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Archive for July, 2012

Exhausted but still able to get a good 15k TT out

After the end of Fit Month I was pretty exhausted. In the end I think I did the right thing but man I am tired! Still wanted to put in a good TT so was looking forward to see if all my efforts were going to help.

The weather was PERFECT. No real wind, no humidity, no heat. It should have been a great night but I have simply not been feeling good lately. Legs tired, me tired!  I think I need a vacation, but one of those really relaxing do nothing vacations. Unfortunately nothing on the horizon….

In the end this was my second best ever TT, so some of the fitness stays even if my body doesn’t feel it. Think I may step back for a  little while and just enjoy riding for a few weeks before I get back into fitness training again!!

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As you can see from the speed chart things really slowed down about 1/2 to the turn around. Just didn’t feel it, but after I turned around 1st I was passed, then I just felt better and was back pushing. The last 5k was one of my best!  And did a BIG push at the end. Still under 40 kph however Sad smile

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I need to learn a bit more about recovery!

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Categories: Uncategorized

Fit Month–Gran Fondo Ottawa 2012 and new low weight!

This event more or less concluded my Fit Month. A crazy month that included 3 triathlons, 2 competitive time trials and this a whopper of a ride at 177 kms!

Man, I have come a long way from March 2010. I was 212 pounds and struggled to get out the door it seems! Those first few days I was proud to do a 30 minute walk or a bit of biking. Now I’m dong well in Tris and competitive in biking events!!!

At the end of Fit Month this is what the scale said!

187!

Now, 187 is still heavy, but down a ton down from 212 and it bodes well for the future. A lot more muscel than fat as well! And my fitness level is certainly where I want it to be and I can now continue to push things!

The Gran Fondo definitely helped things along.

Despite my seeming focus on Triathlons really biking is where my heart is. I know I am good at it and I wanted to really push myself at a distance that is closer to a stage of the Tour de France or a good road race. At 172.5 KMs the Gran Fondo was right up my alley. This was the first year of the Gran Fondo Ottawa and while it was mostly a very good event. But there were parts that were ugly, parts that were bad and parts that were great!

The Ugly

What can I say about the registration. Brutal!! The Gran Fondo is RIGHT next to my office so I decided to head down early and get my registration done. Having been at a lot of large events the registration is mostly an automatic process and was thinking, 10 minutes tops. Oh no no no. It took me 1.5 hours and that was fast compared to other folks. There really was only one person to take the lines and she had to do an online lookup to get your number. It only took 2-3 minutes but when you had 1500 people to process, well it was ugly.

Twitter wasn’t kind….

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Still, at least this wasn’t the morning of the event, that would have been a cluster f*$k of epic proportions!

The Bad

The little town of Lanark is picturesque and has nice old buildings, a river and nice inhabitants. But it was also the spot where the marshaling had to be dead on!!  The Super Fondo route and the Gran Fondo route split here so folks needed to be directed exactly where they needed to be. There are four roads leading out of Lanark which are roughly North, East, West and South. We entered the town from the South.

Coming out of the feed station a group of us was direction to the northern road.

The Super Fondo route headed West and the Gran Fondo route headed east. And many of us headed North. That’s right, in the only direction that HAD nothing to do with this event!

After about 5 kms it was clear we were off the route. Folks turned around, went west, went further north. I stopped with a group that was at least trying to figure out where to go according to the route maps.

It didn’t help that cell service was at best a single bar. We were LOST!

In the end our group decided to head east on the next road. It was a good decision as within about another 10 km we hit the route again. In the end added about 5km to the overall route.

Here are some of meanderings as we tried to find the right route

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The Good

This says it all!

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Didn’t know what to expect on the ride itself. It was a glorious and hot morning so that is always a bit worrying but the atmosphere was calm but excited as we headed towards the start gate.

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The process of getting the timing chips ended up being quite a bit faster so had a bit of time to get ready. At exactly (and I mean exactly!!) 8am we were off!

I told myself..I need to pace myself here at the beginning but I was soon in a fast group and it was RACE ON! You just couldn’t help yourself. I did the first 100k at over 35 kph!! Now I understand a bit more how the peleton in pro racing can keep it. It was mostly effortless and was in many ways like being being a mack truck. Here is 15kms in the pack that would have qualified as my fastest 15k in a time trial.

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The 100k mark there was a slight hill and I lost touch. I was never in the group again. But still I was able to keep a decent pace and stopped a total of three times at the great feed stations to keep my strength up. In the end even with stops did it in under 6 hours and I was hoping that maybe I would be able to keep it under 7. WOW!

The end was a little anti-climatic you simply rolled over a line and there was a tub of drinks. You had to remove your chip and there really wasn’t anything to tell you that you just did an epic ride. A touch disappointing but my legs told the tale!!  Not 100% sure I will do this again next year but I think so!!

You can get more details here http://connect.garmin.com/activity/201639954

Categories: bicycling, Epic Ride

Fit Month: Sydenham Olympic Tri

July 17, 2012 2 comments

This triathlon wasn’t planned but it just happened that the family was going to be in Kingston for my Daughter’s soccer tournament and this Tri was just up the road! I had looked at this one in the past but never was able to attend  and also had heard that the bike leg was tricky.  But we were camping within 20 minutes and there really wasn’t a lot that neeeded my attention so off I went early in the morning to the registration. It was also my second olympic tri and I was looking forward to see how I had improved  a year on as I was feeling in better fitness overall.

Also as I am doing a lot  this month and this was a more of a training tri not doing my usual full report.

Last year I signed up for the Brockville event and I had achieved an Olympic time of 2:56:49 and down in 70th which I was sorta pleased with as my run time as usual was bad but in this case it was really bad at 11 hour and 10 minutes for the 10k. I knew I would be faster this year but wasn’t sure how much faster.

The bike leg was a bit hilly so decided to bring the Tarmac instead of the Cervelo and in the end that seemed like a good call.

The swim was three times around a 500m loop and the water was nice and cool as it was a very hot day (low 30s C!).  With the swimming I have not been training much but have felt at the least I would not lose in the swim and this was the case here. I was 30th out of the swim with a decent time I felt. Its a bit of a hike from the beach to the transition area so have to take that into account but I was on the bike at 33:47.

I was very worried about the run, especially with the heat, so maybe didn’t push on the bike as much as I would have liked but it was a nice course overall. There always seemed to be an uphill section coming up and my average seemed a bit low at just a bit over 32. In particular there is a steep hill out of the transition area and as it was two loops of the 20k course had to do that twice.It seemed like I was passing a lot of people and when I got the results it was clear that the course was quite a bit slower than others and I ended up with the 18th fastest time with a 1:14:43. Faster time for the day was 1:07 so not that far off.

Here is the bike course.

Then on to the run. I was getting some cramps after the swim and they didn’t go away after the bike so was certainly worried but was surprised that I got my rhythm fairly quickly and was off. The last 3 kilometers were hard but eventually I hit the finish line with a nice 1:02:40 which is about 5 minutes + faster than Brockville in 2011.

Ended up with a 2:51:09. That is 5 minutes faster and most of that was made up in the run really as the bike leg was slow. So that is very positive and great training as the one I am more interested in is the Carleton Place which took place one week later.

 

Categories: Triathlon

Fit Month: OBC 15 TT and FINALLY 40kph+

July 6, 2012 1 comment

Today was the continuation of Fit Month. From here on in actually it really ramps up with two Triathlons and a Grande Fondo in Ottawa. But tonight was the fairly regular 15k TT. Last week I was close with a 39.7 so getting so close to to 40 KPH and a target I needed to get to as I aim for a year end 42kph average speed.

The whole thing could have ended as tears however as after getting my start time I returned to my bike to realize that my front was flat!! This was the first time that I was planning on using my Soul s4.0 wheels and was surprised that it choose that moment, it had not flatted that I could remember since I had it. Well, that is what spares are for and popped my on. The rim was very very tight so was a bit worried about pinching it and frankly was in a bit of rush and sure enough it pinched.

Great, and I only had one spare! So asked around and first got a full wheel then finally a tube. I decided to see if I can change the tube once more. One advantage to having a faster time is a much later start time so I still had time to put the tube on and if I could inflate it make my start time. This time I used more of my hands to get the tire on the rim and lo and behold it was on and not leaking. Then I realized that the stem was a bit too short and I could not inflate it with my floor pump so had to use my CO2 canister but finally it was mounted, inflated and on the bike.

Phew..I rushed up to the start line with about 6 riders still to go in front of me and then we were off. I didn’t get a lick of warm up. But I was in the race. It took me a while to get my rhythm but it was feeling good.

I still can’t get to the point where I was eons ago where it felt good to push really hard and I just wanted to give it more. In this case I was always pushing as hard as I possibly could and trying to hold the speed. After 5k I was at least over 40kph but felt like there was a bit of headwind, if true if I could only keep a good pace I could accelerate on the way back. The usual slow down for the bridge and the turn around and while my average had dipped below 40kph it wasn’t by much and I felt I could improve in the last 5k. This proved to be correct and by my reckoning I got a 22:25 via the Garmin and a better 22:22 from the official timing (the Garmin will always be off as I have to start the timing after I leave and stop it after I cross the line) with an average of 40.2. First time over 40kph in my new era!!!

Again, the chart tells the tale. The dip at the end is no longer evident and pretty steady effort right to the end.

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The splits were interesting as it was the first time my last split was my fastest! And first time that more than one split was over 40kph! Very pleased with myself.

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It was a hot hot night (31 degrees C) so thinking that a nice cool night with no breeze would be perfect to bump it up again. So far every TT has been faster so means that anything below 40.2 will now be a disappointment!

Categories: bicycling, Time Trial