Archive for September, 2012

Ottawa Triathlon September 2012…my most complete Tri ever?

September 25, 2012 1 comment

So I ended off my Tri season with my best yet. At least that was how it felt. Other than the 1st 3 minutes (more on that later) my swim, bike and run were all as much as I could do and were a great indication of the improvement my fitness has taken in the last two years.

If we review this events from previous years we can see I am improving significantly each year.

Now for some reason the run changes every year for this event. Still the same distance but hills, shade etc can make a bit of a difference but not too much really so still a good comparison. Hope this year, which was a good course, it stays the same going forward.

In 2010, the first time I did this one, I was new to Tris and still learning. See the report here. The sensors where are different places as well so hard to do a 1-1 .

2010 Overall Time: 1:51:09

Swim was 16:30 but you got measured as your exited the swim, now its up at the transition area. Bike was 1:01 and run was 28:49 with 4 minutes about of measured Transition time.

2011 I returned and had a problematic Tri, get the report here. Sensors were in different locations and no Transition times were given.

2011 Overall Time:  1:46:40 (-4:29)

Swim was 19:29, Bike was much more improved at 53:12 but the run was bad in part due to me not knowing where to start! Run clocked in at 34:01.

Now 2012 rolls along and I was coming off a crazy July of fitness related events then I had slowed down a lot as I had vacation late July and August. Some beer may have been consumed Smile

So I didn’t feel I was at my prime going into this Tri but lo and behold I did great.

2012 Overall Time: 1:40:26 (-4:14)

I was 6 out of 17 in my age group, 31 out of 143 among men, and 36 out of 263 overall. Not too shabby (even if I still am a bit flabby)

Can’t really complain about that.

So lets look how the day unfolded.


Going to start adding a part on prep as this one again didn’t go too well, and mostly that is because my family has decided that they like running and entering the running events at these things. This one is a big one with a number of Tri distances (Sprint, Olympic, Ironman) and run distances (3k right up to Marathons). About 1600 people are registered and events are starting every 20 mins it seems. While my wife and kids who were running just had to sign up and go to the start line they didn’t fully anticipate that I needed to sign in, get my bike and transition area set up, get my markings, put on my wet suit and get down to the beach. Eventually I just had to say goodbye and off I went.

It was better than last year but still I was rushed and didn’t have any warm up time, just get on the beach (it was a beach start which is cool) and wait for horn. With a blast it went off and off we went too.



I ran into the Rideau River and was soon swimming, I went strong and maybe a bit too strong, within seconds I was gasping for breath. I had added a few pounds Sad smile so my wetsuit was a bit tight. I started to panic!! I don’t worry about drowning (I have been doing open water swimming since I was about 10) but still was wondering if I needed to stop. I did the breast stroke for about a minute and just calmed myself down. I didn’t seem to lose all that much distance and finally got back into my tempo and rhythm. Good lesson to not worry so much and just wait for it.  Certainly shows the need for a warm up.


In the end the swim seemed fine, I was in among the pack and soon was out. The run to the transition area is long and up hill, so you have a lot of time added to your transition just to get there. By the time I was thru the sensor my time was 19:49 which was close to last years 19:29.

Had most of my suit off before I got to my bike and had a nice clean transition.

Then there was another long run to the mount box.

And finally I was on the bike and the real race began.


I have come to realize that maybe I just love bicycling. I do well and when I have a choice I always grab the bike. I think that maybe focusing on biking may be the focus I need to shed more pounds, I was back up to 195 for this event.

Or I could just eat less..still have not mastered that!!

Anyways I was fast compared to others on the course. At the time I was on the course there were the iron man people and all the waves of the sprint tri and since it was a 15k loop that I had to two twice in a sense I was mixed up with all kinds of folks, fast and slow.



As you can see from the chart I was doing about 35-38 with burst up to 43+

Some folks were doing this on mountain bikes and I saw at least one folding bike. The closing speed was often quite high.

I said “Bike Back” a lot. When that didn’t seem to work I yelled “Passing!!!”

That usually worked until I saw up ahead a woman on a mountain bike who was pretty much on her own but was very close to the line. May have been her first Tri so gave her a lot of warning. It wasn’t working!!




I noticed we were both approaching another rider and in that way your brain can do advanced math in an instance (without any math at all) I noticed we would pass her at the same time. Problem!

If she didn’t move over I ran the risk of having to pass between them and hope the surprise didn’t make the one closer to the line to come over to the right on me!  But the passing speed was around 20kph difference between us so time was up.

The pass was a little bit like this!

Passing can be difficult

Phew…as I passed I did give her some advice she probably didn’t want or need but it was done. Remember folks stay to the right unless passing. I have been passed as well so its true for everyone.

One more lap and then I was back in the transition area in a time of 51:08 (17th fastest on the day). This is where I made up my time in this years tri (thanks cervelo!)  I knew exactly where my bike rack was this time, struggled a tiny bit with my Zoot shoes but then I was off.



As I said the run course changed again this year but it was probably a good change. I hope it stays on this one. It does run a bit along a busy road but no hills and decent shade. I was feeling about as good as I can and got close to a PB in the run, awesome stuff if still a bit behind. The legs felt good and soon I was heading towards the stadium finish. There is a good crowd so lots of cheers.

Time was 26:53, which I know isn’t the best but for me anything under 27 is still hard. As I look to next year I know I really have to buckle down and get better. We’ll see.





Video of my finish



What a great way to end the season. I realized after this Tri that I can be competitive across all three, and while my run is still bad, my swim and bike put me in the mix. Have to decide if I can fix my running but still all the people in the picture below finished behind me, for those in the younger wave by quite a bit. I don’t look like the most fit out there, but I’m getting there!!

Also again my family is increasingly getting into these. This was the first one where my wife ran and she did great! My oldest daughter and son as well. Some of them may try a tri next year which would be cool!!  Both my wife and my son medaled in their age group…more pressure on me!!


Categories: Uncategorized

Nice Early Morning Mountain Bike Ride

September 13, 2012 2 comments

With my daughter starting High School we found they offer a much wider range of before and after school sports. She recently started with the cross-country running team and I have to drop her off at 7:20am twice a week. I don’t really have to be at work until 9am so have an hour or so to burn.

Hmm..what to do? I have been putting a little bit less emphasis on Mountain Biking so decided that Tuesday and Thursday morning to be MTB mornings in the Kanata Lakes MTB trails. I can get an hour in before work easily.

The City of Ottawa, probably feeling bad for allowing other parts of this forest to be turned into homes, has done a great job of the this part of the forest (which was the part I really liked anyways). Not that it was good to cut the other forest bits, but it was the least interesting part) and there is now a nice map and signs on the trails so you don’t get lost.

New Sign for trails

New Signs!!

Today was a beautiful morning and as you can see the trails were also very dry. I did a loop I have not done before and it was tough, but fun.


Sun shining, reasonably warm, awesome ride!

Pace was a bit slow but was still a good workout. Had to stop a lot to assess rocks that I have not been over before. Had a few close calls but no falls.

Here is my map compared to the map above.


And some basic stats, not far, but hard still!!


Not sure how long the weather will hold, but with the summer we had hopefully can do these right into November!

Categories: bicycling

2013 Cervelo P2–Color really only change

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I somehow missed this one when it was announced mid August. The 2013 Cervelo P2 is out, and looks like it is the same spec as 2012 but Cervelo has updated their colors across the board.

In a sense I like this as it “stamps” your bike as a particular year, and the 2011-2012 P2 I felt was pretty arresting in the looks department (although opinion varies).

See the new graphics here and you will also notice the old web site has finally been replaced:

A few pics from their web site

P2 Ultegra

P2 Frame Set

Price seems to be staying the same at $2600 for the Ultegra build and $$1800 for the frame. Dealer may sell for less (or more?)

This bike, being otherwise the same spec, will be as fast as the 2012 version which I reviewed here

Categories: bicycling, Update

Hitting the wall

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

So I haven’t done a lot of climbing but I love seeing the riders duke it out in any of the major races and especially the tours. With hills few and far between around where I live I do try to add climbs when I can during my travels.

So when I found out I had to go to Philadelphia for a couple of days for work wondered if there was a place that had some nice climbing that also made a bit of sense.

And that’s how I ended up in Scranton!

Now Scranton usually isn’t high on a lot of folks visit list (although the area is very pretty and there is a wicked train museum there!) for me it was nicely about 1/2 way down so I could stay both there and back.

Just north of Scranton is Salem Mountain which is more of a large hill but it has a very steep road leading to the top. I headed there and after some unpleasant city riding hit the lower slopes.

Not sure what the incline was but looking it it looked steep, really steep. However I think in the end mostly around 10-12% so how steep are some of those 20%+ climbs in the tours!!! I started inching my way up. The 1st 1/2 kilometer in particular was brutal and had to stop after a while as walking seemed it it would be faster. But I regained some energy, remounted about 100 meter or so and continued to the top.

It was unrelenting and there were no switch backs so it was just up and up for about 8 kilometers.  I did feel like I wanted a compact. My pace was slow, about 13-14kph. Finally the Cell tower loomed and I hit the turn around.

Profile below, I don’t think this is to scale but it seems about right, that puppy was straight up for about 500m of climbing.


But what goes up must come down and I hit over 68 kph on the decline and was a bit worried so bleed off some speed but I could have gone a lot faster. Gave me some insight into how scary 90-100kph must be!!

My Heart Rate was also quite high during the climb which I liked. Later in the day while having lunch my leg cramped up. The next day although I was in Scranton again I just couldn’t get my mind behind doing it again two days in a row, but I may return! Also really enjoyed it so will continue to look for these!!

Full details here:

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