Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Triathlon Photos

If you're interested, the official race photos are available on-line. Once September roles around, there will be more on Flickr as well.



Run 1, 2, 3. There are some good action shots here.



By request, here is the pick speedo guy coming out of the water. He was RIGHT in front of me. Ugh.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Lucky Number Seven

Today is mine and Sue's seventh wedding anniversary!

Homer: I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes!

Happy Anniversary to the one I love. How about seven more? I'm up for it.

Love you,

Marge: Homer, is this how you pictured married life?
Homer: Yeah, pretty much, except we drove around in a van solving mysteries.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ironman Canada

In case you didn't know, Ironman Canada take place this weekend. It's been held annually, for the last 22 years, in Penticton, B.C.

Five brave men from Windsor are participating this year. Two (Matt & Mark) of them were in the Windsor Triathlon and one (Mark) of those taught Sue's running class last year.

You can follow the progress of the race pretty much all day Saturday.

Some things just shouldn't be true.

Have you ever seen or heard of a beached whale being blown up? It's an old story, 1970, but fascinating nonetheless.

It's been a little slow at work this week. Here is something to thank the internet for.

I'm sure most of you have QuickTime, but if not, you'll need it. If you still can't watch the video, you can read the transcript.

File this under "What were they thinking?"

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Darcy Copperfield

Darcy is really good at feeding herself. We'll put the food on her tray and she just goes at it. It has made life much easier for meal time. While her skills are good, she still struggles with gripping the food. Generally when she drops something down the side of the hi-chair she'll say, "Uh-ooh!" reach down and pull it back up.

Today for lunch she dropped some of her peach, made her statement and went digging for peach. I thought she'd come back out with peach, but her first grab resulted in bread, then squash, then more bread, back to the squash for a few pulls, then finally another piece of bread. I looked to see if I could find the peach, but it was gone. No smoke and mirrors. She's got talent.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Stupid Motorist

I've been riding a bike since I was four years old. I can still remember the old yellow bike that I think was a hand-me-down from Robbie McIntyre. I remember the day that I first took it out with training wheels. After going half way down the block I got off and moved the training wheels off the ground, because they were getting in my way. Since that first half a block, I've put a lot of miles on my bikes; since April of this year I've logged almost 1300 km. I know how to cylce in traffic and, more importantly, I know what the laws are regarding vehicles vs. cyclists in Ontario. Of all the things motorists can do to cyclists, the one that grates on me the most is honking your horn.

Tonight, on the way home from work, an idiot motorist came up from behind and honked at me for not being on the sidewalk. I turned around and gave it right back to him. That apparently made him nervous and now he wouldn't pass me. Finally, on a road three lanes wide and with no on-coming traffic, he went by. However, a block later he was stopped at a red light. He further infuriated me because while he was going straight through at the light, I was turning right and he had left about six inches of room between his van and the curb. So as I walked by his van I gave it to him again. He seemed sincere in trying to wave an apology, but I really wasn't in the mode to have him brush me off and I know he heard what I had to say through the window. If he had taking one second to look at what I was wearing, he would have known that I'm not an inexperienced rider. But I think after hearing what I had to share with him, he may have gotten the idea.

I was fuming at this point and need to vent my frustrations. So I hammered it the rest of the ride home. It was about 4 km and most of it was at 40 km/hr. I got all the green lights, caught, passed and stayed ahead of a city bus and set myself a new top speed: 53.2 km/hr. I admit that this was going downhill and with the wind at my back, but that is flying. It was fast enough that I made it up the next hill at 35 km/hr. Going that fast up hills is nice, it makes them a lot shorter.

That's all I've got. Drive safe, bicycles belong on the road.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

So what now?

No more triathlons this year. Time just will not allow that. I'll keep biking to work as the weather allows it and I'll run a bit to keep up what fitness I've gained. I'll just keep a good level of fitness so that I can go farther and faster next year.

Since this race is over I've wondered if it was far enough. Seriously, an Olympic length tri is 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike & 10 km run. I know I could have biked another 10 km and I felt strong enough during the run to keep going, the only real question would have been the swim.

Honestly, I have thought about doing an Ironman (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike & then a full marathon). But there's no possible way that we would have time for me to train towards that until Darcy is older, 2010 has a nice ring to it. However, using these years leading up to that extra-long term goal will provide me with the fitness base that you need to torture yourself for about 14 hours.

Next year, at least one triathlon and depending on the dates and locations possibly another. But for now I'm going to concentrate on getting Sue up to 5 km (Yes, Sweety I'm telling them again). In April, while she was still off work, she was right at 3 km so I know she's got it in her. I'll keep those updates coming.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Race Report

It's over! What a day. It ended up being really fun and I was impressed at the organization and just how well we participants were treated.

Here are the results for those of you who don't want to read to the end of this post.

It was an early morning and I really didn't sleep well. There were dark clouds and lots of wind before I left the house. I biked to the race site, about 6 km, as my warm up. When I got there, shortly after 7 am, the wind was howling. I couldn't lay my towel out because it just kept blowing away. I wanted to have my stuff laid out to save some time, but that didn't seem like it was going to happen. So I went to check out the water. Ever heard of white caps? Not the preferred swimming conditions. I kept myself busy by walking through the transition area and getting myself familiar with where my bike was. I really did not want any trouble finding it. By 9 am the winds had calmed down and the water was smooth, for a lake. That was reassuring, the swim wasn't going to be too bad and the bike should be good without much wind.

The "Swim":

I watched the start of the "try-a-tri" and noticed that most people were doing 'dolphin dives' the whole way. Some were just 'running' through the water, there was very little swimming going on.

My group, the blue caps, was to go after the elite athletes were away. Most of the elite were dolphining as well. Apparently, because the course went along the shore, the water never got very deep, like waist deep at the half way point. So my "easy going" strategy changed to "dolphining" then and there. If it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for me.

I dolphined for about 80% and swam the rest. I was able to see Sue, Darcy and Brian cheering me on as I came out of the water, that was cool.

My 'swim' time: 12:29, 1:34 minutes/100 metres. Ridiculously fast.

Transition One (swim-bike):
I ran up the beach and at the top they had little kiddy pools filled with water, to wash your feet off. I slipped and very nearly wiped out but managed to save it. That got me a couple of cheers. I took my time getting my socks and shoes on and getting myself out onto the bike course.

T1: 3:07, to slow, but worth getting it right the first time.

The Bike:

Windsor, actually all of Essex County, is flat. Completely flat. So the course is flat and fast. Without much wind I was able to push it pretty much the whole way. The volunteers were great cheering everyone on as they went by. There were a lot of people who had spent a lot of money on their bikes. I noticed this as I passed them all. Well, I didn't pass everyone, but no one who passed me was riding a 20 year old classic. Some of the older men, who started after me, flew by me on their rockets.

My bike time: 55:27, average speed 32.46 km/hr. Fast.

T2 (bike-run): Rack the bike and take of the helmet, start running. 53 seconds.

The official race results say that my bike time was 59:27, that includes both transitions. I kept my own splits because of that.

The Run:

At this point I was tired, but I knew I had to fight through those first 2 km to get my legs back. Things went really well for the run. There were plenty of water stations and each kilometre was marked. Here are my splits for the run:
Km 1: 4:58
Km 2: 4:48
Km 3: 4:33
Km 4: 4:38
Km 5: 4:40
Km 6: 4:23
Total: 28:05 (right on target)

I couldn't believe that my splits kept getting lower! I started to run harder after I passed the "5 km" sign and picked a few people that I wanted to pass. When I got to the last 200 metres a guy came up behind me and yelled "Come on, let's go!" I accepted his challenge and we 'sprinted' for the line and I KICKED HIS BUTT! That felt awesome.

I came in 80th overall, 11/19 in my age group. My time was 1hr40m00s. A full five minutes faster than I had expected. I am totally thrilled with how things went.

After some time to think about it, I did everything I could have to perform as well as possible. Knowing what I know now, I'll look to change a few things next year. I'd be more aggressive on the swim, I know I could go faster. I would also make sure to take less time on T1, that cost me a couple of minutes. Hopefully next time I won't be dealing with a blister and I'll be able to run harder the whole way. The difference maker for today's blister; Sue's socks.

I bought her a pair of special running socks. They're very thin and work to move the moisture away from your skin, eliminating the friction. This and especially how thin they are kept my foot really comfortable the whole way.

A big thanks to all of you for your support and interest. It's been a lot of fun. Now I have to find a new topic for this blog.

Special thanks go to Jake Dimmick (my co-worker). He is training for the Detroit Marathon in October and gave me the shoes that I ran in. He bought them but they didn't work for him, so he thought it would be worth me trying them. They worked for me! He also loaned me his bike helmet for the race. There's nothing wrong with the one I have, but his is newer, lighter and most importantly, breathes better. Thanks Jake.

Lastly, I need to thank Sue. For being the initial inspiration for me getting back into fitness with her own running, for putting up with the extra hours of training, early morning swims and late night runs. Through it all she always showed her support and enthusiasm for me getting to my goal, while her own goal (to run a 5 km race) was put on the back burner. I couldn't have done as well without you there to cheer me on! Now we'll work on getting you to that 5 km finish line.


The results are in!

1hr40m00s, a full five minutes faster than I expected! WooHoo!

Check the results page for the detail, full race report to come shortly.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Last Post

"There's a double meaning in that!" - Benedict, Much Ado About Nothing

This will be my last post until at least Sunday night. The race starts around 9:15am Sunday morning, I hope to do done before noon! More about that later.

I've been watching the forecast, it's not all that promising. Chance of rain on Sunday is 70%. I seriously hope that that holds off until the afternoon. I really don't want to be biking at 30km/hr in the rain, that spells suicide. I've also been watching the water temperature and that has encouraged me. Generally the water is above or equal to the air temperature at 9am. The should feel nice.

Here is my official race strategy:

Finish the race.

For the swim: Don't get kicked in the face too many times! Nice and easy. Only once has an Ironman race been won in the swim, so why burn yourself out there? This neither an Ironman nor am I going to win. So again, why burn out on the swim. Prediction: 18+ minutes.

For the bike: No flat tires! The course is set up to about 15km with the wind and 15km against the wind. It's hard to tell which wat it'll be going first, but my plan is the same. When I am going in the same direction as the wind, I will push it. My hope to see 35, 37, possibly 40km/hr for that half. But that's only half. My goal biking into the headwind is to keep my speed at 30km/hr. Prediction: 57m30s.

For the run: No blisters! I've set this up in my mind as a 5km run. I know I can run that in my sleep. The final km will be about adrenaline. "I've trained too long to quit now." That's what I'll be grunting to myself to keep me going. If I'm able to find Sue and Darcy in the crowd and get Darcy to give me a high-5, that will get me through to the end. As long as my heel doesn't flare up, my prediction is 28 minutes.

Total Prediction: 1hr45m00s. Including about 90 seconds to put my shoes, shirt and helmet on after the swim. If it's rainy, I have no idea what to predict.

Hopefully things start on time and run smoothly. I hope to have fun and I know I'll learn from the more experienced competitors. I have to remember to run my race, not to get all excited if someone passes me and burn myself out trying to pass them back.

Starting to get the jitters.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who is Darcy's Greatest Aunt?

The competition is stiff.

Aunt Lynn: Has provided 2 cousins. Big cousin Laura is Darcy's favorite person in the world. She adores Laura. Certainly a good start.

Aunt Stef: Has provided a super-cute Swiss Cow and authentic Swiss clothing. Plus, she also provided Darcy's parents with LOADS of authentic Swiss chocolate. That can never be overlooked.

A very tough choice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Does it get any better?

Wednesday night is Daddy-Darcy night.

Tonight we were in the basement and Darcy was about to climb onto a couch. I said, "Darcy, come give Daddy a hug." She stopped what she was doing, walked clear across the basement and gave me a hug. Then I said, "And a kiss?" Smack! She planted it right on my cheek.

Although, I do wish she'd stop eating the stuffing from the couch.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Old Peugeot

The Old Peugeot
The Old Peugeot,
originally uploaded by Titcombes.
This old bike (circa 1986) has served our family well. Since April 2005, it has been ridden over 1100km and will be my ride for the triathlon on Sunday.

This year I've updated some features. I got a computer for Christmas, bought a new seat, toe clips, bar tape and a clip-on aero bars.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Big week

I ended my big training week yesterday. Here are the numbers:

Swim: 1050m
Bike: 148km
Run: 18km
Total: 167.5km

Sunday my plan was to do a big brick, 35 bike & 5 run. I did the bike no problem at all. It took me 1:06:51 to do 35km on the bike and then I hit the pavement for the run. I felt surprisingly good, but slow. I had put moleskin on my heel, but I think that hindered my run. It doesn't seem to stay in place very well on a sweaty heel and then it turns into something that's adding friction to my heel. I didn't end up with a new blister, but some of the new skin tore off. I stopped running at 4.3km, that took me 20:45. That pace puts my 6km time around 28:15, which is about what I'm expecting.

An 'easy' week this week:
Swim: 1000m
Bike: 60ish km
Run: 6-7km

Sorry to not post this sooner, I didn't realize there were such anxious readers!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Healing heel

The past two night I have run with no discomfort on my heel. They were both short runs, 3.2km, but better than no runs. I wore a blister bandaid under my sock and it did very well. Tuesday, however, I got a bit of a scare when I checked the bandaid after the run. It looked like another blister was forming right at the top of the bandaid. What actually happened is the bandaid had slipped down my foot and some of the glue was still where it had been applied. Once I peeled off the bandaid I was able to tell that there was no new blister forming and I just had to rub the glue off my foot.

I'm behind schedule, I had hoped to be running my race distance 6km by now, but my goal is to be back at full strength by the weekend.

Last weeks total were:
Swim: 1km
Bike: 113km
Run: 7.75km
Total: 121.75km

This is the last week of heavy training. My goals are:
Swim: 1km
Bike: 145km
Run: 20km
Total: 166km

Ten days.