Friday, February 27, 2009

Off day during an off week

Fridays are always my off days, lots of reasons why I chose Fridays. First it's the day after Thursday night where I sometimes go out with my friends, which makes it hard to get up early on Friday. And it's the first day of the week end and I like to have some wine with my dinner on Friday night, which makes it harder to go ride, swim or run after dinner ;) This week though I wish I could have go out to run when I woke up this morning, the weather was really nice. It was 0C or so, no wind at all, perfect conditions to run at this time of the year. But sadly I can`t run still, I won't be able to run at all before Monday's appointment with the doctor. Good news though, I don't feel any pain in my foot at all anymore. Those couple of days off were great to heal some little things I had since a while. Pain in one of my knee, calves were sore since a while now. That should all be healed up by next week when I will, I hope, be able to restart running. I had an appointment with my trainer today, had my body fat measured again. I am really happy, during the last month I went from 16.6% to 15.5% of body fat. Last month versus today
Chin: 7Chin: 7
Cheek: 5Cheek: 5
Pectoral: 7Pectoral: 7.4
Triceps: 9Triceps: 7.4
Subscap: 11Subscap: 11
Mid-axillary: 14.6Mid-axillary: 12.4
Supra-Illiac: 14Supra-Illiac: 13
Umbilical: 20Umbilical: 19.2
Knee: 7Knee: 6.8
Medial Calf: 10Medial Calf: 6.8
*Quadriceps: 10*Quadriceps: 7.4
*Hamstrings: x*Hamstrings: 7.4
Sum of mm: 104.6Sum of mm: 96
Lean mass: 65.8Lean mass: 65.9
Fat%: 16.6Fat%: 15.5
I will update all the totals in the table as soon as I get some free times. Now I only have to keep working on that to get it down to 12% or so. Training for last week Running Time - 2:46 Distance - 27.28 km Swimming Time - 2:16 Distance - 4.8 km Ridding Time - 2:05 Distance - 65.9 km

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I got a plan

I got a plan in case my doctor doesn't let me restart running because of my right foot. This might takes a couple of days to get used to it but at least it won't hurt my foot ;) My only problem is that running on the snow like that ain't gonna be funny. My right foot is getting better, the pain is almost all gone. But I won't be silly and go out runnign on it tomorrow ... At least I will work hard not to be ;) My head was not there yesterday night at master swimmers, I left the workout half way through it. I am not sure what hapenned, it's like I was really tired. But I didn't run in the morning so I shouldn't have been. Anyway I decided to take a couple of days off from work next week to get some rest and relax. And by that time my foot should be like a brand new one, so I should be able to run a little bit. This is except if my doctor wants to test my sanity and keep me from running for longer than a week. I hope it was nothing and that by next week life will be back where it was not so long ago and that I will still be able to go out and run for as long as I feel like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Those words a triathlete don't want to hear

"You'll have to stop running" For my last two runs I had a pain under my right foot, I was not too sure if it was a good thing to run on the pain and just deal with it. So I went to a sport chyropractor specialist yesterday night. He checked everything, and he said that it's either a stress fracture or I teared a muscle under my foot. Then he looked at me and said that I would have to stop running for a week and then restart with a walk/run program if I want to make sure that I would get ride of this before the season really kicks in. That means that there's no way I will be ready in time to run my half marathon at the speed I was intending to run it. I should be able to complete it, but no way I will do it fast :( That probably also mean that running a full in July will be harder since I am getting back to the start of my training program. I don't think it will mess with my triathlon season too much since I am not planning anything longer than an Olympic which is a 10k run and that shouldn't be a problem. But I should say that when he told me that yesterday the feeling was not that great inside. The guy is a runner too, so he knew how I was feeling. That was weird when I woke up at 5:30 today, to realize that I wouldn't go out to run even if the plan was calling for it. I am a bit disappointed and unhappy with my body right now. I did make sure that I wouldn't push too much during my training. I also made sure that I didn't raise the distance or time too fast to make sure I wouldn't hurt myself. But after all that I still get hurt, it's just not fair in my mind. At least I can still bike and swim, did a trainer ride yesterday night to change my mind a little bit. And tonight is master swimmers, which will give me an occasion to move a little bit for today at least. Swimming Time - 0:45 Distance - 1.4 km

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Sun Rise by itself is worth it

It's that time of the year where the sun is rising early enough so I can see it while I am running, today just just beautiful. The sky was perfect, not a single cloud in it, it was like orange and slowly the sun appeared. Those are some awesome moments, outside running and seeing something that beautiful. I wish I would have had my cell phone with me to take a picture of it, I will try to think about it tomorrow and post a picture here. Today's run was a tempo run, 10 min warm up, 40 minutes tempo and 10 minutes cool down. 5m 9:08/km walking 10m 6:14/km warm up 40m 5:14/km tempo 10m 6:20/km cool down 2m 10:14/km walking By the end of the 40 minutes I was getting tired and my pace was slower, but overall I stayed at the pace I was aiming for. My goal for that tempo run was 5:17, so 5:14 is not too far off. When I ran my Sunday's long run I hurt myself, not too sure how but it started hurting under my right feet every time I pushed while running. I was feeling better yesterday so I figured I would be ok to run today, finally it started hurting again after 45 minutes or so today. I am not sure if I should go see a doctor of some kind or if I will just get over it after a couple of days ... I hate when it happens to me, my body should know better than anybody that I don't have the time to get hurt with the tri season coming soon. I was surfing on the New York City Marathon web site today and I saw that the lottery application is finally open, so I did apply. Now I only have to hope that I will get picked :) Running Time - 1:07 Distance - 11.57 km Riding Time - 1:00 Distance - 31.1 km

Monday, February 23, 2009

Swimming for lunch

Since I skipped my trainer ride yesterday I had in my mind to do it today. But when I saw that my legs were still sore from yesterday's long run when I woke up I figured that just skipping that ride was the best thing to do and I did. I went to the pool during my lunch time for a quick swim, since I had a meeting at 1pm I only had time to swim for a short period. There was not too many people, which was fun because I hate fighting while in the pool. Swimming Time - 0:36 Distance - 1.4 km

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday's pleasure

Man I love long run, going out for 2 hours of pure joy running in the street and relaxing while spending some real quality time with myself. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't, but those runs are probably the best stress relief that I can find in my life. Every time I go out and run I just find a way to relax and get in peace with myself in a certain way, which is nice because lets face it, life is stressful. Now if only the snow was all melted it would be so much more pleasant to run than it actually is. The snow is now half melted in some place, so it's almost impossible to push while running because my feet keep sleeping. at least there's more pavement visible now than last week, and it will only get better ;) Today's run was my longest this year, last time I ran that long was at the half marathon last October. I am happy to see that I am in that shape so early in the season, I plan to run that kind of run at least every other week for the summer so I will always be in a half marathon shape. At least this is my plan for this summer, so if I decide myself to run a marathon along the way I will already be in a good starting shape for it. Today's split were 05m - 8m31s/km walking 30m - 6m16s/km in Z1 45m - 5m51s/km in Z2 15m - 5m29s/km in Z3 15m - 5m41s/km in Z2 02m53s - 9m10s/km walking The path was hilly so it messed my speed a little, not that easy to find a flat road around here when running for almost 2 hours. I was supposed to hit the trainer today after my long run, but my legs were so tired that I decided to pass on it for now. Here are my week-end's total. Running Time - 2:46 Distance - 27.5 km Swimming Time - 0:55 Distance - 2 km

Friday, February 20, 2009

Off day ... not so off

Today is my usual off day of the week. But since didn't run yesterday morning because of the snow storm I went out to do that run today. First of all, let me tell you that it was not better today. There was still a lot of snow on the streets and it was painful to run today. I usually enjoy my morning run, today was not as enjoyable as usual. The weather was ok, something like -9C or so with 20km/h winds or so. It was a ladder run, 15 minutes in zone 1, 15 minutes in zone 2, 10 minutes in zone 3 and then 5 minutes in zone 1. I did ok, but not as fast as I usually do on those runs because of the snow. 15m - 06m07s/km in Z1 15m - 05m17s/km in Z2 10m - 05m11s/km in Z3 05m - 06m15s/km in Z1 Here's my training for the last week Running Distance - 49.25 km Time - 4:50:00 Riding Distance - 104.7 km Time - 3:25:00 Swimming Distance - 2.3 km Time - 1:06:00 Looking at those numbers I see that missing master swimmers Wednesday night and the Aquathlon last week end cut my swimming distance for the week drastically, but I will get those number back up in the upcoming week :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snow storm, 6 inches of snow in the streets = trainer

I woke up at 5h30 today and looked outside, the weather peoples told us that we would have a snow storm with lots of winds this morning, so I was expecting that I wouldn't be able to head out and run. Finally the storm wasn't that bad and the wind were under 30km/h so still possible to run. But the streets were full of snow, there was like six inches of snow on the street in front of my house when I looked. So since I had a trainer ride planned for tonight I decided to just go to the basement and "enjoy" 1h05 of torture on my trainer. I just don't like the trainer much, and the plan I am following during the winter is really something, which makes it even more fun to be on the trainer. It's weird how riding a bike can be so enjoyable when outside and so boring when on the trainer. I miss those long ride outside during the summer, but I can feel it's coming slowly and that soon I will be able to enjoy them again. Anyway I did my 1h05 on the trainer and then got ready for work, the streets were still full of snow so coming to work was not that fun. But we live in a country where we have a long winter, so I guess we're used to that kind of weather after so long. Yesterday night was master trainers night, but my shoulder was still bugging me and I decided to pass for yesterday. I am still feeling guilty about it but I figured that going to swim with a pain in my left shoulder was not a really brilliant idea. I hope I was right, I will just push harder on Saturday's swim. Riding Distance - 31.5 km Time - 1:05:00

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heart rate zone

A couple days ago I was reading Matt Fitzgerald's blog, he had a great post about heart rate. After reading it I did some verification with my latest workouts. As an example on Sunday I was running a ladder, for the first 30 minutes of it I had to stay in zone 1. According to the data that I gathered with my Garmin 305 I ran at a pace of 6:11 for that first 30 minutes. I had a really hard time to stay in zone 1 during those 30 minutes, I remember my watch beeping a lot to tell me I just hit the beginning of zone 2. Overall for those 30 minutes my heart rate average was 143 and my max heart rate was 150. Now this morning I went out for a 45 minutes run, it was supposed to be an easy run so I just went by feeling. I ran at a speed where I was feeling really good, usually something between end of zone 1 beginning of zone 2. Then I analyzed the data a little bit and I was surprised to see that on the same path as Sunday's run my heart rate versus pace were really different. Today I ran at a pace of 5:46 and I never hit zone 2 during the entire workout. My average heart rate was 136 and my max heart rate was 146. I am not really sure how I can explain this, the main difference between those two workouts were the time of the day. Sunday's was during the afternoon and today's was early morning. I also had an Aquathlon on Saturday which could explain it, at least a part of it. Does that mean that we can't really rely on heart rate data when we train, or that we can't only use this. How can I run at a pace 25 seconds faster with a heart rate average 7 beats lower? I guess that will have to try to train more by rate and less by heart rate zone, or at least use both to make sure I always get the maximum of every workout.

My legs are tired

Today's run was an easy 45 minutes Z1 and Z2 workouts. My legs were tired, I guess that two trainer ride in the last two days and yesterday morning's run didn't help that much. I think I will do some modification in my weekly schedule and that I will ride the trainer on Friday morning instead of Thursday night. That should give my legs a little break. This is if we don't get that snow/wind combo tomorrow morning, according to the weather web site we should have snow with wind over 40km/h, this wouldn't be fun to run for sure. Besides that today's run went well, the weather was ok. It was around -11C with some wind but nothing too strong. I am happy that the weather is warm lately, it is so warm with the sun that the snow melt during the day, this is awesome because soon I will run on pavement again :) But on the less fun side all that water become ice during the night and there's more ice when I run in the morning. I guess we can't always win after all. Running Distance - 8.6 km Time - 52:00

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tweaking the plan

Today's run was 1h05 with 8 hills repeat in it, well I should say should have been. When I left home I was still feeling my left Achilles tendon a little bit from Sunday's run, so I made the decision during my warm up that I would switch from a hills repeat day to an easy recovery day. I didn't change the duration of the run or anything, but I just ran around without doing any hills or speed work to make sure that I wouldn't push on that tendon and taking the chance to hurt it even more. At first I could feel it a little bit, but after 10 minutes or so of running I was feeling great which made me think that I made the right decision. With all that nice weather that we had lately the snow has melted a little bit, we still have some though. Here's how my street looks like ;) My street As you can see not much pavement to run on yet ;) But I can feel that it's coming! Now I just have to wait and see how it will feel today, so far it's great so I am hoping that I made the right decision. Weather was nice again today, it was around -5C with a little snow falling. I just love running it that kind of weather, and I especially love the fact that we're in February and it's warm, well warm for February here ;) Usually at this time of the year we still have weather colder than -20C/-25C so running in weather warmer than -5 is really nice. Running Distance - 12.1 km Time - 1:12:00 Biking Distance - 34.1 km Time - 1:10:00

Monday, February 16, 2009

There we go

It's official I will be tri'ìng for the kids for my first Olympique distance Triathlon next September. I am just coming back from a meeting with Leucan and they are really interested in my idea of completing an Olympique distance Triathlon for the kids. I still have to come up with a web site and a realistic goal, I am not sure yet but since an Olympique distance is 51.5km I might go with a 5150$ goal, I feel like it's doable if I work hard. Here's the map of the Triathlon that I will run for the kids Map The bike leg is on the Gilles Villeneuve's formula one track, this should be interesting. But I am pretty sure I won't ride as fast as them ;) I will keep you posted about how it goes and I will add a link to my web page as soon as it will be completed. Today's training was a trainer ride this morning and a swim during lunch time. ------ Ok I am just coming back from the pool, today we were 6 in each lane which is a bunch of people in a 25 meters pool. Now there's 5 lanes where I swim during lunch time, from slow to fast, can someone explain me how a swimmer can stay in the second to fastest lane and decided to do some kick board where everyone has to slow down because there's like no way you can double someone when there's so many people in a lane?!? I just don't get it, when I know I will do a slower set I just switch to a slower lane, I guess I am asking too much ... Riding Distance - 36.5 km Time - 1:10:00 Swimming Distance - 1.4 km Time - 45:00

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What a nice Sunday

Sunday, nice weather, and long run on tap, what else can I ask for? The weather was nice for this time a the year, -5C or so, with a really nice sun warming my skin. I could see the snow melting slowly on the street, sign that I will eventually be able to ride my bike outside again. Today's run was a 1h30 run, it was what I like to call a Ladder run. It starts with 30 minutes in zone 1, then 30 minutes in zone 2, followed by 15 minutes in zone 3 and then back to 15 minutes in zone 2. Every time I do that I always wonder how I will be able to push to zone 3 after running for so long. I tried to change my route a little bit today, I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have too much hills to mess up my heart rate since I had to stick into specific zones. SO I figured something out that I guess would give me an hour and a half or so of running. That was funny, when I was in my last 15 minutes of running I met my girlfriend who was walking my dog. You should have seen the dog, he wanted to follow me so bad that I thought that my girlfriend wouldn't be able to hold him. When I finally came back home I realized that my left Achilles tendon was hurting, I don't know if it because I pushed too hard, or because I tried those screw shoes finally. Yeah I finally decided to put those screws under my Wave Rider, and since today's run was like half on ice and half on pavement I wonder if it was that much of a good idea. Or maybe it's because I tried my new Asics at Saturday's Aquathlon. I will see, I might remove the screws and see for Tuesday's run. Anyway I will skip my trainer ride and do it tomorrow morning instead. Running Distance - 16.8 km Time - 1:40:00

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's day

Today was Valentine's day, it was a day I was suposed to spend with my girlfriend. But being me I had another plan in mind, there was that Aquathlon at the University here organized by the University Triathlon club and a friend of mine from BeginnerTriathlete who is a member of the club invited me to do it. First thing was to talk my girlfriend into the fact that I would have a competition on Valentine's day. So I ordered from our favorite Sushi place, they had a little special for Valentine. Heart shaped box filled with sushi, with tartare and dessert, now that diner was taking care of I had to tell her. So around last Wednesday I talked with her and explained that to her, being supportive as she always is she said yes and she said she would come cheer for me too :) So today I went to the PEPS, which is the sports center of the university, they have everything there it's really a great place. Anyway I went there and I was supposed to meet with Steve, who I chat with almost everyday on BeginnerTriathlete, but whom I never met, so I was not too sure how he looked like and all. We met, really nice guy by the way, and he showed me around the place. Where was the pool, and the track where we would run, the transition zone too. I met a couple of his friends who races with him on regular basis. I also bought a T-Shirt from his team, there are four of them who are heading to the Triathlon World Championship and they are selling T-Shirt to help them raise money to pay for the trip. They also have a lot of activity planned for the entire summer that will be really interesting. Now we are about 30 minutes from the begining of the competition, I am getting a bit nervous. It's a friendly competition, we have no chip or whatever and we are responsible to count or own laps in the pool and on the track. The competition is a 750 meters swim followed by a 3k run. So I lay down my stuff in the transition area, I am happy since I didn't forget anything. Lay my towel on the ground, got my new Asics that I will try for the first time, a shirt for the run and socks since I didn't want to get blisters for my long run tomorrow.  Then I head back to the pool and wait until the start of the race, I am getting nervous since I never tried anything like this. My only competition experience are run races and Duathlons, I never swam in any competition. Actually 5 months ago I was not even swimming, so swimming a 750 meters is something new for me, I am not nervous because I am scared I can't complete it because I have swim 1.6km once in the pool, so the distance is ok. But I want to do as good as I can but within my limits so I don't ruin my run after. Only 10 minutes to go until it starts, I head to the bathroom, I told you I was nevous ;) Then back to the pool, I jumped into the water to swim a bit to warm up. Swam a 150 meters, then back to the start line and chat a bit with the other competitors in my lane, we were five in my lane. From the chat that we have I know I will finish fourth probably, so I should get passed a bit. One of the guy in my lane is so tall, and just looking at him I know he his fast. The other guy is on Steve's team, he's heading to the world championship too. And there we go, the swim starts. As I expected those two guys are like torpillas, they just starts so fast it's almost incredibile that someone can swim that fast. There's a girl who is really fast in my lane too, so as I figured I am fourth. I get into my rythme knowing that if I try to follow them I will literally die before the end of that swim. My plan was to beat 17:00 for the swim, so I tried to stay in a zone where I knew I would do around that time. By the time I am done with my swim I can see that the pool is almost empty. We were around 45 at the start, I would say we were about 5-6 when I was on my last lap. I am finally done with the swim, 16:57 according to my watch so my first goal is achevied. Now I have to get out of the pool and run. Damn this is harder than I thought, first of all my arms are really tired and there is no ladder or anything to get out at the end of my lane so I have to push me out of the water. Off to transition now, I arrive by my spot and dry my feet a little bit. Then I put my socks on, slip into my shoes and grab my shirt and off I go. transition time was 1:29, I am happy with that since I had to run from the pool to the track and put my shoes on the way ;) Then I hit the track, it is a 200 meters track so I have 15 laps to do. I figured I have to try to run 50 seconds or so laps to have a really good time. That would give me a 12:30 time for a 3k. My best so far has been 13:32 or so. So off I go, on the second lap I started to have cramps in both calves, I never have that kind of cramp and I am unsure what to do. Sure I didn't drink that much during transition, I tried to get as much fuild in as I could in a fast transition and since it was only a 3k I didn't bring anything to drink during the race. Anyway I figured I will just keep running and they should go away, that's what I did and that's what happenned finally. There we go, cramps are gone now I only have to concentrate on the run and try to do as fast as I can. I try to count my laps, but at some point I am lost in my count. I can't remember if I am at 12 or 13. I ask to one volunteer that was there and she looks at me as unsure as I am. I look at my watch and accoring to the time I should be on my 13th, but I am unsure and I don't want to cheat. I am really not sure at that point what to do, anyway I will just run and see. There is not official time anyway, so I just keep running at a pace where I was feeling good with in my mind to sprint on the last lap. Then I pass the finish line and a volunteer make me a sign that I am done. Guess I won't sprint that last lap finally, it looks like when I asked if I was on 12th or 13th I was on 13. I finished the run portion with a time of 13:38, I didn't beat my previous time finally. I tought I would since I am in a better running shape that I was but it seems that running after a swim is harder than running on the start od a duathlon. I finished with a time of 32:04, nothing great but it's not bad either. At least now I have a goal for the next one, I have to beat my own time :) Racing with all those fast triathletes was really an awesome experience. I can't wait for the next one.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Supposed to be an off day

Today was supposed to be an off day, but since I skipped my bike trainer ride yesterday night I woke up early today, read 5:30 AM, and I did ride for an hour before work. I just can't wait for the warm weather to get back, I want to ride outside so bad. I finally decided to sign for that Aquathlon tomorrow that the triathlon club here is organizing. I am really nervous about it, this will be my first competition where I will actually swim. Last summer I did only running and Duathlon, never actually swim in a competition. I know I am really slow as a swimmer, I think that if everything goes well I can break 17:30 for the 750 meters, then it's T1 and a 3 kilometers run. I should do ok in the run, even if I haven't been running inside for the entire winter, this will be weird to run without all my winter clothing for once :) This triathlon club has some really awesome triathletes in it, I know one of them who is going to the world championship next fall. Just so you can see how much faster those people are compared to me. Actually I wish I won't finish last but that might happen. I see this as an experience for the triathlons to come next summer, swimming then running, trying to keep enough energy to run a great 3 kilometers to finish the competition. This week's training Running Distance - 44.2 km Time - 4:31:00 Biking Distance - 93.81 km Time - 3:05:00 Swimming Distance - 6.2 km Time - 3:10:00

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mind versus body

Yesterday I pushed hard for my 30 minutes run because I was unhappy with the effort I put out Tuesday morning on my hills training. After I started worrying about today's run, will I be too tired to do my "Ladder" workout, did I make a mistake by pushing too hard on an easy day. So today I went out for my morning run, weather was really warm, around 0C with 20km/h or so wind. Only problem was that it was raining a bit, so the usual snow on the street was now ice, and I was kinda nervous after my wonderful fall two days ago. Anyway I went out and the program was calling for 15 minutes in zone 1, 15 minutes in zone 2, 10 minutes in zone and then 5 minutes back in zone 1. For those entire 15 minutes of zone one running I kept thinking that I made a mistake yesterday and that I would be way too tired to push the pace enough to reach zone 3 for 10 minutes. I was even scared that pushing 15 minutes in zone 2 would be a real challenge. So I spent 15 minutes thinking that maybe I should switch for another workout, just do an easy 45 minutes run instead since I pushed zone 2-3 yesterday anyway. At some point my mind almost won the challenge, I was running at a pace of 6:30/km or so and I was convinced that my body couldn't handle ,uch faster today. Then the 305 started ringing telling me that I had to switch to zone 2, that I had to push the pace at least 1 minute faster per kilometer. At that point I decided to give it a go, to push harder and to try to reach and stay in zone 2 for 15 minutes. I had no problem, went from 6:30/km to 5:15/km or so, I was able to keep the pace even if my mind was convinced that I couldn't. Even there I still thought that zone 3 would be impossible to handle for 10 minutes, I knew I would have to run faster than 5:00/km to reach and stay in zone 3 and I know it starts to be painful at that speed. My mind was tricking me and trying to convince me that I couldn't handle it. That I should slow down and relax a little bit, that my legs were tired. But I just decided to ignore it and I ran that 10 minutes in zone 3 without any problem. Then I finished my ladder with a 5 minutes trying to get back down into zone 1. It made me realize how much our mind and our body are two different entities. Even if I was sure that I couldn't handle it was almost easy, I could have swear that there was no way I would be able to run fast today, but I did. So now I wonder, all that training that we do, is it mainly to train our body, or our mind? Is those long training day, are mainly to get our mind used to the fact that we will suffer and that we have to keep at it? Today’s training Running Distance - 8.75 km Time - 53:00

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Easy run and a swim tonight

Today was easy run day, although I should have run at easy pace I was still feeling guilty from yesterday's hills repeat where I didn't push hard enough in my opinion. So I pushed harder today, and I ran 30 minutes at 5:10/km or so. This is a minute faster than the speed I should run on easy day. I just hope I didn't push too hard and I will still have legs for tomorrow's ladder run. The weather was really nice this morning, it was -4C or so, I wasn't too sure what to wear when I left and I finally put too much clothing on. I came back home soaked like if it was raining outside. It is supposed to be even warmer tomorrow morning, I will have to make sure I wear the appropriate clothing. Tonight is Master Swimmers's night, I hope everything will be ok. I did hurt my right shoulder a little bit when I fell yesterday while running, I just hope it won't give me any trouble while I swim tonight. The Rouge et Or triathlon club is organizing an Aquathlon this Saturday and a friend of mine who is a member of the club asked me to participate. I am a bit anxious about it, I know that my swimming isn't yet at the speed required to be able to compete with those guys, but on the other hand I would love to try this. It's a 750 meters swim and a three kilometers run. Sounds like fun, anyway I will think about it today and make my decision. Today's training Running Distance - 6.7 km Time - 38:00 Swimming Distance - 2.6 km Time - 1:30:00

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hills ... then on my back

Today's run was all about hills training. The plan was calling for 15 minutes warm up, then 30 minutes hills repeat and 15 minutes to cool down. During that 30 minutes main event I had to do 6 hills repeat, something like going up a hill for two minutes then cool down on the way back down. Rinse and repeat. During the main set I had to push enough so that I would hit high zone three and even low zone four (heart rate). Usually when I run I go by feeling, but I always have my Garmin 305 with me to record everything. That way I can analyze the data, see where I pushed enough, too much or not enough. Well, sadly for me, this morning I didn't push enough during those hills repeat. I barely hit zone three while going up the hill. I guess that I was scared to push too hard to start with and that I would get tired before the end of the workout. On a total of six hills I only pushed hard on the last one since I had plenty of energy left in the tank and knew that I could easily push on my way up. The fact that I didn't push enough during my main set is easy to see when looking at my laps. I did run almost a minute per kilometer faster on my cool down that I did on my main set ... As most of you know, I am from Quebec City and here it's still winter. Well today's weather was -20C with almost no wind, which makes it nice to run. On my way back home during my cool down I was running kinda fast, at least for me, and while turning on a street close to home I lost traction while running over a patch of ice and I slipped. When I say slipped I mean really, I fell on the ground and rolled till the middle of the street. Luckily I didn't hurt myself and no car were coming, but damn I wish they could put some sand on the side of the street so we can run without always have the fear that we might hurt ourselves. A friend of mine run with some kind of traction chain under is shoes, another one uses what we call screw shoes. Screw shoes I never felt like I had to. With spring coming it seems like I will have to run of ice a lot more. We will have rain, then cold which means ice and then rain again ... I don't know, maybe I could use one of my old pair of shoes and turned them into screw shoes. My Mizuno have like 400 kilometers in them, with February and March I will hit between 700 and 800 kilometers with them and it will be time for new shoes anyway. I think I will hit the hardware store on my lunch time and get me some sheet metal screws. Training for today is Running Distance - 11 km Time - 1:09:00

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tri'ing for a charity

I have been thinking about it for a while now, since I already spend at least 10 hours a week training should I do it for a charity. Last year I did raise money for Leucan, a charity here in Quebec. Every year they organize the Shaved Head Challenge, last year I raised around 1000$ in exchange that I would shave my head. I did it and since then I kept it shaved so no way I can do it again this year. No one would pay me for shaving what is already shaved. Leucan is an association that grew out of the junction of parents of cancer-stricken children and health care 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 ten 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, and works jointly with collaborators in its field, with a comprehensive approach to care. Leucan I do believe in them and I will be happy to raise money for them from now on until September 2009, the date at which I will complete my first Olympique distance Triathlon. I am not sure how much money I will able to raise for them, but I believe that if my head was worth 1000$ then 10 hours a week for so many weeks is worth more then that. If I start counting now until September 2009 I will spend more then 300 hours training. An Olympique distance Triathlon is 1.5 kilometers swim, 40 kilometers bike and a 10 kilometers run to finish. Overall it is 51.5 kilometers, I guess that it is worth at least 1$ per kilometers. In the next weeks I will work on something with them, I have in mind to create a Paypal account where people can deposit their donation and a web site where people can follow my training see how much money I have raised so far, etc. Training for today is Swimming Distance - 1.6 km Time - 40:06

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Races schedule for 2009

After thinking about it for a while I finally made up my mind about my scheduled races for 2009.

05.03 Quebec Int Half-Marathon - 21.1k
05.17 Duathlon Sorel-Tracy - Sprint
05.23 Triathlon des Iles - Sprint
06.07 Descente Royale - 10k
06.20 Triathlon Lac-Beauport - Sprint
06.27 Triathlon Trois-Rivieres- Sprint
07.04 Duathlon Lévis - Plus
07.19 Marathon Carl Girard - 42.2k
08.15 Triathlon Drummondville - Sprint
08.30 Marathon des Deux Rives - 21.2k
09.12 Triathlon Esprit Mtl - Oly
10.04 Marathon Rimouski - 42.2k
10.31 Course des Fantômes - 10k

I am still debating if it's a good idea to run my first Marathon in the middle of my triathlon's season. I might switch this one with a triathlon instead and run my first in October instead. Also I am not a 100% sure if I will run the half at the end of August or do a triathlon that happens to be the same day. Since this is two weeks before my "A" race of the year, the olympique in Montreal, I might decide not to run a half and do a triathlon as a training day instead. I will see as the summer goes by.I am also unsure if I didn't choose too much races, the main problem is that there's at least 6 months where we have no races at all around here so when I can finally race I want to do them all.As of now I would run two 10k, two half marathons, two marathons, a duathlon, a relay duathlon, five sprints and a Olympique triathlon. This seems like a lot looking at it from here. The good thing is that I haven't sign for any of those races yet so if I see that it's too much stress on my body I can always drop a couple of them on the way. If I compare with last year I did two relay duathlon, two duathlon, a 5k, a 10k and a half marathon. So I have a lot more races scheduled for this year but I have been training for a while for this season now and I intend to do most of my sprints triathlon as training races to prepare myself for my olympique in September. As far as the marathon goes in July it gives me 4 weeks after it to recover and get ready for my sprint in August which should be enough in my opinion, especially since the sprint is only a 5k run. I am pretty excited since this will be my first triathlon season. I hope I am not making any mistake in scheduling this year, but I guess that if I do I will learn from my mistakes and get better at it :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sunday = Long run

Today's long run day, actually for this week it's not that long since I will only got out for one hour or so, but still Sunday is long run day. I just love those long run on Sunday, it's really relaxing, you have time to think about everything you want, to look around and discover a new place in town, to actually appreciate life and the fact that you can go out and run. It gives me time to think about the season that is coming, which races will I do, how many triathlons, and half marathon. Will I do a marathon or not, should I do only one olympique triathlon or two during the summer. Weather is -1C, with windchill it goes down to -8C. Not that 0C they told us we would have, but at least we won't have rain that will eventually become ice and make it a pain to run for a week. To see weather that warm, it is warm for us at that time of the year believe me, it almost gives us the feeling that summer will come faster then expected. But I have lived in Quebec for long enough to know that we will have snow untill April for sure and that the cold is here for another month or so before it starts to slowly get warmer. At least the sun started to raise earlier in the morning, which makes my morning run a lot more enjoyable. Anyway, off to run a little bit so I can enjoy my Sunday's long run. Update: Finally I was so wrong, it looks like it rain last night because the sidewalks were like ice ring, the street was full of slush and there was water ponds everywhere. I came back home after 75 minutes with my shoes and socks so wet it looks like I was swimming out there ... Running Distance - 12 km Time - 1:13:00 Biking Distance - 34 km Time - 1:00:00

Friday, February 6, 2009

Off day ...

Today is my off day for the week, every friday I take a day off from my usual training. I know it's good for my body, it helps it heals from those last six days of training and get ready for the next six. But each times I feel guilty, I always tell to myself that maybe I could use that off day to squeeze in another swim session. Or that I could go out and run an easy run just for recovery. Why is it that we feel guilty when we don't train one day? I mean I spent many years in my life not training at all and I never really felt guilty. But now for one single day I do ... I must admit, when I woke up today and looked at the weather I wasn't feeling bad for not going outside today to run. It was -21C and with the wind around -32C, you gotta love it when your off day is the same day as the coldest weather of the week. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 0C, -32C versus 0C, I will accept this trade without any problem. Running with a weather that warm, I haven't seen this since a while. I will have to rethink how I will dress to makes ure I am not too warm, didn't think I would have to worry about that in February in Quebec city ;) Training for the last week was Running Distance - 43 km Time - 4:27:00 Biking Distance - 82 km Time - 2:40:00 Swimming Distance - 4100 meters Time - 2:15:00

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New babe : )

After thinking about it for months I finally made up my mind today. I called my LBS and asked them to order my new baby, a wonderful Trek Equinox 9.9 2009. Here's a picture of it, isn't it beautifull? Now I only have to train harder to make sure that I will be in the best shape ever to ride it as fast as I possibly can. This "little" expense got me thinking, why do we spend so much money on a sport where we earn no money at all. Where most of us will probably never win a competition, and so never win a single dollar out of it. Sure it will make me faster, the bike is more aero than my road bike. It will also help me on the run part of the triathlon because the geometry of the bike makes it easier on the legs so we have more legs for the run part. But with all those advantages with the new bike, I will still be a middle of the pack athlete. I am lucky enough to be in one of the age group where the competition is tough too, 40-44 ain't easy. Why do we enjoy that wonderful sport, is it because we can spend money all on those toys? Bikes, GPS, Compu Trainer, etc. I know we don't need all those toys to compete in this sport, as long as you have any kind of bike a pair of shoes and a swimsuit you're sure to have fun in a triathlon. But still, we buy more and more shiny toys. Do we have more fun with all those toys ... Running Distance - 4 km Time - 25:00 Biking Distance - 30 km Time - 1:00:00

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sticking to the plan

I came back home around 9pm yesterday after having a diner with a client, I should have get downstairs and do my push ups but I just forgot and skipped them finally yesterday. There's no way I can do them before or after the pool tonight, my shoulders are always way to tired to do push ups on the same day as swimming.

Easy run today, kind of a recovery run from yesterday's tempo. My legs are still a bit sore, especially my calves. The weather was ok, it was -14C but with some 20km/h winds though so with windchill probably around -22C. I miss running in the summer ... a couple more months and it be nice again in the morning.

I skipped the pool again yesterday, and because of that I am already lagging behind in my February's plan. I will have to kick it up a notch to get back on track. Master swimmers tonight, I will have to push to compensate for missing the pool for the last two days.

Distance - 5 km
Time - 30:00

Distance - 2400 meters
Time - 1:30:00

How it all started

When I was about to turn 40 I realised that life goes by really fast and that if I wanted to enjoy my journey I had to do something with my own life. At that point I decided to get serious about my training and get back in shape. I was not overweight but had some to lose to be honest, so I started training more seriously. I started doing what could be called interval walking/running on my treadmill. Then I decided to buy a trainer so I could ride my bike in the basement until the summer would be back with us. When the warmer weather finally arrived I started riding my bike outside, nothing especially fascinating but enough to slowly get in better shape. Then one day a friend of mine, with whom I ride sometimes, talked me into doing a Duathlon Plus relay. "A what?" I told him. So he explained me what a Duathlon Plus was, I figured that running five kilometers, riding ninty kilometers and then running ten more kilometers was not that bad. I had a friend who did a marathon before so I knew he could handle the running part. I now only had to get ready to ride for ninty kilometers ... I started training a little more week after week, from twenty kilometers ride up to ninty kilometers, at that point I knew I would be able to finish it. My teammate and I decided that we would do a sprint Duathlon a couple weeks before the real event so we would at least know how a Duathlon works. It was a really good idea, since we learned that we had to pass the chip to each other, that I couldn't remove my helmet in the transition area and all the other rules that I had no idea about. We did that sprint, and we really enjoyed ourselves. Then two weeks later we both turned forty the week before the Duathlon Plus, so we named out team "The 40's" and we ran/ride as fast as we possibly could. We finished eight on twelve teams, not first but it was good enough to make us happy. After those two Duathlons in two weeks I was hooked, no way I could stop there. So I decided to start running and do one on my own seven weeks later. A sprint Duathlon which was, five kilometers run followed by a twenty kilometers ride and then two and a half kilometers run. And I did it, I was really proud of myself because I finished it 10 minutes faster than I was expecting. I did another Duathlon later in the summer and did a couple of running race also to complete the season. I did a five kilometers, a ten kilometers and a half marathon later in the fall. What a wonderfull first year in the sport, but in the back of my head I always had that idea that it would be wonderful to complete a triathlon and to become one day an Ironman. So I decided to start swimming and to train more. This is where my journey to become an Ironman became, and since then it continues everyday. After almost a year from the begining of my training I decided to blog about my journey to one day, become an Ironman.