Thursday, July 09, 2015

New Toy! Garmin Forerunner 910XT (and a near miss on PR for 500m swim TT)

For some reason, Best Buy had a brand new Garmin Forerunner 910XT on sale for $199. I grabbed it.

And, already today, I have Biked, Run and Swam with it.Not necessarily by design. I double flatted 8K into my early morning bike ride. I hobbled home, and took out my other bike, but the Mojo was gone, and headed back home after 7K for a 6K run instead.

Having run in the morning, I opted for a swim at lunch.... and so while we've got fancy new toys, why not a 500 meter time-trial.

Pretty neat stats for indoor swimming.

And so, pretty pleased with my TT effort, just missing a PB by 5 seconds, I threw in a 100m IM for good measure...

It recognized the different strokes (except for Backstroke, it thought that was Freestyle - I manually edited that line). Funny to see my last 25 meters of Freestyle only burned 5 calories.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Return to Tupper Lake

In 2007, I was invincible: I was young, I was on the top of my game, I knew everything there was to know about triathlon...  ...or so I thought.

Eight years later, 2015, a return to the Tupper Lake Tinman: older, wiser, smarter, fitter, faster.

The Tupper Lake course is tricky -- the bike is hilly/rolling, and the run is hilly/rolling too. 5:29 was my goal time, based on a previous best of 5:19 at the Canadian 113 (a much easier course, 2 years ago) and 5:46 from the 2007 Tinman.  Actual finish time this year... 5:13:39. A massive improvement from 2007.

Very happy with that.

Pre-Race Intrigue:
Our hotel for the night was in Saranac Lake. We drove down to the hotel first, thus traveling through Malone, New York. ... something was up. Police, everywhere; hundred's of police. It turns out, we were traveling through the area where the massive manhunt for the escaped prisoners was going on. In fact, one of the prisoners was shot and killed very close to where we were, very close to when we passed through.

The Race:

Swim (1900m, 1.2 miles)
The horn went off, and it was chaotic for the first 150 meters or so. It settled down quickly. I swam smart, and tucked in behind others whenever I could. It was nice to be in the first wave, no swim traffic at all. The water was announced as 65°F. The long sleeved wetsuit turned out to be a good choice. Sun on the way back was not a problem this year, as there was a slight cloud cover. Swim split was 33:42.

The bike racks for transition had been set up in such a way that my pre-assigned spot (bib #251) was the absolute most favourable location. 100 out of 100 people, if given the choice, would have chosen that spot.

Bike (90km, 56 miles)
The bike course was much less congested than I remembered it previously. There was only 380 total competitors this year, compared to 910 in 2007.  I rode well, but was continually being passed. I only passed 6 people in total (3 of those were on the side with flats). I hit the half-way turnaround at 1:20:48 - that was fast. I was thinking wow, a 2:40 bike spit would be awesome, but then on the way back I realized why I was so fast - the wind was behind me, and now it was in my face. I struggled to keep the speed over 30kph. My ride home was 10 minutes slower than the ride out. Nonetheless, it was a good bike ride, I was happy with it. Guylaine saw me at me when I was 12 minutes past the turnaround, and called out to me. I was glad she had made it that far without any trouble. She said I was in 30th spot.

The ride felt pretty isolated, except for being passed and the few times I passed people, I was the only bike in sight.  Bike split was 2:51:12 (31.6 km/hr).

In and out in 1:32. Took the time to put socks on for the run.

Run (21.1km, 13.1 miles)
The goal was to try and run 1:45. I knew that was 8 minute miles -- 5 minutes per kilometer. The course, being in the US was all marked in miles, so I just knew to try and keep it close to 8 and stay away from 9. The run was apparently modified somewhat at the start because of flooding. We ran on (soggy) grass for longer than I remembered from 2007 until we finally got to the road. This run course is cruel, it goes up and up and up for the first 3 miles.

I didn't notice the first mile marker, but I did get a split at the second mile: 15:55 (great, I was just under 8 minute pace). Although the pace felt constant, the mile markers were appearing at random times, some came too soon, and others too late (for example mile 6 at 7:33, but mile 7 at 8:31).  On the run, I was mostly alone again. I passed one person that I remember, but was passed by at least 10 others.

At mile 10, I knew I had 5K to go, and started doing the math. Sub 5:20 was looking promising... Sub 5:15 was a possibility. I kept up the effort. At mile 12, it looked like sub 5:15 wouldn't be possible, but nonetheless, I picked up the pace. The last mile was mostly downhill.  Somehow, the finish line appeared quicker than I expected. I finished the run in 1:45:52, and completed the day with 5:13:39. A Huge PB.

I had seen Guylaine on the run twice, and figured she was about 35 minutes behind me. I was able to take a quick dip in the COLD lake to sooth my legs, and get changed to meet her on the finish line.

Guylaine's (almost) finish. This arch deceived everyone. It is about 50 meters away from the real finish line.


Tinman Splits and Pace


  • Pre-race carbo-load dinner at Little Italy: Chicken Ziti with a Blue Moon Beer.
  • Pre-Race Breakfast: Big bowl of Kellog's Vector. Coffee. Cliff Bar.
  • Bike: 3 gels (5K, 35K, 50K), 1 pack of Cliff blocks (half around 65K, half around 80K) and 1 (540ml) bottle of water. It didn't feel hot, and I wasn't thirsty, the one bottle did surprise me.
  • Run: 1 gel at about 10K, half a pack of cliff blocks, water at every station, it was nice and COLD, PowerAde at 3 stations.
  • Post-Race Dinner: Complimentary BBQ Chicken with a Saranac Pale Ale.

2014 vs 2007
Great improvement!

Looking forward to Cedar Point: promising, very promising. Tupper Lake was a fantastic race for me. I surprised myself. I don't think I could have or would have done anything different.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Preston Street Criterium

Laura prefers biking over running, and biking over swimming. For a while she's been asking to do just a bike race. She's a really strong cyclist. I just happened to get an email about the Preston Street Criterium a couple of days before it was held (last Sunday). The Ottawa bike race is in it's 43rd year, and was offering a competitive race for kids in the 13-14 age group. So we asked her, and of course she jumped at the chance.

The day was a bit longer than we expected. But, we got to watch the entire women's race, the event before Laura's. I have to say, it was fast and furious, and well worth the watch. Much respect for these ladies. Perhaps more-so for the back-end who would yo-yo a bit as the group stretched out, and then eventually fell off the back, but still kept up a high effort to finish. Race speeds were averaging 45kph for the first half hour or so. Very impressive.

Laura's race was called up. The mechanic had locked out her rear-derailleur so she couldn't shift into her lowest gear - a UCI rule apparently. There were about 15 on the line ... but only 2 girls. This was a let down. She was really looking for some competition.  Admittedly, it would have been odd to have a race for just 2 people, but mixing in with the boys, particularly at this age, seemed a tad unfair for the girls.

From the get go, the pace was fast and furious. 3 strong guys were off the front and setting a vicious pace at 40kph. The pack was fractured and in survival mode. Laura was on the back end, but still holding her own.

Laps 1, 2 and 3.... mostly she was still in reach of the fast and the furious. Laps 4 and 5, things were getting spread out. And Lap 6 -- the final lap, was a "Get me to the finish line!!!" kind of lap. She made it. Perhaps a gap of 45 seconds from the overall (male) winner. She was ready to collapse. It's always rewarding as a parent, to know your kid went 100% and poured everything they had into a race, with absolutely nothing left in the tank at the end.

So, at the end, she got second out of the girls. Hey, you can only beat those who show up. Pretty awesome. Her Cornwall Multisport Club kit stood out from the mostly OBC dominated field. She earned kudos and cheers for Cornwall from the announcer on each lap. Glad she had the guts to do something like that -- no way would I ever venture into that ring.

The women's race.

Monday, June 15, 2015

CMC Super Sprint Triathlon

Since moving to Cornwall, our Multisport lifestyle has been amplified. Mostly because of the Cornwall Multisport Club, and the hundreds of like-minded members.

This past Sunday was the CMC's second annual Super Sprint Triathlon - fashioned after the Grand Prix Vegas style races:

Swim - Bike - Run - Repeat 3 times.

The venue was Nav Canada Complex. The swim is in the pool, the bike is 2 laps around the complex (roughly 1km per lap), and the run is just on the grassed area beside the complex.

The pool is a 5 lane, 25 meter pool. The swim starts off time-trial seeded. A swimmer each in lane 1 and lane 3. The gun goes off, you swim up and down in your lane, cross under the lane rope and back up and down the next lane - 100 meters total. Swim starts are staggered 10 seconds.

Next, you hit the transition area adjacent to the pool, mount the bike, and complete 2 clockwise loops around the completely smooth roadway around the building (The entire inside lane is coned-off, so no traffic to worry about). After the second loop, you transition to the run, 250 meters out and 250 meters back.

You're not done yet! You hit 2 tubs of water to rinse off your feet, and back in the pool for round 2... and we do it again... and again... and again. In total 4 sets of high-energy max VO2 fun.

It's a great event, some went all-out, some were out just to have fun, some just to shake off the rust. Of course there was no shortage of post-race snacks and goodies a Cornwall Multisport event is known for. And in true CMC fashion, there were as many volunteers as participants.

Thanks to everyone for helping out, and to all those who participate in these events. Without participants and volunteers, it wouldn't be any fun at all!

Andrew's GoPro Footage.

My final time was 39:55 (4th Overall).

First du with new bike

Not bad. Not my fastest. But still not bad. This was only my 2nd Monday night du of the year, so good to be in sub-53 form so early. The bike split was my 7th fastest out of 76 previous hard-dus, and final time was 6th fastest ever. So not bad. There was a little bit of a headwind on the way out.

Monday, June 01, 2015

May - Big Ol' update

Thirty-eight years from now, when I look back on this blog, I'll probably think nothing happened in the month of May 2015. Well, some things did happen, and here they are:

The Spring Fun-Du (May 5, 2015)
The now annual 2-15-4 spring dust of the rust and give it all you've got duathlon baseline test. Sub-53 would be "Gold Star" standard for me, and was of course the goal... the reality: 53:30. I had a pretty good effort; restrained myself on purpose for the first run (7:58); rode as hard as I could (27:06) on limited bike fitness and then gently came apart on the second run (17:52). Not bad though, 48 seconds faster than the 2012 edition.

All smiles at the end of the Spring Fun Du

Cornwall Lions Club Awards (May 13, 2015)
Guylaine was awarded Triathlete of the Year at the annual Cornwall Lions Club sports awards night. Sweet!

Big Trophy and "Keeper" Plaque

The Victoria Day Chase (May 18, 2015)
This "chase" format race is my annual 5K fitness check-up. More often than not, it is also my reminder on how not to run a race. And this year didn't disappoint. My goal for a 5K race, is always to try and PB, or go as close to 21 minutes as possible. I lined up on Monday morning, fresh as a daisy without having spent any time stressing or planning a strategy. My mind went to mush as I tried to remember what 21minute splits looked like - so when it was time to go, I just ran hard...

... too hard... and naturally blew up. At 3.5K I was cooked and just praying for it to be over. The splits went like this:

SplitLapCumulative PaceProjected Finish

Bleh. Oh well. In retrospect, I should have planned the splits, and taken it easy at the start. But, after all it was just a fun club run.

This run ranks as my 9th out of 16 (hard) 5Ks - sandwiched between the 2010 and 2013 Great Raisin River Foot Races. The good news is that I'm still hovering mid-21s.

A Return to Tupper Lake (May 20, 2015)
We pulled the trigger and registered for the Tupper Lake Tinman Half-Ironman. It was hovering there as a possibility for a while, but I was holding off thinking I wouldn't be bike-ready. Since then we did a few 80K rides and I figured.... why not. June 27 is race-day.
A new family member (May 22, 2015)

A New, New P2 =)

Almost Famous (May 26, 2015)
Upon returning from a night out to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, we were amused to see Facebook buzzing (okay, maybe not buzzing, but a few likes and a share) of an article written on the Barnes Family by Challenge. They had contacted us in April and followed up in May about writing an article on us as they tought the whole family participating at Cedar Point was pretty interesting.

In Conclusion
And finally, just in case (when I look back on this in 38 years), here were the May 2015 training totals:

...and the excuses --- it has been Cold and Windy! Biking has been hit-and-miss; mostly miss - especially Monday night duathlons which were all a miss in May.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Run to End MS 2015 - Half Marathon Race Report

Splits via my Timex and on-course kilometer markers.

There's a reason I didn't wear my Garmin for this race. The km markers are always notoriously somewhat random. I felt I actually ran a fairly even paced race. Yes, the first km was intentionally slow, and yes, maybe the next 2 were a little hasty to catch up, but kms 4,5,6,7,8,18 and 20 are all a little suspect. It did come up to 21k + according to a few other Garmins on the course though. My race strategy was broken down into 5K blocks. My ultimate goal was 1:39, with a negative split. Here's what the plan vs actual looked like:

Split (km)PlanActualOver by

I was thinking it might be a possibility at the 10K split. We were running into the wind on the way out, and the tail wind would make it easier on the way back, by 15K, I was only 36 seconds behind.... but then the wheels fell off, and I started doing the math in my head -- ["If I slow down and still run 5 minute kms I'm still in under 1:45 and that's fine for me" I would tell myself].

I got passed exactly at 20K by another runner whom I had passed at 3K, and I just couldn't keep up.

All in all, still pretty pleased with the run, considering the weather conditions, and less than stellar training leading up to the race.

I even got 3rd for my age group.

This is 50 feet from the finish line. I could see the clock still with 1:39:5X on it. Everyone is yelling "SPRINT, SPRINT, SPRINT!!!" But alas, I did not have the suitcase of courage with me on this day.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Half Marathon Strategy

I missed a couple of long runs, and I ate too much. Now that the excuses are out of the way, here is the plan for tomorrow:

5K @ 23:45, 10K @ 47:30, 15K @ 1:11:00; 20K @ 1:34:20; Finish at 1:38:59.9

And if that doesn't work, I'm going to blame the weather too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1500 meter time trial = same result as three years ago!

I don't always swim 1500 meters straight in the pool, but when I do, you can bet I'm going to time it! Today at lunch, I stared at the wide open empty lane in front of me, and said - "let's see what we got".

The splits (it was a continuous swim, but I managed to split the stop watch every 500m):

SplitDistanceTimePace /100mTotal DistanceTotal TimeCumulative Pace /100mNote
1500m08:36.151:43 500m08:36.151:43Felt good - Bilateral breathing. Didn't go out too hard.
2500m08:36.711:43 1000m17:12.861:43Whoa - pretty much exact same split. Surprising. This 500m, I was mostly breathing to the right going up and to the left coming down.
3500m08:45.351:45 1500m25:58.211:44Interesting. Didn't fall off that much. Felt more tired for sure. Flip turns and push offs were weak. 

Very odd that this is exactly the same time I had the last time I timed 1500m swim on December 13, 2012. It's somewhat reassuring to see that my splits were much more even this time around that last. It may have taken 11+ years of triathlon training, but I think I am starting to get the hang of proper pacing.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Frozen Sole #7

Brrr... coldest one yet. -22 with the windchill. My ears were aching. Chart kind of follows the wind direction and elevation. Slow 6th km: uphill and into the wind.

Final Time: 0:37:44 (3rd OA). Slowest run this year, 1:48 slower than PB [+14 seconds per km].