Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My 100th Post!!

WOW! I can't believe I've spewed out something 100 times! It's actually a lot of fun. I figure at some point in my life I can sit back and review what I have written and smile at the memories.

I flew to Ottawa today on a work trip. I visited customers in Ottawa and Cornwall. Once done I decided to get in a workout before I got to the hotel because I figured I'd lose steam once in my room. I went to the Nepean Sportsplex for a swim. This is one of my favourite facilities. Today it was long course lengths (50m unlike the what's pictured here). I got 1700m in and had an entire lane to myself.

At the end of my work day I went for a run from my hotel in Gatineau. I continue to be amazed by Ottawa and Hull (Gatineau). I saw more runners and bikers during my run than I saw at the Hawaii Ironman World Champs in Kona! It was impressive. More impressive is the enormous layout of bike lanes and paths throughout the area. It is so progressive and should be the blueprint for every major city in Canada.

Chateau Laurier.

The Ottawa River path. They even had rowing teams out on the river training. It is outstanding!

Thanks for reading and a toast for the next 100 posts - Cheers!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quality Training

Since I got back from Hawaii I think I've gotten the fire back for training. Nothing like watching the world's best in Kona to get the mojo back!

When training is going well I generally do my quality work between Tuesday and Friday. Monday is always my day off and Saturday and Sunday are reserved for long rides or runs. The duration of my efforts between Tuesday and Friday are usually between 1-1.5 hrs and the effort is high. Whether I'm doing tempo, intervals or hill repeats the intensity remains high. Weekends it's all about building endurance and while my effort there remains the same, the progress of my intense efforts over time creates an increase in speed for my long efforts without feeling the effort.

On Friday I went for a 25 mile ride. The pace was high and for 20 miles I maintained an average between 20.5 - 21.5 mph. It was windy out so I definitely was working hard. I also kept my cadence on the low end to work on power. 

Feelin' it!

I did a 10 mile run on Sunday and it was nothing less than a Death March. After the first couple of miles it seemed like every step hurt. I averaged over 9 minutes per mile which is very slow for me. The last 2 miles were horrible and it was all I can do to keep moving. I was spent! Funny thing, though, after a few hours post-run I felt better so my recovery is there. Today I did a ride on a rolling course and averaged 19.25 mph so things are on track. I have a swim and run on the menu tomorrow during my work trip to Ottawa so we see how it goes. Lovin this weather!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

2012 Hawaii Ironman Part 2

My spectator duties started here on the Queen K in Waikoloa. It was pretty cool watching the helicopter covering the race getting closer and closer. I knew the leaders were close..

The lava fields were covered with good luck messages for the athletes.

This is view heading towards Hawi. At 8:30am it was already hot and windy so I knew it was going to be a tough day for the field.

Here comes the train!

Eventual women's winner Leanda Cave. She also won the 70.3 World Champs in Vegas the previous month thus completing the double.

Uber-biker and World 70.3 Champ from last month Sebastian Kienle (pronounced keen-lay). If it wasn't for a flat tire, he might very well have won this race and completed the double like Craig Alexander last year and Leanda Cave this year.

Eventual men's winner Peter Jacobs.

Not sure about this good luck message. "Poopie" as a nickname is not a good thing in my book. Perhaps this name was given for the "wrong" reasons!

Alii Drive was just starting to get busy when we arrived in the morning after watching the cyclists go by in Waikoloa. Later as the athletes head towards the finish the crowd will create a funnel so that no more that a couple of athletes can fit through and the noise level is huge - must feel pretty awesome for the athletes.

The chute leading to the finish.

Just before the finish looking at the finish line. Still early in the day as the race was just over half done at this point. Later it would be nuts here!

The coveted finish line near Kailua Bay - the result of many a workout and a dream.

Looking up from transition towards the Hot Corner.

This is the Hot Corner. The cyclists come in towards transition and then head out to start the marathon.

Palani Hill. This is a killer hill that is about 400m long and plays a key role during the marathon. It is here that the athletes climb it at about the 10 mile mark. It is steep enough that it can reduce people to walking at the top on the Queen K. It's also the same hill athletes come down at the 24.5 mile mark. In the history of Ironman all but a couple of times the first male and female to reach the top of Palani Hill first at the 24.5 mile mark won the race so it's a key spot in the race. This year both Pete Jacobs and Leanda Cave made it there first.

More videos I took from the race...






Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 Hawaii Ironman Bike Leaders - Video



Here's some video coverage of the bike leaders as they passed Waikoloa.


Hawaii Ironman 2012: The Day Before

Friday morning I woke up excited. The roads were busy as the athletes were out for their last spins and runs before turning their bikes in before tomorrow's big day. I decided to get in a good workout as I was inspired by these athletes of all ages. It's absolutely crazy to see how fit some of the 50 and 60 year olds are! I decided to run 1 hour and bike at least 2.

My run started with a feral cat. These cats are all over the resort - there are tons!

I ran by this hammock but their was no time for leisure it was all about putting in some time on the run.

I followed this road out to the Queen K where there were lots of bikes. This 1.5 mile stretch was beautiful and condo-filled. This was also the route by which we could get to the Queen K to not only view the bike portion of the race but also get to Kona via back roads.

The day was clear and windy. Once onto the Queen K I could clearly see the top of Mauna Kea - the tallest mountain in the world as measured from the ocean floor (around 33, 000 feet). Of course the everpresent lava fields were in full view. The amazing thing about the Ironman course is that it is mentally draining - hot, windy, desert-like and pretty much straight out and back.

These signs were everywhere. After my run and a quick bite I grabbed my rental bike and ventured off towards Kona. My plan was to ride 1 hour out and return back and return my rental to BikeWorks in Waikoloa.

I felt good so I continued a little further to the Natural Energy Lab just past the airport. The Natural Energy Lab is a 2 mile out and back that starts at about the 16 mile point of the marathon. At this point it's usually hot and the drama of the race unfolds.

Despite the conditions it is still amazing to see the beautiful flowers that grow.

Here's the view looking down the Natural Energy Lab - the story will play out tomorrow!!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Bikes and Waves

Another stroll through the expo in Kona baby! The tension is building and the hype is full on.

The top ten on the participants list - it's quite the talent pool.

Near the finish line they have banners up of all the previous Ironman winners - here's one of Dave Scott, 6-time winner.

Lots of bikes on display - Cervelo's P5

Check out this Cannondale - sweet!!

Late afternoon I got to Hapuna Beach for some awesome waves.

They started out medium-sized and got larger as the afternoon wore on.

Body surfing was cool and some of these waves just tossed me around.

Took this shot before the wave crushed me - all for my craft!

One more day before the big dance - Cheers!