, if the idiots that wear the cap could do math. Or maybe it was just me. I should have been in the 28 minute-ish group. Oops. This may hurt a little.

Pretty much illegible, I wonder why...


Panic Suit

Back muscles already seized

Beatings all around

Ohh my first beach start! While waiting on shore my swim mask completely fogged up - yay! I'm on the beach so there is no water to dunk it in to clear it. Oh well, I can sort of see the buoys still. Off we go and being tall I could walk forever. All the dolphins around me were looking pretty fancy as they thrashed about in the water but they didn't get any further ahead than me who just walked the first 20m lol. Once I started going I felt 'ok'. After last race's panic attack I aimed to slow my pace down to keep my composure this time. It was working but the big waves and current were swamping over my head and making it hard to breath. I started to lose my cool but by the turn around (2 loops) my head was in the game. I got hoofed in the face and my swim mask went crooked. It didn't fill with water so I just straightened it out and kept going. I only saw tweety birds for a few seconds and wondered if it would leave a cool bruise that I would have a story to tell at the office the next day. I got run over a few times but nothing I couldn't handle. By the end of the lap I was amongst the 'yellow caps' who were going more my speed. Anyways we had to exit the water and run the beach to start the next lap. That was REALLY hard. My arms were tired and my heartrate shot up as I succombed to a jog along the sand. I deliberately let my arms dangle underneath me as I hunched over. Yeh I looked like a fool but it felt good to completely let them rest lol. The second lap was much better. Slow and steady, rarely got passed. It was tough making the first buoy turn because the current was so strong it swept you to the wrong side of it. Apparently something like 50-80 people cut the course because of this. How rude! I didn't know it at the time, frankly I dont care. If I had cut the course I would remember it for the rest of my life and never forgive myself for being such a douche. I finished up my swim at the middle of the pack. Not good, not bad, but I figured I was faster than that. No matter, the priority of today's swim was to 'keep my cool' and if it meant going slightly slower then so be it. I think for next year though, I am getting a swim coach. I need to go faster if I want to be competitive.

I'm smack dab at the front and thick of it

Syncronized Swimmers


Looooong frickin' run up a hill to the transition area. I was tired trying to jog that hill. I felt pretty smooth in transition but still struggled to get the wetsuit off my legs again. I have long legs, it makes it hard to step on the wetsuit and pull your foot out in the first 3 or 4 tries. No matter, I just used my hand. None of this will matter at Ironman. When I went to mount my bike I kicked my water bottle out of the rear holder. It fell to the ground and rolled away. I just kept going but some spectator woman felt the urge to scold me for 'you can get disqualified for that'. Littering is technically a no-no but they do say to toss your bottles at volunteer areas, technically this is one of them. There was no DQ'ing but I'm glad she felt like she had to shout it at the top of her lungs. I found out later that my wife ran over and recovered my bottle. Excellent, afterall the bottle says 'Kona' on it and it matches my other one. haha!

Nice ass.... no ME you idiot, look in the background

Duathlon ran at same time as us. She totally was not part of my race hah


I went a moderate pace but I certainly didn't rocket out of transition. I got passed by some awesome looking riders with disc wheels that went woosh-woosh as they passed by. After I got composed on the bike I put some effort into it and later passed all them disc wheel guys beford the 15Km mark. They weren't doing much wooshing anymore. haha. The course trends uphill on the way out so I kept something in the tank for the return trip so I could hammer out the rollers and make up time. I didnt clue in but on the way out I found the hills to be easier than when I pre-rode them. That would be because I had a tailwind and didn't notice. At the turn around it was obvious. No matter, I dropped the hammer and sprinted back to transition. Passed a million people but got blocked a few time by people not completing there pass, or riding the center line and I hesitated to pass on the right. That was annoying. There was alot of vehicle traffic on this road and they would drive down the yellow line which was scary since I'm coming the other way at a now relative 100km/h and they're on my side of the road as I try to pass slower cyclists. Insane! I even watched a large farm tractor take up an entire lane at a snails pace as a big group of riders got stuck behind it. Some dumb broad crossed the yellow line to go around the tractor and had I not seen it from a distance I may have run into her. What an idiot! no matter what, NEVER cross the yellow line in a race.
So by the time I reached T2 I clearly did not do my best. I had lots in the tank still and was feeling good. I should have gone harder on the bike but 9th place is good enough for today. I chalk it up to my inexperience, I wasn't too sure how hard I should have gone on the bike.

Dismount acrobatics

Quick, easy. Nothing to note except I kept my sunglasses on this time. I've never run with my sunglasses before, not even in training. They are cheap and heavy but they look cool so I kept them on. Other than drips of sweat down them making it hard to see, they didn't bother me. I think I'll wear them more regularly on runs.

Here is where it begins to unravel. Immediately as I started running I had some intense GI pain. I dug my fingers into the spot where it hurt and just kept running. Then the pain spread out to the other side of my gut and now I was running out of fingers to jab into the sore spots. I just ran in pain. My paced dropped a good minute slower than I should have been but I never succombed to walking. I did walk 5 seconds at the first aid station to make sure I got all the water I could. I did the same at the next aid station but nothing was getting better. It was getting to be a bit much but I figured this was a good chance to see what happens if I don't give up. Eventually I let out a couple small burps and maybe that helped, I couldn't tell. This was the exact pain I had a few weeks ago after swimming in Pittock Lake. I chalked it up to bad water or bad eating right before a swim. This time, I didn't think I ate bad with the exception of maybe too much sodium from gel? I later found out that a few other people got sick, so I suspect the water quality may have been poor, but again just a guess. Either way, I burped a couple times and it kinda felt better. I passed gas just the one time and put an immediate WUH-OH stop to that. I hope it was just air, cuz I forgot about the earlier act of god in the porta-potty.

Finisher chute

Anyhow around the Halfway mark I seen Training Payne coming the other way after an out and back. Ohhh I was in front of him! Amazing, this is one of those goals I set for the day. I just held my pace as best I could but by the second out and back I seen him again and he was closing the gap. Dangerously close as he will definitely pass me at the finishers chute if he keeps up that pace.
Training Payne is behind me somewhere, DONT LOOK BACK!
That was all the motivation I needed to run harder. Some of the pain from my GI issue faded but at least 70% stayed. I just held the best pace I could and didn't look back. As I approached the long downhill to the finishers chute I went as hard as I could. All I kept envisioning was me with arms up in the air shooting down the final stretch and then having Training Payne fly by as he pats me on the ass, smiles for the cameraman and takes my win lol. I ran like I frickin' stole something.
He never did pass me. :)


Stomach pain sucks.

13th place, I'll take it. I should have easily of been 8th-ish but no better. I'm happy with the results, especially with the friendly competitions going on. I also crossed the line ahead of that Daryl 'I hate your guts' Neuman(spelling?). He's one of the sweet modest guys that solicit help as if he's a noob. Then he turns around a crushes you at the next running race. He's mean like that. Anyhow lucky for me the course was too short for him as he was pulling a 4min/km pace and was about to run me down if it weren't for that finish line coming too soon. That was close, he almost totally had me! haha!
The best part was that everyone sounded like they had a good day. The weather was great, course conditions beautiful and we all had alot of fun. I met all my goals of the day, even with some stomach pain.

Post Race Dip. There is a high probability that
I am peeing myself right about now...

Other things worthy of note was that Daryl lost his timing chip but managed to get himself into the standings. Phew, that could have sucked! haha!  Also, Training Payne got disqualified. We still don't know why but if you were one of his cult followers at one point in time then you're probably not surprised. They probably DQ'd him for his blog alone haha.

 Olympic Triathlon: 2:26hrs  AG: 13th  Overall: 61


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...