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This is a long one. Grab a coffee…   :o)

First of all, I must say that representing Canada at this race was much more than I had expected. The uniform, the maple leaf, the team photo, meetings, the crowds cheering GO Canada! It was just an amazing experience that I will train hard to be able to do it again.

We landed in Barcelona exactly 1 week before the race. Given the time zone difference of 6 hours ahead, and previous experience from IM France back in 2009, I knew that at least 5-6 days were to be needed in order to fully adapt. By Thursday I was able to sleep before midnight and by Friday I was pretty much set.

Since we drove from Barcelona to Vitoria, we had planned to use the car as much as possible and make 1 day trips around the region. We were able to visit Bilbao, Pamplona and San Sebastian. All must visit places if you are ever in or around the Basque Country. As this was a taper week, training was fully accommodated with rides in the mornings around the bike course and runs by the afternoons. The best one was a 30min run completed around the Playa de la Concha, in San Sebastian. I really had to force myself to stop, as it was just too beautiful of a landscape. I was also able to squeeze in a swim workout with Team Canada on Wednesday morning.

Most of Team Canada arrived either Tuesday or Wednesday. Thursday was registration, and when we had our team social meeting. It was nice to meet a lot of my team mates. People from all over Canada, some really strong athletes. It was interesting to note the mix of the distance each had been more comfortable at racing. For many this would be their longest race ever, but many had done several IM already and were confident about having a strong result.

Friday was our team photo, the official opening ceremony and the pasta dinner. Team Canada also had a light run and a bike/swim course “recognition” events on Friday and Saturday, but I thought they were a bit too close to the race and skipped those. We did however drove around the bike course, or at least what we thought it was the bike course… Haha! We were right on it for about 70%, the rest was going to be a surprise! But looking at the course profile I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. The course did look tougher than I thought initially, but not scary.

Saturday was a total relax day, with the only activity being the T1 and T2 bags and bike drop-offs. With 1,100 people racing, it actually went quite quick and smooth.

With 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run, this was a perfect race for me to check how I would perform in a race longer than a half-iron distance, as I am planning to take on the old IM Canada course next year, 3 years after my second (and last) IM.

One thing that was off the charts: The heat! It was really hot all days leading to Sunday, with temperatures over 35C at 2-3pm (time I would running the 30km) everyday. But by pure luck Sunday came very cloudy and even if a light rain early in the morning. It was a bit windy, but an easy trade-off from the sauna like days we had before. The sun did come out during the run, but the day’s high was about 25C.

Well, to my race now (finally).

Sunday morning.

Woke-up at 4:30am, had breakfast (could not find bagels, so had to improvise with regular bread), checked my nutrition and ready I was to take the first shuttle from the hotel to the start/T1. It was about 20 min drive and we could tell it was cold just by looking at the windows.

The transition zone was really interesting. I had a few Team Canada mates around me and we chatted and helped each other to get ready. Right beside me there was a group of Brazilians, which I also started the chat with. Different from other races I’ve been was the fact that we had to wait at our transition “area” (in front of our bikes) until each wave was called to the beach area for the swim start.

 Swim

My wave, 30-34 and 35-39 men AG, was the 4th to start (pro men, pro women, para-athletes went first), 15 min after the first wave. It had about 150-200 people, and the majority took their spot closest to the right end, which seemed to have the best line to the first marker. I went there as well.

One minute before the start and they stopped the music, changed to just the sound of a heart beat… THAT was awesome! It got me really excited! The problem was that it probably got everybody else excited too! Haha! With a beach start, as soon as the horn went off it was carnage! Wow! I don’t recall a more aggressive start in my life. For the first 5 minutes or so all I did was try to stay afloat. I hit a lot of people, but I was also like a floating punching bag! Lost the count of how many times people hit my face, tried to swim over me, etc… Monday morning I woke up with my jaw feeling really sore, I could barely open my mouth (my wife didn’t mind too much).

After the initial “aquatic version of an Irish pub braw” the rest of the swim went ok. I found some decent feet to follow and up to about 2,200m we had clear waters ahead. Then we started to catch a lot of people from the previous waves and I lost the feet I was so happy with. For a good 700m or so I was by myself, which sucks because I have to swim harder and also constantly check for the markers. Then a group of fast swimmers from the wave after mine went by me. I thought: “heck, I’m going with them”. After 5 min I realized their pace was out of my comfort zone, so I slowed down and got dropped. The last 700m was again on my own, with a guy from my wave coming by and swimming beside me for the last 200m.  Last 100m was all kick, kick, kick. I felt my right quad cramping a bit but decided to ignore it… Haha!

 Swim time: 1:02:13 – 1:33/100m (9th AG)

 T1

T1 was a long run away for me, as my bike was racked at the very end, but it was nice because it was right beside the bike exit. While stripping my wetsuit off I felt my right quad cramping again. Again I decided to ignore it. I took my time, and after I had all set and properly packed in my T1 bag, I got my gels and salt pills and hit the road.

 T1: 3:43 (73rd AG – Ouch!)

Bike

I took a different approach to the bike part for this race. Up to a 70.3 I just go for it, Hammerfest style. But being this a race around 2:30hr longer than a half-iron I decided to go with a controlled effort during the first 65km (which was the first lap). Then, if I was feeling strong, to push harder the last 55km (same course as the 1st lap, but with an early detour to downtown where T2 and the finish line were).

The first lap was ok. I was getting passed by some people thought I could ride with, but decided against so I could keep within my controlled effort plan. The good thing was that I was feeling strong and still able to maintain a decent avg. I was able to keep with my nutrition plan and the new gels I was taking seemed to be working just fine (my gels got stolen when we had to change rooms at the hotel and I forgot my bag with the gels I normally race, GU Roctane, and my Infinit formula. Noticed just the day after when I went for a ride and needed them. The hotel staff found the Infinit bag, but the gels were gone).

Then I hit the 65km mark. That’s when I had to make the “Ramones’ choice”. I went for it. My legs were fresh and I was now passing a lot of people. People who had passed me earlier, people I hadn’t seen before, even a few pro women who were not having a good day. Everything was awesome, but that changed when I caught up with one of my nightmares… “The Pack”! This group had about 12-15 riders who were clearly working together, with some playing fair but a lot of them bluntly cheating, sucking the wheels of whomever was at the front. Noticeable was this Spaniard, who later I found out finished with a top 15 in my AG. To make things even more interesting, we were at the part of the course that was predominantly rolling hills, with a few short flats in between. I am not (yet) a good climber, but I am an above avg flat rider, so I was like a yo-yo, going to the front of the pack on the descents and flats and falling to the back on the climbs. This lasted a good 20km or so. I even got a warning (!) from an official, saying that I was not allowing the 12m distance after I got passed during the climbs. What? Really? But I know better not to argue with an official (even more so if no penalty was given). So now I was not only playing the yo-yo game, but one with a bungee cord when got to the end, as I had to make sure everyone was “cleared” before I could start doing my usual chase to the front of the pack. Our Spanish wheel sucking friend? Not even a look from the official. Bias? Haha!

Finally, a part of the course without climbs came up. By then I knew exactly who in the group was playing fair and who was not, so as I pushed to the front I talked to these 2 British guys, 1 American and 1 Swiss. I said I was going for it and would love to work together with them, fairly, no drafting BS. The Brits and the American agreed. The Swiss either didn’t understand or didn’t like the plan, so he stayed.  About 10-15min in and one of the Brits came by my right (it took a while to get used to them doing this) and said that our Spanish friend was sucking my wheel really bad. That’s when I said let’s drop him. We went harder. It worked, but our American friend also got dropped.

By then the “new gels” were not agreeing as much with my stomach as they were earlier. Can’t say for sure how much of it was because the new gel or if the amount of stress I put my body through the second half the bike course may have been a contributing factor. Regardless, my nutrition plan was not followed during the second half, as I made it through only with Infinit, “missing” 2 “gel charges”.

The rest of the bike was fast and furious… Haha! I REALLY enjoyed going through the roundabouts without missing a beat. It felt so good! The last 5-7km we decided to bring it home safely, as we entered the city streets with tight corners and lots of speed bumps. Not the ideal place for racing each other.

The crowd support around the bike course was really nice, specially at the climbs. We went through a lot of villages/towns and people were outside cheering everybody. Really nice.  But the closer we got to the downtown area the crowds got bigger. Bigger I’ve ever seen. It was amazing. Little did I know this was just a small sample of what was about to come next.

Bike time:  3:15:26 – 36.92 km/h avg (27th AG)

 T2

In and out of the transition tent. Got my gels (just in case), checked my salt pills “inventory” and off I went. I really needed to go to the bathroom, a good sign my hydration plan was working, but there was nothing at T2. I asked around, but nobody knew where the closest potta-potti was.

 T2 time:  2:32 (67th AG – Ouch again!)

 Run

The run exit from the T2 tent led to a corridor that was full of cheering locals. But that corridor led us to the run course, directly to the heart of it, the main plaza of the city, where the finish line was. Wow! I knew there was a big stands there, but I would’ve never expected to see so many people cheering like it was a World Championship (wait…), and it was outside the plaza as well, and around the whole course. Sometimes I think I could count 5-6 roles deep! Just incredible. Impossible not to feel motivated by it. To make the moment even sweeter, our bibs had our first names on it, and our uniforms had our last names. I had a lot of people cheering for me and saying, we know you are Spanish! You are just disguised as Canadian! I even had a few people screaming “go cousin, go!” haha!

I became familiar with the feeling of having tired legs just before finishing the bike, but when the run starts it’s like a new set of fresher legs are waiting for me. It’s great, and it was happening again. “All the hard training is paying off.” The 30km and the finish line would be waiting for me after I was to complete 4 laps of 7.5km through the old part of the city.

I actually had to pace myself slower during the first lap, as I was going a bit faster than I thought I should be at that point. I also found a potta-potti at the km 3 mark. I was about to use one of the many pubs located around the run course (latter I met this American who said he went and the owner took a picture of him while using the can! Haha!). Finished the lap feeling strong, HR right on target (maybe even a bit lower than expected), and was able to have 1 gel and still hold the fort.  Team Canada managers where cheering for us just before entering the main plaza and I gave them the 2 thumbs up! At the plaza I played with the crowd and got a huge response. That was so much fun! Printed in my memory for life.

During the second lap I was thinking if I should start pushing harder at the second half of lap 3 or if I should wait till the last lap. HR was the same as first lap, still feeling strong. I was on pace to break 7 hours! Wow! Went by Team Canada Managers and still gave them the 2 thumbs up! One thing that dazed on me though was the number of people that was passing me, like I was standing still. It was clear to me that if I am ever going to be at the same overall level as the others I was riding with my run still needs to improve, and a lot.  I played with the crowd again. Again, huge response. This time I also saw my wife, she cheered “Go Champ, go!” and I blew her a kiss. Printed x2.

The third lap started just fine, all systems check, green, go. Then it hit me, like a curve ball I never saw coming. The wall was as big and hard as I’ve ever felt before. My pace just dropped almost by 1 min from the previous km. I tried to go harder, my legs just didn’t respond. It was not muscular, just no energy at all. Checked my HR and it was at the lowest it had been the whole day. It was obvious right there that my nutrition/race plan and execution was faulty. Ok, so what now? That realization really doesn’t help much during the race. Plan B was on. Never mind it had just been requested, debated and approved by the board only 30 seconds ago. It was time for the “Saint Coca-Cola of all Triathletes”. The plan was to start taking Coca-Cola only during the last lap, but that was plan A, the wrong one, remember?  Haha! I went by the Team Canada managers and gave then a big tong out… A lot can change in 7.5km.  Went by the plaza and the crowd was still there. Amazing. Had to play with them. Same response. Saw my wife again, gave her a high five. Printed x3. And off I went to my last lap.

The last lap. That’s the downside of a course with laps. You know exactly what’s coming and how far you are. The run course was not difficult, perfect for me, almost as flat as a pancake,  but it’s 90% on concrete, which is harder on the body. Now take that to another level with no energy left, no form remaining and the brain going “nice job, stupid!” That’s when I thought I could keep the same pace, survival mode, and still finish ok, or I could HTFU and not walk straight for a couple of days later. I was going on vacation after the race, so HTFU it was. For the first km I was able to “improve” my pace by almost 0:40/km! But I was pushing really hard! Then it went downhill big time. 0:40/km became 0:20/km and then 0:10/km slower than I was going before! And I was still pushing hard! It hurt both physically and mentally. That’s when an aid station came by, and I grabbed about 4 cups of Coke… Drank them like I was in the Sahara for months!  That’s when I first walked too. To make sure I drank as much Coke as possible was more important than my goal of not walking during the run. But I was able to get back on running as soon as the cups were dry. Did the same thing over the last aid station as well.

Within the last km I noticed that I could still “break” the 7:10hr “mark”. I paced myself enough to make sure I could make it, but also remembered that the finish line was actually about 150m AFTER the 30km mark.  Last push of the last pushes… Thanks to the common “adrenaline kick” I crossed the line with a few seconds to spare. If only that kick could last longer.

 Run time: 2:45:51 – 5:31/km (67th AG).

*Interesting note: 2:29:00 would have still been 57th in my AG, and that would have a been a picture perfect run for me. Which leads to my comment about improving my run.

Total time: 7:09:44 (46th AG, out of 84. 291st OA, out of 900+)

Overall it was an amazing race. Worth all the expectation and then some.  It was priceless to have the honour of representing Canada and wearing the maple leaf uniform. I was also very happy to have the Team Canada managers to allow us to wear any racing hats we wanted, not just the one from the uniform. As in any other race, I used my TEAM SANDBAGGERS (Represent!) one! It was great to somehow represent a group of training friends (even if part-time for some, haha!) who has always been really supportive. Because of that I left everything I had at the course. My final time was the fastest I could’ve done on that day. Maybe a trade-off between bike to run minutes, but with the same result. There were some mistakes (nutrition and bike tactics comes to mind), that I have already learned from, and will even more when I get the chance to look at the data from the race. But the best part is the confirmation that there is a lot of room for improvement and I am really excited and looking forward to taking the proper steps to get there. And last but not least, it maybe be cheesy but after reading Chrissie Wellington’s book I caught myself smiling the whole time, even through the hardest moments. Interesting enough I had a couple of unrelated people approaching me after the race and said they really enjoyed seeing me racing, as it looked like I was having a great time. So right, even when it hurt big time it was awesome!

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TT Bike Position

Ok, so here it is:
Swim: 59:09.  HR: 148

I didn’t know if I should start from the sides or be right in the middle of the action. Thankfully I chose the latter, as I am a strong swimmer and only had to fight for my space over the first 5-10 minutes. After that it was all great.
I was able to pace myself how I wanted and even enjoyed some long strokes. I completed the 1st loop in 29min and went for the 2nd loop as fresh as I could be. For a split second I thought about doing a negative split, but decided against, as it was way too soon for that. I continued my pace and over the way back from the loop I even relaxed a bit. When I got out of the water I could not believe I was done sub-1 hour and feeling so relaxed and fresh.
T1: 8:42

My transitions during an IM race are not fast, as I am not proficient enough to be fast and still make sure I got everything I need. I rather take my time and make sure everything is ok.

Bike: 6:03:14   HR: 147

The bike was the biggest surprise for me. I was hoping to do around 6:40, or even 6:20 if I was feeling really strong.
I drove the course Friday and realized that it is very tricky, the kind of course that fools you in letting you think that you are going strong, but in reality
it really GRINDS you and when you have to go through the rolling hills at 86 for the second loop your legs will call for help…  So my strategy was to go easier during the first loop and then keep it steady during the second loop. I read that 80% of the people who do IMLP do the bike course wrong, so I knew that if I was doing what everybody else was, I should stop… lol.

To my surprise I completed the first loop in 2hr 58min, and that’s including my stop for the Special Needs Bag. As I got caught-up by the crowd excitement and also by seeing my wife cheering for me (blew her a kiss!), for another split second I set the goal to complete the bike under 6 hours, but again I decided against it as I know that during the run I would go by a lot of people who were sub-6 hours on the bike…The second loop was really good, not as many people riding together as the first loop, and I was able to take advantage of the downhills at Keene (clocked 50 mph+ top speed, and I did use the breaks a bit), and the flats on 9. After a couple of “nature calling breaks” I got back to the rolling hills at 86 feeling strong and got by a lot of people. I could see their faces saying: “Why did I push so hard earlier today?”.  When I was at the Baby Bear, Mamma Bear and Pappa Bear “climbs” section I really relaxed and started focusing on my marathon. Completed the bike just over 7 hours total time, and feeling good.

That’s when I first thought about my chances of breaking 12 hours.

T2: 6:27

Same as T1, but no run from Mirror Lake to the transition zone, that’s why I as a bit faster… lol
Run: 4:34:24  HR: 151 during the 1st loop and a lot higher during the second loop.

So NOW I understand why everybody tells me that the Ironman starts on the run… The first half of the first loop was actually not too bad, I was able to keep a decent pace and still control my HR. I only walked during the Aid Stations, as I had planned, and I was really glad with the pace I had set. But then, the turn-around came and the way back to town is not that easy. My legs were still feeling ok, but my HR was starting to go north, so I had to slow my pace a bit. It worked at first, but then I realized that sooner or later I would have to make a tough choice: Either HR or Pace, as one of them would have to give.
After walking through the second and steepest climb getting back to town (IGA climb) I was thinking “Gotta know to pick my battles” and then I remember that Mark (my coach) said I could let the HR “loose” close to the final 3 hours. So that was it. From that moment on I only glanced to my watch to check the total time. I completed the 1st loop in 2hr 16min and if I wanted to finish it under 12 hours I would need to have a sub 2hr 30min 1/2 marathon next. It would be easy if I haven’t been racing for 9.5 hours already. And THAT’s when I said to myself: “SIU baby!”, now is time to prove if all that training is going to pay-off. I kept with the strategy of walking over the Aid Stations, but in between I was pushing really hard. “So, this is what an Ironman feels like, eh?” I remember thinking out loud.

During the second loop there were no more waiving to the crowd, talking to fellow racers, etc… I was in the zone and had to keep in it if I wanted to finish under 12 hours. The only thing I kept doing was thanking every single volunteer I saw, all the time. I even ran through the same IGA climb I walked during the first loop, and felt great! Within 3 miles to go I knew I had it, as I had almost 40 minutes to spare, so I then got in “control mode”, trying not to push too hard and have cramps or pull a muscle.

The last mile was all a big celebration… I was giving high-fives to everybody and anybody, there were about 10 of us running together and up to the last 200 yds we were still trying to beat each other, but without anybody saying anything, everybody relaxed at the end and gave each other some space so we all could enjoy the last moments.  I crossed the finish line with both arms raised and remember yelling as loud as I could. No words, just a loud sound… lol.  I was thrilled, I was tired, I was almost crying, but above all, I knew I had left everything out there. I did my best, from planning to training and racing, and that’s what an Ironman is all about to me.

Total time: 11:51:53  Avg HR: 153

What a race (the course is the fairest I’ve ever been, and the organization was great), what a town, what an amazing group of volunteers and how about the crowd support!!! Sometimes I felt I was in the Tour de France during the bike and the Boston Marathon during the run. I won’t be doing Lake Placid again anytime soon, as I want to try other IM races around the world, but I will certainly come back one day and I will tell anybody looking to do their first IM to seriously consider Lake Placid. It will be awesome, I guarantee it.

Final thougthts:  I can only say this: What a huge difference training with coach (even if virtually) this year has made. My goal for IMLP was 12hr 40min (1:07 swim; 6:40 bike and 4:40 run). I was faster in all splits and beat the time I had set as a goal for my next IM! lol .  A friend of mine qualified for Kona in Lake Placid, and he swears that in 2 years I can too. I am not too sure about the 2 years (my plan is more like 3-5 years), but now I believe that Kona is out there and will work hard to achieve this goal. Clearwater first, then Kona.  The thing is, to get a Kona spot either on the 35-39 or 40-44 AG I have to break 10 hours! Ouch! So, baby steps, right? Let’s focus in getting under 11 hours first, shall we?  LOL!

You see, I come from a competitive background (former swimmer), so I can’t help but setting some really aggressive goals. To me, that’s a big part of the fun.

Here’s to a great journey ahead!

I know, I know… I said I would update this blog more often… But as I was REALLY busy, I REALLY had no time! No, seriously, I was REALLY busy… C’mon, don’t you believe me? Ok, ok… I have no excuses… Shame on me.

Now, back to where I am today. It has been over 1 month since my last post.  Actually, it has been 8 full weeks. And let me tell something. WHAT A DIFFERENCE 8 weeks make! Wow! Back in March I did a 1:20 hr “long” run and was able to keep a 10.5 km/h pace. Now, this 1:20 hr run would be my moderate mid-week run when the week is light on the running workouts. And not only that, yesterday I completed a 2:40 hr run where I kept a 11.95 km/h pace. If that’s not improvement I don’t know what is.

Once again I have to give props to the team at MAO (Mark Allen Online). At first I was really skeptical about this HR zone training, as my HR, especially during the run, was all over the place, and never below what today is my top aerobic mark. On the other hand, during the bike I was rarely above the minimum aerobic mark. So, as you can see, I was doing my whole training ALL wrong…   I can honestly tell you that today I am logging more hours and mileage and not feeling as tired as I was last year. My body has been able to recover a lot faster and the result is better workouts on the following week(s). I am confident that 2010 will be a year of PB, in all distances.

In exactly 1 month I will be doing my first race of the season. A quick, but challenging, Sprint (here in Ontario, Sprint tris are a bit longer than down south = 750m swim; 30km bike; 7.5 km run). I am looking forward to it. My teammate and “Ironman brother” again this year, Hans, showed me that even though this will be a “C” race, we are still planning to do some tapering. At first I thought it was really not necessary and I should “train” over the race and treat that week as a regular week, but instead of the long run on Sunday I would do the race. But if the guys at MAO believe we should have a few days of rest, that’s what I am going to do. I also read a nice article about why we should race more during our season. Here it is: http://tiny.cc/11w8r

Training is going as planned.

Bike: Initially I thought I was putting way too much bike mileage (I have done 1 century ride and a couple of others that were really close), but then I remember… What do I know? So I turn my swimmer mindset on and grinding my way I go! The only thing that still bugs me is when I have to do a long ride indoors because of the weather. Like this weekend. Trust me, doing 5:30 hr on a trainer is NOT fun. But at least I was able to practice my nutrition strategy (having a sandwich at the 3 hours mark). For the first time I was able to keep a 30 km/h avg during a 5:00+ hr ride. I was really happy with this. Remember, celebrate the small victories just as much as you to the big one!

Swimming: Training in a public pool ,in the middle of a bunch of people who have no business swimming on the “fast” lane has been a challenge to say the least. But with the right mentality I have been able to look at them as obstacles I would face during a mass start anyway. So it is ALL part of the training… LOL…  But I have also noticed some improvement and I believe I should be able to go faster at LP than I did last year in France.  My biggest issue will be the hours. Once the summer schedule begins I won’t have 1:40 hr to swim on Sundays anymore, so I might have to “adapt” a bit, as I can’t complete a 6,000m workout in 1:05 hr. We shall see.

Running: This is where things are really getting interesting. I had no idea how fast I could go keeping my HR below 150 bpm. Well, this weekend I had a PB for the 1/2 marathon WHILE I was running a 2:40 hr workout. The time of 1:45 is huge for me, who never actually did a 1/2 marathon race, but I know that if I had it would’ve never been that fast.  I am planning to run a 1/2 marathon in October and now at least  I have a decent time to beat!  3 other Sandbaggers (Bruno, Hans and Leandro) are doing the Mississauga 1/2 this coming weekend. At first I actually wished I was going too, but 30 seconds later that feeling was gone…  You see, I had come a long way with running, but I not quiet there yet…

Team Sandbaggers is keeping a low profile this year so far. Many “say” that they are not training at all, but others are already full force in and Milton will be a good kick-off for the 2010 season! Looking forward to seeing everyone in their uniforms again and losing the winter coats.  And there is always that hope, even though a very slim one, that somebody else other than Hans and I would actually post something here too.   ;o)

Lesson learned over these 8 weeks: “All I know is that I don’t know anything…” I really don’t know anything about tris and the best thing I have ever done was to get coaching advice.  And of course, baby steps… baby steps…

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Bike time!

Yes, it is that time of the year. The snow has melted; the sun is out and not just for a couple hours!

Carlos and I have a Brick workout planned for Saturday, 4 Hours 45 Min bike and 30 min run.

The forecast for this Saturday is Sunny and 23C. If that holds, we are going to do the first outdoor biking of the season and we would like you to join us.

  • When: Sat, April 3rd, 10AM (gives the sun a bit of time to warm things up)
  • Where: Vote! We can do either Milton or Markham.

Note: we might go a bit earlier if the weather permits. We’ll keep an eye on the forecast and update the post on Friday.

Cheers!

Sandbaggers

And so the REAL season has begun… Looking back, I can’t believe how fast time flew by. I still remember like it was December 2009 and I was just starting my maintenance program.

Ok, I admit, it was far from being perfect as I did not follow it as I should. But hey, it still was a lot better than what I did for pre-season last year = nothing.

I stopped updating this blog because quiet honestly, the maintenance program was really, and I mean, REALLY boring. Almost every week was like the other. Next year I will make sure I add some off the sport workouts, like squash or even soccer.

But now, with the real season on its way, I will try to update it at least once a week. And I always hope that my teammates keep using it to post whatever that heck they want, as this is meant to be the Team Sandbaggers blog, which I am a proud member!!! LOL

By the way, somehow I missed Hans’s mojo post… It is really great. It got ME going! And how did he find out about my secret wish to qualify to Kona?  Maybe because I keep saying that one day I will make it. It’s just a matter of when, not if.  But there is still a lot of work to do…  

During the past few months I did notice that I’ve been able to build a decent foundation. Nothing special, but I am confident it will help me for the 20 weeks program for IM Lake Placid. The most interesting change was on my running. WIth this new HR zone/target I was barely able to “run” without breaking the then “elusive” 145-150 bpm barrier.  Now, I was actually jogging (sorry runners) and still managed to stay within my target zone.

Well, enough said. Time to crunch the numbers.

This week I did:

– 14:20 hours total

– 11 workouts (3 swims, 3 runs, 3 bikes and 2 weights)

– Total calories: 10,780 kcal

– Long bike: 4 hours

– Long run: 1:20 hour 

– Long swim: 3,500m

Best workout:  Long run on Sunday. I actually felt great, specially because I was able to increase my pace for the last 30 minutes. I finished at 10.5 km/h pace… I know, sad, eh?  LOL

Triathlon Mojo

Noun

mojo (plural mojos)

  1. A magic charm or spell.
  2. Supernatural power or luck.
  3. (slang) Personal magnetism; charm.
  4. (slangSex appealsex drive.

Some times it is hard to find your mojo, specially when it is winter. The sun is supposed to come up on 7:51 and sunset is on 16:47. There is something in the air, and it ain’t love! It is mist…

It has been raining for the last 18 hours. I don’t mind wen it snows, at least everything is white and the dog doesn’t get SUPER dirty after his walk. Rain in the winter… you got to hate it. At least the forecast is for snow in the next few hours. Hopefully it will get white and clean again! 🙂

So, where to find the willingness to go out and do a great workout? Every one has his own mojo, some people just want to beat Carlos’ half Ironman time. So far that mojo is inspiring Rogerio to do a great OFF-season… but next year he will start training again! 😉

Some people have the secret goal to qualify for Kona and that is working for Carlos. He is running and biking in the winter, which is unheard off for him. Maybe it doesn’t work for swimming, but the bastard doesn’t have to worry about that… somehow the 10 years that he trained is still helping him!

My favorite though is Bruno, he just does it for the fun of it!

We all have a lot to learn with each other and that is where I found my mojo! Yesterday I was kind of lazy, looking out of the window from my couch. Fortunatly I was out of chips, otherwise I would be the the typical couch potato! Anyhow, I got out my copy of the Sandbaggers 2009 Season DVD, where I found my mojo! I just love the sport, I love the companionship, I love the PBs, I love the Saturday morning’s going out with the guys for a long bike ride… it was all there, just waiting for me to play it!

This is an AWESOME sport and this is what keeps me going!

Caca: thanks for the DVD, you did a great job!