Ironman Canada 2010

Cripes. Very long day.

I woke up at 3:30am to start eating, and getting some water. It was cold, dark and windy outside. Water temperature was around 18 degrees. Got some gear on, packed the last of the gear bags to take, and headed out in a warm layer around 5am to the athlete area. Got body marked, pumped the bike tires to race pressure, got some more fuel and water, then put on my wetsuit and got ready for the swim. At around 6:30 they opened up the swim entrance for us, and I parted ways with a few of the North Shore Tri club people I had bumped into, and hopped in the water. Did some light warming up, chatted with a few other athletes, watched the pros start (they get to start 15 minutes before us), popped even more fuel 10 minutes before the start, sang the national anthem, said a few good lucks to fellow competitors and... bang. Over 3000 people were registered, and this event is a mass start. All other IM events with large participation involve wave starts to make things less hectic, but apparently IMC enjoys being unique. I went hard out first, used the middle 'half' to regain energy, while swimming a comfortable pace, then pushed the last quarter again. Overall I got kicked in the head three times, bear hugged, grabbed and pulled at the ankle, and did my share of hitting people too. The swims always feel really long for some reason, but in the end I had my faster swim of the season with a 1:18 for the 3.8k course. I was also a little lost at times on the course, so I was technically swimming faster!

We got to the shallow part of the lake, at the finish of the swim, and it was stupidly rocky. Me and all the people around me were stepping so carefully, trying not to fall, and I wasn't exactly impressed with that... Went through transition, got my swim to bike bag, put on my sperm helmet, shoes and drank some water. The volunteers in transition were amazing (they take your swim stuff and put it in the bag, and help you with your bike gear if you need! Headed out to get my bike, and unfortunately they had a slight logistical mix up, which put me on the wrong side of the sunscreen volunteers (they rub you down real quick with sunscreen), so I did not have an opportunity for sunscreen heading out on the bike (NOT pleased). I did my best not to go out too fast right away, but the excitement, the cheering crowd, the other competitors, etc.... makes it tough. I was checking my heart rate monitor every 30 seconds in order to keep my pace in check, and I had managed to get out of town without going too hard (I'll explain more about why this is necessary later). We got the my main concern, McClean Creek Road, and it was a giant clusterf!ck of morons on bikes. When doing a triathlon, bike policy is ride right, except to pass. As I would learn, all the climbs basically meant ride anywhere you want to people. I had no way to pass anyone as the entire road was blocked off by people doing the exact same pace (why not go single file if you're all going the same pace!) and in fact, had to slow down a LOT to avoid crashing into them. I'll admit, it's a very difficult (steep) climb, lasting around a kilometer, but seriously, participant fail. At the top of the climb I hastily moved passed a lot of them, and on came the first joyous descent of the day. I have done a lot of research/reading into a good aerodynamic tuck on the bike, and it paid off well, I was flying passed people like they were stationary! I really enjoy the descent back to the highway, as it winds, but can be easily ridden all out. Got back on the highway, and now comes the long stretch out to Osoyoos. I was still holding back on my pace and checking my heart rate, yet I was passing people. It was somewhat confusing, as I was really concerned I was going too fast, but from what I could tell, I was going at an easy pace. Nice and scenic trip down to Osoyoos (not much to say), which cheering in both Okanagan Falls and Oliver, then we made the right turn that haunts most cyclists, the turn up Richter Pass.

This is the first of the two legendary climbs on the bike course (legendary in the world of IM) 11km in length. Unfortunately, despite the lack of tail wind coming from Penticton, there was a headwind as we turned almost 180 degrees to head up Richter. As with the entire bike course, I made sure not to push too hard at the beginning of the climb, and shortly I was in my comfortable pace, passing people like nothing. Partway up there was a photographer on the course, stepping in to take photos of cyclists, and as I was getting close a race official sped up and threatened to run him down. They started swearing at each other, and it was really quite amusing. I passed them (he took my photo) and they were still arguing. Don't know what happened in the end. Continued up to the top and on came the second descent of the day. Again, good positioning meant I was passing people like crazy. Unfortunately people were still being dumb about staying right, and I was almost across the center lane just trying to pass a few dummies. This descent is possibly the most scenic part of the entire course, as the entire valley below opens up while you're going down, quite spectacular if you're not in a hurry, and I enjoyed it quite a lot back when I road it in May, but today I had other things to focus on! Coming off Richter the course now challenges riders with 7 moderate climbs, or rollers. These were somewhat amusing, as people were slingshot-ing all over from very inconsistent strategies. I really had to go to the bathroom at this point, so things started getting screwy in my head. Time distorted, efforts were misperceived, etc... It felt like an hour when only 5 minutes would pass, small hills felt like they went on forever. I didn't lose any time, but I was in a very negative state. We finally made it to the Cawston out and back (the course is a massive loop of the Okanagan around 160k, and the little Cawston part is just what they need to make it IM length, 180k) which sucked more. The out and back didn't actually take very long, but it felt like hours had passed. I stopped at the aid station near the end of the out and back and used to portopotties and the mental distortions were going away. Unfortunately, as I was getting back into a good mental state for course, the headwinds started picking up and shortly after making it out of Cawston we were at the base of Yellow lake, the second of the legendary climbs, a 22km ascent to the twin lakes.

The winds were so fierce, I had shifted down to my lowest gear and was barely moving at all, and this was how the first 10 kilometers of the climb went. It was unbelievably rough. The wind was raging, it started raining, terms I've heard from other racers include monsoon-ing. Yellow lake is a mostly gentle climb (just long) with two steep sections near the top. Huge crowds lined to road, Tour de France style on the first steep ascent, and I think they may have protected us from the wind a little, as we were able (barely) to make it up. We turned around a bend and the wind FINALLY let up (we've basically been riding in a headwind from the base of Richter to this point, save for half of the Cawston out and back). Up the last steep climb, made it to the lakes, and after a short foray at the top winding around the scenery, it was time for the third, and fastest descent. Again, I had to deal with people who don't know what the right side of the road is, but it wasn't quite as bad as Richter, and we made it down, went even farther downhill next to Skaha lake, and finally were back into Penticton. If you've ever wondered what sitting on a hard bike seat feels like more 6 hours, I wouldn't recommend it. On top of that, your back is killing you. Needless to say, I was VERY happy to get off the bike. If it weren't for those ridiculous headwinds at the base of Yellow lake, I probably would have gotten my bike course goal (6 hours) but I'm in no way disappointed with just over 6:30 given the conditions.

Back in to transition, grabbed the bike to run bag, and it was time to head out AGAIN. I honestly felt like I had accomplished enough with my day, but... there was still a marathon ahead. Put on my runners, thankfully got some sunscreen this time, and headed off for what was going to be the most challenging part of the day. The start and finish of the run goes by Lakeshore drive, so the crowds can amass there and have something to cheer at all times. Just as I was heading out the race leaders were coming in, and they passed me in good form. I went my way, they went their way. I definitely wanted to just join them and cross the finish. Oh well, why not run a marathon instead? We head through town, again through large crowds, for a few miles, and then we go to the side of Skaha lake, and run all the way down to the other end, to Okanagan Falls. On the way I kept my pace in check, felt great, gave a little girl a high five, chatted with a few runners. Getting to Okanagan lake was alright, but my ankle was starting to act up, and given I've injured both of my ankles recently (one this year, one last year) I didn't want to take any chances, and was reduced to a walk. I walked the majority of the way back, doing a few runs here and there, gauging my state, and it wasn't until I started chatting with another runner around the 7k to go mark that I felt I could maintain a run. I don't know why, but running with the guy just seemed to alleviate all the pain I had been feeling before (note: pain, not soreness. Very different in a runner's world, and I was by all means still very sore.) He met up with his family a little later, waiting on the sidewalk a little before hitting main street in Penticton, we wished each other well and I kept trekking. So incredibly tired and sore, I ran the majority of the last 7k (I haven't done any more than a 5k run in the last two months, to give an idea of how bad an idea this was) and was FINALLY done around 8:40 at night (7am start). Very, very long day. Got shuttled through the finish area, got a medal, t-shirt and hat, had a photo taken, all the cool stuff. Then wandered around ready to pass out for awhile. I'm pretty sure I was dehydrated at the finish, as water had gotten to the point where it's taste made me want to throw up, so I just stopped drinking it 10k from the finish. Bad idea, but puking wouldn't have helped the situation...

Throughout the day I saw cows, deer, a horse, a fat caterpillar and various species of fish. I was not disappointed with my finish, as realistically, I trained less than half as much as most competitors, didn't do ANY marathon training at all, and tapered my training too much close to the event, so I did quite well! I'm still disappointed in the sense that had I done the training I had set out to do, I would definitely have gotten my sub 12 goal, even though the course is legendary by IM standards.

My sunburns aren't as bad as they could have been, which I'm thankful for, but I shouldn't have had any... I'm definitely going to have to mention this to someone so they can improve it for future years. I have no real plans for now, definitely not doing IMC next year, but I think I may be able to come back in a few and qualify for Kona (world championships) for shits and giggles. If I'm not stinking rich, I doubt I'd actually go, not to mention the weather in Kona isn't pleasant, and I dislike humidity... but we'll see.

I could write more, but check out is in 20 minutes...... so ba-bai

(no subject)

Vancouver International Half IronMan: 1.9 k swim, 91k bike, 20k run

Woke up at 4am, drank some water and some carb fluid (approx 350 calories), got the last of my stuff ready. (The majority was prepped the night before as to ensure I wouldn't forget anything if I ended up in a rush for whatever reason.) Got picked up by my dad around 5am, and driven down to Locarno beach (Jericho sailing club). He made a point of going down some of the older areas he used to live and point out what used to be where and how everything is far worse now, so it took a bit longer than necessary.. but we got there at 5:30 leaving an hour to get body marked, pick up my timing chip, set up transition, put on my wetsuit and warm up for the swim. Unlike Shawnigan lake, there were more bikes with less room in the transition area, so we were fairly crammed, otherwise everything went fairly well. Got my wetsuit on in not too long (getting better at it!) and popped in the water around 6:15. Didn't do much, swam 50-100m, looked around, swam back, hopped out of the water and did some arm warm ups (you know the drill, rolling them forward (allegedly bad? Not entirely sure about that), backward, side to side. The key to pre exercise warm ups is to do dynamic movements instead of the traditional static stretches. It's a fairly new idea, but they've definitely studied it a lot over the last 10 or 15 years. Dynamic stretches get a light stretch, but more importantly get the blood flowing, get the joints 'oiled up', etc... what you would like out of a warmup, whereas the static stretches (do both the aforementioned) also relax the muscle, leaving less power for whatever activity you're doing (beit a triathlon, hiking, track and field, rock climbing, hockey, etc...) which is less than desired. What's worse, stretching used to be done because it was believed a good warm up can help prevent injury (which is true) but the static stretches have been shown to possibly increase the risk of injury, due to the relaxed state of the muscle. This is somewhat controvertial and has not been studied terribly well, but in the end, the drop in power is already reason enough to skip it.

Moving on, the swim was (unlike Shawnigan) a beach start. We had to line up inbetween to Subaru flags, and when it was time to go, we had to run to the water (5m at most) and go from there. There was a slight lesson about how to do a beach start for beginners, and basically once you're waist deep you want to dolphin dive, and remain roughly at the surface of the water. No matter how you look at it, in the water, swimming's faster than running. Amid the chaos I definitely got a few boots to the head, some 'punches' down my sides, and all the good fun loving stuff. I started near the front of the group, half by choice, half by... others just staying behind me. This is good for me, bad for them. Huzzah! Quite a few people passed me on the first stretch, as I couldn't really find my stroke, and was somewhat inefficient as a biproduct. I couldn't even see the buoy we were to turn around. There were two yellow buoys, and we swam counter-clockwise triangles. Good idea, put enough buoys to let the participants sight and know where they're supposed to go. Bad idea, use a cost effective minimal number of buoys. Oi. I got a little off track on the first stretch, but about halfway along the far stretch (hypotenuse? What's the far side of an equilateral triangle 0_o) I found a good rythym and got the body rotation, the pop and pull, and a bit of decent force out of my pulls. Went around the second buoy and thankfully on the beach was a massive inflatable Powerbar gate (for us to run through after the swim) so I could site that from way out. This stretch was odd. I figured I'd get a little help from the current going towards the beach, and while it wasn't as bad as the first stretch, I never really felt like I was being carried by the waves. Got back to the beach, ran up and around a buoy, and back in to the water. YAY! Another point brought up at the open water swim clinic on Saturday was that, no matter what, if you go swim to run to swim for the swim course, you're going to feel AWFUL when getting into the water the second time. This was not an overstatement. The advice was to ignore everything and simply count 40 strokes and reassess how you feel. Great idea, and while I was more like 50 strokes to feeling better, it's a really good strategy. We were in the ocean at Locarno and while the first lap went alright, the second lap had some sizable waves. On one breath I could see a wave about to hit and I over rotated (normal is 90 degrees, I was probably 120+) and I was almost airborne off that one. Eek. Other than not being able to see the buoys again, the second lap went fairly well, and in the end I was getting some really strong pulls, which is great for the end of the course! Unfortunately the choppy water on the second lap meant I didn't negative split the swim laps. (Negative splitting means if you do laps around whatever, any of the sports, your later ones are quicker than the earlier ones. This is the ideal way to hit a course.) Got to the beach, ran up to transition (sand...) and the first part was complete. Just over 40 minutes, which was just over my goal (of 40) but my last swim was in a calm lake, so I'm happy with this.

Got the wetsuit off without too much trouble (skill and lube. Lots of lube, on the calves). Got my vest on (I put all the stuff I want on the bike course in the vest so that I can pop the vest on instead of having to load up things individually in the tri suit. Helmet has to be on when your bike is unracked, at all times. If not, you will be disqualified if seen by an official. Took the bike out to the course and decided to start easy. I read recently going out too hard is a killer on the longer events, and I think things went fairly well this way. The first lap went alright, we went from the beach to north west marine, and along north west marine to south west marine to 41st, turned around and headed back to 4th, along a ways and another turn around then back to north west marine, down the hill and right at the bottom of the hill was the loop point (4 laps of this loop, then back to the beach). The first lap I didn't know where the turnaround on 4th was, and I kept seeing u-turns spots that looked good, so I slowed down, people passed me, and then I realized it wasn't the turnaround. This happened a couple times, then I decided not to slow down at all until I was sure. The second lap involved my chain falling off on north west marine as I was flying down the hill (60 kph?) and I unclipped my right shoe, kept kicking at the chain trying to jump it back on, all the while keeping an eye on the road as it's fairly windy and has a few nasty bumps. Long story short, I got the chain on before the bottom of the hill, and pretty much realized I was unstoppable at that point. Seriously, how epic is that?! This victory was sadly, very short lived, as coming up the hill on the third lap I grabbed a water bottle (only aid station on the bike course was here) and proceeded to drop it while trying to put it in my bottle holder. If you've never been dehydrated on a 6 hour event, I suggest you give it a try to fully understand how devastating this moment was. I thankfully had half a water bottle of gatorade left from the second lap, so I made it last as best I could. I got water on the last lap and made sure not to drop it, but the damage was done and dehydration set in. I downed the bottle on the lap, but by the end my legs simply didn't want to push any more and I was doing whatever damage control I could. Made it back to transition decently hydrated, all things considered.

Racked the bike and popped on my runners, drank the water from the first 3 stations and felt somewhat rehydrated at that point. Started out easy like on the bike course, and had a fairly strong run from the third to the twelth kilometer. Unfortunately dehydration kicked in again (running and drinking is surprisingly difficult! I wasn't getting all the water at each aid station). Pretty much the most suffering for the entire event, I actually walked a few aid stations at the 15th and 16th kilometer, just to make sure I got all the water, and like with the swim/run/swim idea, if you run/walk/run, the second run will suck balls to start. I counted out 100 strides ignoring the brutal pain and it worked again. I did everything I could to focus on getting from marker to marker (each km is marked, though very poorly at this race) and finally got to the finish, with a whopping 5:45. I was hoping for under 6, but the later portion of the run felt so rough I honestly thought I'd slowed down like crazy and missed it. Apparently I hadn't lost any speed the entire time. Along the run I had numerous compliments on my shoes.

Crossing the finish was fun, though someone unorganized as with every event like this. The WORST thing you can do after long hours using your leg muscles is stop dead in your tracks. The muscle contractions have been going on for hours, and stopping all of a sudden can induce collapsing. I've never really understood why they stop participants at all these events (every event I've been in, except for the sun run I suppose). Got my fancy pants medal, went to the athlete recovery area, and downed a bagel, some fruit and most importantly some chocolate milk. In short, chocolate milk is just about the most amazing drink ever, within 15-20 minutes of endurance activities. Far more cost effective than recovery products too. Fluids absorb better too. The benefits go on....

I'm amazed at how good I feel today, given
(a) how stiff/sore I felt yesterday
(b) how much training I've missed in the last month (scary amount!)
(c) how I ran 20k with only two short stops for water, having not run more than 12 in the last 12 months!

Next stop, IMC. This week is an easy spin out week from the race effort, then I have 4 weeks to build whatever I can, then 3 weeks tapering for the big day. IMC is 3.8k swim, followed by 180k on the bike (including two mountain passes, Richter and Yellow Lake), finishing off with a marathon up some bluffs. The IMC course is tougher than that of Vancouver, so we'll see how much of a predicter my 5:45 may be for a sub 12 IMC (my current goal).

(no subject)

Waking up tomorrow around 4am... getting ready for an attempt at seeing if half my body is made of iron. Or maybe it's at least half. On that note, which half? Upper half? Lower half? Perhaps it's left vs. right side?


Apparently we'll be broadcast on rogers sportsnet too. Race start is 6:30am. I'm sure tons of people are going to be up just to watch, ha.

(no subject)

Shawnigan Lake:

..Interesting experience.

We woke up at 4, I ate two clif bars with some water, we packed up what I need in transition (bike/run stuff). We headed out around 5, got to the shuttle lot at.. some point, then hopped on the shuttle and got to the lake around 6. Had a power bar with some more water, got body marked (number goes on your hand, your left arm, and your race/category goes on your left calf) and picked up my timing chip. Dropped a bunch of stuff off in transition, then around 6:45 started to lube up and put on my wetsuit. This is never a simple task.

Watched the start of the Half Iron (all races had a Howitzer to sound the start) then continued to put the wetsuit on. Around 7:30 (30 minutes before race start) I started eating the last powerbar, more water, and was about to hop in the water to warm up. This powerbar didn't feel terribly pleasant to eat, so I stopped halfway, and just went with the warm up.

Hopped (not literally) in the water, and the rocks just off shore were... very unfortunate. Mildly slippery, somewhat awkward, mostly painful. Finally got far enough to start swimming, and in any open water swim, you typically lose sight of the ground, and everything is just dark. Once I got to this phase, it only lasted a few seconds until VERY bright plant life appeared, shockingly, and was almost up to water level. This lasted around 25 feet, and then back to darkness. Swam just 50-100 meters, looked around, swam back, and honestly felt pretty crappy. Not too good when the swim is the most worrisome part of the race (in the sense that I'm the least prepared for it).

Hopped out of the water, felt the warm up wasn't worth stressing over, walked around for a few, then back in the water with 5 minutes to race start, as all the participants started accumulating (the Olympic length was the largest of the events at 165 people starting). Chatted with a few others, got ready to go, and *boom* goes the Howitzer. For anyone that doesn't know what a triathlon start is like, this is a surprisingly accurate depiction. We were off, adrenaline was going, the crappy feeling in the warm up wasn't there, and I felt like I was doing ok. Focused on technique, and hit people while people hit me quite frequently along the first stretch and around the first corner. The corners are interesting, something of a bottle neck effect. I kept up with the main group reasonably well until the next turn. After this turn, they went towards the start (as you're supposed to), and I went... well off course. When I finally realized where I was, I must have been at least 25 meters away from the course, as I simply didn't make a sharp enough turn around the last buoy. I eventually made my way back on course, but my sighting was pretty nonexistent for the most part. I can definitely say from experience though, never trust your direction instinct in an open water swim. Waaaay off. Did the second loop, kept better on course, though not perfect, and miraculously finished the swim in just over 34 minutes (i.e., not too bad, given I was expecting around 45 based on my training), proceeded up to transition and had one hell of a time getting the wetsuit off over the timing chip. It's not the easiest task, but with a chip around your ankle in to get it over...

Brutally slow transition, as putting socks/gloves on it tough when your soaking wet. It was now raining too, so I was somewhat unhappy with my shoes sitting out in the rain, but I had more important things to worry about. Helmet on, grabbed my bike, and off I was, for the strongest part of my race. We had to run our bikes up a carpeted trail to the road, and running in bike shoes kinda sucks. Once on the road, I let my quads show themselves off a little, as I was passing people looking top notch quite a bit. Downhill? Flats? Uphill? Stomped it all, passed people seemingly the entire first loop. The only tough hill was oddly just before the water/gatorade/gel station. Most people could barely make it up the hill, so I don't know if that's really where you want people trying to fiddle with their bottles and pop gels. I skipped all the options, powered on, and enjoyed the route a bit. On the second loop, I started to feel a bad feeling, that familiar stitch (typically brought on from undigested food not appreciating exercise) and had some damage control to look into. My second loop was barely slower than the first, but more importantly, the stitch meant my nutrition took a nose dive. No carbs went in for the rest of the race, and I only drank minimal water. Felt a bit tired at the end of the second loop, but given my body was not digesting food (keep in mind, the last thing I ate was the bar before the race) for a couple hours now, it was not surprising. Racked the bike after I found my spot taken by another bike (we all had tagged spots with our race number, but the rain had done its part on the paper stickers) so I had to squeeze mine in, pretty much on top of my wetsuit. Time for the runners.

Put on my brand new Asics Noosa Tri 4s and headed off for the weakest feeling part of the tri. Ongoing stitch, no carbs digested for over two hours, and a 1k uphill start.... things were not going well. I have run moderately challenging sub 50 minute 10Ks before, but this was not going to add to the list. The stitch essentially stayed with me until 2.5k to go, where I finally opened up the run for about a kilometer, then settled back to an easier pace as it was nearing 3 hours without carbs, and very little water for over an hour. Came down the finish chute (really technical hell) and did what I could to look good (it's really fun to sprint across the finish, especially since I always have the strength to do so) and noticed I missed my goal by 4 minutes =/.

Hopped back in the lake to cool down the legs, ate some recovery food now that I was able to digest again, and then off to transition to pack up my rained on gear. All in all, I enjoyed the experience. Learned lots of 'not to do' stuff, such as the solid food before the race (liquids!), learning not to trust my intuition on the swim, what to work on improving in transition, what my (weak) strengths are, etc...

Full race results

It's too bad the Olympic didn't seem to calculate transition times. It just through it all into the bike split, so my strongest event was sullied with my horrible transition time, but... I think I'll live. I think my bike (without transition) would have been around top 50, to give an idea of how bad my transition was...

Now, the wait for my next event, July 4th, Vancouver

(no subject)

A'ight. Pl0x

I'm considering starting this thing up again (to some degree....... mostly AFTER this semester is done with) to somewhat detail my 19 weeks of training for the IronMan. Various reasons aside, perhaps I can inspire others to do something, at some point, somewhere... ?

I will be brief, as I want sleep, but I must first point out that 19 weeks is a ludicrously short period of time to train (from almost scratch) up to an IronMan, so this should truly be a test of Iron, to be cliche. School had me preoccupied, and I simply didn't have a lot of things in order, so I let swimming slip completely, I rode perhaps once a week, short and gentle, I've had an ankle issue from running like a maniac with the half marathon clinic which lead me to cut running to the one day I'm leading the run faster sun run clinic (thankfully one member is at about a 60 minute pace, which IS manageable for me on a sprained ankle, though I do not endorse this act).

Thus the training begins, with a modest 19 week countdown. I got back in the gym for the first time in a month of two (love having a gym in my building!) with a strictly adaptation program in line for the next month (read: low weight, body weight even, and high reps, usually 30), a build phase to load up on muscle for the daunting hills to come (Penticton is not the toughest, but a challenging course with two 10k climbs and 7 medium rollers to join them), a one month power phase (for various other reasons I won't go into, but power is not the same as muscle, as I'm sure most of you know), and then maintenance work to keep what I've got going into the race.

Needless to say, Tuesday morning my sapped upper body was telling me of its displeasure with my choice of hobbies. In order to truly divulge my love for myself, I proceeded to swim for a mostly constant half hour (10 second breaks at most, save for a few exceptional cases) then hopped on a treadmill for a quick 30 minute easy run with 30 second accelerations every 5 minutes. I went home after this, sat down with my new books on nutrition and training. I now have 2 books solely devoted to nutrition for endurance sports, and almost any triathlon book has at least a chapter too. Putting a few things together, I came up with a nutrition plan. This is no small task. BMR, caloric expenditure, intensity of activities, carb,protein,fat ratios, minerals, vitamins, !!! There's a lot to keep track of. I have a lot of work to go, but my skeleton plan served me quite well today, so that's a great sign. Late last night I worked out the specifics for today, and it went something like this,

BMR: 1769 (I don't believe this, but the formula says what it says...)
7:00am, Peanut butter on a whole wheat wrap, bowl of berries and a handful of nuts. 500 calories.
9:30am, Clif bar (in class, somewhat awkward to eat a full meal while pretending to be more interested in the lecturer......... that which you're not, with a fine meal at hand!) 240 cal
10:30am, Clif bar 240 cal
1:00pm, Meal replacement bar (in workshop TAing, same problem as above, turned out to be a Luna bar) and some pretzels. 400 cal
3:30pm, 2 Clif bars, some more pretzels (preloading phase for the tough ride starts) 600 cal
4:30pm, 1 scoop heed energy (fluids come later in the preload phase, as they go through quicker) 100 cal
5:05pm, on bike, riding towards Steed to meet with North Shore Tri club
Bringing: -3 scoops perpetuem (carb/protein/vitamin/mineral mix for long endurance exercise) 390 cal
-3 clif bars (just in case, bonking is BAD) 240 cal each
-Close to a liter of water 0 cal!!
5:50pm Ride begins. Approx 1600 calories burned. Only ate one clif bar
7:30pm Stopped off at my parents place for a surprise visit at my parents eat some pasta and chili as a recovery meal ?? cal (my guess, 400 cal)
9:00pm Clif bar, 240 cal
12:30pm Get home, apple slices with peanut butter..... I'm really starting to like peanut butter again!

Not my ideal plan, I had a chicken and salad planned for dinner, but decided since I was in the area, I'd surprise my parents instead of riding home. It's pretty amazing that in order to get to race weight (no, I'm not skinny yet :) ) I must do this. In order to not bonk, I must do this, and really, it's going to make me far healthier than before. Two key points, LOTS of carbs not for everyone. As the amount of endurance activities I do is far larger than the average person I simply require more carbs. Most of the non-ride calories (preload,during, recovery) are early in the day. This is a good thing.

About the ride. I ride from far along Dollarton to Steed (approx 13k), wait for the group to join 10-20 minutes, then we ride out to Horseshoe Bay along Marine Drive. From here, unlike the majority who turned back, I proceeded to climb the upper levels, riding towards Cypress, then turned up and went to the first lookout. From here I insulated for the descent, then rode back to the highway, took the exit at 15th and hopped on Marine Drive to my parents place.

Where the cattle crossing denotes Steed. Why not. Two of the climbs would (likely) be categorized in the Tour de France. Cat 3/4. Not that bad, but I'm no Tour de France-er.

That's about it for training so far. I'm very happy my classes are over, as it will allow me more freedom with eating well, and only 3 days in, I'm very excited to see what becomes of me come August 29th. IronMan or CopperStub? Only one way to find out!

Any questions?

P.S. Yes, this was the brief version! *hugs sleep*