Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Around the Bay 30K Post Mortem

So the 119th running of the Around the Bay 30K was this past Sunday. The ATB is the oldest race in North America and is exactly as it sounds. The course goes around Hamilton Bay. The course is also flat for 18k, then lots of hills for the next 8k then flat for 2k and finally slight downhill for the final 2k leading to the finish line at center ice at Copps Coliseum (see pic above).
Training was suboptimal for this race for many reasons. Work travel was frequent, weather was largely crappy and Sara's Dad had a heart attack. With family commitments rightfully taking priority I lost a couple of weeks of key long, hilly runs. I did go to Florida for a week and did some good training but it was all pancake flat and I needed hills!

I knew I was in for a long day when by the third km I was dreading the race and wishing it over - way too early for these sorts of thoughts. I was off my usual pace but thought if I could get through the first 10k in around 48 minutes I'd be happy. I completed the 10k in 48:30 and thought it was okay. One kilometre later, however, I got my first warning sign as my left hamstring started to tighten up. I thought this odd this early and feared this was not going to be fun. By 14k my left calf joined the cramp party and the negative thoughts poured in. I slowed my pace and tried to concentrate on technique but I just felt depleted and I hadn't even hit the hills yet. By 18k when the hills started I began to contemplate bailing on this race because I now started to question if injury was a possibility by continuing. I saw our friend Susan at 20k where I thought of bailing and with her cheering me on I decided to suck it up and take whatever pace my body would allow. It wasn't pretty and included probably 8-9 short walk breaks but I got it done.

I was completely trashed post race. My time of 2:35.40 was 9:40 slower than the last time I did this race in 2011. This course definitely exposes those who haven't put in the work and I paid for it! The positive is I gutted it out however ugly it was. It also gave me the wake up call I needed as I build towards Ironman Lake Placid. I will be back!!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ahh Panama (City Beach)!

Logan, Sara and I escaped Winter and headed to Panama City Beach over March Break. The Durango was packed to the hilt - as evidenced by Logan in his "space" in the back seat.

The drive down was dry the entire way. I took a pic of my favourite sign on the I-75. Always makes me giggle like I'm in grade 3.

Upon arrival we got unpacked, had dinner and a good night's sleep. The next morning was cool but you could feel that the afternoon would be nice. We went for a run with Logan on his trusty steed. After dinner the night before, we found a Toys R Us and we found an awesome bike helmet.

Check it out!

From there it was to the beach! Although it was cloudy it was probably the right day for our pasty white skin. Because it is Spring Break for the US University crowd there is plenty of advertising geared to that demographic - as evidenced by the plane towing this gem!

The sand here is absolutely amazing. Most of the Gulf side of Florida is littered with beautiful beaches.

Even with the temperatures around 17C and breezy, our Sport Umbrella was awesome in blocking the wind and keeping us warm.

We set up shop and turned the channel to our favourite "reality" show - Spring Break! Just to the left of this pic behind the blue beach chairs is one fallen soldier who wandered up and passed out asleep - he clearly peaked too early!

We decided to keep watch over him and make sure he was okay. He stayed there for about 45 minutes. Once he woke up we gave him some water and helped him back to his condo. He was originally trying to get there before but, in his drunken state, could not find it. Turns out he "missed it" by 100 feet! He thanked us and went on his merry way.

For the trip I brought my Zoot Ultra TTs. I am getting them broken in for the upcoming Around the Bay 30K race on March 24th. I like these shows - lighweight, minimal and very comfortable.

Dork and a palm tree.

Sara and I went for a run and made sure half was on the beach. With the tide out it produced a nice surface.

We also went to the recreation park where they had an extensive bike lane system, approximately 30km worth. It was nice to get back out on the bikes outside.

 Doing the "see through" test on my new Orca trishorts. Sara is looking for cracks!

More beach time!

With Logan I was able to get some strength sessions in as he wanted me to dig big and deep holes in the sand - good workout.

Our last day here. The temp with humidity got up to 26C - awesome!
Big Ass beer!

The boys at the construction site.
Finally a panoramic shot of the state park in PCB. The state park is the turnaround point on the marathon loops for Ironman Florida which I'm doing this year. I'm glad the run has many turns as a straight flat run would make me mental. Overall I did 3 swims (longest 2000m), 3 bikes (longest 52k), and 4 runs (longest 17 miles). Overall a good trip, good training week (much needed!!!). Next up is the Around the Bay!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter Broke Me!

I was determined to not escape winter this year but after a stressful February that ended with a horrible long run I decided to surrender and am heading to Florida for Spring Break.

Tired of things like winter storms, wind chill. We've been spoiled the last couple of winters which were quite mild.

I'm heading to the Emerald Coast and Panama City Beach.

I plan on doing some scouting of the Ironman Florida course - a race I will be competing in for the first time in November.

I plan on getting 4-5 swims in, 4 runs (with my last long run before the Around the Bay 30K) and 3 rides (I will have my tri bike in tow). The pic to the left is the facility in Panama City Beach. It has 8 lanes of 50m in the mornings and after lunch switches to 20 lanes of 25m. I love outdoor pools like this - wish we had the climate for this! I hope to have lots of pics to show.