Friday, November 6, 2009

Vasovagal episode - What the heck is that?!?

Yesterday morning I went for my usual Thursday morning swim with the triathlon club. We are lucky, this week the coach decided to start the practice at 6am, so we can sleep in.

After 45minutes or so, I go out of the pool and went to the bathroom. At some point I started feeling really light headed. Five minutes or so later I woke up lying on the ground with blood all over my head. At first I wondered why I fell asleep on the ground, then after a couple of seconds I realized that I passed out and saw the blood on the ground. I went and sit to get my mind back, and started wondering if I should get back to the swimming pool to get help. But since I was full of blood I was not sure it was a great idea.

At that point I saw one guy from the club, and I asked him to go get the coach. After that everything went really fast, the medic got there and checked me. After a couple of testing and all I was in the hospital all plugged in. The doctors were not sure if I it was a problem with my heart so they decided to test me for every possible heart problem. I got like three electrocardiogram to make sure that I had no arrhythmias in my heart.

When they finally got all my results they told me that finally it was a vasovagal episode. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_episode

I got 6 stitches on the top of my head and the doctor told me to always eat before going for a swim, a little bit to make sure I have enough energy. I decided to take a couple more rest days before restarting my training, just in case.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New York city Marathon

Last Thursday I left home around 11PM to jump on a bus and head to New York city. The trip from Quebec to New York is around 11 hours of bus, I knew it would be a long way so I tried to get on the bus as sleepy as possible to sleep in the bus. We got to New York around 11AM on Friday, the bus driver left us at the marathon expo. As soon as I got there I grabbed my bibs, shirt and all the goodies and then headed into the expo to enjoy myself a little bit. I bought a nice jacket, some gloves and a cap to run during the winter. I also got my some compression socks and a pair f compression tight from Sugoi. After that we headed out and walked around New York to visit a little bit, we walked something like 4 hours maybe and this is without counting the 2 hours in the expo. This was my first wrong decision of the week end.

After that we had dinner and headed to the hotel for the night. On Saturday morning it was the International Fun run at 9Am so we got up early and headed there to run 4km with a ton of people from everywhere around the world. After the run we had to walk around for an hour or so to try to find the bus. We then got to the Hotel, rushed into the shower to get ready as fast as possible to make sure that we got ready for the next bus since we had a New York city tour in the afternoon. We jumped on the bus, headed back into Manhatan and walk around a little bit more, maybe an hour. We headed to Time Square to shop a little bit at the M&M store, then walked more to grab the bus for the city tour. After the tour we waited in line for 30 minutes or so to go to the pasta diner. It was nice and the pasta were good. After that we did walk a little bit around to visit a little bit more before heading back to the hotel.

Overall, I evaluate that we walked around 6 to 8 hours on Friday and Saturay, it was a big mistake to walk that much the days before my first marathon. ut it was my first time in New York and I wanted to see as much as I could of the Big Apple!

On Sunday morning I got up at 3:30AM, no need for a wake up call or anything, the nerves took care of it ;) I decided to wear my Nosa Tri shoes from Asics, which was another mistake. Those shoes fits me well without socks on but with my compression sock I was a bit tight in them, but I kept them anyway ... I got ready and jumped on the bus, we headed to the start waiting area. We got there around 6:30, it was raining a little bit with some cold wind. I was happy that I brought a lot of old clothes to keep me warm. And a friend of mine who was there let me used a space blanket from another marathon to keep me warm.

Around 9h15 I decided to head into my coral to get ready for the start, a guy who was on the bus with me decided to come with me so we could run together. Honestly, I was happy to have someone with me it made me feel safer a little bit to have someone with me who ran more than 20 marathons before. We got to the start line after some trouble in the coral, I can't say why but there was a huge fucked up with the corals for the 10AM orange line start. People were crossing over the fence, some people almost hurt themselves to try to get to the start line. I was amazed to see how some people were going nuts ust to reach the start line. After some trouble we finally reached the start line and heard the big BOOM that was announcing the start. No time to warm up or anything, it was just walk to the start line and start running.


The start was on the bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn, I never really realized how much a bridge can be compared hill, now I tell you it can be without any problem. while we were crossing the bridge we saw one of our friends from Quebec, she was celebrating her birthday on November 1st while running the NYC marathon so we ran next to her and started singing Happy birthday to her. I think she was surprised.

Right when we got off the bridge it started, there was lots of people on both sides of the streets, a lot of people told me that there would be people along the course but I never imagined that it would be that much. Young kids were there high fiving us while we were going through their streets.

The first 8 miles of the marathon had three different course, then at mile 8 we were all joining together into one big bunch of people. It was amazing how much work it was just trying to pass someone. I tried to stay with Robert, the other guy from my bus, he was planning to run a 3:45 marathon and my biggest dream was to run a 3:45 marathon so I made every thing possible to stay with him. This was my biggest mistake, after 3 or 4km I felt that the pace was too fast for me, but I decided to stay with him thinking that I would be able to HTFU, damn was I wrong ...

At the 25th km or so we crossed the 59th street bridge, this bridge is high when you have to run over it believe me ;) While approaching the other side of the bridge we could hear people screaming, cheering, yelling. When I passed under the bridge and saw the 1st Ave full of people cheering on us I swear I started flying for a while. It was such an amazing feeling to hear them all cheering, New Yorkers are the best believe me!

After the 30km mark I checked my pace and saw that I was at 5:40/km (9:08/mile) this is where I realized that a sub 4 hours marathon was probably not possible anymore for me. I had to run the last 12.2km under 1:09 and my pace was going down the drain at that time. I decided to stop to the porta potty at that point. After that I restarted running I made the decision to stop looking at my watch and just enjoy the experience. I wanted to soak myself into that awesome feeling that the crowd were giving us. So I did, I ran the last 12km in 1:20 or so, a really slow pace for me, but at that point I didn't care much I just wanted to have fun.

And I did, I finished the race full of emotion, running in central park was so incredible with sooo many people, I can't say how many but something like 100k maybe. Cheering loudly to transport every runner to the finish line. It was my first marathon, and when I crossed that finish line it was one of the most incredible moment of my life.

When I thought about it after the marathon was over I realized that I made a HUGE pacing mistake at the beginning, I choose the wrong shoes and I didn't train enough to finish in my dream time. Next time will be better, I tell you ;) I don't think that triathlon and marathon training fits well together, especially if you want to perform and run a fast marathon. My biggest training weeks were 70km of running or so and my biggest month was 220km or so. I honestly think that I would have need at least 100km a week and over 300km months to perform well in the marathon. 



But triathlon is my sport and marathon was just something I wanted to try, I am not sure yet if I will run another one soon. For now I did complete a marathon, and it was one of the biggest and the best marathon! And for that I am proud of myself :)

New York city was just AWESOME!!! I felt in love with the city, the marathon organisation is almost perfect. I hope that I will be able to go back there one day.

Thank you to all the New Yorkers and people from around the world who came to cheer on us, you guys made Sunday one of the best days of my life and for that I will always thank you :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quick update

The NYC marathon is over, I finished in 4:12:15. I would lie if I said I am not disappointed with my time but not much I can do right now to change it.

I will explain what happen in my race report to come in the next days.

Thank you to everyone who followed me, cheered me from home. It is really appreciated!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The nerves are officially killing me

The closer I am from the starting line the more nervous I am, I guess it is normal. I am jumping in the bus tonight and heading to NYC, I should be there around noon tomorrow. Then I will visit a little bit, grab my bags from the expo and try to relax and give my legs a nice break on Saturday.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Four days to go

Four days from now I will be running my first marathon. I will be in New York city at the starting line waiting to live a lifetime experience. Everybody that I know who ran a marathon told me that it is an awesome experience, and everybody who had the chance to run the NYC one told me that it is really special out there.

I have the chance to live both on the same day, my first marathon and the New York city marathon. To say I am not nervous would be a lie, I am nervous. I am not too sure yet what pacing strategy I will go with on race day. I am scared to go out too fast and break by the 20 miles mark. And I don't want to go out too slow and finish slower that I could.

I am in wave 2, coral D, my bib number for the race is 32511. If you ever want to follow me during the race you can use the race day tracker which will be available on the NYC marathon web site Sunday morning. Or you can sign to receive update by email every time I will cross a 5km mark and at the half marathon. If you want to use that feature go to http://athletealert.ingnycmarathon.org/Alerts.aspx

I know I did the training that I had to do, but  am still nervous about the entire experience. How will I react when I will hit the wall. Will I be able to keep my running pace for the last 10k. So many questions and I won't have the answers before I am done with my marathon.

Overall, I can't wait to see how everything will be. My first goal for the race is to complete it. I would be really happy if I can finish it under 4hours and I will be really happy if I can finish it under 3h45.

We will know soon enough I guess.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New sponsor

Yesterday night I had one of the best news ever in my mailbox. I received a email from Kestrel in which they said :

Thank you for submitting your resume to be considered for the 2010 Kestrel Team. The response was overwhelming as we received many worthy resumes. At this time, I am happy to announce that you have been chosen to represent the Kestrel Team in 2010! 


I was speechless, and really happy. When I decided to apply for sponsorship with them I was not really sure if I was fast enough for a company to get any kind of interest in me. And it seems that Kestrel decided to give me a chance, and for that I am thanking them.

You can be sure that I will do everything that I can to represent them the best that I can starting now.

Stop by their web site to check their new 2010 bikes, they have some really nice and fast bike for sure!

http://www.kestrelbicycles.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thank you TriCenter!

This past Monday I won a brand new Garmin 310XT, thank you to TriCenter at competitor.com!

If you want to watch a really good show about triathlon stop by http://www.competitor.com/tricenter You can also follow them on Twitter, @TriCenter. This is where I won the watch.

Since I bought a brand new Garmin three weeks ago, I guess that my wife will now be the owner of a 310 too, lucky her.

Thank you again TriCenter.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Last long run done

It's done, my last long run is done. I ran 32km (20 miles) in 2 hours 56 minutes yesterday. I was happy because it was not as painful as the other 32km I ran two weeks ago.

Today I started with one thing in mind, to run at 5:30/km (8:51/mile) for the entire run, at first I had to slow myself down, I was feeling like running faster. But I knew I had a long way to go and that I didn't want to get those legs tired too fast.

I decided to do the same course as my last 32km run, which was to run for 27km then turn and come back for 5km to meet my wife in a parking lot. Everything went as planned until I had to turn and come back. I knew there was some wind blowing on my back and I knew it was a strong one because I could feel it even if it was a downwind. Anyway, I turned around at 27km with an average of 5:27/km which made me happy because I was a bit faster than what I expected.

At that moment I realized that the wind was really strong, I had to run the last 5km with a headwind of 30 km/h (18 mph) which slowed me a lot. I had trouble keeping my speed during those last 5km.

Now I just need to hope that there won't be any huge wind in New York city in three weeks.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September totals

September was the end of the triathlon season, and since I still have the New York city marathon coming I had make the decision that after the Olympic triathlon I would kinda take it easy on the swim and bike side and just focus on my running until the marathon. Lets just say I guess I really took it easy on other sports because I biked once and didn't swim since the 12th of September.

Looking at this now I think I took it way too easy, but my next triathlon is in May 2010 so still have the time to restart training. Enough with my rambling, here are September's totals

Swimming - 4700 meter in 2:27:00
Biking - 272km in 10:21:00
Running - 228km in 21:03:00

As far as swimming and biking goes this is one of my smaller month of the year if not the smallest.

On the bright side though this was my biggest running month ever, which is normal since I am doing a marathon in a month. But still, I should have run a little bit more, actually a lot more. But I still have some overuse injuries that hurt sometimes and my chiro asked me to take it easy on the middle of the week runs, so I listened to him. I would be so pissed at myself to push too hard and miss the marathon.

Now that September is over I need to get my ass back on track for swimming and biking, I will setup my tri bike on the trainer tonight so I will have that option if it's too cold outside. As far as swimming goes, the tri club restart next week so I will restart swimming at least three days a week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sunday's long run, tough one

Last Sunday I ran one of my two 20 miler runs before the New York city marathon. I couldn't wait to get out there and try my new Garmin 310, but on the other hand I knew I was heading out for three hours.

Everything went as planned for the first 23/24 kilometers or so, then it started to hurt. My stomach wasn't happy anymore and my legs were not either. My head was playing that little game with me that I should walk, just a little bit, just to give me a little break.

I didn't listen to the head, or the legs or anything else and I just kept running, finish with an ok time. A little bit slower than last week but still not too bad. I just need to figure out why I had trouble with those gel, I will try another brand this Sunday to see if I feel better.

or the most important part of that run now, I LOVE my new Garmin 310. This new vibrating instead of beeping is just awesome. And it felt way smaller on my wrist, even if it's not smaller. Hard to explain.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

RIP Garmin 305

Yesterday I had a 10km planned, it was a rainy day with a ton of clouds. I went out of the door and started running, I was trying a new route so I had no idea exactly where the 1km lap would beep. I just ran and heard a bit here and there but since I usually don't always watch my running time while I run easy run I didn't care much about it.

Once I got home I checked my watch only to see that I ran 4.22km ... ok this was a new route but when I run for almost an hour easy I have an idea that I ran at least 10km. So I used the old MapMyRun method and started mapping my route.

When I finished everything I realized that I finally ran 10.4km That got me thinking, did I hit a button while running or something. So I checked my route on SportTracks and I realized that the Garmin lost the GPS badly. The route was jumping over houses way too far from the street to have any sense at all and it stopped about in the middle of the real run.

I figured that since it was really cloudy yesterday maybe it was because of the clouds too. But I have run with that 305 in every possible weather in the last year and it NEVER lost the satellite before. It started to lose it randomly lately, but never for more than 2 or 3 seconds and I always thought it was because of a tree or something else.

Anyway today I sent an email to Garmin to ask them if there was anything I could do to try to get the GPS back on track. They gave me a procedure to do which would reset my 305, after that I had to update the FW in it to make sure it was up to date and everything should work fine.

So when I got home I did exactly what they told me, and then went for a run. I choose a quick 5.6km route that I run pretty often so I would know exactly how much I would have run. It was a nice sunny day with almost no clouds so perfect for the test. I went and ran for 28:50 for a total of 462 meters according to my Garmin. 1:02:25 / kilometer ... I always knew I was a slow poke but this is way behind slow.

My guess is that the Garmin is dead now, not much that can be done to get it back to life. I sent another email to Garmin and I will see, but my hope are not too high.

Lucky me my warranty finished on Sept 5

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sunday long run .. on a Saturday ;)

This week end was the 30 km/18.7 miles long run week end, I only have two long run of 32 km/20 miles to go now. The marathon is coming pretty fast, only six weeks to go now and I will be running in the streets of New York.

With the triathlon season now over I kinda completely stopped my biking and swimming training. At least for the last week. I figured that a week or two would be a nice break after a first season filled with a lot of races. I still feel guilty because I didn't bike or swim in a week but I figure it is good for me and it gives a better focus on running, which is the plan if I want to get a strong first marathon.

Today's run was a good one, I knew at the moment I started running that I was feeling good and that I would have strong legs. I guess that taking some rest days here and there is a good idea finally ;)

I finished my run with a 5:32/km (8:54/mile) pace and now I am wondering. What should I go for as far as marathon pacing for New York. Any of you marathoner out there that could give me an idea? Here are today's split.

5:43, 5:28, 5:24, 5:38, 5:35, 5:32, 5:34, 5:32, 5:42, 5:39, 5:38, 5:38, 5:33, 5:35, 5:34, 5:41, 5:31, 5:16, 5:21, 5:28, 5:38, 5:25, 5:23, 5:28, 5:29, 5:27, 5:30, 5:28, 5:28, 5:26 /km

9:05, 8:43, 9:04, 8:55, 8:56, 9:08, 9:08, 8:57, 8:57, 9:07, 8:46, 8:33, 9:00, 8:43, 8:44, 8:49, 8:46, 8:52, 8:37 /mile

As you can see I was faster on the second half of the run, well a little bit faster ;)

If you have an opinion of what time I should aim for as far as pacing I will welcome your opinion, I really don't want to get out too fast but I don't want to finish it and still have a lot left in the tank either.

To give you an idea, my faster half mary is 1:45:20 and my faster 10k is 45:26 which was at the end of an Olympic triathlon.

Feel free to give me your opinion!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Triathlon Esprit - Race Report

Yesterday was my A race of the year, the race for which I have been training for the last 6 months. I decided to do that race in February to raise money for Leucan, and I decided that it would be for my first Olympic triathlon.

We left Friday afternoon, drove to Montreal to get there in time to pick up my race bag. After that we went for diner, had some pasta and some veal with a cheese cake for dessert ;) then it was off to the hotel for a good night of sleep before the big day.

I woke up around 5h45, my race was not starting before 11h30 so I was in no rush to get to the site. We got ready and left the hotel around 7am, stopped by a coffee shop and I grab two bagels and a coffee. After that we headed to the race site, since it was still early we had a good parking spot. I watched the HIM and IM racers for a while, then the start of the Duathlon, and the first wave of the Oly. I was in the third waves, so with an hour or so before my start I went for a warm up run of about 10 minutes. I probably ran around 2km, my legs felt fresh and I was pretty happy with that. There was no way to warm up on the bike sadly, so after my run I got into my wetsuit and headed to the start line.

At that point I ran into one of my wife's friend who was there since her BF was doing the Oly too. I knew his secret plan was to beat me since I out ran him in another triathlon earlier this year. He asked me what I was aiming for and I told him between 2h30 and 2h45. I didn't want to tell him about my secret sub 2h30 plan ;)

After that I headed into the water and swam a 100 meters to get used to the water, which was really clear and nice to swim into. I talked with some other guys from the tri club and then got into my bubble trying to get ready for my race.



I hadn't swam in the last week, last time was last Saturday. I was not too sure how 6 days without swimming would, but I was about to find out.



And then the horn blew and off we went, it was really like a washing machine, we were about 100, maybe more trying to squeeze into a place where we could not all go at the same time. I was feeling really good and my swim was good, at least that's what I was feeling. I got into a good rhythm and started drafting from someone who was swimming exactly at the pace I needed to go. I had no idea how long a 1500 meters would feel like into a race since this was my first, but I just swam at a speed where I felt good. After what seems to be really not long I swam by the turn around for the sprint, at that point I realized that I was swimming at a good pace because it felt like I just started swimming. Then before not too long I swam by the Oly turn around buoy, I was still drafting from those feet and I was pretty happy about my swim at that point.

Starting around the sprint buoy I could feel that my wetsuit was chafing on my neck, I wanted to stop and try to fix it but I didn't want to lose any time and I didn't want to lose those feet to draft from either. So I just HTFU and kept going. My plan for the day was to race it under 2h30 and I knew that to succeed with my dream goal I had to swim under 30 minutes so no way I could stop and lose time.

Me and the feet in front of me played mouse and cat on the last 600 meters, I was swimming faster and he would draft off me for a while, then he would pass me and I would draft off him. We passed a some people on the swim, which is unusual for me and it made me happy.

When we finally reached the end of the swim I looked at my watch and I saw 31:30 or so. At that point I knew I would have to be faster that I wanted on the bike to get those two minutes back in the bank.

At the swim exit we had to go over the run course, climbing stairs when getting out of a 1.5km swim ain't that easy, believe me!



Then it was into the transition zone, we had a long run to do. When I finally reached my bike I removed the wetsuit as fast I as I could, grabbed my helmet and my bike and off I went. Jumped on the bike when I crossed the mounting line, thanks to the coach who made me practice the flying mount :)

The bike course is a 4,4km loop that we had to do 9 times, it is on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. The pavement is perfect, and I mean really perfect. Not a single bump, crack or anything on it. I started to ride hard, as hard as I could. I knew that I had to go under 1h10 including transition to be able to reach my secret goal of sub 2h30. First lap I was around 7:30, I did some math and realized that it was all possible at that point. I kept pushing and the second lap was faster than the first.



At some point I saw a crash, and another one. Imagine 500 person or so on a 4.4km circuit at some point. Add to that 50 from the IM and some of the Sprint people who started to ride with us at some point. The circuit was crowded, and I mean really crowded.



The bike part went really good overall and I was really happy when I check on my watch and saw that I was going into T2 with a 1:04:xx split.

Went into the transition zone, raked my bike removed my helmet, put on my running shoes and grab my running belt and off I went. Really good transition in my opinion.

Now I only, yeah only, had to run a sub 50 minutes 10km to do it. I decided to run without my Garmin for this race, just go by feeling. I started running and after a kilometer or so I saw some guys from the elite, who started 20 minutes after me, passing me like I was sitting on a bench waiting for the bus. Damn those guys are fast.

For the first 3 or 4km I was running with a guy, but at some point I think that my pace dropped a little bit and I lost him. I kept running and pushing as much as I could. I remember looking at my watch at the 5km mark to see I was around 22 minutes. I kept doing maths in my head to make sure I would be under 2h30.



At that point I kept pushing hard, trying to make sure my pace was not going down too much. With less than two kilometers to go I passed that guy who wanted to beat me. He started in the wave after me so he was 20 minutes after me. I had less than 2km to go and he had almost 6km. I knew he couldn't run that distance in 20 minutes and at that point I knew I would beat him. Made me happy :) I then proceed to run by him with a really good pace and I never saw him again before the finish line.



I finished with a time of 2:26:37 for my first olympic, I am really happy about it. And I beat my wife's friend by 3:08 ;)

Swim 1.5km - 32:11 (2:09/100 meters)
45/62 AG 334/456 OA

T1 - 2:08

Bike 40km - 1:05:01 (36.9 km/h - 22.94 mph)
13/62 AG 92/456 OA

T2 - 1:31

Run 10km - 45:26 (4:32/km - 7:17/mile)
13/62 AG 123/456 OA

Finish in 2:26:37 :)
19/62 AG 138/456 OA

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tri'ing for the kids - Next week!

As most of you know, since 2009 was my first year as a triathlete and as an athlete too, not that I consider myself an athlete yet but it's coming ;) I decided to race my first Olympic triathlon for the kids of Leucan. Leucan is an organisation here in Quebec that raise money to help families with kids who have cancer.

Leucan is an association that grew out of the link between parents of cancer-stricken children and healthcare professionals. Since its foundation in 1978, its mission has been to enhance the well-being, healing and recovery of children with cancer and ensure support for their families. In the last 15 years, Leucan, which receives no government grants, has witnessed impressive growth and diversification of its services to families. Leucan plays a key role in pediatric oncology, working jointly with collaborators in the field, while using a comprehensive approach to care.

As soon as the diagnosis is made, Leucan provides various services to cancer-stricken children and their families across Quebec. These services are adapted to suit their needs all along the different possible stages of the illness. Leucan is present in all walks of family life whether it be at the hospital, at home, at school, in social life or in the public eye, by means of financial assistance, welcome, emotional assistance and support services, information, hosting and support in playrooms, massage therapy at the hospital and in the region, socio-recreational activities, support groups, school life and end-of-life and bereavement follow-up services.


Last year I decided to participate in their Shaved Head Challenge and I shaved my hair to raise money for them. this year I will be racing in an Olympic triathlon. I have been training for a long while for this triathlon, and I have been racing in 7 sprints triathlon over the last four months to get as ready as I can be for next week end. My goal is to finish with a time under 2h45, I would love to hit 2h30 but for that I will need an awesome swim and I know I am far from being an awesome swimmer ;)

Since the distance will twice as long as most of my races I had during the last four months I will have to make some adjustments to make sure don't go out too fast, on the bike especially since it is usually where I can get some position after getting out of the water late. My plan is to try to swim in 30 minutes, bike under 1h10 and run under 50 minutes. With two good transition and those times I would hit my dream goal of 2h30, if I am slower at any of the distances then I will have to say good bye to this dream goal ... for this time.

For now everything looks good though, my run and bike fitness are pretty good and the swim should be wetsuit legal which will helps me to have a faster swim. With nine days to go there's nothing much I can do to get better. I will have some long ride in the next three days and a long run on Sunday, 27.5km (17 miles), in preparation for NYC. Also on Saturday morning I have another brick practice with the club including some interval sessions which is always fun.

Then on Monday I will go into taper to get as ready as I can be for Saturday's race. As of now I know that there's nothing more I can do except trying to get as ready as possible for the race. Maybe I should stop caffeine and alcohol for three-four days before the race to give myself every possible chance ... I will see how I feel, I am such a coffee addict ;)

You can visit my web site if you want more information about this www.robertlejeune.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August 2009 totals

August has been a good month overall. This is my biggest biking month ever and I am pretty sure this is also my biggest running month ever. I trained for a little bit over 60 hours during the month, which is probably another record for me.

I also had three triathlon sprint during the month to make it even more fun ;)

Swim - 14650 meters in 7:51:13
Bike - 887.5km in 35:41:56
Run - 189km in 17:34:05

I have one triathlon left this summer, my first olympique, in two weeks. Then after that it will be a run focus program from there until the New York city marathon in two months.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Skipping a semi long run?

The plan for today was to go run at semi long run, 18km was my long run for this week. This is a rest week so the long run is not as long, or longer, as last week. I got up at 5AM ready to go out and run just to realize that my left foot hurt. I guess that I hurt myself running bare foot yesterday in or out of the transition zone.

This is weird, it's like I have a bruise under my heel, not pain other than that. But believe me running on a bruise is probably not fun, so I decided to skip it ... for now.

Now I am wondering, the rest of my week is already full of running, should I run this longish run and skip a shorter one. Or should I just go as if I did it and forget about it.

Or maybe I could change my entire running technique and start that forefoot landing that everyone talks about ;)

Seriously I will see how it goes, if I feel better tonight I will go run it, if not I guess I will just forget about it. Which I really don't want to do though.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Triathlon de Quebec - Race report

I woke up early and had breakfast with a cup of coffee, after that I headed to the race site to help finish the setup for the competition. Since it was my club's triathlon I was volunteering yesterday, this morning and this afternoon.

As far as warm up goes I went for a ride, but there was a lot of water in the street and I changed my mind, rode maybe 2km just to make sure everything was working as intended. After that I went for a quick 1km run, my legs felt fresh. I guess that almost no running for the last 6 days really helped.



As usual my swim is what killed my race, I was faster with the wetsuit but still lost a lot of times there versus everyone else. At first I tried to get into a nice groove and give what I had in me. After 250 meters or so someone passed me and I jumped behind him and drafted from there until the end of the swim. One or two times I almost lost him but I knew that if I wanted to have an ok swim I had to stay with him so I pushed a little bit harder.


I dropped my cap and goggle while running into the transition zone, I had to come back to get them which cost me some precious times. Then I ran as fast as I could to my transition spot. Looked around and saw those two guys sitting on the ground. I removed my wetsuit, grabbed my stuff and went, they were still sitting on the ground ;)

I knew I was in the back after my swim and that I had to mash the pedals as much as I could to get some time back. At the start it took me probably 3-4 km before my legs felt good, I always have a hard time to warm up on race and it cost me times at the beginning of the bike section. After that I pushed as hard as I possibly could. One girl from the club fell on the ride, looks like she is ok finally!

No one pass me on the bike, which probably means that I should swim faster I guess :p

As far as transition two goes I went in, got my shoes, went off!

I hadn't run much in the last 5-6 days besides my brick practice on Wednesday night. I had some pain in my legs and wanted to give them a break before going hard on the last marathon training part and I decided to do it the week before this triathlon to give them some kind of tapper.



So going into the run I had in mind to run it hard, as hard as my body would let me run it. When I got out of the transition zone there was some people from the club there with me and I know that they do run some nice split usually, but I didn't want to stay around and chat so I just start running hard from the start. I passed them and never saw them again. Actually no one ever passed me on the run again. I am really happy with my time today, 4:11/km is really good and probably my best split in a triathlon.

Every time I saw someone on the path in front of me I just ran hard to get back to him/her and then I was looking for another person to pass. On the last stretch I did a sprint and pass a guy, this was a good decision since he was in my age group. If I didn't do that sprint I would have lost one place in my AG and OA ;)



Since this race was organised by my triathlon club I had volunteer to help before and after. That made the entire experience way different. Sadly the triathlon and the marathon were both on the same day today and a lot of people had to choose one or the other.

I hope it will get fix for next year.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Triathlon de Québec

Sunday August 30th will be held the fourth edition of the triathlon de Québec. If you pass by feel free to stop by and have some fun with us ;)

Here's the link of the web site Triathlon de Québec

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Longest run ever

I am still working on my training for the New York city marathon, today was my longest run ever. I had a 24km planned and I didn't feel like doing it, which is a bad thing when you have to get out for 2+ hours.

I woke up, drank a couple of coffee and off I went, before the heat kicks in. I wanted the run to be as smooth as possible so I made the decision to go by feel and not look at my Garmin, too often ;) I can't say if this is the reason why it went so well finally, but I ran my 24km without any problem and I actually enjoyed it ... As much as you can enjoy running for 2h22

I kept it simple today, went for 12km then turn around and came back, all of that on the bike path. It was nice with a lot of runners and riders out to take advantage of that nice Sunday morning that we had over here.

At kilometer 20 or so a guy passed me with a stroller, I was probably running at something like 5:45 or so and he just flew by me like I was sitting on a bench. Damn he made me feel slow :p

On those long run we always have a lots of times to think about everything and I started to wonder why this week run of 24km was easier than last week run of 22.5km. Yesterday I didn't take it easy per say. Started the day with a 1.75km swim and a 60km bike ride and in the afternoon I ran 11.5km, all that training should have made today's run harder but it felt good. Last week I had a triathlon on Saturday, 750 meters swim 20km bike ride and a 5km run to top it off. The distance were way shorter, but it seems like the fact that I went all out last week compared to this week made it easier this week.

I also realized that I ran 35.5km in two days this week end, I didn't even reached 42.2km and I can tell you that my legs are toasted. I can't even imagine how it will be on marathon day.

In two months from now I will know the feeling ;)

Running
Distance - 24km
Time - 2:22:28

Do you like GU?

If you are a fan of GU, or if you want to test it out stop by Chasing The Kenyans blog. She's giving away free GU to celebrate her first blog birthday.

Here's the link http://www.chasingthekenyans.com/

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Triathlon Drummondville - Race report

I woke up not so early, had a hard time sleeping with the heat but we can't complain when the weather is that nice ;) The race site is at 1h30 from my place and my race was starting at 12h50 so we didn't have to worry too much. We left home around 8h00 since some of my friends from the club where doing the Oly and I wanted to be there to cheer them up a little bit.

Once we got there I grabed everything in the car and brought it all the way to the transition zone just to have them tell me that the transition zone wouldn't be accessible until one hour before my race. That meant I would have to carry everything with me or go back to the car. I finally just kept my stuff with me and cheered the people from the tri club. Finally I entered the transition zone and prepared my spot. After everything was ready for the race I went for a quick warm up on the run, I ran about 1.5 km (about a mile) just to get the legs moving. After that I grabbed the bike and rode 6.5km (4 miles), my legs felt tired from a really huge training week.

The weather temperature was 76, so no wetsuit once again today. I jumped in the water and swam a little bit just to get used to the water. That would be my first river swim and I was not too sure about the current, but it didn't seem that bad when I got in for my warm up swim.

Everyone got ready and we all lined up on the beach for our start and bang, there we go for another triathlon :) I tried to swim as good as I could, which was not that good, while trying to always have the buoys in sight so I wouldn't swim too much for nothing. Sadly after maybe 200 meters my goggle started to fog and I could barely see anything. At least I could see the big buoy but that was about it. I kept going, at some point I had the feeling that I was not moving that fast, which to be honest is normal for me in the water though, and I figured that it was probably because of the current. I had to find a reason other than thinking that my swim suck ;) I am wondering if it's the fact that the last two races were not wetsuit legal that my swim times were that much slower or the fact that the coach made me change my strokes completly. I guess that it will takes time to get use to the new stroke, and that eventually my swim will be faster that what they used to be :)


I finally got to the exit of the water, with once again not too many people around me. I really have to work harder on my swim because I hate being one of the last guy to get out of the water, even if this gives me more people to pass on the bike ;)


Transition 1 went ok, I was a bit thirsty and I drank a little bit from my aero bottle before I took off. But overall a good transition. I jumped on the bike and had a hard time to put my feet on my shoes though, I can't explain why but it took me a couple of seconds to get them for good which pissed me off a bit. As soon as I could finally put them on I started mashing the pedals as hard as I could.





The bike leg went really well, no one passed me and I passed a ton of people. I got out of the water in 102th position and I had the 14th fastest bike split out there. The course was two loop of ten kilometers each, mostly flat so I could ride as hard as possible without having to worry about the next hill ;)


Transition two went ok, if you don't take into the fact that I went to the wrong rack with my bick. I counted the rack from the end and I knew I was on the second one, but when coming in from the bike split I couldn't see the last one so I counted two and entered on the third one. Good job Robert ... This probably cost me like 30 seconds and 2-3 place on the OA.


The run portion was two loop of two kilometers and a half each. By the time that we started the run it was really hot. The fact that the start of my race was at 12h50pm was cool because I could sleep in, but it meant that we would run under a hot sun and humidity. The weather was probably over 95F I would say. When I looked in the car at 10AM it was 34C (93F)

For the second time I decided not to run with my Garmin. I am trying to race without it whenever I can, so I can push myself as much as possible without checking my HR or my speed. At the first turn around, 1.25km in, my time was ok but I knew I wouldn't break any record in that heat. So I just pushed as hard as I could without going out too much. It went relativly well, I got passed by maybe three persons and I was happy with that.

By the time I was at 750 meters or so from the finish line I started puhing really hard, I still had good legs at that time and I knew I could sprint good to finish the race, so I did. There was a lot of spectators which was cool because it meant more people cheering on us, which is always cool when you finish a race.


Swim 750 meters in 20:15 for 2:42 / 100 meters
Transition 1 in 1:31
Bike 20 km (12.43 miles) in 33:02 for 36.33 km/h (22.57 mph)
Transition 2 in 1:34
Run 5km (3 miles) in 23:21 for 4:40/km (7:30/mile)

Finished in 1:19:43
7/10 AG
46/120 OA

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Performance

Funny video for bike geeks ;)

Am I worthy for a sponsor?

Today I applied for the first time since I started doing triathlon for a sponsorship. Kestrel bike opened their sponsorship program and I decided to go for it.

I thought about it for a while, I know I am not a podium finisher on every race that I do, but I sure give everything that I have at every race though. But I wondered, is this enough for a company like Kestrel, or any other for that matter to invest into me, an age grouper of 41 who is just starting in the sport. I know that I am still far from placing in every race that I do, this year I got one podium in all the races that I did so far.

But still after thinking about it I figured that I could be a good representative for a company. I spent over ten years of my career as a sales representative for different compagnies, I know a lot of people and I take part into as many races as I possibly can every year. I have also been known to talk about my bikes all the time, with everyone ;) Most of the people that I know are now riding on a bike that has been bought at my local bike store, because I told them how good they are and how great their bikes and their service are.

I guess it will really depends what they are looking for, if they want people who place on podium race after race then I have no chance at all for sure. But on the other hand if they are looking for different kind of athletes who race hard, then maybe I will have a chance. Maybe that the fact that the bike leg is always my stronger leg will help me in the process too.

Don't you think I'd be really fast on this bike? I have the confidence that I will be riding on a Kestrel bike next year :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mountain bike rides

Last week I was visiting my parents during my vacation. They live in Sept-Iles and we went by plane since no one was feeling like a 8 hours drive. The bad side of going by plane though was that I couldn't bring my bike since I don't own a bike case. But I had a plan, I know someone in Sept-Iles who is the owner of a bike shop so I figured that he would let me use a used bike for the week. So I brought my pedals and my shoes with all my cycling gear and I was ready.

Once we got there I drove to the bike shop only to have Bruno tell me that he doesn't have any used bike as of now. Dang that meant no bike for me for the next four days. I know that four days is not that long, but it's still long when you can't ride.

At night I was complaining that I should have brought my bike instead of thinking that Bruno would let me use a bike from his shop and my sister told me. "You can take my bike if you want"

She's really nice, but I mean she owns a mountain bike, I don't ride mountain bike I ride road bike. I decided to take it anyway and figured that riding that heavy monster around would be a hell of a workout.

On Thursday I went for a ride, I decided to ride to place where I used to go when I was young just to see how it changed over the past 23 years, since I moved out of Sept-Iles. After not too long I decided that since I had a mountain bike maybe I could just go ride mountain bike trail.

At first I rode up the mountain behind the city and took some pictures of the sea, the islands and the city.





After that I decided that I wanted to find a trail that were heading to a lake where I used to go fishing when I was young. Here are some pictures of it.





Finally I never reached the lake, but I was really close according to my GPS. I headed back home after one of the best bike ride I had lately. Even if I had a small crash and I was all wet and full of mud I was still having a blast.

Since I had so much fun, I decided to go back the day after, but took another road. I rode for a while on a bike path until I saw a small trail going up a hill, I decided to go for it ;)



I reached place where I never went before where I saw such a nice view of the river.





Every turn I was doing had another awesome shot of the river.







Then I got back another trail trying to reach another lake.



I even found an old stair going up I don't know where ...



And I finally found the lake, at that point I felt like jumping in and go for a swim but I didn't have anything with me and who knows, if I reached it someone else could ;)



I had a blast those two days and I regrets that I didn't go before Thursday finally. Now that I am back home I know I made a mistake out there, I had such a blast on that mountain bike that I think I might have a buy one so I can go out on the trail when I feel like it and have fun again :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Totals for July

July has been a good month overall, with two races and a lot of training :)

Swim : 22850 meters for 12:21:00
Bike : 664km for 24:19:00
Run : 161km for 15:15:00

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Don't say she lost

For those of you who already follow Fatty's blog you know that Susan died yesterday, for the others here's the link http://www.fatcyclist.com/2009/08/05/dont-say-she-lost/

Rest in peace Susan, you have been and always will be an inspiration.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Triathlon Charlevoix - Race report

Yesterday was the triathlon de Charlevoix, a really nice place to do a Triathlon. Nice lake, hilly ride and a not so easy run. everything to make it a fun day. And to make it more enjoyable it was a really nice day to race since the rain waited till we were all done before it started.

I woke up early since I had to drive to the race site, which is 1h30 from my place. Had breakfast at home and brought stuff to eat in the car as well, you never know when you will be hungry ;)

Grabbed a coffee and there we went for Charlevoix.

Once we got there I registered since they didn't offer the registration online and I didn't feel like sending everything by mail. After that I walked around with my wife and watch the lake and the site then chatted a bit with people from the club that were doing the tri also. The bike course was two 10 km loop, we went to ride the loop one time relax to warm up, after that I went for a run by myself and prepared for the start.


The swim was not wetsuit legal, here in Quebec to be wetsuit legal the water has to be colder than 72. At the beginning of the swim they offered that we could wear a wetsuit but we would be DQ automatically. So I decided to go without my wet.

The swim was as good as I can swim, I know I am slow but no where close to 2:49/100 meter. The swim had to be way longer than 750 meter, I just can't believe this. I talked with everyone from the club and for everyone it was there slowest swim for a 750 meters too, so the overall guess is that the swim was way longer than 750 meters.


The transition was looooonnnnnggggg, I would say from the exit of the lake to the start of the ride at least 3-400 meters. And to make sure we would start the bike portion tired we had to run up a small hill with the bike ;) Here's a picture of a part of the transition, the lake was behind and we had to run up that hill that you see with the bike.


I jumped on the bike and started pedaling just to realize that my legs were a bit toasted. I can't say exactly why but it was painful at first. While going up the hills I got passed by 2 person and I tried to remember their jersey to make sure I would pass them back on later on.


I would say it took me around 5km before I could really push hard on the bike. At that point I was at the turnaround and it was mostly downhill back to the transition zone so I pushed as hard as I could and kept passing people. I passed at least one of the two guys who got me on the hill and kept pushing hard to get as much advance on the bike as I could.

Same for the second loop, I got passed on the hill by a couple of people and I made sure I could get back to them later on. I also got passed by the winner of the Oly distance, whom I never saw again during the race ;)


Transition two was a really good transition, but another long one.


Solid run for me, the course was not easy with a couple of hills and it was hot out there for the race. Not that hot but compared to the weather that we got this summer it was still hot. The sun has been nice enough to show his face during the run too.

For the first time since I do triathlon I never got passed on the run, I passed a lot of people on the run though and I was really happy about this.

At some point I was running and I saw a guy in front of me with a MDot tattoo on his right calf so I slowed a bit to talked with him. "Nice tattoo" I said, He replied "Thanks, I got it for LP 2007". We chatted for a couple of seconds and I went to finish the race. I talked with him about it later after the race.

For the last 2km or so I was about 150 feet behind a guy who I wanted to pass before the finish line. But I was never able to reach him, it seems like every time I tried he knew it and it would go faster.

Finally I passed a girl up the last hill and sprinted to the finish line. Later on she told me that she was not that happy to see me pass her, she said it is usually the other way around.


I placed in my AG for the first time ever, which made me happy :) Here is a picture of my price which I filled up as soon as I got home ;)



Seven people from the tri club were there, we all got hardware :)


Swim - 21:05 / 750 meters
2:49 / 100 meters

T1 - 2:11

Bike - 35:42 / 20km (12.2 miles)
33.6 km/h (20.9 MPH)

T2 - 1:32

Run - 22:52 / 5km (3 miles)
4:34 / km (7:00 / mile)

Total - 1:23:22
16/42 OA and 2/3 AG

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My guess is that I am not born in the good year

Last week end I had a race, that was my fourth Triathlon of the summer. I started racing in triathlon this summer and really love the sport. For that race I finished 28th over 195 competitors which made me really happy. After that I started to analyse the results of the race and realized that even if I did my best result ever on the overall, I still finished 8th out of 20 in my age group. Top 15% overall, but 40% or so in my age group ...

So I started analyzing the results even more, and here are my observations.

There was 11 age group for that race. I checked my results against each age group to see how I would have placed in each of them.

19 & under : 5/13
20-24 : 2/10
25-29 : 3/6
30-34 : 4/14
35-39 : 5/20
40-44 : 8/20
45-49 : 2/15
50-54 : 2/8
55-59 : 2/5
60-64 : 1/2
65 & + : 1/2

I would have place top three in seven age group over 11, and at least top 5 in every other age group. So I guess that I am, hmmm lets say lucky, to have a really competitive age group, and if I want to eventually come back home with some hardware I will have to get way faster. For a race of 1:16:49 I need to improve by 7 minutes to get down to 3rd in my age group. This mean that I need to get almost 10% faster, still a long way to go I guess.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Triathlon MemphreMagog - Race report

First of all, sorry about my lack of posting lately. I was busy with the Tour de France, I just spent way too much time in front of the TV in the last three weeks.

I headed to Magog on Saturday since we had a ride planned with the club in the afternoon. Meet everybody there around 16h00 or so, we went to pick our race number, shirt etc and then headed out to get ready for the ride. The plan was to ride the second half ot the Olympique course, which was bad for me since my Sprint was on the first half of the Olympique course, but I figured that riding is riding anyway :)

I tried as hard as I possibly could to control myself on that ride to not ask too much on my legs since I wanted them to still be fresh for the race on Sunday, I didn't follow my plan well on that part, at some point I pushed a bit with the Elite crew to show them that I can follow them on the bike ... kinda ;) After that we went for diner, had some pasta with a bottle of wine with my wife and a friend.

I can't really say why, but I had a hard time sleeping. I guess my stomach didn't like the pasta that much. I finally got some sleep, at least my race was starting at 10h25 so I was not in a rush as much as those doing the oly.

I woke up around 5h30, made some coffee and got ready. Stopped on my way to the race site to grab a bagel and some more coffee. When I arrived there I racked my bike in transition and prepared my spot when I heard that they made the decision to finally allow the wetsuit, I was a lot happier at that point ;)

After that my transition spot was all ready I went to the swim exit and cheered on my friends who were doing the oly. After that all of them were out of the water I went for a 2.5km run to warm up a bit before the start.

The swim was one 750 meter loop, we were starting in the water. We couldn't hear the official calling how much time before the start so at some point I just heard the whistle and I started swimming. I started on the right side since we had to follow a line of buoy and they were on the left I knew that it wouldn't be too bad on the right, and it was a really good idea.

I tried to remember everything that the coach told me during the swim and make my stroke as effective as possible. I finished with a swim time longer than the last two triathlons, but I placed MOP overall, which is better than the other tri so I guess that the swim course was a bit longer and that my stroke was better ;)

Transition one went pretty good overall, still having problem with my suit that get stuck on my heels though. The starting line was crowded though, I had to run way past it to get some room to jump on the bike.

The bike course was way harder than I thought it would be. At first I struggled with the idea of putting a 12-27 cassette instead of my 11-23 but finally decided to keep the 11-23. Worst idea EVER!

The first 3km were mostly flat with some little hill, then we had THE hill. I was climbing at maybe 11km/h (6.8 mph) while climbing standing on the bike and pushing every little drop of energy that I had. I saw two person who had to walk the hill on my way up. I got passed by 2 or 3 person while climbing and I swore that I would pass them back pretty soon.

Once that big mofo was behind me the bike course was a bit easier, even if I left my legs on the hills I tried to get back to speed and gain as many speed back as I could. I passed back everyone that passed me while climbing and passed a lot of others. Since I finished the swim in 89th place and the 34 and less wave started 5 minutes in front of me I had a lot of people to pass.

Went to the turn around and restarted pushing as hard as I could. Finally reached that hill and I hammered as hard as I could on the descent, probably reach 85 km/h (53mph) on the way down. As I was approaching the transition zone I removed my shoes and got ready to jump off the bike, there was that girl who decided to stop in the middle of the road to unclip, I went by her so fast while yelling WATCH OUT, I hope I didn't scare her too much.

Transition 2 went really well, only small problem is that I have a hard time to rack my bike with the aero bottle on. I've got to find a solution to fix that. Then I put my shoes on and started running out of the transition zone.

For the first time I decided not to run with my Garmin, I didn't know what to expect for that run and I was hoping that they would have put a marker at each km so I could have an idea of my pacing. Sadly there was no marker, so I had to guess my pace on how I was feeling.

I went not too hard but hard enough at the beginning and found two guy about my speed. I followed them for a long while but they finally dropped me at maybe 1.5km from the end. I tried to get back to them but I was unable to push.

At maybe 500 meter from the line I saw a friend who was doing the Oly, chatted with him for a couple of seconds and then I sprinted to the finish line. He tried to follow me but he was too tired to stay at my pace so I finished in front of him ;)

Swim - 16:08 / 750 meters
2:08 / 100 meters

T1 - 2:25

Bike - 34:42 / 20km (12.2 miles)
34.6 km/h (21.5 MPH)

T2 - 1:21

Run - 22:53 / 5km (3 miles)
4:35 / km (7:00 / mile)

Total - 1:16:49
28/195 OA and 8/20 AG

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drivers please share the road.

OLYMPIAN KERSHAW TRADES IN SKIS TO HELP KEEP CYCLISTS SAFE

The Canadian Press
By Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press Posted Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:46 PM ET
When Olympic cross-country skier Devon Kershaw read of how a van recently smashed through a group of five endurance cyclists in Ottawa, feelings of frustration and grief returned.

The three-time World Cup medallist lost his girlfriend, Sofie Manarin, in 2001 when a truck struck the 17-year-old skier's bicycle during a summer training ride in her hometown of Sudbury, Ont.

Kershaw says many Olympians who cycle on highways live in terror of inattentive drivers.

"Myself and teammates have close calls many times a year. You're cycling or running or roller-skiing and you have to suddenly jump into the shoulder," Kershaw said in an interview Thursday.

He notes that cross-country ski star Alex Harvey was knocked off his bike last weekend by a driver who pulled out of an intersection in Canmore, Alta. Fortunately he wasn't injured.

Reading of how the five cyclists were sent to an Ottawa hospital, with one suffering internal brain and body injuries, Kershaw said he felt a sense of painful deja-vu.

"This has got to stop," the Olympian said of the road carnage, as he prepared to take a break from training twice daily on various highways near Canmore.

For the survivors, family and friends of cycling victims, the scars run deep.

Kershaw learned of Manarin's death when he came upon her damaged bike frame surrounded by ambulances and police cars. He had been out for a training ride on the same day and was following her route.

"It shaped who I am. It's been hard for me. I go to Sudbury to visit and it still hurts," he said.

He still recalls "Sofie's laugh, very distinct and always present," and recalls, "she was small in stature, but had a big impact and presence with everyone she interacted with." They'd been friends since she was 12, and in a relationship for over a year.

Next week, Kershaw will return to Sudbury for a group ride that will support the bicycle safety group Share the Road.

Figures compiled by Transport Canada show that between 50 and 80 cyclists a year have been killed in car and truck collisions annually since 2003.

Eleanor McMahon, the founder of Share the Road, lost her husband, OPP Sgt. Greg Stobbart, when a driver with a record of driving licence suspensions struck him while the officer was on a training ride.

She said she was thrilled when Kershaw approached her to assist
with the cycling coalition's work. "The two of us have come
together, given the beginning of our experience was one of sadness
and one of loss," she said.

McMahon said she has travelled internationally, studying Europe's extensive network of biking lanes, and noting that in many jurisdictions road laws protecting cyclists are strictly enforced.

"This has become my life's work now," she said. "I want to bring a cycling culture to Canada."

She's currently lobbying the Ontario government for legal changes to help protect cyclists.

"We're looking for a one-metre passing law in Ontario this fall . . . this allows officers to penalize drivers who fail to allow one metre when they're passing a bike," she said.

Kershaw said he's "a huge supporter" of the proposed reform, noting it's the law in 14 U.S. states. He says it "recognizes that cyclists have the right to enjoy their recreation and commuting safety."

Jocelyn Lovell, the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame cyclist who suffered a spinal cord injury in 1983 after being struck by two trucks, says athletes like Kershaw can add emotional punch to the effort to advocate for legal changes and bike lanes.

"Damn right. Good on him. And if laws are being broken, cops should charge people," he said from his home in Mississauga, Ont.

"Bicycles belong. They will be here 1,000 years from now long after cars have been returned to being dust in the ground."

He said when he started driving a van, he went back to the area he was struck "to face my monster," and was stunned to see it was a place where it was easy to see and simple to navigate.

"I was just a cyclist in somebody's way . . . just a thorn in someone's side."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Duathlon Levis Relay - Race Report

I woke up early and slowly finished to pack my stuff, I was in no rush since the start of the Duathlon was at 1pm. After that I drank a couple of coffee and had almond butter and banana on toast with oatmeal and yogurt and some fruit. Damn I eat like a truck ...

I rode there around 10am or so since I knew a couple of people who were competing in the half Ironman. 45 minutes prior to the start we had our pre race meeting, I was happy to see the runner of the team arrived because I was not that prepared to do the entire event by myself. After that I walked into the transition area and finished to get my spot ready. I wanted to head out for a quick ride but it was complicated, the transition zone is in a bad spot and going out for a warm up is painful so I decided to just run a little bit and then warm up during my first loop.

The race was a Duathlon Plus, it was 5km run then 90km ride and 10km run to finish. Marc was doing the running, he did a good job on both running legs. He ran the first 5km in 22:29. He was aiming for a 20min 5k but he started a little bit too fast and drained some energy on the first km and after that it was a bit harder to keep the pace.

The transition went pretty well, I was waiting for him into the transition zone and when he got by I took the chip and then started running with the bike. I jumped on the bike and had some minor problem clipping in my pedals, but overall not a bad transition.

When the bike leg started I told my runner "See you in 2h30" and I took off. After that I started doing some math in my head and realized that 2h30 was a hell of a good time for the bike split there and that maybe I was a bit optimistic ... But I just started mashing the bike as hard as I possibly could, for the first 6-7 loop or so I was over my LT heart rate and I started to wonder if I would be able to hold that pace. But I was feeling great so I didn't bother much with it.

After maybe 6 loop I started to get some rain at one end of the loop. When I got back to the start/finish line my runner asked my if I was sweaty or what, so I told him it was raining at the other end. Since the beginning we were having a nice little East wind, nothing too strong that was helping a bit on one side but that was not much of a trouble on the other side.

When the rain started the wind turned and started blowing stronger, like 20km/h (12mph). At that point it started raining really hard, I never rode in such weather. The sky was just pouring on us, seriously. My Garmin is full of water and it is supposed to be water proof, at least under the rain. At that point I had a really nice average and that stronger wind didn't make me happy since I started to worry that I would go under my dream goal of 34km/h (21.1 mph)

But I just kept mashing the pedals as hard as I could while having in my mind that I had 90km (56 miles) to do. I was passing people left and right and I got passed by a couple of REALLY fast guy, two of them even passed me twice, which made me kinda unhappy ;)

At some point, around 70km (43 miles) or so I could not see anything on my Garmin, the screen was full of fog kinda. So I ask Marc, my runner, how many loop I had to do still. He said 5, so I knew it was coming to an end, and I was happy about it because it was starting to be painful. But I still had that speed goal in the back of my mind and I knew I could not slow down a bit.

I kept mashing the pedals as hard as I could in the wonderful weather, while riding in so much water that I could not see the holes in the pavement anymore and I had to guess that at some point it would be smooth or not. I decided to wear tri short for this ride, I am not too sure yet why, but anyway I decided to wear them and I couldn't change my mind at that point so I had to deal with them. I was seriously starting to feel, or to not feel it anymore at that point.

But I kept going hard trying to give some time to my runner if we wanted to have a chance to grab some hardware. I finally made it to the 23rd loop in 2:34:10, which gave me an average of 35km/h (21.76 mph) I am a happy camper ;)

Jumping off the bike was not that good, I can't say why but I unclipped both feet and I had a hard time to jump off the bike. I should have just remove my shoes as I usually do during a Triathlon, it would have made me feel more comfortable.

Marc then headed out for the 10k, he ran it in 48:12 which was a great time in my opinion.

We finished the Duathlon with a time of 3:46:08, which was a really good time in my mind.

Duathlon Plus 5km, 90km, 10km (3.1 mile, 56 mile, 6.2 mile)

Run 5km (3.1 mile) : 22:29 - 4:30/km (7:14/mile)
Transition 1: 0:44
Bike 90km (56 mile) : 2:34:10 - 35km/h (21.76 mph)
Transition 2: 0:35
Run 10km (6.2 mile) : 48:12 - 4:50/km (7:46/mile)

Category 5/8
Overall 8/14

The competition was really fast this year, with the same time last year we would have finished second with almost 5 minutes in front of the third team. Every year it gets harder and harder because the other teams are stronger.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Totals for June

I am happy with my training load for June, it's been one of my bigest month. Here are the totals
Swim : 16980 meters
Bike : 685 km
Run : 90.5 km

Not a big running month but I am just getting back from that ITBand injury and I am still taking it easy on the running side. But still I am really happy with those numbers.

I did some comparaison with last year totals, it's impressive hom much I trained so far in 2009.
Swim : 262% of my 2008 totals
Bike : 87% of my 2008 totals
Run : 167% of my 2008 totals

This should give me a really good year of training for 2009, but I must admit I kinda cheated since I started running in July last year and I started swimming in September.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Triathlon Trois Rivieres - Race report

Today was my third Triathlon of the season, I woke up around 5AM to start the day. Prepared myself and grab some toast and oatmeal for breakfast. After that I finished packing the car, stopped by a coffee shop and then we drove 1h15 or so to the race.

Once there I stopped to get marked and grab my goody bag. Then I found a nice spot in the transition area and started getting ready slowly. It was still early, probably two hours to go before the start of the race so I was in no rush. Unpacked everything and I went inside to change into my racing clothes.

After that I went for a test drive around the track to see which corner were tricky and where I would have to push hard. I was a bit in a rush at that point because they were about to close to bike course because the Duathlon was starting an hour before us.

After my quick ride I went for a warm up run, and then headed to the pool, yeah the swim was in a huge outside pool. The pool was 100 x 50 yards, with the buoys inside it was probably something like 90 X 40 yards. We had to swim 3 times around the pool plus one length of 90 yards. that should give around 750 meters they said ;) According to my calculation it was more around 820 meters or so. So I went for a warm up, I did one lap around the pool. The water was not that warm, probably 68-70 and it was a no wetsuit swim which made it interesting.

After that I went to chat a little bit with my wife while watching the duathlon until the race director called us for the pre race meeting. Once we got there he gave us some explanation about the swim, bike and run courses and then we had to get ready. There was three waves of swimmers, but because it was in a pool they decided to wait until the women and relay finished their swim before letting the men start. The 34 and lower started first and then we jumped in the pool 2 minutes later for our start.


The swim was like most of my swim, by the time that I got out of the pool there was not that many people still in it, I would say 5 others swimmers were still in there to make me feel better about myself ;) Here's a proof of it, not like I think I need to prove that I almost finish last on my swim though ...

The run from the pool to the transition zone was long, according to my estimate I would say 200 meters or so. Once I reached my transition spot it went really fast. I was in and out in a couple of seconds, since I didn't have a wetsuit it really helped with the length of the T1. Got to my bike, put my glasses and helmet on and I was gone. I decided to let me shoes on the bike one more time to try and get better at it. It went really well today to be honest, I guess that practice finally give me some results.

After that I hammered the bike as much as I possibly could, the course was speedy and I knew that it was my place to gain some spot back. I don't think I got passed more then three times maybe. There was no hills at all, it was flat course with only one turn where we had to slow down more than the others. So I rode as fast as I could without even thinking about my legs for the run. It worked really well because I gained a ton of places on the bike. I had my new wheels on the bike and I can tell you that either they are really fast, or it's mental and it really works ;)

We had to do 8 laps on the track, which was around 21km from my bike computer. the race director said that it was 22.5km but I don't believe him ;) I was so fast that even the camera couldn't get a clear picture of me ...

I didn't see any incident but my wife told me that she saw three crashed on that turn, people were trying to gain every second possible there but it was not a good idea.

When I was about to finished the bike portion I removed my shoes on the bike and dismount right when we were entering the transition zone. One guy in front of me lost one shoe right there and he had to stop to get it. Transition 2 went really well too, I ran to my transition spot racked my bike, remove my helmet. Grabbed my 305, my race belt and a bottle of Cytomax to drink on the run and I was on my way to run that 5km to finish the day.

The run was four laps of 1.25 km each, easy run all flat. I had my fluid bottle on me so I didn't stop by any aid station except for one time to put some water on my head because it was getting hot out there. The run was ok, not my fastest but I gave everything I had left after that super bike leg.

For the entire duration of the competition I was sure that we would have rain, but it held up until we were done. Sadly for the other competitor who were racing later today the rain really started to get stronger after that we left.

Overall I am happy with what I did, I knew that the swim wouldn't be my best event but I am still happy with what I did. I really kicked ass on the bike, this is mostly where I am strong but today was better than any other competition I did so far. As for the run, the fact that I have been injured the last 6-7 weeks didn't help me. I guess I lost some speed if I compare with my results from earlier this spring.

Now I got to get ready for next week 90km ride on my relay team :)

Swim 750 meters / 820 yards : 15:27
Average : 2:04/100 meters
99/120 Overall - 9/10 Age group

Transition 1 : 1:14

Bike 22.5 km / 14 miles : 33:40
Average : 40.1 km/h - 24.9 mile per hour
14/120 Overall - 3/10 Age group

Transition 2 : 1:22

Run 5 km / 3.1 miles : 22:42
Average : 4:32 min/km - 7:17 min/mile
63/120 Overall - 8/10 Age group

Finish time 1:14:25
45/120 Overall - 7/10 Age group