Friday Funnies, More Running Humour  

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Peak Week  

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Hill repeats on the bike, and an early morning swim. This is the end of my peak cycle, next week is taper week. The rest of my week looked like this.

Saturday: Long brick. 2 hour ride, and a 1 hour run.

Sunday: 2 hour Long ride.

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 45 minute easy swim at lunch, Tempo brick, bike focus evening done as a 20k ITT followed by a 30 minute run.

Wednesday: 1:15, Long run.

Thursday: morning 45 minute swim with 5 x 100m repeats, and a 500m timed piece, evening 4 sets of hill repeats.

Tomorrow will be a tempo run, then a ride Saturday, and a sprint distance session Sunday.

Lots of hard work, with intervals and tempo. Race pace is the key. Hopefully next week with some decent workouts, and lots of rest, and I will be ready for St. John’s.

Spicy Thai Beef Salad  

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I haven’t posted a recipe in a while. This one is a good one to get back on the wagon. It can be used as a pre race day meal, as a supper idea on a hot day, or you can have it for lunch. With a slight modification, you can turn this into a vegetarian meal.

You will need

1 pkg (227 g) Thai Rice Stick Noodles
1/2 cup (125 mL) Chili Pepper Stirfry Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 striploin steaks, about 1 1/4 lb (625 g) total
1 tsp (5 mL) Sea Salt & Black Peppercorns Grinder
Half English cucumber
1/2 cup (125 mL) Party Peanuts, roughly chopped
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1 firm but ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh mint

Directions
1. Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat.

2. Place noodles in large bowl. Completely cover with boiling water. Soak noodles for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well. In large bowl, toss noodles with Memories sauce and lime juice.

3. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper grinder. Place on greased grill. Leave lid up. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until medium-rare. Place on cutting board. Let steak rest while preparing rest of salad.

4. Leaving skin on, cut English cucumber half in half lengthwise. Using tip of spoon, scoop out and discard seeds. Slice thinly crosswise. Add to noodles along with peanuts, peppers, mango, green onions, coriander and mint; toss to combine. Thinly slice steaks across the grain; add to bowl and toss.
We use PC MEMORIES OF Thailand Fiery Chili Pepper Sauce but I am sure you could use any similar sauce.

You could easily substitute the beef for chicken or even tofu if you are a herbivore, but then it wouldn’t really be BEEF salad. I had it the day before the Paradise Sprint, but be warned, if you have a nervous stomach, the chilli pepper sauce has a bit of a bite, and may not agree with you before your next Ironman race, so try it out before hand.

Tour de France hangover  

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I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie last night. It kind of reminded me of this year’s Tour de France. I had a pretty good idea what the outcome was going to be, and when it was over, I was left anxiously waiting for the next episode.

At the beginning of the Tour, one of my co-workers asked me if Lance was going to win. My answer was no. The winner would be Alberto, and Lance would place second or third. I also predicted that Astana would own the podium, with three out of three, and if it wasn’t for the wrist injury to Levi, I probably would have been three for three.

Now, believe it or not, I also predicted that Lance would continue on with another shot at the tour, with his own team, managed by Johan, and it would probably be set up by Lance primarily for the purpose to further his Cancer foundation. And believe or not, this was after week one of the tour, almost two weeks before lance’s announcement that he was teaming up with Radio Shack to form his own team. I had no inside info, just a hunch based on his successful return to the tour, the tension with Alberto, his relationship with Johan, and his resources. I should have bought lottery tickets, or at least posted my predictions on my blog so all of you would not think I am full of BS.

So here is to an awesome tour. I now have a Tour de France hangover. I don’t know what to do with myself at work. I guess I’ll have to work to earn my money. And I am so looking forward to next year’s tour, and to the next Harry Potter movie.

And for more one more prediction, Lance will recruit another American rider who has been a good friend of his for a long time, has participated in 14 tours, and missed the yellow jersey in one stage this year by 5 seconds.

Friday Funnies, Tour de Funnies, Mont Ventoux  

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In honour of the last day in the Alps. The caption on this lovely pic read "Why Lance Trains So Hard"

Enjoy the last 2 days of the tour.

Carbonear Sprint, The Race  

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THE PLAN

I had some race goals in mind including passing some of the guys that I was close to at the Paradise Sprint. My plan was to swim hard and come out of the water with enough of a lead that I wouldn’t get caught on the bike until late enough that I could catch them on the run. That meant hard swim, hard bike, and hang on in the run.

That's me on the far right.



SWIM

The race is a point to point race, The swim is also point to point, so after you drive to the T2 site, and get the bike ready, you put on your wetsuit, and walk down the road 500m to the start of the swim.

The water was calm, and reasonably warm. A lot of people swam with no wetsuit. I swam hard, and fooled up my watch so I wasn’t sure of the split, but I think it was in the low 9 minutes. Out of the water, I climbed up the steep bank, and changed into my bike gear



BIKE

The route is mostly flat except for a long uphill grade at about 3k, and THE RIDGE at about 10k, just before the turn into Freshwater. I gauge my bike ride on how many people pass me, and on this day, I managed to ride past 2 people near the start, and another guy climbing the RIDGE before the turnoff into Freshwater.

I was passed by only 3 riders which is a big bonus for me. Again not sure the split, but it was pretty fast. Into T2, and a pretty quick change into my Newtons. Had to get it in there.

RUN

Once I headed out on the run, It started to rain hard, which was good for staying cool. I started out within range to catch a couple of the guys in my age group, and I thought I was running well, but I just couldn’t make ground on them.

My turnover was fast, and although I was in pain, I think I kept pace. I just couldn’t make up ground on the two or three guys in my agegroup that I was focusing on.


FINAL ANALYSIS 1:09:48

Solid race, good swim good ride decent run, but still behind the guys that I wanted to place in front of. Overall, our agegroup was probably the toughest in the race, partly because because of the divisions, having the agegroups divided into 10 year increments, first and third overall as well as fifth or sixth came from our group.

I am still awaiting the posted results to get my placing and see what I have to make up before the last race of the year in 2 and a half weeks. I have some hard work ahead in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully a good taper and good conditions will get me a good result next race day.

Carbonear Sprint  

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For today, the non race stuff.

The Carbonear Sprint was the second race of the year for me, The first being the Paradise Sprint. The only other time I did this race was 7 years ago in my first year in triathlon. That year was tough. It was windy, the pond was loppy, the climb from Victoria to the Freshwater turnoff was really tough, and the run almost did me in.

I don’t know why this event is so popular. Actually, that’s not really a fair statement. I should say, I don’t know which one of the tons of reasons, makes this race so popular. It’s the ultimate grass routes event. Even though it’s only a sprint distance race, it visits four beautiful communities on the north east Avalon. The swim is at Salmon Cove pond in Salmon Cove, and the bike route takes you from here, through Victoria, down through Freshwater, and into Carbonear. These are some of the oldest settled communities on the Avalon, which makes them some of the oldest settled communities in North America.

Despite the steep half kilometer climb at about the 10k mark of the bike, it’s a fast course. Probably because once you crest the hill, and start towards Freshwater, the descent is long, and allows you to pedal with some speed. This plus the fact that the distance is a little under 20k makes it a fast course, even with the hills.

Another big draw could be the steak dinner immediately afterwards.

It could also be the volunteers. For a 5k run in the pouring rain, I swear there was a water station every 1k. Dehydration was no excuse this year.

But for whatever reason, this years event swelled from about 65 participants last year to 140 this year.

The weather Sunday morning was foggy and cool. But the fog lifted prior to the race, long enough for the roads to dry. The impending rain also stayed away until I was nearly finished the ride. It then poured during the run.





I am already looking forward to next years event. Next post, the race.

2009 Tour de France Top 5, Bottom 5  

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This years version is proving to be one of the most memorable in recent history. Notwithstanding the obvious return of Lance, and the much talked about dispute between Lance and last years champion Alberto Contador. Personally. Even though Albertos explosive dart up the swiss alps seems to have quieted the chatter for now, I still think we are in for an epic finish on day 20.

Let me just give you a little taste of why I think this years tour will be remembered as one of the best ever.

1. Return of the team time trial. Always entertaining, this is a fast event, and forces teams to work together. When finalizing their roster, teams must decide between a domestique who can climb and possibly help pull the team No one up the alps into a good GC standing, or a Jack of all trades who can ride fast in the Peloton, climb, Time trial, and recover quickly to do it all the next day.

2. Tour de France, and de Spain, and de Switzerland. My non cycling friends can’t understand why the Tour de France has a stage finishing in Barcelona or a journey into the Suisse Alps. I think it’s awesome. It makes the tour unique, as if it needs to be. The tour routinely crosses into Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, and has even started several times from England including 2007 with the prologue starting in London.

3. Battle of the sprinters. This has been an epic between Columbia’s Mark Cavendish, and Garmin’s Tyler Ferrar. Cav has been the man to watch, with Ty closing in fast, and experts predicting he will beat Cav, and claim a stage win in a sprint finish in this tour. It hasen’t turned out that way, but it has been fun to watch. All the while, big Thor has been quietly placing in all the sprints, collecting points, and staying ahead in the Green Jersey competition. This side story is keeping all entertained while waiting for the battle of the alps.

4. Cool team uniforms. I am not sure which I like better, Team Columbia with the 6 pack abs on the front, or Garmin with their argile. I plan to have one by the start of next years tour. In honour of George, maybe I’ll buy the six pack. It’ll also motivate me over the winter to work on a set for under the jersey.




5. Mont Venteau. When I hear Tour de France, and Mountain stages this is what I picture. The switchbacks, the crowds lining the narrow roads. The cyclists struggling up the steep inclines, and the finish at the tower that marks the summit. This will be a fitting end to this years tour. If you have never watched a race stage, this will be the one to pop your cherry on. BTW did you know that venteux means windy in French




What I don’t like about this years tour.

1. Having to wait 4 hours to watch the sprint finish between Mark Cavendish, and Tyler Ferrar.

2. Having to wait nearly two weeks for the Alps.

3. The internet coverage. Yes, it interupts my work, and spoils my evenings viewing. It’s not as much fun watching when I already know the outcome.

4. Trying to watch the Tour de France while training for my own events. So far, I have watched the end of one, yes one stage. By the time the race reaches the last 10k, I am snoring like my uncle Joe.

5. Actually there are only 4, and they aren’t that bad. I Can’t wait for Mont Ventoux.

Musical Monday, Red Rider  

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I love this song. A very young Tom Cochrane, and his band Red Rider with a song very fitting for the meat of the race season, The Tour de France, the British Open, the Carbonear Sprint, the upcoming Tely 10. Oh so much running around to do. The song HUMAN RACE needs to be on everyones IPOD.

Also coming up this week, a report from Carbonear, Fast and wet, and my thoughts on the tour.

ENJOY.

Friday Funnies, Tour de Funnies week 2  

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I am liking this bike race. Go Team Astana.



Safest bike path EVER!



Horse vs Bike. The bikes are winning.



Gets loud at the tour

long run and Tour de France  

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My long run last night really done me in. Tonight was an easy 1 hour brick with a couple of hard accelerations on the bike, and a transition run with a couple of sets of strides.

Right now I am so tired. I need sleep, and I can’t stay up to watch stage 12. There hasn’t been much to watch so far. A couple of mountain stages, a few sprints, a breakaway here and there, but the overall standings hasn’t changed for a long time.

That will change over the weekend for sure. Mountains tomorrow, and then Sunday, into the swiss alps. We may finally find out who is calling the shots at team Astana. Can’t wait. But for now, I am off to my LZ boy.

TTFN

20k ITT No. 4  

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A really tough week of training, with lots of hill training on the bike, some hard bricks, and some speedwork, makes for a tired 20k ride. Add to that a fairly stiff headwind on the way out, and the result is about 40 to 45 seconds slower than last week.

I was really hoping to shave a few seconds off my last time, but my real focus continues to be the Carbonear Sprint this weekend.

Nothing to do tonight but sit back and watch the Tour. Given today’s stage, I’ll likely be asleep in about 10 minutes.

Musical Monday  

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ok posted on Tuesday, but I thought of it yesterday. A little more of a taste of the east coast, put to a slode show. And yes, these pictures are for real. ENJOY.

Friday Funnies, Tour de Funnies  

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Just to keep with the times.



In the tour, this is referred to as a Pause au Naturale.



I have no clever caption. This is just brilliant.



And you think Aggie Fans are nuts!

The Secret to Winning  

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Actually, it’s the secret to coming in third, but secret to winning sounds a lot better for a title.

The secret has nothing to do with training or nutrition, or equipment. No the key to winning your local race is to wait until you reach an age where you are sure you are faster than everyone else in your category.

Take the case of my second short track mountain bike race. I could have signed up with the senior men, and got my ass royally spanked, but hey, I am not too proud to sign on with the masters, over 30 group. With only 4 other masters registered, I only had to pass one rider to score a medal. And that's the secret. So here’s to old age.



Actually, it probably did have to do with equipment. After last race, I decided flat pedals and sneakers were not conducive to a rock and tree root infested trail, so I immediately embarked on a search for some new gear. Not wanting to drop 200 Canadian clams on shoes and pedals at my LBS, I searched the internet, and found a smoking deal at Mountain Equipment Co-op.


For a little over $150.00, I got me shoes, one sided flat SPD pedals, a set of double sided SPD pedals for my road bike, and a chain cleaner.

Of course the shoes might split apart after a couple of rides, and the pedals might break into little pieces, but for the money, I figured it was worth the risk, and it sure made a difference in a mountain bike race with your feet clamped to the pedals while you are bouncing all over the trail.

Hills Hills and More Hills  

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I don’t know if all this punishment to my legs will payoff or not. After two tough trail workouts this weekend, Yesterday I did a hill workout on my road bike. 6 sets at about a 1.0 km climb. The average was about 4:45. I did 3 sets at about this time. The slowest was my third, at 4:50. The fastest was the last at 4:23.

So that punished my legs for today, but I was not yet done. Tonight was long run night. I haven’t done many long runs the last couple of weeks, so long tonight was a little over an hour. No idea of the distance, but it was tough on tired legs.

So tomorrow will be my second mountain bike race, and with dead legs, it’s sure to be a challenge. Can’t wait.

Not Just Gravy, Biscuits and Gravy !  

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I’ll open with excursion around the bay by Great Big Sea. Have a listen to some good ole drinking music, and feel free to pour up a double dark and dirty while you check out my first post in just under a week.

Like I said, Not Just Gravy, Biscuits and Gravy ! I’m not talking southern cookin, although I do miss the good eatin from my Houston days. No I am talking about my weekend. Stay with me, I’ll fill you in.

If you remember my last post, the plan was to cap off a tough training block with a 4 day, extended long weekend featuring a trip out of town to my wife’s home.


After a hard week which included a 20k ITT, the Paradise Sprint, a 40k tempo ride and a 2.5 hour brick session on Canada day, I planned to not sweat it if I did nothing for 4 days. I planned to take my swimming and running gear, but I really considered any working out as gravy.

As it turned out, on Friday, the morning after we arrived, wifey wanted to go for a run on the nature trail. The trail circles the island, and it is a meandering up and down combination of boardwalks, stairs, as well as pure country trails cut out of the woods complete with rocks and tree roots.


Just to put it in context, one of the boardwalks features no less than 100 stairs that go up from about 20 feet above sea level. If you can picture that kind of a climb, multiply it by 4 on the way out. After about 17 minutes, we reached a convenient turnaround point and headed back for another 4 climbs. Yes, the hills went up, and down. The final tally was a total of 8 hill climbs in 36 minutes. That was the gravy.

The biscuits came the next morning when we did it again. My legs were toast, and I was tickled to get in not 1, but 2 quality run workouts.

So that was my weekend work, and I am now back and in full swing. For those checking back eager for an update, here it is, welcome back.

The Hardest Brick This Year  

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Happy Canada Day$


After a 40k tempo ride Friday, a short brick on Saturday, a sprint tri Sunday, a hard swim on Monday, and a swim and a 20k ITT on Tuesday, today I took advantage of a day off to do a 2 hour ride, 25minute run.

After all the activity of the last 4 days, today’s brick was tough. My energy was low, and my legs were tired. But tomorrow we vacation for 4 days, so I will bring my wetsuit, and running gear, and if I get the opportunity to train, ok, but if I don’t, I won’t sweat it.

Since I will be gone for 4 days, and Internet will be limited, I may be offline for a couple of days. So if anyone misses me for a few days, I Haven’t given up on bloggy world, just enjoying life.

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