Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wacky Wednesday and Quick Training Update

Not familiar with this sports celebration...


King Kong?!!

Training Update: May has turned into a decent month. It has broken down into the following:

3 50+mile rides, 2 60 mile rides, 1 80 mile ride and 1 century
5 runs over 2 hours up to 2:35
several 2500m swims plus 2 3000+m swims

With the spring I had I have found myself playing a little catchup. My body is responding nicely so far and I am beginning to feel my strength build. Will I be in optimal shape for Lake Placid in 60 days? Hard to say at this point  but if I continue on my current pace and stay injury free I should be fine. IM Lake Placid is switching up the swim this year with a time-trial style start beginning at 6:30am and going in a clockwise direction (for the first time). It should be interesting to see how this plays out. My weight is starting to drop with the long training but I doubt if I'll be in range of low 150lbs like I was in 2011. My goal is to be around 155-157.

My goals over the month of June?

1) 2-3 100+mile rides
2) 2 runs over 2:30
3) 4 swims over 3000m

Recovery is key in any Ironman preparation. Am I tired? Absolutely! I try my best to manage it by getting proper sleep and sound nutrition. Doesn't always work but I'm satisfied so far.

The first weekend in June I'm heading to Lake Placid for my course scouting weekend. I plan on a long swim-full bike on the Saturday, run the Lake Placid 1/2 marathon Sunday and do the Whiteface Mountain climb (see picture above) on the bike on Monday followed by a short swim - should be an endurance blast and build confidence for IM Lake Placid.

That's all for now - hope all's right in your world.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Muskoka Training Weekend 2013

Sara, Logan, Alison (our niece) and I got up to Port Sydney late Thursday night. Friday we woke up to Muskoka morning magnificance (yes that's a triple alliteration score!). Above is our accomodation at Clyffe House on Mary Lake. We had breakfast out back and we were excited to get going.
Here's the view of the lake from the front porch of the Annex building where we were staying. The Clyffe House is made up of several old homes divided into cottage units. The first building was built in 1885 and it is run by Dave Scott whose relatives came here from Britain. They apparently were given 200 acres free in this area for farming. As most people know this area is not ideal for farming. They gutted it out and made quite the homestead. I can't imagine what this land is worth today!
The lake was still which made for some cool pictures of the landscape and its reflections.
Just beautiful! While the crew relaxed I went for a run. I headed out the back way to the road leading to the rapids.
At the rapids is a steel bridge that hooks up to the main part of the village (a couple of shops and the Uncle Larry's General Store). I traveled past the public beach and continued on Muskoka 10.
Muskoka 10 has a nice hard-packed trail next to it. It is a stair-step climb out of Port Sydney. I climbed this series of hills and made the turnaround at 4km. From there it's mostly downhill so you feel fast! After the run I went immediately to the pool and knocked off 2300m and was done training by 1pm.
By the end of day, John (Beast) and Sheila, Peter and Susan arrived. We had a couple of beverages and discussed our planned long ride for Saturday.
Saturday was awesome weather wise and slightly warmer. We decided to mix up some traditional routes with areas that had yet to be explored. We headed out of Port Sydney through Utterson. Utterson is nice because it has the only real flat stretch of road in the area. Leaving Utterson, we went right towards Port Carling and did an out-and-back on Three Mile Lake road. We had fun there with the short steep hills and the dog that chased us - I'm pretty sure the dog has never seen a cyclist before as it tried to chase us and ended up tumbling into the ditch.
Peter and Susan enjoying the ride.
Beast in his glory!
After the group ride Peter and I continued on as a 100 miler was on the menu. We did the Brittania Loop which is insanely hilly! Post Brittania we headed back out the Muskoka 10 through Utterson to Windermere Road (another unexplored route) and back to make it 100.6 miles in total. Post ride it was dock time with the gang and icing the legs in the lake - great for recovery. We had an awesome dinner together where we discussed the day and reminisced about Don, especially the fact he completed Ironman Florida just this past November (still amazes me). The next morning was overcast with some occasional light rain but decent weather for my long run. I did a short run initially solo then went out with the group for a while. It was great to have the company.  John accompanied me for 1.5 hours (his longest run in a while). Sara got an hour in - her longest run since recovering from being sick then Sara and Logan came out on the bikes for the last part with me. Sheila, once again, put some time in on the mountain bike while we ran and got her hour in. Not surprisingly she was well-coordinated from head to toe. Her advice regarding rich guys vs poor guys is always cutting edge stuff! Peter and Susan ran ahead as they werem't going as long but we did see them on the out and back section.  It always surprises me how a long run goes by when you're with a group. In total I ran for 2:32. Overall, I was pretty please with the 2 days of training.
Mission accomplished! Long bike (100 miles) - check! Long run (2:32) - check! Beverages - check! Great times, great people - check! A great time was had by all.
Finally, although Don is no longer with us, he is here in spirit. Linda, understandably so, did not make it up this year. I put out these chairs as a sign that they are in our thoughts.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Muskoka Fun This Weekend!

Every year we head up to Port Sydney (near Huntsville) for the annual Muskoka Training Weekend on the Victoria Day long weekend, affectionately known as May 2-4. The Huntsville area is host to a 5150 in June and a 70.3 in September. There is NO flat here, it is all hills! The training and beauty is awesome. In the pic above is Beast (hibernating) after our 80 mile ride on the dock. The weather was perfect and, in true Beast fashion, he properly looked after his recovery with proper hydration sources. Well done Beast - I send a slow clap your way!

The scenery, as I said, is spectacular. Here's a nice shot from Deerhurst Resort, site of the Muskoka 70.3, of the inlet which makes the end of the 2K swim. In winter this area would have 15 outdoor rinks cleared and marked for the annual pond hockey tournament.

This was how it looked last year. The weather was 25C+ every day. This year it will be cooler but the weather gods are taking pity as it looks to be sunny with temps between 18 and 22C - we'll take it!

As I said I've been coming here for years - so long, in fact, that I used to have no gray hair! Here's Sara and I at one of the first years with the Finish Line Tri Club.

We've always stayed at the Clyffe House in Port Sydney for either the Training Weekend or when racing the 70.3. It's rustic but right on Mary Lake and is not too expensive. Dave Scott, the owner, is really nice and has a cool, nostalgic triathlon name! Here's Logan on the big rock nestled against the Dance Hall cottage.

This was a scene on Highway 11 last year - pretty funny. If you've never travelled to Muskoka you should know that Highway 400 and 11 is an exercise in patience as everyone and their brother are looking to escape north.

One of the things that keep us sane on the highway is the must-stop at Webers. The lineups all always out the door but it SO good! Surprisingly we've always had fantastic workouts after devouring a couple of cheeseburgs, driving the final hour, and getting on the bikes to loosen up.

The rapids near Clyffe House.

As with most Muskoka nights this time of year a wood fire will likely be in order. The Clyffe House is over 100 years old so the fire warms the place up nicely. Dork!

It should be said that this year will still weigh heavy on the heart as our friend Don (second from right) is no longer with us. Don and his wife Linda really enjoyed their time here and I'm sure Don would want us to carry on in true Ironman fashion. I'm positive we will be thinking about him a lot this weekend and we will honour Don in true Muskoka fashion.

Dork on the dock! Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, May 13, 2013

The Birthday Edition

Wow - it's been 2 weeks since my last entry and what a whirlwind it's been. My birthday was May 6 - I turned 47 (how the hell did that happen?!). My festivities, however, started May 4th with Sara and some customers at the Detroit Red Wings vs Anaheim Ducks playoff game. We got there just in time Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit - always an interesting adventure!

Sara was pumped for the game - she hadn't been to a hockey game in quite a while. Although the guy in the background did not seem quite as impressed. I immediately asked him to turn over his Guy Card for the infraction.

The atmosphere was electric and incredibly loud. The traditional octopus was lowered from the rafters to stir the crowd up even further.

Hard to see in the photo but the jumbotron is showing staff collecting one of the live octopus that was thrown from the crowd onto the ice - a playoff tradition!

The next morning Sara and I went for a run along the Windsor waterfront. They have a nice bike lane there and the morning was beautiful.

Here I am slugging along with memories of pizza, boneless chicken wings (have to be good for ya, right?!), and beer. There was no capacity for speed today. Across the river you can see the big corporate buildings of the automotive companies.

On the way back we noticed all these signs that were being put up for a charity run. Some of these were pretty funny.

Tuesday May 7th saw me on a flight to Ottawa for more work + hockey fun. I went with customers to the Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadians game. It was an awesome game as these teams do not like each other one bit.

The Senators came back in the 3rd period from a 2-0 deficit to win in overtime 3-2 and eliminate the Canadians - a result I was especially happy about being a Maple Leafs fan!

The next day was unbelievably beautiful. With humidity it got up to 30C. Besides work I got a 3200m swim in and a 20K run done on some beautiful trails in the Kanata area. Funny thing our spring weather is. The Wednesday run I'm running in shorts and no shirts, this weekend I'm multilayered for my 125K bike and could not wait for a hot shower by the end. Please - more warm weather!!!