Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three days to go

Three more days to go before the half marathon on Sunday, three mode days of taper. Three more days of wondering if I am losing too much fitness. This morning I went for a little 30 minutes run, just to keep the legs moving while tapering for Sunday. Only problem since I don't want to push too hard I ran slower that I usually do, and it made me wonder. Will I be ok on Sunday? Or will I be slower since I am running slower since a week or so.

I think I am starting to get nervous as the race approach, I know it's nowmal and I am pretty sure I will be fine on Sunday, but still I am nervous. As of now the weather should be perfect to run, a nice sunny 50 degree. There should have some winds though, nothing too much but still I would have prefer no wind at all, but I am not the one making those decisions.

Now I will go back into my head to think about how much fitness I am losing with that taper, see you all later. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Last long run before taper

Next week end I have my first half marathon for this summer. Yesterday I went for my last long run before the half and I am now starting my taper. This means that for the next 10 days or so my running and riding will go down to make sure that my legs will get stronger so I will arrive to the half marathon as ready as possible.

My goal for this year was to run a half marathon under 2 hours. Last year I ran my first half marathon in 2:14:04 and I wanted to improve that time as much as I could. But after last week end run, I now know that I can run the half under 1:55:00 if everything goes well next week-end. I might even get a little bit faster with the taper and the adrenaline of race day. But I don't want to change my goal as of now since it's my first race of the season and it's a C race. I also don't want to push too hard and injure myself right when the season kicks in.

Now I just have to make sure I take as much rest as possible during the next 10 days to make sure that those legs will be ready to kick ass on race day :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One year later

Last year around the same date I was getting my bike out of the basement, at that moment I had no idea that later on I would get into Duathlon and eventually Triathlon. I was just getting my road bike out of the basement in an attempt of getting back in shape.

I remember my first ride, coming back home after a ride of 20 km and I was really happy about it, telling myself that if I could ride 20km three times a week for the entire summer I would finish the summer with over than 1200 km and I was pretty happy about it.

Today it was my long run day, two weeks prior to my half marathon that will start the summer, my goal for this summer is to finish a half marathon under two hours. So as I said today was my long run day, I had a 1h45 run planned.

I left home this morning and walked for 2-3 minutes to get some warm up and get the legs moving. When I hit my Garmin 305 to start the session I realized that I had no HR data on it. I had two choices, either I was dead or I forgot my HR strap at home. After checking, I made sure that the problem was my HR strap ;)

Since I wanted to have my HR for this run I ran back home to get it. I grabbed the strap and put it on then off I go. I realized pretty fast that my pace was a lot faster than I was intending. I had in my mind to try to run today's run at a 5h45 pace or as close to that as possible. Since my goal for this summer is a sub 2 hours half I know that if I could complete today's run at 5h45 or so I would be close to my goal which requires a 5h41 pace to complete it in 2 hours. But on the other hand I didn't want to go out too fast and that's why I needed my HR strap.

After my first km I realized that my first split was 5:04 or so, no way I could hold that pace for 1h45 so I knew I had to slow down. Easier to think that than to do it I guess because my second split was around 5:10. Once again I talked myself into slowing it a bit, I got my third split around 5:17 or so and I stayed around there for 13/14 kilometers or so. After that I realized that my splits were more around 5:30. I came back home with 19.6 kilometer ran in 1:45:00 with an average split of 5:22. Which assure me that running my half under 2 hours in two weeks should not be a problem.

After that run I realized that I ran about the same as last year first ride and that's when I saw how much that my last year of training helped me.

I also had some weird idea after that run, since my legs were really sore I did try what is call a Ice bath, or in my book a new torture tool for triathletes. It was worst than running the 19.6km to be honest but I felt really good afterward.

I wanted to go ride in the afternoon, but I finally convinced myself that doing some stuff around the house wouldn't be a bad idea. So I cleaned the pool, yeah no more ice in it, and got the stuff out of the garage. Now I am ready for the summer, so please send them the memo so they know that they can send it out way.

A picture of my new Trek as promised

Here's my new baby during yesterday's ride.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First ride with my new baby!

Today was the day, I was feeling like we both were ready. The weather was nice, around 55F or so, and almost no winds. The only problem, I was at work. I was not too sure if getting out of the office early was a good idea since I had stuff to do still. But the weather was sooo nice I could hear the bike calling my name.

So at 3h45 or so I decided to take off, I figured I would work harder on another day, at least this is the reason I gave myself to get out early today. Jumped in the car, and tried to get home as fast as possible. I called my wife on my way home, to let her know that I would be late tonight since I had to go ride. She said she knew that I would call her to tell her that when she saw the weather. She's so sweet, she understand that I am a junky and that I really need my training fix.

When I finally arrived home I rush into my room to change clothes and get my riding gear on. Prepared some Cytomax and I was ready to take off. Got outside and jumped on the Trek. I did one quick ride once last week end to test the aero position and have an idea if the fit was good or not, I rode 7km or so so nothing to get really excited.

Today was the first real test, I went out for a 40km. A road that I like to ride on and that I do a lot so I knew traffic wouldn't be too bad, which was good because it was my first time in aero for a long ride. I rode the 40 in 75 minutes or so, stayed in aero the whole ride, so I am pretty happy about that. The fit seems to be really good, didn't feel any pain but my neck is a bit sore though, I guess it takes some times to get used to.

I am really happy with my new bike, it feels really fast. Today's ride was around 32km/h on a road with stop sign red lights traffic etc. So I guess I can get some really nice speed on a closed track.

The only thing that was a bit weird while riding was that I couldn't get as fast while going downhill that I usually do with my roadie. I am not too sure if it's because I am not used to the bike and the aero position yet, or if it is normal. I guess time will tell me :)

I need to take some pictures of the new bike and post them, tried with my cell phone but it didn't work out well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Riding in the wind

Since I had a four days week end I figured I would take advantage of the fact that I didn't have to work on Monday to go out and have a long ride. My initial plan was to have two long ride during the week end, but I had to cut my Saturday's ride because my friend was about to die, I guess he figured out pretty quickly that not doing anything for 3 months during winter was not his best idea ever ;)

Since I only had a 40k or so ride on Saturday I figured I could get something like 70-80k yesterday. So I tried to find a route where I knew I would be able to get those kilometers done without having to deal with snow or anything, yes we still have snow at some place around here.

According to the weatherman it would be a windy day, after being out for 3 hours I can tell you that calling this day windy was not strong enough of a word. It was probably the mother of all the windy day, the wind was around 30km/h with gust at 55km/h or so. And to make it worst it was a cross wind for the entire ride.

At first I wanted to grab the triathlon bike to go out and ride, but after looking at the trees around the house and seeing them almost break in the wind I figured that taking the roadie would be a better idea. I am pretty sure that with all those cross winds I would have drop the triathlon bike sooner or later and there is no way I would have been able to take any advantage of it in those winds anyway.

I took a couple of pictures or the river, which is probably still freezing even if there no more ice in it. Not sure I would go in there for an open water swim yet.

I finally finished the day with a 70 kilometers ride and with all those winds I can assure you that it was a really good workout.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

HIM in 2009 or not

I just can't make up my mind, I have been strugling with the idea of completing an half Ironman in 2009 for a while now. I know I have yet to complete a single triathlon, but still the half Ironman distance appel me. I can not really explain why, but I really want to complete one.

At first my plan was to complete multiple Sprints and an Olympique this year and then to go for the Half IronMan next year. But as of now, I am training to complete two or three half marathon and two 90 kilometers or more riding races this year. I also know that I can swim the distance. All those reasons make me wonder if I should tackle the half iron distance this year already.

I know I could complete a half iron this year, my actual training would probably be close to enough to do it. But the main question is, am I going through the steps too fast. Should I just take my first year to complete Sprints and Olympique and enjoy them as much as I can, then next year move to the half iron distance as I planned.

I see a lot of people who complete their first half iron and it seems to be such an experience, do I miss something if I don't go for it this year. One year from now I was not even thinking about training to do any kind of triathlon, and now I am wondering if I should go for the half iron. I even see a lot of people aiming the half Ironman distance as their first ever triathlon.

When I did my second relay Duathlon last year, watching those athletes doing half Ironman, Ironman and double Ironman is what really got me into the Triathlon world. I was watching them and dreaming that I would complete those distance one day, I know it may sounds crazy but it was so unreal for me that someone could race for 5, 10, 15 and even 30 hours that I felt like I had to train to one day be able to compete in those distance.

Before that single moment I never ever ran. I was just riding my bike and enjoying every moment of it. But those people really got me into a world in which I never though I would be. I then started to run and to swim later on. It's been almost a year now since I decided to head into this wonderful world, the triathlon world. And now I have got to make a decision.

I just don't want to regret the decision that I will make, so I need to really think about it. I need to make sure that I will feel good with whatever the decision I will make.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I just love running in the rain

I can't really explain why, but I love running in the rain. Not the heavy kind of rain, but the light rain mist kind. This week end was probably close to the perfect weather to run, as far as I am concerned. It was 3C-4C with a little mist, I must admit that the perfect weather would be more like 10C with the same mist. But still I had long sleeves and pants and I felt just awesome. Lucky me I had two of those days with the same weather.

It was my first run over an hour since I hurt my right foot in February so I was a little nervous. I ran it mostly into zone 1 at a moderate pace and I felt great overall, I did feel a little bit of pain at some point during my run but it didn't stay for long. I made sure to put some ice as soon as I got back home and I have been pain free since then.

I do not want to push too hard on my right foot because I don't want to hurt myself for good and miss an entire Triathlon season. But I do have a half marathon in 4 weeks and I want to run it at a certain pace, so I have to balance my training in between pushing hard to get faster and just running to stay healthy.

By noon Sunday the rain stopped completely, so I decided to go for a ride outside. I am so tired of riding on the trainer that I accept all kind of weather to ride outside right now. Even if the pavement was still wet and full of sands I got all dressed up and went for my ride.

The weather was around 4C at that time and I was dressed perfectly for it. I was not cold at all, so I kept going on one of my favorite road. After around 30k I decided it would be a good idea to turn around and go back home. I turned and then stopped to have a gel and some Cytomax. While I was enjoying my awesome lunch I felt a couple of drop of rain on my skin, so I figured that it would rain a little bit but I had the wind on my back now so it wouldn't be that bad.

Here's a picture of the river next to where I stopped, you can see that there's still some snow here and there but we're slowly getting there. Yes it's a big river ;)

I got back on the bike and started riding on my way back home, first hill that I went down I could hear a weird noise. Like if my front brake were touching the rim, so I tried to fix that while riding around 45 km/h. After a little while the sound was gone, I was proud of myself since I fixed the noise. Well I thought that I did fix it. At the moment I realized that the noise was coming from the back tire, and it was more the air getting out that I could hear.

Yeah I got my first flat of the season, in the rain to make sure it would be pleasant. I changed the flat and got back on the bike, kept riding as fast I could to get back home. At some point during my ride back home the wind has been kind enough to turn around so I would have a headwind, nothing more pleasant when you're all wet from the rain ;)

I stopped by one of the lake where I am planning to swim during the summer, all I can say is that as of now the lake would be more useful to someone with ice skate than a wetsuit. I was a bit disappointed, I did imagine at some point that I would be able to see some water. Here's a picture of my pool, this is how the lake looked like when I checked it.

I finally made it back home, a nice 60k ride, not as enjoyable as when it's all nice and sunny. but still way more fun than riding in the basement.

Now if the summer can get around here that would be awesome.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What is up with car drivers?

Yesterday I went out for my second ride of the year outside. I took my usual 40k road, I always do this road when I have to do a quick ride outside. The weather was gorgeous and I figured that leaving work early would be a great idea since it would give me some time to ride before diner. I left the office around 4pm, drove home and got dressed as fast as I possibly could. Around 4h45 I was on the road enjoying the weather while practicing a sport that I love.

All of a sudden a nutcase drove by me with his big Chevy truck and he almost hit me with his passenger mirror. He then stops at a stop like 50 feet from me, being who I am I passed him and then got right in front of him to show him I was there, like he didn't already knew that. I then went back to the side of the road and what had to happen happened once again, he did the same exact thing that before, even closer and he almost hit me while accelerating.

Being the intelligent guy that I am I should have shroud and keep going, but I decided to flip him off. Since he was already proving that he his a nut case I shouldn't have done that, but I couldn't stop myself to show him what I was really thinking of him. So he stopped and opened his window, we had a "conversation" that I won't write here since young persons could read this and it wasn't pretty. He then decided to get off his car, I was ready to show him that even if I wear spandex I can still defend myself when needed ;) but he didn't do anything. Just kept yelling at me and insulting. So I decided to just get back on my bike and get away from that nut case.

I can't believe why people keep doing this, it's not like the street is not large enough for both of us. But he had to try to get me off the road just to show me that he is a real man with his big Chevy truck.

After a while I forgot about this poor nutsy and really enjoyed that gorgeous weather that we had. I love riding my bike, even if there is some nutcase around here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feeling bad to skip a session?

Yesterday a friend called me and asked if I wanted to go out tonight for a couple of beers. I told him I had no idea, but in the back of my head I wanted to tell him no because I had planned to ride my bike tonight. Either outside or inside I wanted to ride at least an hour. The summer is coming and I want to improve as much as I can on the bike. I finally told him to call me back today and I would have a better idea.

Now I am sitting here, thinking about it and I feel weird. On one side I want to go out with my friends, have a couple of beers and enjoy their companies. But on the other side I feel bad to skip a workout, I feel like I am cheating my training. I am so addicted to my training that I feel like I can`t skip a single session. Am I alone in this situation, anyone else ever felt bad to skip a session so he/she can go out and have some good time?

Or maybe I am just weird, and I just take all this a little bit too seriously. I always thought that you should give it your 100% whenever you participate into something, and this is how I am approaching my Triathlon training, and racing. I may not be the fastest person out there, but I know that every time I get home after a training I gave my 100%, and this is the same for every races.

I haven't made up my mind yet, so I don't know if I will go ride or go out tonight. I guess the weather will help me decide. If it`s nice and sunny I will go ride outside, and if it rains I will go out instead of riding in my basement ;)