Week 16 – Welland Half Iron

28 06 2010

Not sure where to start… so lets go right to it:

Left to right: Hans, Bryan and Carlos

Swim: 2km, 29:36 (1:29min/100m)

What can I say? It was an AWESOME swim. I actually took it really easy, since I really didn’t want to go to hard just for a few extra minutes. I paced myself through out the swim and I even got a bit of a draft. The whole time I was thinking “Am I taking it to easy?” It really felt like a long swim and I could not believe my time when I checked my watch. I saw Carlos like 3 m in front of me (couple seconds).

Bike: 90km, 2:47 (32.3 km/h, 153 bpm, 197W, 90 rpm)

I started the bike very easy too, as my HR always goes up when I stand after the swim. It took about 8 minutes to bring it back to 150 bpm, while doing 170W. I was just behind Carlos, when he had to stop: Flat! Sucks, but I knew he had all he needed, so I kept going. I had 3 bottles of Infinit, 1 of Water and 5 gels. Yes, I know, I had too much to eat! The exact opposite as IM France. And boy I paid for it… I’ll tell on the run part.

So, started easy and slowly increased my pace:

  • The first 25km at 185W, 153 bpm;
  • 25-50 km: 212W, 153 bpm;
  • 50-75 km: 200W, 155 bpm
  • 75-90 km: 181W, 154

The problem was that at the last 25 km I started to feel a bit my stomach. I was burping quite a bit and I couldn’t stay in the aerobars anymore. I started to stand and move more as the course is FLAT, it is like being on a trainer, barely changed gears. at the last km I almost missed a turn too. I couldn’t quite figure what the police officer was pointing (if it was for me or the car behind me).  I almost came to a stop since I couldn’t see anyone in front or behind of me… but fortunately I was on course.

Run: 21.1. km, 2:10, 9.8 km/h, 153 bpm

OMG, I started to run (after a nature break at during the transition) and I noticed that this wasn’t going to be a good run. My stomach was HURTING, the three Infinit and the five gels were trying to come back… and they were very determined! I was trying to hold it in, otherwise I thought I was going to dehydrate for sure. This was a 21.1 km battle. To make things worse, it was 28C and I have no clue what the humidex was, but it was a LOT.

Do you know the run/walk protocol? Well I created a new one: Run/Walk/Burp! Every 500m I would stop and fight the gels. There was one time it came back with so much strength that I decided it was time to let them out… but when I look in front of me, there was this old  couple walking towards me on the trail, and I just could not do it in front of them. That would have been too much for them. I’ll spare the details, but it wasn’t pleasant, lets just say I cough quite a bit.

Anyhow, I gave in. I walked quite a bit and I did NOT have fun on the run. I was very upset with myself the whole run. Well, 2 hours and 10 minutes later, it was over.

Thanks for my wife, Beatriz, for taking care of the dog and me!

A few things I think could have been better organized at the race:

  • Bike course marking: there were a couple intersections with no sign and just a police officer. It was tricky when I was on my own. I also heard some other people complaining about the same thing. Not a big deal, since I got it right!
  • Not sure it was the heat, but I could have used a couple more aid stations.
  • Finish line didn’t have the time! Never seen this before. I finished and I had to rely on my watch until the results were published on-line. They were also printing some results there too.

In the positive side, the water bottle exchange had some nice bottles! I was happy to through my old ones away and get these! The aid stations had gels, Infinit, Cola, Water, etc… The run had some shade (close to 50% of the course). I think this is a small race that has some potential, specially due to the timing in regards IMLP. But the organization of the Subaru series is unquestionably better.

Lessons learned: seriously, I’ve been doing triathlons for 3 or 4 years now. It is about time I learn the nutrition. This was my third Half-Iron and I got it wrong?? Come on! Anyhow, I will be doing some adjustments during my training next weekend during my Brick (6:10 hours bike and 30 min run). I’ll reduce the GU and have more Cliff gels.

Actually that is a funny part I’ve been using GU for years, but the last month I haven’t been able to find GU Chocolate at the running room close to my home, so I’ve been using my wife’s Cliff Gels. Turns out, now that I have GU Chocolate, that I’m more comfortable with Cliff. Go figure!

Anyhow, I’m not super happy with the final time (4 minutes and 50 seconds above my target), but I think it is great to make these mistakes on a not so important race, rather than at my A race, IM Lake Placid. Having said that, I’m so surprised how much I improved on the swim vs. Bike and Run. It is really the sport that I’m focusing the least.

Well, back to the white board… back training the next couple days and see if I can get this right!

Week 16 summary is:

Not a lot of volume, but the intensity on the 1/2 Iron was much higher, plus the learning are priceless!

Week 15 – Can I get some rest now?!

20 06 2010

I know, this is getting very repetitive, but I don’t think I can get more exhausted that I am today. I was feeling great up to Friday, even after biking 3:20 hours on Thursday at 5am and having a good Speed Run on Friday. After that, the lack of sleep caught up to me.

On Saturday I had no power what so ever. I laid around for most of the morning, not able to sleep and with no energy to do anything else either. I made it through 13:00, when I dragged myself to the pool, where I swam 4500 meters of the 5000 that I was supposed to do. I had no regrets when the Life Guard told me that time was up.

As I walked to the car with my wife (who swam 3500m), I could not believe how hot it was. I turn on the car’s AC and I couldn’t stop thinking how in hell would I ran 3 hours in that heat. Seriously, it was like 38C Humidex.

I waited a couple hours and finally left home around 6pm and it was still 36C with the humidex. I ran “heroically” at 10 km/h for 2 and half hours, when I just could not do it any more. I slowed down to 8 km/h and at 2:35 hrs, I decided to quit. I walked home finishing my workout with 27 km in 2:50. It was NOT fun.

The next day I go out biking, at 7am with Caca and Bruno (Bruno went for 2 hours). By the time Caca and I got to Lake Simcoe, I was jut dead. I told Caca I had a headache, nausea, and a bad stomach and he asked me: “Are you hang-over?” That was exactly the feeling, but I didn’t drink ANYTHING the day before. Dehydration… exhaustion, I don’t know.  I just thought it was better to leave it to another day. The interesting is that I did not push at all and somehow managed to finish 3:41 hours with a 194 Watts and 130 bpm, which is not bad. But clearly I had to stop.

I even fell asleep in the half-time of the Brazil x Ivory Coast game!

Anyhow, I’m SUPER glad the week is over and the following week is tapper for the Half-Iron in Welland. Hopefully I’ll feel MUCH better as the week goes by.

The numbers for the wee are:

PS: I’m pretty sure this post has more mistakes than usual, I’m just to tired to fix them!

Week 14 – Summary: Tired but Feeling Good!

13 06 2010

A few years ago, when I started to participate on triathlons, I used to say: “Ironman distance triathlons is a stupid distance. It is not healthy. The longest I would ever do is an Olympic.”

Well, not even a year after saying that I was doing my first Ironman 70.3. Two years later, the first Ironman and now going for my second. I have to say that sometimes I question myself about the whole thing. Specially on a Sunday a day after biking 5 hours (143 km) INDOORS and getting ready to go out and run 2 hours and 30 minutes… just to get back home, eat two slices of pizza (only thing ready to eat) and leave again for 3.9 km swim… not to mention that I was super upset I didn’t have time to finish the 6 km that was supposed to swim.

Am I tired? yep, no doubt. But it is amazing what the human body can do. Saturday workout (5 hours bike + 30 Min run) was a proof of that. I finished the bike with NO power on my legs, nothing. I was averaging 185 W for 4 hours, and the last 30 min I could not get more the 150W, the last 10 min I was lucky to squeeze 130W out of my legs. I could only think “Damn, how will I run after this?”

To my surprise it was the best and easiest run of the whole week. I don’t know what happened, but I ran 11 km/h 146 to 150 bpm and I was only slowing down because I was supposed to keep the HR at 146. How? I don’t know, but that gives me hope for a good Ironman. Good meaning under 14 hours, targeting 13.

Right now, I’m just glad it is Sunday AFTER my workouts. I get a day of rest (Monday) where I’ll try to wash off my FATIGUE cologne!!!

18 hours and 11 minutes later, this was the longest week so far:

To be fair, considering what I’ve done this weekend I’m actually feeling OK. I’m even writing my weekly summary today… which I usually write on Monday! Best of all, no injuries. Hamstring is good, so I just need a day rest to start the next week, I’m far from done with my training.

Week 13 Summary – Milton Sprint

7 06 2010

And so it all started again: Milton Sprint 2010, the first triathlon of the season!

This was my first race on my new Age Group: 40 to 44. Unbelievable, but it happened to me. I’m turning 40 this year. I find it so unfair that we actually enter the 40-44 age group before we even turn 40. What is that all about? “The year you turn 40”? Come on, cut me some slack here!

We had a lot of luck with the weather. As we were driving to Milton at 7am, it was just pouring rain. I have to say that the thought of turning back home and going back to bed crossed my mind a few times on the way there…

Once we got there the weather opened a bit (at least it stopped raining!) and we actually had a pretty dry ride. A bit cold, but nothing really bad (14C).

The Swim: I started the swim very strong, I was between the first few people on my wave, and by the time we got to the second buoy I was already passing through the wave that left 3 min before us. I went out about 95% effort to get ahead of the pack and then dropped back to 90% effort. I got the 5th place (swim) on my age group!

T1: I was so happy with my swim I started talking to other two swimmers from my age group that happen to be beside me on T1. I kind of forgot the importance of T1 in a sprint, but it was fun.

Bike: I started the bike with very strong legs passing people like crazy, but quickly ran out of air. I don’t know why, but my breathing was getting heavier and heavier, although my legs were feeling strong. I decided to back off a bit until I passed the first (and only) big hill: 600m at 8.5%. It is not that much, but I got an average of 301W and 171 bpm. That was not good. From that point on I decided not to push too hard and see if I would get my breathing back to normal. That only happened 15 min later, when I got some flat spots. To make things worse, as I was finishing my descent on the same hill (at 80 km/h), I started to slow down for the 90 degree turn ahead, when I was cut-off by the guy in front of me. I barely manged to scape his back wheel, but fortunately, nothing happened… so as I turned and started to climb I had to quickly change my gears, which I would normally do before the turn. That didn’t work very well and off came the chain. I tried to catch it back in while using the momentum of the downhill, but I couldn’t do it. I had to stop and manually get it back in place.

I struggled for a few seconds, when suddenly out of the blue, one of the spectators came to help me. He put the chain back in for me! I’m very thankful to whoever he was as it would have cost me even more time to put it in the heat of the moment. Not sure if he was a volunteer or maybe with the organization, but my sincere thanks! I’m not sure he knows how happy I was to get back to my race.

I finished the bike with 55:42 minutes with an average power of 250W and 162 bpm, which is OK, but I’m sure I could have done better if… well that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?

T2: T2 was relatively quick. I didn’t chat to anyone while changing my shoes, but as I was exiting T2, I happened to start the run with the same guy that I was passing and being passed during the bike leg. Seriously, like at least 8 times: Kevin White.

Run: As usual I start chatting with the guy next to me, Kevin. Really nice guy from Ottawa, now living in Toronto. We basically ran together for the whole course. At the end he speed-up and left me about 15s behind.. and yes, he was from the same age group as me! Again, during the run I was feeling tired to begin with, and I just wanted the race to finish. I just wasn’t in it. Even my heart rate was relatively low, 165 bpm. Considering that I did the half marathon at an average of 172 bpm.

In summary, I wasn’t very happy with my time. Unlike Mississauga half-marathon, where I know I could not have done it any faster, I’m pretty sure I could have done this sprint better, but not sure how. Oh well, sprints were never my forte.

At the end of the day, I was about a minute better than last year, so I shouldn’t really complain. I would have done a bit better bike too if the chain didn’t come off, but that is also part of the show!

The important part is the that we had fun and thanks to my wife, who didn’t want to race Milton, we even got some pictures!

As far as the week goes it was the first easy one in a long time. Quite frankly, I needed that. I was getting pretty tired.