Back to the Pool–the end of Summer.

This morning I had a choice, I could drive to Cornwall and do the 5K Steeplechase or go to a pool and do drills.

The steeplechase is a 5K race the Cornwall Multisport club puts on and is a lot of fun. The event has wave starts based on your age. This, in theory, levels the playing field and anyone is capable of winning the event. There will of course be two times…the race time and your time based on the wave start.

I woke up to rain this morning and it cemented the deal. Given that Cornwall is 1 hr 30 minutes away…it’s a tough sell to go that far for a 20 “some” minute race in the rain.

So there I was, jumping into the pool and looking around underwater. If I could have sighed…I would have. It did not seem like long ago I had left the pool in utter disgust and burnout from hours of lap swimming.

Living in a Northern Climate, we triathletes have a very narrow window to swim outside (even with a wetsuit). We normally have to wait until mid June to start and begrudgingly accept the reality that by the end of August we’re losing our ability to swim consistently. Oh sure; we will swim outside beyond August, but its hit and miss and the temperature is dropping. It becomes the pool or nothing.

So I grabbed my workout sheet and started reviewing what I was up to for the morning session. It was an upper body workout that involved some basics and then some sprints. Not very long and not very hard, but considering I am within a week of a “B” race….probably perfect. See below; Continue reading


Post Ironman Lake Placid – Where I am and What I have been doing.

Last week my brother suggested I write a blog. I asked who in the world would really care about what I have to say, my travels and or my exploits. The truth is, I don’t actually believe many people do. There is nothing incredibly intriguing about me and I am certainly not the “Worlds Most Interesting Man”. But maybe that is not the point…maybe the Blog should never be about other people reading it. With this in mind, I come back to my blog with a new approach and if by chance you are a stranger… “Welcome!”

Post Ironman

The two days following ironman were marked with pure exhaustion and rest. Monday we drove back after checking out the “Store” and enjoyed the pure elation of knowing what we had done. When I arrived home I slept off and on until Wednesday. My body was tired, not sore and “wrecked”, just tired. Aside from the race, I think the 9 months of training and 12 months of stress leading into it were releasing themselves finally.

I thought I would be “gentle” with myself and allow myself the opportunity to recover. I decided to give myself  a full ……7 days off. generous! Okay to be clear, I was not going back into it at pre-ironman levels. It was a gentle ramp up. But it was too much too soon. I started showing signs of body fatigue, which I ignored. My knee started bothering me, I had some shoulder discomfort and I developed a cold. I am not stupid, I preach the basics and I know how important it is to allow proper recovery. But…I ignored it.


What have I been doing? Continue reading

IronMan Lake Placid 2011 Race report

I admit, that I am a little embarrassed about submitting a race report for Lake Placid almost a month after the event. The truth is, I’ve been struggling with how to combine that day into a quick enough read that would also benefit those who read it. I came to conclusion, that there is no way to do it justice, so all I can do is talk about the day.

I traveled down to Lake Placid with my best friend Dale, who was also doing IMLP for the first time. We were like two kids before Christmas and once we was like we had arrived at the North Pole. Coming down over the hill and seeing Mirror Lake was a ” HOLY S*$T Moment!” even though we had see it a few times. This time, it was different

Race Morning

DSC_6792Up at 4:00 am, I was quite fortunate that I had 4 friends with me who had also signed on. Two of them like myself, were doing their first full Ironman. We sat on the front porch of our rented cabins eating our breakfast and nervously chatting about the day and how we felt. The conversation was really just a façade and I am quite sure carried no real intelligent “save the world” talk. We gathered our items together and headed into town knowing our families would be following us later. Into the transition Zone I performed a last minute check on the bike and ensuring that I had air in the tires. Once everything was in check, we headed towards the water still chit chatting about the upcoming event but feeling really excited. The energy was in the air and you could not help but get caught in it.

The Swim – I was quite happy with my swim and came out of the water at 1 hr 14 minutes.

DSC_6887I entered the water about 6:35 to warm up a bit. There was something very surreal about the start of the event that is hard to describe. The excitement was there, but also the uncertainty of the day to come. I decided early on, that I was not going to hide from the swim (as if you could with 2600 + people anyway) and put myself about 10 meters back from the start line. Yes, I would get swam over, but that would happen no matter what for the type of race I wanted to complete. When all the racers took to the water…it was amazing and when the crowd gave us our final cheer…exhilarating. I will not bore you with specifics of the swim. The laps up and down the lake are full of people but you can find your own space if you try. Going into the turns…remember that everyone is funneling into the same narrow corridor…so know that you will get hit and kicked. This is where some of those dreaded sprint drills in the pool from the previous winter pay off. My advice – get through quickly. The second funnel point is the beach landing. Same issue here, it does not matter how much space you had… you will lose that space as people come together to get out of the water. Continue reading

57 Days until Ironman Lake Placid – Training Report

Well, after yesterday I started the day a little slow. Sure, I felt great about it…but certainly I was tired and a few aches and pains reminded me that I had certainly built on my previous level. My ankle is swollen..and bruised and I expect slightly sprained. I am wearing my brace again…no sense in testing the devil.

The plan today was 75K ride – 10K run and 75K ride. I am assuming the purpose for this is somewhere between shocking the body and fatiguing it to the approx. levels of Ironman in July. 6hrs + 37 minutes yesterday with the addition of 6hrs today puts the time in. The body does not know the difference between the day, just slightly rested.

The ride started good, and I knew I was overdressed fairly quickly. I crossed through Merrickville and headed to Kemptville through Burrits Rapids. The wind was slightly at my back and I was cruising along fairly well. Main focus today was nutrition.

I averaged about 30K/hr there, not quite as much snap in the legs as yesterday.

I started feeling a slight twinge/ache behind my knee. It manifested itself from ache, to hurt to pain by about 50K. Not good. Now I have a slight sprain on my left ankle and some locked muscles behind my right knee.

I arrived home completing the first 75K in 2 hrs 33 minutes. Not too bad, but when I got off my bike it became apparent that my knee was not going to cooperate. I did try to run but the ankle and knee are not happy. I decided to shut the day down from there.

So, I went from 18 hours to 11hrs 42 minutes in training this week..just like that.  I am puzzled..because it felt so good yesterday.

I do have a little bit of anxiety. What will the impact be on Ironman be because of this? Am I within the window where this will put me down?  My goal is to not only complete Ironman, but do it well. No Kona this year mind you, but certainly something under 12 hours.

We’ll see. The new plan comes out this week from Richard and I’ll see what June brings.

Rating 1 ( horrible ) – 5 (Excellent)

Feeling – 3

Fatigue – 3

Effort – 3

Physical – 2

58 Days Until IronMan Lake Placid – Training Report 05/28/11

Today’s workout brought to you courtesy of

It’s been a crappy spring, and the weather just is not getting better. Over the last month we’ve been bringing my rides up in intensity and distance. The weather, well, wet and cold.

So of course when I set out today to complete the biggest single workout I have ever done, the weather was consistent. 180K bike through a rolling terrain followed up by a 10K run. My poor bike is going to need a total overhaul once this season is over.

Anyway, the route I chose can be viewed here  but had me leaving Jasper, heading to Smiths Falls, Perth, Wesport, Crosby, Delta, Athens, Greenbush, New Dublin, North Augusta, Merrickville and then onwards home. Those of you that know the Perth to Westport route, will recognize that it qualifies as “rolly”

Overall, I felt great, maintained a good consistent speed and came off the bike with some legs that still worked. ( I’ll get to that in a moment). The last 10K had me riding into a headwind, but it was the last portion of the ride so I just tried to keep that in mind. Total time was 6 hrs and 6 minutes. Total distance was 183K. It was a great training ride not only for the legs, but to practice nutrition. In total I took in about 2200 calories which included 5 bottles of sport drink and 2 smaller bottles of water.

When I got off my bike, I was looking for an excuse to not run. The reality is though, I felt good. My legs, although a little tired, still had juice left in them. The plan called for me to run 10K @ about a 5:00 min pace,\ which would be equivalent to the run at Timberman. The pace is actually must slower then I run now, but I figured it was representative of what I could expect. Not so.

I had no issues finding a good pace and was running a consistent 4:30-4:40 with a HR of about 164. I think, I could have gone faster but because of tomorrow’s workout, I pulled back slightly. The one challenge I had on the run was rolling my ankle at about 2.2K. My damn ankles.

I got myself rolling again but cut the run short at 8K…having a little tenderness in the ankle.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my effort today and the return. Totals training hours logged this week so far is 10.5, with another longer ride and run tomorrow.

Rating 1 ( horrible ) – 5 (Excellent)

Feeling – 4

Fatigue – 3

Effort – 4

Physical – 3

116 Days until Lake Placid IronMan – Week 17 Training Log

Sunday March 28th

The swim at masters was good. Knowing I had to run afterwards I decided to take it a little easy, however, it was still a good hour. The focus was primarily on FreeStyle with some nice switch ups. The run home was good. I decided to run from Perth to Smiths Falls, which is about 21KM. I maintained a good strong pace, felt strong and held on. I hit SF around the 1 hr 30 mark.

Nutrition wise – Breakfast – Oatmeal, banana and juice. Swim – 1 bottle with HEED, approx. 100 calories and 1 Gel worth 100 calories. Run – 1.5 bottles worth about 150 calories and 1 Gel worth about 100 calories. After run – Fruit smoothie with Recoverite, etc,.

Feeling – Felt strong, very happy with results. Sunday afternoon was slightly tired. Started getting a cold..started using Cold Assist, Echinacea, loads of water.

Monday March 29

90 Minute spin at SPORTX. I taught the class and created a program based on the first half of Timberman. A lot of of high training, seated climbs and strong efforts.

Nuitrition Wise – 2 bottles of HEED with 100 calories each. I think I probably went too light here on the nutrition focus and suffered a bit afterwards.

Feeling – Feel good, legs are tight in usual places due to the Sunday workout and the heavy work Monday.

Tuesday March 30th

Spin – Did not go, legs were feeling fat too burnt and I recognized the tightness. Knowing I was going to be doing a long ride on Saturday, I knew I would make this out.

Swim – was good. The load was heavy with a lot of sprints. Total laps were supposed to be 92, our lane got 86 of them done.

Feeling – Strong, but legs are certainly tight. Cold is present, but not full blown. I think I was able to offset it.

Wednesday March 30th

Run – Warm up, with 8 X 1KM @ 4:00min or less pace with Cool down.

Did the repeats at the top of the road. As Richard had requested, it was flat. It was about a 3.3KM run. No issues, 6 intervals below 4:00 minutes, 1 at 4:04 and 1 at 4:00. Ran home feeling pretty spent..legs started tightening up. Made sure is stretched it out well. Total distance was 16.7 with intervals.

Feeling – Good, but the the legs are feeling shredded and tight.

Nutrition – 1 bottle of HEED worth about 100 calories. Supper immediately afterwards. Epson salts bath.

Thursday March 31st

Massage – Worked calves and thighs.

Spin – legs were heavy, light to medium efforts. Number of different intervals, was feeling okay. Nutrition – 1 bottle of heed worth about 100 calories, and 1 gel worth about 100 calories.

Swim – hard night. Main set was 10 laps x 100 meters with varying strokes. 90 laps, we did 82. Legs were too shredded, needed to go to a Pull Buoy on Audrey’s suggestion. Inside thigh muscle was particularly sensitive. Very tight. Nutrition – Bottle of HEED worth about 100 calories. Afterwards, Banana and water.

Friday – Took the day off, probably a good thing.

Saturday April 2nd

Great Morning. Started spinning at 6:00 am, left store around 9:00 am and rode my bike home. Total  spin time is around 3 hr 45 minutes. Feeling good, legs still a little sluggish, but okay. Nuitrition – Bananna, 1 Gel @ 100 calories, 2.5 bottles of Heed @ about 100 calories each.

Ran back into town to get my car. Total distance was about 11.5KM. legs were a little heavy and a medium NE wind blowing against me the entire way. Took the run easy and pushed through at about a 5:00 min pace. I reminded myself that I would probably feel a lot worst during Ironman, so mentally I need to prepare. Nutrition – juice, 1 gel.

Sunday April 3rd

Swim – Aerobic set, 76 laps scheduled and we pulled in 84. Overall I am happy with this, however I knew I was overdoing it with the swim. My legs started feeling it not long afterwards. Nutrition – Breakfast – instant oatmeal, banana and glass of juice. Bottle of Heed @ 100 calories. Feeling – Okay

Run – this one hurt, Did 23.3 k right after the swim and boy oh boy was it rough. My legs ached all the way through. It was a mental training day for sure, as we backed the pace off to 5:30 pm. The ache was running through both legs, but I kept reminding myself that Ironman day..I would probably feel worst. Nutrition – 2 gels @ 100 calories, 2 bottles at 100 calories. Back at the car, Chocolate Milk with Recoverite, worth about 200 calories and a Banana. Once home, Ice bath and Ibuprofen right away. Feeling – very tough struggle today.

Very glad the week is over!

153 Days Until Ironman Lake Placid

It’s been a while, I suppose some would wonder if I was coming back. Kidding aside, I am well aware that anyone who has even read this BLOG is purely by accident.

Much has happened. First and foremost, I ran a Half Marathon in Ottawa on Sunday morning and posted a PB placing 3rd in my age category. 1 hr 30 min and 46 second. Damn I am happy..I have been working very hard on it.

Work is brutal right now, with stress levels going through the roof. This plays into me big time and I am finding it very draining. My energy is getting sapped and I am really trying hard to stay positive.

March Break Training Camp is approaching, it’s going to be great. A week of Florida and training. Plus, the added benefit of having the family there. A few side trips to Disney, beaches…a nice break.

Most of my training has been on my own recently. It’s been tough trying to line everything up with others. Really, impossible.

Oh well…here we go.