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Archive for June, 2012

Fit Month: OBC Time Trial. Another PB but still can’t break 40 kph

Fit Month continues. After a few weeks I was back at the Ottawa Bicycling Club 15k time trial. Weather was hot but after doing well at the Smiths Falls Tri and feeling in a good shape was wondering if tonight was the night I was going to pass thru the 40 kph barrier?

Unfortunately it was not to be, ended up with 39.74 KPH according to the official stats in a time of 22:39, 10 seconds faster than my previous best. Still not 40 KPH but getting much much closer. I WILL break through in the next 1-3 events. 40 KPH is only another 15 seconds or so!

Despite being so close one reason I wasn’t so down with this time was that finally I was able to push thru the entire 15 k and I even was able to accelerate a bit by the end. I am certainly getting my endurance back now. What I have found is that getting fit and being competitive are two very different things. There are still 30-40 guys and the occasional girl ahead of me out on the course time wise and I don’t know now if I can get to my hoped for 42kph by the end of the year, will take a lot of commitment, but certainly moving in the right direction.

Here are the splits according to the Garmin.

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So the middle section is what put me behind.

The wind was strong and coming out of the south and as I turned south towards the turn around it started to bite and I had to really dig to not drop my time too much. You can see the BIG dip when the wind hits. No matter what I did I couldn’t get the speed back up and there is also a few small hills so was in a panic. After the turn around turned on the after burners a bit as you can see. Then spin to the end. To be able to recover and do a PB is a big victory IMHO!

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You can see that towards the very end I put on a burst of speed right up to the line which in indicative to me that I am improving.

Ended up being 36 out of 97 participates, which I am liking more than my last outing.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Fit Month Begins–Smiths Falls Tri 2012

And so it begins, Fit Month! Have a lot coming up and this event signals the official start here in Smiths Falls, were it all began a few years ago. This is where I started my very long now route back to fitness after being, well, a slob for many years.

I certainly felt better this year and I knew that my biking was going to be much improved and I have been working on my running so that should be good as well. And I wasn’t totally disappointed although as is often the case I felt that maybe I could have done a bit better. But if you have nothing to improve upon it gets boring!

The course was a bit longer this year, continued infrastructure work in Smiths Falls has meant that the usual figure of eight course is still off limits but they rearranged the run so it’s closer to 5k (4.8) than last year which was about 4.5k. Hopefully by next year it will all be over and we will go back to the fun old course.

As usual some of my family were participating as well, my younger brother and my Mom were entered and some of the extended family members were there to cheer us on. That makes this one all the more unique and special. And also my 10 year son was going to do the 5k run so lots going on!

I came to the start line with an updated arsenal of equipment. Yes I have succumbed to the upgrade disease. There is my new Cervelo P2, Zoot web suit and running shoes and Bell Javelin Helmet. Along with better fitness I wasn’t too nervous as lined up yet again for the usual start next to the Comfort inn on the mighty Rideau.

It ended up being a pretty hot and sunny day, not a lot of clouds in the sky and no wind, so for the first time I put on a bit of sunscreen then headed down the river and the wave instructions.

So how did I do?

Finished in a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 30 seconds!

So quite well and moved up the leader board. Here are my overall stats. Last year with a shorter run I did 1:20:59 so I’m thinking about a minute faster compared to last year’s pace. This year ended up 41st out of 141 overall, 36th out of 89 men and 4th out of 14 in my age category. Can’t complain too much about that. And close to a “podium” finish in my age group!

 

PLACE NAME CITY BIB # TIME CATEGORY CATEGORY PLACE GENDER PLACE 500 M 26.0 KM 4.8 KM
41
Doug DAVIS Smiths Falls, CAN
83
1:20:29.3
M45-49
4/14
36/89
12:12.4 41:21.8 26:55.2

So how did this all pan out?

Swim

I knew little was going to be determined with the swim and based on that I haven’t been doing a lot of swim training simply hoping that my improved overall fitness would get me through. In particular the Smiths Falls swim, at 500m, is quite short and I didn’t expect to make up much time here. From year to year they seem to change where the chip readers are as overall the times were much slower for everyone. I certainly didn’t feel over a minute slower than last year. I did a 11:05 in 70th place last year and a 12:13 in 2012 for 45th place with roughly the same number of folks in the Tri. This is always the danger a bit of relying on the official stats, need to know the context a bit.

SFTriSwim2

The wetsuit I think did make the swim a bit less taxing and after a bit of kicking and punching from others at the beginning found some space and pace and was soon out of the water. I have been working on my transitions and this one went well so soon enough was out on the bike.

Bike

This is where I wanted to shine and I was not disappointed. I ended up with the 10th fastest time on the day and the fastest in my age group (my first 1 on the time sheets!!). It was a good ride most of the way and I diced with another local rider also on a Cervelo and passed rider after rider after rider but was thinking “Don’t worry you’ll get me back in the run!”

SF2012Bike2

Had one touch and go moment where the two of us were coming up on a slower rider and I ended up passing him on the right, a big no no but there was no room on the left safely for the other rider. Then a car was following a slow rider and had to pass him, gave him some advice in a way that he probably felt was rude. Finally a bunch of us, fast and slow, all got pinched in a corner and I brushed the guy that I had been racing. He passed me a couple more times before the bike leg finished but I was able to pass him and get to the line first. Felt like racing which was cool as I always felt I had some reserve left both to get past him and have more for the run.

Across the line, dismount and on to the transition. In the end was credited with a 41:22 with an average speed of 37.7 kph an improvement over last year’s 43:40 at 35.7!

At the transition I struggled with my Zoot shoes, I just have to learn how to get them on really really fast when my legs are cramping up a bit. With two Olympic tris coming up need to get better.

Finally shoes on and off to the run course I go.

Run

In the end my run wasn’t bad, for me. My brother was more or less with me after the transition (he had started five minutes ahead in the young guy wave!) but his pace was too quick and he left me behind after about a k. And all those folks who I passed on the bike course began to pass me and I moved back down the order of things. Despite that it certainly was my strongest run at SF yet and I continue to improve. My pace of 5:37 per k is in line with the slowest I do in training and was improved from last year’s 5:54 but still was the 104th fastest run and is just too slow if I want to really compete. Towards the end I noticed that I had stopped sweating which is always a worry but the finish line was soon in sight. Pushed a bit to keep ahead of the guy running right behind me.

Crossed the line feeling pretty spent which is how it’s suppose to be!!

Gathered all the family together and we headed off to have a picnic!

Conclusions

This was just a good solid Tri by me and I didn’t come with a lot of things to change. The main thing is that I really need to continue to improve, probably at a faster rate, my running. Also my Bike-Run transition left much to be desired.  My bike was awesome and I felt better than I anticipated in the swim despite my slow down in swim training.

To next year! I guess a top 5 bike and a top 20 finish???

Categories: Triathlon

Fit Month! 3 Tris, some ITTs and a Grand Fondo..all before end of July!

In the tradition of Shark Week the next 5 weeks will be for me Fit month! I have planned 3 Tris (1 sprint, 2 olympic), one or two individual time trials, a 175k Grand Fondo and some camping! Phew. To think that I would struggle to walk down the street a few years ago!

This is all very exciting, and my family has been so supportive which really really helps. My wife has even started running as well which has been really cool. As our children start to grow up we are starting to recover some of the time we lost to upbringing and I have found that even at 44 it’s certainly not too late to be active, competitive and fit!!

I may think otherwise by the end of July!

Stay tuned for race reports galore!

Categories: Update Tags: ,

Epic Ride 2012–Irish Hills north of Cork

Didn’t have to wait as long this year to get into the books what I think will be my Epic Ride for 2012. What is an Epic Ride. I have a few criteria.

1- Has to be somewhere you haven’t been before, hopefully remote and exotic!

2- Has to be over 100kms

3- Has to be interesting terrain, hilly preferred

Last year my Epic Ride was Hawkesbury River in Australia.

I may do one that is close later in the year but I doubt it. I am looking better in pictures but think I still need to drop a few more pounds!!

TubbyHubbyinIreland

Full details on this ride can be found at: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/182165160

This Epic Ride was in the Hills north of Cork Ireland and was 125km in length on a beautiful warm weekend for Ireland in the low 20s! From the map below you can see that I started out in Cork, then headed west until I turned north up to the mountains.

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Last year my company changed our European offices from London UK to Cork Ireland and I was slated to spend two weeks there in late May. I knew that for that long of a trip I wanted my full on road bike so rented the bike box from my LBS and packed it up. Air Canada and Aer Lingus didn’t charge me and it arrived fine. I used it for a few early morning rides but come Saturday I was ready for a big ride!! Ireland drives on the left side and the roads are very narrow, but people drive a bit slower so felt a bit safer than Australia.

I left from my hotel early in the day and headed west. I used connect.garmin.com to find some people who had done some similiar rides in the area and found a number of them that mention the Boggeragh Mountains so that was where I headed. I used an app called CityMaps2Go which coupled with the GPS on my iPhone there was little chance that I would get lost (and I didn’t) even though the roads were obscure.  Once the maps are downloaded you don’t have to worry about wireless charges and if you are off the grid you have a map unlike the Maps link. Great app!

Here is the profile which shows that a few of the climbs were for me anyways very tough and I enjoyed the different challenge. In the end over a kilometer of climbing.

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Up in the hills the views were fantastic and soon things got very remote.

IrishHills1

This next view comes right after a really really steep and long climb. Was a bit worried I was going to blow a lung and I did stop once about 1/2 up. If I go back may want to try this again!

IrishHills2

Going down the other side was fun but you had to be careful of the speed as the roads are narrow, tight and have sharp turns. Also due to the hedges on the sides you can’t see what is coming around the corner. I am surprised there aren’t 10-15 head on collisions each day here!

The big enough town of MillStreet was the more or less half way point of the ride and I rested here a short while before I headed back into the hills. Soon it was remote again with only the occasional farm house but otherwise awesome views. Then I rounded a corner and what looked like a mini stone hedge appeared.

It was fenced in but accessible so I parked the bike and headed over. There wasn’t a soul in sight and in the 30 minutes I spend only one car passed by. I felt transported a bit back in time and with the sun and the locale it was a magical moment. Turns out there are a number of these around in Cork County but for now this one was mine! A small sign didn’t give an name or anything. When I got back to the hotel I found out this was called the Knocknakilla stone circle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocknakilla and looks to be at least 3500 years old!

IrishStones

There was a large pillar that was off at an angle and looked weathered and old.

IrishRock

And nearby was a small circle of stones.

IrishStoneCircle

Nobody really knows that these stone circles represent but the are a very cool piece of connective tissue to an age long gone by.

Getting my head out of the clouds I then had an awesome long descent into the town of Macroom. Along the way I passed free range sheep that blocked the road a bit. Macroom ended up being really busy (basically very small town streets with lots of traffic) so had to resort to walking around the stopped cars. At this time my legs started to suffer a bit but I was still able to keep up a decent pace. The wind picked up as I re-entered Cork but then I was back in my room and relaxing.

What a day! This is why I wanted to get fit.

I was wearing my heart rate monitor and the average BPM was 141 so a good long work out.

Here are the final stats:

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Can’t wait for my Epic Ride next year!!

Categories: bicycling, Epic Ride, Travel

Getting Faster!! Another OBC TT in the books and another PB

Oh, so close but just under 40kph. This time my cadence monitor worked so I was able to figure things out a bit. I think in this case I didn’t go out fast enough but still died in the last km or so. Need to hone my pace. Doing some longer and harder rides to work on my endurance now too so I can push right up to the end and with strength.

Over the last four TTs I have improved my time by about 1kph and about 30 seconds.  Was hoping for more but still, that’s not too bad. Still lots of summer left and the weight has started moving in the right direction again! I am stuck a bit in the middle but on the right side of the average!

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My cadence ended up being 87, which is right where I wanted it to be. My first 5k needs to be faster but I was better at maintaining my speed to the end. Have taken a few weeks off while I focus on the first Tri of the year but will be back with a vengeance.

 

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The speed graph as usual tells the tale. Strong to start then petering out at the end.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Vintage Fridays

Has been awhile since I have blogged. Been very busy getting ready for the tri season! But wanted to pass on one thing I have been doing to take things a bit slower, which is often the best thing to do when you are constantly trying to up your game. That has been what I call Vintage Fridays!! With my travel reduced (not withstanding the two weeks I was just in Ireland!) I have a bit of a regular schedule now. I try to do Mountain Bike Mondays, Time Trial Thursdays and now Vintage Fridays! 

Fridays are usually a bit quieter at work so I work from home and over lunch tend to have an hour or so. It’s the end of the week so want something a bit less frantic so I tend now to take the Gardin out.

I think with the recent improvements now to the crank, wheels and tires it is looking pretty sweet in white and red. Still think about upgrading it but that would be a real shame!

The roads around my house are great, with old canal locks and bridges so time to reflect and think about the body crushing things I will do next week!!!

Here are few picks from one of my recent Vintage rides!!

 

Categories: Uncategorized