Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Race Report - Iron Girl

Sunday was a terrific day to race a triathlon.  The weather was warm, but not stifling.  The water was cool and flat.  This was Lake Ontario, which can be frigid cold even in August, and have plenty of choppy waves.  The recent weather has had so many stormy days that there could have been an overnight storm to leave it that way.  

No more bagels!

A sticker here. a sticker there. 
We were out the door at 5 am, in the bright darkness of the full moon.  We saw a meteor ahead of us on the highway.  It's the peak of the Perseid shower.  I wasn't racing, so it was Jen's pick for what to stop for on the way.  No bagels!  

Swim time

Swim start

Amongst the first to arrive, she set up the bike in the nearly empty corral, went through registration, then back to the bike to put on the stickers.  Shopping time!  There was an expo on site.  I bought combo shorts.  I have plenty of bike shorts, but have been wanting tri shorts, because I don't really like the feel of my one-piece kit.  I want to race in my bike shirt.  I got some cheap sunglasses from D'Ornella's booth.  I drove to Toronto 10 years ago to get my trainer, since they are the local Kurt vendor.  It's the trainer which I wore the bearings out. That was a year ago. I called Kurt to ask about replacement parts, and they shipped me a whole new unit gratis.  Hurray for lifetime warranty.  Good to see D-Ornellas is still in business.  Two places where I bought new bikes over the last few years have gone under (All Seasons Sports; Multisport Zone).  Pedal Power in Woodstock is keeping them running great, in spite of the harsh treatment I give them.  They tuned Jen's Bianchi for this day's race.  Oh, and Sport Luub.  He said it's wetsuit friendly.  We're almost out of the Body Glide teflon lube that we've been using.

Not a sport for shy people
The drink matches the bike!

Saddle up 

They bused us to the water start. It was only a couple blocks.  Jen squeezed into her wetsuit.  It's overkill for the 15 minutes in the water on such a nice day, but the race is prep for Barrelman where she will have to use it.  Off they went at 9 am.  I jogged back to transition to wait for them.  First girl out sure had a great swim, but spent ages changing clothes while others came and went.  Likewise, Jen had lots to do in transition.  This was her first wetsuit race.  The last time she raced was here in Grimsby, many years ago, and her bike shoes weren't there when she got out of the water.  They turned up later, but she rode the tri-a-tri in her running shoes.  

Let's go

I sauntered back to the car and read a magazine.  Analog.  A David Brin story about how what if vertibrate animals didn't give up the caterpillar stage of insects, they gave up the butterfly stage. Suppose we can engage the transition?  After 40 minutes, I went to the road to wait, and there she was already.  I figured for closer to an hour on the bike.  It was an easy flat out-and-back using the service road by the expressway.  I just made it to transition in time to see her take off on the run course.  A few of us waiting on someone's lawn for our girls to get back.  Jen was an hour 42 altogether.  Way faster than expected.  That's good news except for the swim.  It was clocked at 18 minutes for the 500 m.  That's not going to cut it at Barrelman.  They give an hour 10 for the 1.9 km.  Have to keep moving through the water.

Yes, you wear the medal all day

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Long Ride

Today was the longest ride for this year.  I don't expect another one like it this summer.  To Normandale and back, it clocked in at 165 km.  

Downtown Normandale
On the way back I got caught in a thunderstorm.  If it was just rain, I would carry on through, but the thunder was overhead, and I could see some fierce lightning in the distance, so I stopped and huddled under a tree to wait it out.  A kind lady in a nearby house invited me to sit on the porch with her, and she made us some tea while I waited the 20 minutes for the worst of it to pass.  Another 20 km up the road, I made it back to sunshine, but my shoes had already filled with water and wouldn't be the same for the rest of the trip.

Weather porn
An hour later, another thunderhead passed a long way to the South, without affecting me.  Overall, then it was still a good day.  I loved about the Ironman training how easy it was to cover 160 km every weekend. I'm expecting leg spasms in the night tonight.  Today I felt strong.  I'm expecting the September half-distance race to go well. I have my wings prepped for the Midsummernight's Run, so that should be a good time too.

Here's what I listened to today.

  • Jonzun Crew - Lost In Space
  • John Williams (soundtracks) - Lost In Space (TV Series)
  • Honeymoon Suite - Honeymoon Suite
  • Bon Jovi - Lost Highway

Friday, 1 August 2014

All Your Bridges are Closed

The Saturday blood donor clinic was full, so after my daughter made my lunch at Pita Pit, I carried on South, intending to circle around through Aylmer.  It wasn't happening.  The bridge is out along White Oak Road.  Undaunted, I made a bypass, and found the next crossing of the expressway under construction as well.  Further along, I don't even know if they are building a crossing at Wonderland, but it wasn't happening either.  I eventually came to Colonel Talbot, but it is way, way, way to busy for me on my bike.  I went North back into town.  That's where it began raining, just to rub it in.

Westminster Drive is closed

White Oak Road is closed

I don't even know what that is out Wonderland Road

so I carried on South.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Foam Fest

This was a silly, fun event.  Jen heard about it on the radio.  The promotion must have been working because many of the obstacles had line ups.  They have to fix that. People won't stand for a long wait. 

I told the kids it was an obstacle course based on the TV show Wipeout.  They like the show, so everyone agreed to participate.  I was down $150 just in registrations for them, so I skipped entering myself, and just went to watch.  
She can go first
That's the Death Drop in the distance behind them.  Rather than a grueling test of fitness and courage, it was a set of bouncy castles and slip-and-slides.

Leaping from the Death Drop
It took them over an hour and a half to navigate the 5 km course.  Installed at the Boler Mt ski hill, the run looked tough.  They were up and down the hill several times.  There were waits at some of the equipment, but that let the slow catch up to the fast, so the group tended to stay together.  Everyone got their wind back and was ready for another hike over the hill.
Foam in the face
Many of the competitors arrived back at the finish covered in mud, but my kids jumped over that pit and were clean.  The worst of it was the final slide, face first into the foam.  Soap up the nose, down the shirt, and all clean.  I'm glad they had a good time and got some exercise. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Beware The Dog

My really long runs go into the local farmland.  It's quiet, and flat enough.  I've tried running beside the highway, but the camber of the shoulder made my ankles ache.  The farmers don't generally tie up their dogs.  Most of them keep to their yard.  That's what they are defending -- it's their territory, so you're safe on the road.  Some will venture out.

Normally my policy is to take off my sunglasses and avert my eyes.  If you look at them, it's a challenge, and they bark.  If you're wearing sunglasses, you look like a giant insect, and you're looking at them.  . Dogs just hate to be looked at by strangers.

Farm dog
This little guy seemed harmless enough, however.  He was quiet and shy, perhaps just wanting someone to play with.  With him, I said hello.  He lunged, and bit me on the leg.  I panicked, "Oh no! the tights."  My CRW tights cost more than my running shoes. It's what I wear on runs over 2 hours. I feel less achy that night and the next day.  Luckily there was no gash in the lycra from the dog's teeth.  

Sunday, 15 June 2014


Had a short ride in the Woodstock area. Here's the radio towers on Bower Hill. The new pavement there is great. Make sure your brakes are ready for the stoplight at the bottom. Bower Hill from the North 
Bower Hill, North face
Jen was browsing in Multisport Zone and ended up buying a wetsuit. Hurray! More swimming, riding, and running adventures for the two of us. We signed up for the Niagara Barrelman. It looks like a great half-iron race. You swim the abandoned Welland canal, then bike to Niagara Falls where you run along the parkway.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Ride For Heart

I did the Ride For Heart again this year. 

Ride For Heart 2014

It's a fund raiser for heart and stroke, for which they close the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway on Sunday morning for us to bike on.  New this year were the red and white helmet covers.  It was nice that they mailed us those and the bike tags.  No need to wait in long lines for packet pick-up.

This year I was with daughter Jen, fellow Waterloo alum Ted, plus his wife Janice, and friend Stanis. The three of them are on a dragonboat team together. 

I like the opportunity to admire others' bikes.  Here's a novel idea. Sidecar.

It was a nice leisurely ride of about 3 hours over the 50 km.  The weather was the best ever.  Warm and sunny.  We determined to ride the 75 km distance next time.

Everybody adjust your helmet