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A 1.86 k swim race and what over 40 km of self-powered travel over water in a weekend looks like

This weekend was a total convergence of awesome. B and S invited me up to B’s cottage in Honey Harbour for the long weekend. There was also a swim race at Kempenfest on Saturday that coach Ayesha told us about. I wanted to do both, but I didn’t want to bother B to have to boat me back to shore early on Saturday morning, only to pick me up again on Saturday afternoon. I considered borrowing their canoe, but without knowing the condition of everything I didn’t want to take a chance.

When B and S were driving up on Friday, I got a message from S about the kayak rental place along the way. I’ve been meaning to rent from them again for ages, so I gave them a call and reserved my fibreglass sea kayak for the weekend. Perfect.

Saturday morning I woke up super early and got my swim and cottage gear together, packing as light as possible. Unfortunately I had to include a MacBook Air so I could get some work done at the cottage [ugh]. The registration form said that marshal was at 9:00, and the race started at 10:00. I wasn’t sure what marshall was. I figured it was a pre-race meeting that we all had to be there for. Since I was worried about traffic (which there was a surprising amount of), I ended up getting to the race site at 8:30, even after making a few pit stops. It just gave me a lot of time to warm up, and make a half-dozen trips to the car to drop off whatever I wasn’t using. I had time to set my Garmin to auto-lap every 100m, so I could keep track on course, and when Ayesha showed up I got to see her warm-up routine. 

Soundtrack: Sam Roberts – Without a Map

The race its self was pretty fun. It was a diamond-shaped course, which was supposedly 500m between buoys. At the first buoy I realized that my sighting was actually pretty decent. My Garmin signalled 500m when I was just about 10m from the buoy. A lot of the swimmers seemed to be relatively unfamiliar with open water. There were a lot of swimmers who were zig zagging right in front of me. I’d draft one for a while, then they’d veer sharp the the right or left. I’d keep straight, then they’d pass right across from me in the other direction. I tried one of coach Kelvin’s rear-sighting techniques to make sure I hadn’t veered too far off-course, and I felt a lot more confident about where I was heading.

I passed the second buoy before my Garmin signalled 1000m. I was sure I must have missed a beep in some traffic, so I didn’t worry much about it. But when I rounded the third buoy I knew something was up. Around this point I felt like I was picking up the pace, but looking at the stats now, it looks like I actually slowed down a bit. The first quarter was fairly hard, the second and third were slower and more consistent, but the fourth… well I must have been fairly tired. Maybe sloppy. I was having trouble sighting, since I didn’t know exactly what I was aiming for on shore, so I think that had some to do with it. The last 150m were gold though. I actually picked up the pace and finished up strong.

On the map below you can see where the lap marker went off for me, and how the diamond shaped course was a bit truncated by the furthest buoy being too far toward the shore.

Kempenfest

I wasn’t suprised that Ayesha finished third overall and first in her division, but I was very surprised that I got third in mine. I’m pretty sure it’s because there weren’t a whole lot of “seniors” (aged 25-39) there, because I don’t think a 2:03 pace is really worthy of a podium, but I’ll take it! It was pretty awesome to look at the plaques of past race winners to see Ayesha’s name there in 2008 too. It looks like to win I’ll have to shave about 10 minutes off my time, which might be a bit of a stretch, but I’ve got a long winter of training ahead of me, so you never know!

Ayeshamedal

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After a quick stop by MEC for a dry sack to make sure my MacBook didn’t drown, I picked up the kayak from Swift. Made it to the marina, dropped it off in the water, parked the car, and I was off to the cottage.

B’s family’s cottage is the perfect cottage in the perfect area. As always there was a great group of friends there, and what more can you say?After dropping off my gear I went for another swim, recovery drinks, waited a bit, had a couple Guinness (they’re technically light beers, so it’s totally fine), and passed out on the kitchen table. It was a long day.

The next morning I went for a 13k kayak trip around the area, including a stop at Beausoleil Island. It wasn’t too busy when I started, but by noon the boat traffic was in full force. There was one channel which had a lot of yachts going through. I wanted to avoid it the next day, but I got a little carried away.

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When I got back I showed L’s son a bit about how to get around in the kayak, and I followed him swimming to the end of the bay. He picked it up quickly. At first I was swimming right beside him, but about 200m in he just left me behind. I thought I was supposed to be keeping an eye on him. After another homemade recovery drink (FTR, homo milk + sugar ≠ “white chocolate milk,” even if you plug your nose), I went out for another swim.

That night was a bit earlier, then I got out for another kayak. I looked on google maps for a quieter route, and found one long channel that ended near the 400. I followed it down, and it kept getting quieter and quieter. Eventually there were just two fishing boats in a small bay with a small channel back at the end. It was a small path through a marsh, but it was unbelievably quiet. No one around, just dragonflies.

Soundtrack: Radiohead – Codex

Excuse the shaking and low quality of the video. I was trying not to lose my balance swatting flies. I wasn’t sure if I could perform a self-rescue if I did manage to roll, and with no one around I was a little nervous about having to dredge through the marsh.

After that kayak excursion I did a quick wetsuit swim. I was actually pretty surprised how much faster I was in the wetsuit, and how sore my shoulders had gotten by this point. I went from about a 2:03 100m time to a quite respectible 1:48. That’s about a 15% improvement, which means I’ve got a lot of form work to do. I think I’m going to try to make a couple pool sessions before Ironman Muskoka.

Final totals for the weekend: 6800 m swim and 34 km in the kayak. Wow.

Here are a map overlay of all the swimming in the bay, and one of all the kayaking in the area. Too much awesome for one weekend.

Swimming

Kayaking

Soundtrack for the drive home: Washed Out – Amor Fati

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A compromise for bikes and cars for Jarvis #savejarvis

Now that I’ve calmed down a little about today’s decision on removing the bike lanes on Jarvis, maybe there is a bit of room to make everyone traveling along Jarvis happier. I regularly ride and drive along Jarvis, so while my perspective is still biased (I much prefer to be safer on the bike than faster in the car), I think I’ve got a fairly balanced view.

  1. Driving is more efficient when there’s more room horizontally (three lanes are better than two)
  2. In a car waiting behind left-turning traffic is annoying
  3. Bikes need a lot of space – in the five-lane Jarvis configuration the lanes are very narrow, which makes it impossible for a car to split a lane with a cyclist
  4. The five-lane causes more confusion that good. I don’t know how many times I’ve been legally driving in the centre lane, only to be approached head-on by someone confused or waiting to make a left turn

If you forget about opening up the centre lane completely to traffic and work on something a little closer to what you’d see on Davenport (the intersection at Bathurst is a prime example of how this would work), then I think you’ll get the best of all worlds.

  • Cyclists will have a protected lane when the speed differential is highest, and therefore the most vulnerable
  • Drivers will have a turn lane, and will always have two open lanes approaching intersections
  • We can all share the space approaching and going through the intersections. I mean come on. It shouldn’t be hard.

Here are some diagrams showing the differences between a five-lane, four-lane with bike path, and four-lane with sharrows through intersections with full turn lanes. All of them have the same number of cars and cyclists in the same positions. They’re all making the same turns and trying to get through the same way.

The five-lane configuration:

Jarvis1

There’s one happy car here. Maybe closer to two, but the guy in the dark red car is a little bit annoyed because the car in the curb lane had to move into his lane a bit to avoid the cyclist. The northbound guys are both anoyed, one because of the cyclist and the other because of the left-turning car.

The four-lane with bike lane configuration:

Jarvis2

Cyclists are doing really well and are fully protected. Great. But there are still two really annoyed cars stuck behind the left-turning cars. I understand this well because that’s usally me making the left, and it does make me uncomfortable knowing that I’m forcing people behind me to wait.

The four-lane with bike lane, turn lane, and sharrows configuration:

Jarvis3

Almost everybody is happy here. Really, what more is there to say?

I know this might not apply to rush-hour, since I’m pretty sure at most intersections you can’t make a left turn anyway. But the option would be available to allow for left turns, and that’ll change traffic patterns all over the place. So obviously I understand that I haven’t just drawn up a few lines thinking that I’ve solved the problem.

That said, what I’ve done still isn’t any different than a room full of politicians getting together and drawing and erasing their own lines. I don’t understand how any decisions like this can be decided that way without proper consultation and planning. Maybe that should be what changes in all of this.

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This is how the eff you do Ikea!

Step one: Pack the effing car.

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Step two: Make sure the effing car isn’t a safety hazard.

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Step three: Adjust the effing radio. Watch for the effing box.

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Step four: Drive the couch effing home without missing an effing shift.

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Step five: Stop outside your apartment and open your effing doors.

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Step six: Push the effing box out of the effing car.

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Step seven: Push the effing box up the effing stairs.

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Step eight: Place the effing box where the effing couch is going.

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Step nine: Pour an effing glass of effing wine from a bottle that effing leaks through the weirdest effing chip in the effing bottle.

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Step ten: Open the effing boxes.

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Step eleven: Assemble the effing couch.

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Step twelve: Look at the effing couch you put together.

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Step thirteen: Christen the effing couch!

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From concept to photography to hand modelling to layout. Here’s how the June @graphicarts cover came to be.

Gam-june-cover

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to do a full magazine cover from concept to execution, and compared to my previous tries this one actually worked out reasonably well. 

The lead article is about augmented reality, and WTF it has to do with print. So I had the idea of giving an example of how it could work for people who might not be too familiar with some of its applications. My first idea was to do a WordLens type view on a foreign city at night through an iPad.

Hand-model

First took a series of quick handheld shots of me holding an iPad.

Alongtheselines

…and mocked it up using an image I found of some city in Japan and a white iPad frame. But it looked kinda crappie, so I swapped it with an iPhone.

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Here I was just a little curious about the scale of it.

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Armed with a tripod and an iPhone, I went for a walk down the street and took a couple dozen shots in a couple locations.

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…as well as a few screen caps using an ubercool augmented reality app, Yelp.

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Once I got home a few of the images were thrown together.

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Back at the office a little enhancement and light humour were injected.

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Based on group input we worked out a few more variations…

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…until we were able to settle on one final version. And now we’re off to press. Fingers crossed.

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Late to the party too? Here’s the RA Tiger & Woods podcast (and more on why I love disco/funk)

With my first exposure to nu disco being a lame Hed Kandi compilation, I can’t say I was enthralled. I love Giorgio Moroder and Sebastien Tellier as much as the next guy, but I didn’t realize there was a whole subset of nu disco consisting of reediting downtempo disco and funk classics.

Instead of how disco house was done in the mid-90s, where they would take one small sample of a classic and building a banging track around it, in these reedits almost all of the original is used. 

Compare a ridiculously awesome 1998 filter house track (or the A side for a more downtempo track)

To what Dimitri from Paris was doing in 2000.

To Kenny Dope’s 2002 Disco Heat

(no sample but it’s awesome)

To a Tiger & Woods 2009 reedit

…of a 1982 Imagination original

This 6th Borough Project track is the one that got me feeling this whole pitched-down vibe. It doesn’t get much better than this. You can get more along these lines from this podcast.

Marvin Gaye reedit

…of a 1981 original

Hot Chocolate… yumm.

Stream the Tiger & Woods podcast on Soundcloud or download it here. Awesome.

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What if everybody plugged in their EV at the same time?

Am I completely off base, or does this back-of-the-napkin calculation make any sense?

There are about 7,000,000 cars in Ontario.

Ontario’s peak capacity is maybe about 25,000 megawatts.

Our night draw is about 15,000 megawatts (same source).

This makes a difference of 10,000 megawatts.

A Nissan Leaf has a 24 kilowatt per hour battery. At 240 volts it takes about six hours to charge.

So that means 1000 Leafs would require 24 megawatts to charge.

Divide that by the six hours it takes to charge is 4 megawatts of a draw if all those 1000 Leafs are plugged in at the same time (let’s call that a kiloleaf for fun).

10,000 megawatts divided by 4 megawatts is 2,500 kiloleafs, or 2.5 megaleafs.

Therefore, our current electrical system should be able to handle 2.5 million Leafs all plugged in at the same time at night. Once the number of electric cars (or plug-in hybrids) approaches 35% of all vehicles on the road in Ontario, we might start running into problems.

Of course not everybody will need to plug in every day when if car has a range of 160 km. If most people can hold off on charging every third day, then those numbers would fit together very snugly. Neato.

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Garmin in the pool results

I’m actually surprised that it worked way better than I expected. Here’s a chart of the whole session last night. It actually gives a lot of useful data.

Testyo

If you’re not familiar with this program and what everything in that chart means, the main metric that’s tracked here is that red squiggly line, which is heart rate. In the background there are blue, green, yellow and red stripes. Those represent different heart rate training zones. The black squiggly line with the blue fill is actually altitude, which obviously doesn’t apply in the pool, but as a side effect it actually pulls in some very useful data too.

I also highlighted a couple points, which are the orange ellipse and the yellow box. The orange was when we did fast 25s testing reaction times, where my heart rate peaked at (a relatively low for being so out of breath) 165 bpm. The yellow highlight is for the first three sets of 300m. It’s neat to see my heart rate peak in the second set, and then level off in the third.

The other tool I’ve been using in the pool has been my Poolmate Pro, which gives me a whole swack more data to cross reference with it. I’m going to have to detail that device in a separate post, but it’s been awesome for collecting data.

time set # distance speed strokes
0:06:04 11 300 121 22
0:05:44 12 300 114 25
0:05:52 12 300 117 24
0:05:41 12 300 113 25
0:05:40 13 300 113 27
0:05:56 13 300 118 26
0:05:41 14 300 113 30

So here you can see that I was actually going faster during that second set, which would explain the higher heart rate peak. I’m a little upset that I pulled the Garmin off after the third set, because coach Ayesha got me to increase my stroke rate after the first set, and it took a while to find my groove with it. It looks like the fourth set was much quicker, and I didn’t feel that much more tired. It would have been nice to have solid proof.

I ended up removing the GPS, since it felt like it was slipping off whenever I pushed off the wall. I was convinced that I wasn’t going to get any useful data anyway.

A side benefit of using a GPS with a barometric altimeter (one of the cycling-focussed Edge models, as opposed to the running-focussed Forerunners) is that you can actually get a lot of detail on how many laps you’ve done, when you’ve done them, even down to each individual stroke! I’ve noticed this while swimming with it in my swim cap as well. When the GPS goes deeper underwater, the pressure increases, and it thinks you’re dropping altitude.

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During the first of the 300m sets above, it’s very easy to figure out exactly where I did a turn, where I started, where I stopped, and even have a good idea of when I was stroking.

I had a quick look at the raw data that the GPS produced to try and get an idea of how often it was dropping out. The lines on the chart look fairly solid, but when it was slipping down during turns I was a little concerned that it might be missing out. It appears that it was getting my heart rate about 97% of the time. Not perfect, but that’s pretty close.

Looking back at the first chart, I tried flipping the orientation of the strap/GPS the other way, and tied the second strap around my neck. I figured that it would at least keep it from sliding down after turns. It did keep it from sliding, but I didn’t seem to get any useable data. I think my positioning was a little off, and the top strap was a little tight. I’ll try again next time, or maybe I can figure out another way to secure it.

Either way this is really promising, if a little dorky.

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How to use a Garmin 305 to log heart rate data in the pool

It may be a little premature to do up a how-to before I’ve even fully tested to see if it works, but I’m a little excited to try this out. I don’t feel like spending another $200 for another watch so I can track heart rate underwater, especially when I don’t know if I’m going to even find it practical or useful to have that data yet. So back to the spare parts bin to try to hack together something that will work.

My first attempt was to just wear the heart rate strap in the tub, and having the GPS unit close to it. Reception was spotty. There didn’t even seem to be any rhyme or reason to why it would or wouldn’t pick up a signal. Sometimes it could be right next to it and not work, and sometimes if it was far away it’d get a signal. I decided that I’d probably have to keep them close to each other, or at least have no water between them. So I figured out another way to sort it out.

I started with a basic original style Garmin heart rate strap.

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…and an underwater camera bag.

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First I applied a thick bead of silicone around the main part of the strap.

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…then just stuck the underwater bag onto the strap and let it dry.

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It doesn’t even look awkward at all!

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Here’s the GPS in action, obviously getting a reading (I was out of the water).

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Next I tested it in the tub, and it definitely got a solid signal the whole time. Sorry, no pictures, but I DO have a chart showing no dropouts during the five minute impromptu bath I took!

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Monday I’ll be testing this, so I’ll be sure to update this post. Hopefully I don’t get laughed out of the swim session!

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Twelve step program: modifying an old cycling shoe for a midsole cleat position

Since the end of last year when I was told I have a touch of tibialis posterior syndrome (basically a glorified form of tendinitis involving the tendon connecting the back of your shin to the bottom of your foot), I’ve been completely off running, and only able to handle very small amounts of cycling at a time.

I could spend hours explaining exactly why (if you’ve read my training blog you’ll know I’m not exaggerating), but I believe that trying this midsole position will take much of the pressure off my tendon, which might actually allow me to start cycling again, and if I’m very lucky I can resume a regular training schedule. [fingers crossed]

For more info on the midsole cleat position, check out some of the archives on Joe Friel’s blog (author of the Triathlete’s Training Bible and the most vocal proponent of a midsole cleat). His latest midsole cleat post is about how it can improve running performance off the bike, and it also contains links to his previous articles.

This guide is based on Joe’s how to post, which uses a very similar shoe to mine.

Step one: Mark a line down the centre of the shoe. I used the hole in the top with the indentation in the bottom

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Step two: Measure the halfway point in the sole and…

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Step three: Make a perpendicular line.

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Step four: Drill the holes. This shows the mounting plate in it’s position, which I used as a template to drill the holes (I’m not sure where they came from, but I had a few in my bag of parts).

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Step five: Dremel out a square in the inside of the soles to give a spot for the mounting plate to be recessed into.

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Step six: position the mounting plate.

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Step seven: Screw a couple random bolts into it.

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Step eight: Laugh at the pain from sticking your foot into the end of a randomly long bolt.

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Step nine: Grab some appropriate-length machine bolts from Home Depot. Interestingly this non-metric size is a direct match, not only with thread pitch and length, but they’re tapered exactly the same as the originals.

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Step ten: Install new machine bolts

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Step eleven: Consider dremelling a deeper recess for the plate, and possibly reinforce with epoxy if appears that any structural integrity is lost.

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Step twelve: Admire your work. Oh yeah, and test it when you get home tonight. [fingers crossed again]

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George’s fitness: 2010 year in review

I haven’t had a good “in review” post in a while. When my focus was on blogging and losing weight I did a review post every five pounds (so essentially every month). I’ve been meaning to do a full year review for a few years now, but when the year ends in a whimper there’s not really much reason for it. This has been a much better year than most.

Weight

This year started off a little rough. I came off a long off-season, and hit a peak of 167 in January. That was up from my 155 average of the summer of 09. Not ideal. Training didn’t start until April this year, which was my latest start yet.

By July I had worked back into shape, back to 156, and stronger than ever. For the rest of the summer I focussed more on gaining strength and speed than size and I let another five pounds catch up to me. By the end of November I dumped that, plus five more to actually reach my goal of 150. Although since I wasn’t able to maintain a 7-day average of 150 I don’t really count it as having reached my goal yet. With the holiday season in full swing I’m just trying to keep myself from hitting the 155 mark again. If I can manage that then I’m going to start the new year in the best shape yet. [edit – fat chance, this was written mid-December, and after the winter vacation I tipped the scales at 158… oops]

Cycling

This year was underwhelming compared to 2009. My grand total was 1649km in 77 hours, compared to last year’s 2348 in 137. By the time I hit 1650 last year it was still the middle of June (and I was on my way back from Niagara Falls). However, my average speed had jumped from 20.8 to 22.9. Now I haven’t subcategorized my rides based on whether they’re training rides, travel, or recreational, so that’s a bit misleading. I averaged 24.6 in 2007, but I’m pretty sure I’m faster now. Or at least I was in July.

Still this year was a bit of a disappointment, as I only had three rides that were longer than 100k. The excruciatingly hilly 161k Ride 4 United Way in Bowmanville was definitely a bright spot near the end of the season, but it absolutely pales compared to last year’s 322k Hairshirt.

A lot of the reason why this year was so slow with cycling was that I didn’t really have a cycling-specific goal. Without a Friends For Life ride to Montreal or a Hairshirt it was hard to log enough distance to keep up.

But I’ve got a cool visual showing everywhere I’ve ridden on a map since 2006. It really helps to visualize how different my training has been this year compared to other years. 

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2009
2007
2006
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Running

I actually ran this year. I started running before even cycling. Last year it was 50k over six hours total, including all my training for my first triathlon. This year I managed 287k over 33 hours. I ran a lot, and gained a lot of speed and endurance. I did my first 10k in 20 years and beat my old time. From June to August I logged over 60k a month. By August I was able to maintain a pace below 6:00/km over 5k, which was a huge improvement over last year. I even got down to 5:30.

I finished off the running season with a half marathon. That was nuts. If you asked me if I’d do that at the beginning of the year if I’d do that… well I might have thought I could. But still. Crazy.

I went through a few pairs of shoes, a couple different orthotics, and a new running technique. They’ve worked reasonably well… but more on the injuries later.

Swimming

I’ve been swimming a lot. Best thing I’ve done was join Ayesha’s swim coaching sessions. My speed and endurance have gone through the roof. I spent all summer swim training on my own, and it worked out great. I managed to finish my best race with a mid-pack swim, which was a huge accomplishment for me. Last year I could barely doggie paddle to save my life. Literally.

I managed to get my swim pace down to 2:00/100m in the pool, which is fairly respectable to me. In a race that might be about mid-pack. My best race was 2:11, which was mid-pack. Over my longest distance race (2000m), I managed a 2:25 pace, which I suppose is pretty good too.

But since the current training, my pace times have dropped significantly. Keeping in mind that in the pool we’re not usually wearing wetsuits (and are as a result significantly slower), I can do 400m at just under a 2:00 pace. My 50m would be at 1:16 (if I were able to maintain that speed for twice as long, but still). 

Volume this year was just shy of 80km over 42 hours. Compare to last year’s 9km in 9 hours.

Triathlon – training

This deserves to be listed as a separate sport. Training for triathlons went really well this year. I joined Toronto Triathlon Club and met a whole swack of awesome people. This is what kept me motivated through the year, and if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have pushed as hard as I did to get ready in time for my first race. Most of my best rides have been solo, but having this group to meet every Saturday morning really helped.

My favourite experiences of the summer were definitely the 7:00am swims at Wilcox. Putting in 2000m to cross the lake and back before most people are awake makes me feel nuts enough.

The rides after were much different than what I’ve been used to. Instead of focusing on gradually increasing distances as a group and exploring new areas, this was regimented. Everyone had their set time to train for, same starting point, and same training partners. I’ve seen the same stretch of Bayview to Vandorf to Warden way too many times this year. Not better or worse, just different. Less casual, less fun, but more effective.

The post-ride brick runs were fairly gruelling. Not a whole lot to say. I managed to run a circle around the lake I swam across one day. 

Triathlon – racing

Huge huge huge huge improvements this year. Might as well just lay out the numbers.

Last year:

Sprint distance – swim avg: 3:53/100m – bike avg: 29.34 km/h – run pace: 6:00/km – 12th percentile finish (88% of the participants beat me)

This year:

Sprint distance – s: 2:38 – b: 28.45 – r: 7:25 – 10.8 percentile
Olympic distance – s: 2:48 – b: 28.63 – r: 6:47 – 14.4 percentile
Sprint distance – s: 2:14 – b: 31.43 – r: 5:47 – 72.73 percentile (!?!!!!)
Long course – s: 2:25 – b: 28.6 – r: 8:59 – 7.89 percentile (!?!!!)
Sprint(ish) distance – s: 2:11 b: 28.6 – r: 5:43 – 44.98 percentile

Last year I was in optimal bike shape, run was okay, but swim was crap.

My first race I just improved on the swim. I had some injuries to tend to on the long run.

In the second race I panicked in the swim, but had a decent ride, and I ran for most of the run

The third was just gold. My ideal race, and my peak form. Great swim, super insane ride (where I was able to ride the line between puking and going fast), and a solid run. I can still replay this race vividly if I think hard enough.

The fourth was a good swim, a good ride, and a crampy McCramp of a run. More like a walk actually.

The fifth had my best swim ever. Come to think of it this was right after the Toronto Triathlon Club’s open water swim clinic. The ride was good (most of my races this year averaged precisely 28.6 km/h), and the run was my best yet.

In other words it was a great year for racing. Looking deeper into the statistics, it really shows you how much emphasis is on the bike portion. The one race where I had a really standout performance I totally killed it.

Injuries

This needs its own separate section. I really don’t feel like thinking about the negatives, and I’ve written enough about them already, but…

IT Band – this year it’s been pretty good. It was bad in the beginning, but Dr. Cindy did a great job of working it out and giving me a new running technique that helps to minimize the strain on it. Her new orthotics helped a lot too. Later in the year I made the connection that if I keep my cycling and running in balance to each other, it’s less likely that I’ll get a flare up. If I just run it gets reaggravated. If I cycle regularly it’s better. Weird.

Shoulder – I haven’t lifted much weights this year, so there hasn’t been too much pain. It starts to bug me a little when I swim a lot, but luckily I’m not strong enough for that to be a huge issue yet.

Tibialis Posterior Syndrome – this is a big one. In fact I’m not even sure if this is completely all of it. But whatever it is, this started with me having insanely flat feet, and was aggravated by rolling my ankle go karting. I think I’ve got a hold on how it happened.

1 – flat feet followed by 
2 – rolled ankle followed by 
3 – lots of cycling followed by 
4 – lots of running followed by 
5 – lots of swimming followed by 
6 – lots of swimming then lots of cycling then lots of running

Totally cumulative. I know how the final aggravation into an actual injury happened. One evening I ran 5k in tennis shoes with no orthotics. The next morning I did a cross-lake swim in cool water, which made my foot cramp. It didn’t completely un-cramp (it was tight), then I pushed hard on the bike. That was bad, but when I got off the bike it was absolutely inflamed. Five minutes into the run it was toasted. Sucks.

To fix this I’m off my feet for a while. I’ve got to wear orthotics 24/7, and the angle they’re on needs to be increased to match the natural angle of my feet. Big adjustments. So it’s gradual. Sucks.

When next season happens I’m going to do what I can to try and prevent cramping (magnesium, maybe other minerals, salt, experimenting, keeping my feet warm (in swim booties) etc). On the bike I’m going to get some shims (and/or even orthotics) to bring my angle back up. And running I’m going to work these killer orthotics. It’s going to be interesting. But hopefully by June I’ll be good to go.

Apparently this injury usually takes up to nine freaking months to completely heal. I may be symptom-free after six weeks and can slowly start to reintegrate exercise into my schedule, but wow. It may be a bit of a struggle to be ready for a full marathon by September. Unless I can find a good six month couch-to-marathon training plan.

Just the totals

2009

Cycling: 2348.51 km – 111:48 hours
Running: 50.57 km – 5:45 hours
Swimming: 9.25 km – 9:09 hours
Total: 2408.33 km – 126:42 hours

2010 

Cycling: 1649.66 km – 71:20 hours
Running: 276.47 km – 32:27 hours
Swimming: 79.41 km – 42:41 hours
Total: 2005.54 km – 117.49 hours

My favourite part. Looks like I got in less time this year overall, but not by as much as I had expected. Also, this year ranked second in distance covered, even beating out my ride to Montreal year.

2011

It’s hard to come up with a proper plan for next year. I’ve got my injury to deal with right now, which is going to cause another late start for cycling and especially running. I’m hoping to ease into swimming without a pull buoy and cycling soon. The running might have to take a bit longer. Or maybe the cycling is more aggravating. Either way it’s a process, and a long one at that.

As for my annual hours spent, it looks like I’m way way way under, and I have been for the past few years. I’ve probably gone into these events way undertrained. Reading my training bible, they don’t even have plans for people who have less than 200 hours a year to dedicate to training. I’m hoping to be able to put in 300. If not this year, at least for my Ironman year (if this injury doesn’t prevent that from happening (*arghh!!!!*)).

Nearly tripling my hours spent training sounds like a lot, but really it’s not when you factor everything in there. During the summer I’ll be doing 3 hours of just swimming a week. One long bike ride is four hours, a couple spin classes are two more, and whatever I’m able to do running (maybe two more hours a week to start), and we’re already looking at over 10 hours a week if I skip one hour. Times 50 is 500 hours.

Wow.

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