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

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.