Monday, July 18, 2005

It's all over

O.K. Long story short, I completed the tri with all my original limbs intact, so goal #1 was met. My whisper goal was to do it in 1:45; making Leon & Jose lift their performance to beat me. Was worried that the combination of a potentially bad swim (25 minutes?), unknown bike racing stress could leave me with nothing left for the run. I definitely wasn't confident about what to expect.

From day 1 my interest in doing a tri was fuelled by a desire to compete with my older brother Leon, who always claims that he's faster & better than me. True, he looks much more athletic than me, but he's living in his own private dreamland that he can't even admit that I beat him in tennis most of the time we play. I know, I'm honest to myself about my tennis as my other unathletic looking brother Morris beats me 99.999% of the time. So, for me the triathlon started Saturday night when I got the call that Leon wasn't going to do it! I was making it too competitive (me competitive?) and it wasn't going to be fun for him. Hmmmmm.... I haven't been having much fun for the past 30 years or so with him calling me fat & slow (even the times when I was relatively skinny & fast). But, he still left with the claim that he could beat me if he wanted to, and the only reason he was slow the other times was cause he was doing it with Jose, and slowed down for him. I mean, C'mon at least be honest about it. Slowing down to be with Jose? Something must be wrong with his glasses, since Jose was a good 20 minutes ahead of him in the 1st two races. I know bothers (sic?) are supposed to fight and rile each other up, but at least have the decency to admit when you're wrong, and wish your brother good luck.

Note: Leon wasn't training for this tri, just as he said that he never trained for the other tri's, but I told him I wanted to do this with him last year. So, he had plenty of notice if he wanted to improve his skills.

In any case, that ends my competition with Leon and leaves me with a moral victory and a reason not to ever take seriously anything he says about me again. It would have been nice to do the race with him anyways and possibly be closer as a family, but that was his choice. It's still nice to have that monkey off my back. I will say that I've gotten closer with uncle Jose, and trust me NOBODY likes uncle Jose (not even his mother).

Ok, Race Day: After spending the night soiling the sheets in Morris's bed, was woken up by Jose at 5:27 with a wake up call. After a glass of O.J. a banana, and half a dozen bowel movements (in Morris's bathroom), I was ready to go. Pick up my race kit, and my # has been changed and they moved me down to wave 3 from 4. So, I was starting 20 minutes before Jose. Oh well, there goes my chance to laugh at him if I passed him on the run!

The swim starts. In the 1st lap a guy passed me and then slowed down and was in my way. After a brief skirmish with him fighting to stay ahead I passed him anyways and then stayed ahead, even as the girls kept passing me. This is a pool start, so they had the slowest swimmers in the earlier waves, but it looked like many people lied about their abilities to start earlier. I had predicted 20 minutes, but these chicks were MUCH faster (and made me look bad by comparison). Goggles, were fogged and leaking most of the time. Even had to walk once and take them off and rinse them quickly to try to fix the situation. I was probably up 3 times fiddling with the goggles, but they didn't improve much. Felt really slow, but I did manage to lap they guy who fought with me at the start. Finished in 20:39, which was the fastest I had predicted I could go.

Transition 1: Did I mention it was raining all morning? Had a garbage bag covering my stuff but my water bottles were kicked over (Jose?), and everything was soaked! Had to wring out my bike gloves and socks. The guy from the pool passed me getting out of transition while I stared transfixed at all of my wet gear. Finally got on the socks and shoes standing up. Made sure I had the helmet buckled and grabbed the bike. Probably took me 4 minutes.... Oops.

the Bike. The roads were closed to traffic and weren't too busy, so I felt much calmer than expected. Had my hydration system, so I had no trouble drinking while ridding without taking a hand off the handle bars. The roads were very slick with the rain and many large puddles. To make matters worse, the right side of the roads were in poor condition, and I noticed most riders staying in the middle or left side of the street. I knew as a slower rider I belonged as far right as I could ride, but the left was the safer choice and I saw other slow riders staying there too so I did as well. I was ranging from 23 -31 kph, often staying close to 30. I stayed slow on the turns and felt great. My S&M support crew were cheering me on every turn and I was having a ball. My HRM was dead when I tried it on that morning so I had nothing to tell me how hard to push. I'm sure I could have and should have pushed harder, but was happy with my speed and wanted to save something for the run. I had a brain fart at the end, and decided I was spinning fast enough in my current gear, and didn't gear down to loosen the legs before the run. Big Mistake! 51:08 with both transitions.

T2: Dropped off the bike, grabbed my special Toronto Marathon hat with attached silver wings and was off with a little bottle of gatorade. Very fast transition.

The run: Legs felt very heavy. But, I was well hydrated and with the rain I wasn't worried about dehydration and/ or leg cramps. Legs felt very slow. Sipped my gatorade until I felt like I had too much and tried to lift the pace. Didn't feel like I was moving and was slowing down possibly until at 3k a woman commented on my 21kmtl shirt, saying if you can do that this must be a piece of cake. We exchanged a few more chopped sentences, but that got me focused and I started to push a little harder. She moved ahead with 500m left, I tried to pass her with my kick but couldn't do it. Was thrilled to have s&m there cheering me on at the finish. Sam gave me a banana when I crossed, had a drink of water and realized that I felt way too strong at the end. I had a lot of left over energy that I could have used. Oh well, better safe than sorry. My time was 25:25, but I felt much slower. Course might have been a little short. It was a great race. I particularly enjoyed the kids at the 2nd water station. Not sure if they were stationed there all day, but when I passed they offered a douche (hose shower) and a chanson (song), I answered yes to both. I got a rousing rendition of Gowan's "You're a strange animal".

I ended up walking back 1.5 km to find Jose completing his run and paced him in. Of course, I was taunting him the whole time, and singing him lullabye's, telling him that if he just slowed down a little more I'd beat him. That go him motivated and he started really running. I kicked pass him while laughing at him for the video, but got off the course to let him cross the finish line alone.

So, I finished in 1:37:11! Much faster than anticipated. I never thought I could do it under 1:40 this year. Now, I'm going to have to work really hard next year to improve. Jose finished in 1:32:45, which is his best time on record. He claims that he once did it in 1:30 though, before records were kept.


1:37:11 Me 40/44 Hommes 35-39 20:39 2:46/100m 51:08 23.5kph 25:25 5:05min/km
1:32:45 Jose 3/3 Hommes 55-59 18:04 2:25/100m 44:52 26.7kph 29:50 5:58min/km

Monday, July 11, 2005

Taper week has begun

Ok, got into Montreal Friday, then off to Mont Tremblant for a wedding. But, before leaving I put in my last good long run, putting in 10-12 km at a solid effort running down and then all the way up Mont Royal. Sunday, I got in @720m swimming with 600m straight. No watch on, but I felt dead after. Have to be very careful race day. I can swim at a decent clip, but it takes too much out of me, then I kayaked @2-3 km in the lake by the lodge. That was great fun, and showed me how efficiently something can be moved through the water when done right.

Monday a.m. : Did a nice 6k run in the mountains. Found it hard to breathe and was disgusted by all the flies at one point. Then jumped in the pool and did a quick 240m, working on staying slow and feeling good. Did the last lap a little too fast, but felt like I was floating better and can do it slowly enough if I stay VERY focused. If I keep up with them on the swim my race is OVER. I need to stay slow and conservative. Let them pass me every 4-5 laps if needed, then have a good bike, and blow my load on the run.

It's frustrating that I'm finally understanding swimming, but don't have enough time left to get familiar with pacing myself properly, and improving my efficiency now. Oh well, I'm confident that I'll post a respectable time (only by our families pathetic standards that is), and next year I'll be giving them nightmares. HooYah!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Monday & Tuesday training

I had two good workouts. With limited time until race day, I've decided to let Leon & Jose sweat out the details of what I'm doing. I will admit though, that with only a dozen bike rides outdoors in the past 2 decades, I am seriously undertrained for the bike leg. I did my 1st ride on April 13th, but then didn't bike again for a few weeks since I had the half marathon in Montreal, and the same process repeated with the Manitoba half. That is just pitiful.

But, because I am a superior athlete, I will still post respectable numbers this time. And if Leon doesn't like it he can kiss my arse (assuming he can run fast enough to stay close to my hairy arse...) . Hmmmm, if I shave my arse will I be more aerodynamic? I'll have to ask Uncle Ramone.

I have a few secret weapons up my sleeve, and if I put in a decent swim, those jet packs will really pay off. And just in case I somehow catch up to one of them, I've been practicing my laughing & heckling skills while running. So far on the 10 runners that I've practiced on, only 3 caught up to me and beat me up.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Reality is setting in.

My swimming sucks. I don't have the speed or endurance. Leon & Jose will be laughing their asses off. I did another 360 drills + 360 straight swimming yesterday, took 10:45 for the 360, 5 seconds longer than last time (although I did have to deal with swallowing water/choking & goggle problems). Left me dead tired. Swim leg could take 25 minutes now. I followed the swim with a 30 min. bike at 138 HR. Very Difficult on the quads. Left leg cramped when I tried to run a couple of laps around the gym.

Biking has improved, but not enough to offset a bad swim. Won't be able to keep up with Leon if he pushes himself this race. So back to the original goal. Complete it, have fun making fun of Leon and Jose anyway, and don't die. Most likely I'll still beat Leon's original times done when he was still younger and leaner than I am now.

Next year, I won't waste so much time on that dumb Manitoba half marathon that screwed up my triathlon training. Need a lot more pool time to get better.

Finally, did a quick bike ride this morning and my g-d damn gearing/ chain went haywire and went offline in the middle. Got stuck in the highest gear. Grrrrr.... I fixed it by the end of the ride, but ruined what felt like a great ride. Was planning on going much further. Will bring the bike in on Monday.