I would think a first blog post should start with the topics that will generally be found within it's pages so you can decide whether you want to come back or not. If you like greyhounds, you'll like some posts. If you like triathlon, you'll like some posts. If you want to read about camping, downhill skiing, travel, and a miscellaneous bucket of other things, you'll like some posts. Most of the blog, however, will be about the journey of an average man to an Ironman and all the pain and suffering along the way. This is really about triathlon, with everything else in an 'other' bucket.
So it begins....Let me start with some background: 6 Sprint (750m swim, 20-24km ride, 5k run) races under my belt, 1 Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km ride, 10km run) and a half Ironman (2km swim, 94km ride, 21km run) planned for next weekend. This last one is going to be tough. Real tough. Not only is the course exceptionally hilly (except the swim - it's flat), but it's the longest race I will have ever done and I'm way under-prepared, having decided to do it only 6 weeks ago without any long distance riding or running behind me. But that is the interesting thing about striving to be an Ironman. You have to believe you can do it, no matter what. And you have to do it, no matter what.
I've spent the last few weeks riding in the hills north of Ottawa, sucking huge wind the first several times out. I still do, but at least I can do more than 1 'loop' (22km) in the hills. The distance isn't the factor in the Gatineaus, it's the amount of climbing. There are no flats. Only uphill and downhill. You'd think everything would even out, but for some reason I spend so much more time going uphill than down. It has literally been a pain in the ass, and the legs for that matter. Nevermind the fact teams of roadies and other tri bikers out there blow by me like I'm sitting still. Honestly - I don't care. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Today was a great training day, the last before the big race next weekend. Sure I'll do some short flat rides next week, but my climbs and distance are done. Today started with a 2km swim in beautiful Meech Lake, smack at 7am. We were blessed with great weather, despite the temperature plummet and storm last night. The mirrored lake was warm and inviting. We were 6 in total, who headed out towards the white boathouse. While I had no technical swimming instruction prior to this past winter, I thankfully take to swimming naturally and can hold and lead pace, even with the big boys. Too bad it is such a small component of a triathlon. They say no race was or will ever be won in the water. It's all about the bike and run, where you spend 5/6ths of your time on the race course, give or take.
After a great swim, we hit the bikes, stuck with the hills and did 3,600ft climbing over 65km and 2.75 some hours. It was one helluva windy day and thanks to my borrowed 9cm deep aero wheels, I got blown all over the road. What a treat.
We capped off the season of training with a planned BBQ. I brought our portable cue and grilled up some awesome and hefty burgers. After 3.5 hours of training, polishing off two of the bad boys was no trouble at all. I'm skipping supper though as I am still not hungry!
I have to thank Training Payne for the inspiration of writing a blog, as well as the good and wacky example he sets about training life. The man is Kona bound this year, so it's working!
I'm going to leave it at that.