Tuesday, October 28, 2014

IM Florida - My Trip to my 10th Ironman

If all goes well, IM Florida will mark my 10th Ironman - double digits baby! When I started out doing IM in 1989 I told myself that I would do 10. #10 is upon me and we will see what happens from here. Truth be told training has not gone well - family life and work have taken priority. On the family front it's been all kids stuff, some good and some not so good. On the good front it was Logan's 11th birthday on October 25th! The Dude is 11 - wow time flies! We went bowling and go-karting and had a blast. I won't bother with the not so good stuff - it's best to be left "in house". Suffice to say that it will all work out.

As for training I have not been that frequent. I managed to get a 4200m swim, 170k bike and 32k run in during my lead up. The bad news is I have managed to only swim once a week, bike and run twice weekly. My taper is a 3-week taper. I've never tapered that long before but I haven't been able to get out training as much so it will have to do. Perhaps being a little undertrained and more rested may help. Strategy on race day will be to lower my pace expectations and see what happens - not expecting any PRs this go around!

The drive down to Panama City Beach was the best we've experienced. The weather for the drive has been amazing - not a cloud in the sky and the roads were not too busy. Sara pretty much spent from Hamilton to Detroit on the phone - trying to get as much in before crossing the border. I really don't know how she will cope!

Sun setting in Tennessee. We stopped just past Nashville and stayed at a Four Points Sheraton on reward points. Next morning it was on through Alabama and finally through Florida. The cool thing about Alabama and Florida in this region is that most of it was on country roads. It was cool to see the rural areas and cotton fields.

Hard to see in this pic but the red sign says "Logan's Roadhouse"

Finally after 20 hours of driving we arrived at Panama City Beach. The evening was clear and beautiful. I took this pic from our 3rd floor balcony - gorgeous! We are at the Watercrest. It's a few hundred meters from the marathon course and about 4k to the race site and, of course, right on the beach.

Sunset our first night.

This morning on our balcony. We've seen lots of dolphins. Hard to see in this pic but the black dot in the middle of the picture is a jet fighter from the nearby Air Force Base. They routinely fly down the coast. I was having my coffee and 3 flew by in formation about 500 feet above the water - they are incredibly powerful. Too bad I couldn't focus my phone to get a better shot. Anyway that's all for now. I will be registering for the race tomorrow and will update regularly this week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Big Training Block and My Ironman Picks

I'm currently in the middle of my final long training block in preparation for IM Florida. Temperatures are definitely cooler - layers and long tights are the order of the day for my rides. The sun has been shining so no complaints there although we've had some really windy days. I rode a couple of days ago in 60+km gusts - was not in aero much with that!

Cool shot of my shadow early into a ride with the sun starting to rise.

The Fall colours are always spectacular. Tomorrow I've got a 6:15 long ride on the menu. The plan is to get out early for 3 hours on my own and then 3:15 with Sara for the back half. I'm hoping to finish around 2pm so I can tune in to the live coverage of the Hawaii Ironman!

Been using this trail a lot lately. The Rail Trail heading towards Caledonia has been my flat route of choice for Florida preparation. It has forgiving hard packed dirt. My plan for Sunday is a 3 hour run - my longest for Florida. Hopefully my legs will hold up after Saturday's ride.

We said goodbye to an old friend this week - Sara's 2004 Altima. It served her well but was getting long in the tooth. We traded it in and picked up a Rav4 - a sweet little ride.

Speaking of rides - got my bike tuned up and got my Flo wheels on. And no, I didn't buy my bike to match my wheels!

Finally my picks for tomorrow's championship - for the women: 1) Mirinda Carfrae - no surprise here

2) Racheal Joyce - 2nd last year. If Rinny falters at all Joyce might take it.

3) Daniela Ryf - has raced quite a bit this year. Won the World 70.3 champs and is consistently strong across all 3 disciplines.

For the men: 1) Jan Frodeno. If he can cope with the heat he has potential to run away with this.

2) Sebastien Kienle - rumour has it he's slightly injured. Not buying it. If the winds are strong look for him to make a move.

3) Eneko Llanos. Has been a bit out of the picture the last couple of years but has potential to put in a great effort.
We will see how my picks turn out - can't wait!