Sunday, June 22, 2014

I'm Average and Lovin' It!

Every once in a while someone finds out I've done some Ironmans. They generally ask about the distances involved, what order the events are in, how long it takes, etc. Sometimes the question "what's your best event" comes up. It got me thinking - I don't really have a "best event". At best I would say I'm average at best!

My PB in all the events are as follows: swim 1:07 (2011 Lake Placid) but usually around 1:12, bike 5:31 (2013 Florida flat) and 5:53 (2011 Lake Placid hilly), and run 3:53 (Lake Placid 2011 hilly). My best overall time is 11:09 at the 2011 IM Lake Placid. 2011 was a great year - I was in great shape (for me) and I went into the race in a healthy state. If you look at my times and compare it to my age group then I'm definitely average. Being average in triathlon is ok though. Being above average in a specific event is great but the tendency is to push hard on that event at the expense of the other two. Triathlon rewards consistency across 3 events. Being average can translate into a consistent performance. Just my two cents but food for thought.

Training is going well. I have 3 weekends in a row with 160+km rides. This week has had a run focus - I've run over 40 miles this week. I did 13.5 miles in the heat (34C with humidity) at Ironman race pace. Yesterday was a LSD run - 20 miles in total. The first 10 miles were very hilly in Kings Forest followed by 10 miles of rolling terrain. I was spent at the end but by early evening was feeling quite recovered.

Got to ride and run with Sara recently - it's rare for us but we always enjoy it. We joke that it's our date time. Some do dinner, some do movies - we get in some training!

The pedestrian bridge over the QEW highway to connect Kings Forest to the beach.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day Funnies and an Ironman Flashback

Happy Fathers Day!!!


Cheers to the Dads!!

A little while ago I contacted the WTC. I'm working towards a Legacy program slot for the World Champs in Hawaii - you need 12 IMs to qualify. I'm currently at 8 with 2 more on the menu this year. My question had to do with my first Ironman - Ironman Canada 1989, 25 freakin' years ago!! I wanted to verify that my 1989 race would count towards my 12. The reason being that the WTC had no affiliation with Ironman Canada at that time.

I heard back from the WTC. They said "no problem - just send a link to the results, your finishers certificate and a picture of the finishers medal." After some considerable digging through files I found some artifacts from the race. I sent pictures of everything to the WTC and am awaiting a decision regarding the 1989 race counting towards my Legacy 12. Above is my spot in the Athletes participant list.

My used race number from that day. The major sponsor was Budweiser! In the swim the turnaround was a massive 20ft inflatable Budweiser can!

A pic of the swim start - 900 participants. At the time I thought 900 was a crazy huge number!!

My first Ironman Finishers Medal - looks funny next to last year's Ironman Lake Placid medal.

My results from that race. I didn't know much about training loads back in those days - there just wasn't a ton of info to draw from. The internet was non-existent. There were some magazines but that was about it. In the 2 weeks leading in the race I did the following: 300 miles of riding, one 25k run, one 3k swim, a Half Ironman in Orillia the Sunday before the race (Duh!). No wonder I felt a little "tired" during the race, particularly the marathon. The cool thing though is, during the ride, I got to ride through the mountains - mountains I had never seen in my lifetime at that point.

My first finish line photo. Nice race outfit, eh?! Complete with hairy legs. I was so tired but very proud of myself. 23 years old and an Ironman. The other amazing thing I remember was the Northern Lights that were quite visible that night. I had never seen such a thing - truly amazing. Anyway that's my little trip down memory lane - have a good one!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Trails

Forgot to mention that my Dad, aka Gramps, turned the big 7-0 on May 22nd. Well done young fella! He and I share something in common - we were both alive when the Leafs last won the Cup. (although I was 1 at the time in 1967)

Whenever I fly I always grab a window seat. It's amazing the sights you see on a sunny day. Northern Ontario is quite beautiful from the air - lots of lakes and cool shorelines.

Cool cloud formation that resembled waves.

While up in Sault Ste Marie I went for a run. I headed out from downtown Sault along the Waterfront Trail. It was cool at 9C but sunny.

I did a tour of Bellevue Park - some nice trails and scenery. It was an out n back run that ended up to be 57min long. I followed that up with 1 hour on the bike in the hotel gym. The flight home was quite rough as we headed into a storm that was over Toronto. I flew on Porter Airlines. For those that don't know - flying into the Island airport means you land on a runway that's around 100m from the water. The pilot went out of his way to avoid the storm - so much so we went over Mount Hope Airport and my house! The plane "dropped" a couple of times and was fighting the winds - not fun when your a few 100m above the water. We hit the runway quite hard but all ended well. Departing the plane the skies opened up and it rained really freakin hard!! Good timing for getting back on the ground!
What a difference a week makes. Last weekend I did 21k of King's Forest Hills on Saturday and then 147k ride (Brian Smith Charity Ride) on Sunday. I felt brutal both days. I had to walk up a couple of steep hills during my run and I felt heavy for most of it. I felt a little better on Sunday and after 100k of riding I felt my legs coming back.

This past weekend I felt awesome! I ended up doing 26k of King's Forest/Eramosa Karst Conservation running and was steady throughout with no steep hill walk-ups. Where I leave is really a multisport playground. For riding I'm literally about 400m to country roads and farmland. For running we have those same country roads plus numerous trails. The pic above is the signpost at Albion Falls indicating the various trail options. We have hilly routes, flat routes all on hard packed surfaces. My 26k route is hill-filled - good prep for Placid.

Albion Falls - hard to see now that the vegetation is in full swing.

Lots of bridges zigzag back and forth over the creek that runs parallel to the trail. On the Sunday I was looking for a long ride with lots of rolling hills. I headed out and meandered through Caledonia, Ancaster, Dundas, Rockton and Flamborough before heading back home. I did get some quality hills in which I pleased about. It really heated up to as the temp got up to 27C - love it. I ended up getting 162k in - my first century of the year. So my weekend ended up with the following:
Friday - 3800m swim
Saturday - 26k run
Sunday - 162k bike
Good quality weekend in the books  - Cheers!