Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back At It

Fifteen weeks to IMMoo. From here, I'm looking to merge into pretty much a standard Friel training approach.

Florida 70.3 underscored my need for more muscular endurance work for my type IIa muscle fibers. I have one block of base and two blocks of build ahead of me, so I'm not anxious about that. I also have the bike mechanical issues to which to attend (new cassette, new chain, and aerobar work-around - perhaps just some well-placed tape).

While I was away at Florida 70.3 my shoe purchase from Footlocker arrived, so my shoe pipeline is full:
o freshly arrived two boxed pairs;
o one pair long in hand coming out of box for treadmill running; and
o one pair promoted from treadmill to outdoor running.

I'm getting close to having a formulation for my One Thing for IMMoo 2007: the sooner I finish, the more other folks I would have the opportunity to cheer at the finisher's chute. That's something I can care about.

I took last week off, and so today I have the optimism of the refreshed combined with feelings of physical conditioning from last night's Masters swim session. It's fun while it lasts!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Personal Race Report: Florida 70.3 (May 20, 2007)

My results:
Bib Number: 578
Overall Place: 1346 (2048 starters, 1997 finishers)
Overall Time: 6:24:55
Division: M40-44
Division Place: 206 (284 starters, 271 finishers)

Swim Time: 42:56
Swim Overall Place: 971
Swim Division Place: 141
T1: 7:02
Bike Time: 3:05:26
Bike Overall Place: 1510
Bike Division Place: 235
T2: 5:44
Run Time: 2:23:49
Run Overall Place: 1247
Run Division Place: 188


I must be getting desensitized. This was the first time that my alarm has wakened me for a tri - other times I've woken up on my own long before buzzer time. Feel good about that.

Before my swim wave start I did a little beach running to warm-up with Toronto peeps Rob and Victor (both in my wave) and Jason (wave not long after). I didn't know Victor before, but he's part of the extended group. Nice comraderie. BTW, Jason was top Clydesdale in his AG - hardcore!


The swim (one loop) is freshwater with poor visibility, but not as bad as IMAZ. Water temperature was in the 80s, so no wetsuits.

After feeling so low on the swim at IMAZ I had resolved to make this one a better experience. Even if wetsuits had been allowed (negligible chance of that anyhow) I wouldn't have worn mine. I dropped double or bilateral breathing and breathed almost every stroke cycle. I cranked the rotation to really register the lats tugging through the pull. Heart rate came down OK after the swim, so wasn't flailing. Never found a good set of feet for drafting, but I was probably happier doing my own thing anyhow.

A lot of us think the swim course was long. The 42:56 that it took me this year put me in position 971; last year that time would have been in position 1310. The differential is not explained by waves, current, temperature, or field of competitors. Last year position 971 corresponded to a time of 39:50, and that's what I'm using as my benchmark.


The bike (out and back) is pretty flat. The route changed this year, adding a few rollers. I dropped to my lowest gear for one of them (a reminder of work to be done for IMMoo). I was in an early swim wave (started at 6:34am), so I got some jump on the temperature, although not much on the winds; temperature was easier on us this year than the previous two.

Peletons not as evident this year, but still lots of drafting on a crowded course. Late on the ride there were a couple of times that cars were having issues getting around us (and vice versa, because a car slowed up by a cyclist would block faster cyclists).

Only real issue on the bike was mechanical. Around mile 42 I hit a bump, causing me to yank my right aerobar up and to the right. This was enough to pull the clip-on aerobar a little off the widest part of the handlebars, and from there it slipped loose. I tried tightening it back up and had some hope, but two subsequent slips within four miles had me giving up on that; remaining 10+ miles I was in the drops. I suspect that a couple of years of wear have rubbed surfaces smoother and rendered the aerobars more likely to slip. Need some mechanical work before IMMoo.

Zone 2 for the first half of the bike; mid-zone 3 for the second half.


The run is three loops on Disney paths and some stretches of field. They dropped one aid station this year, and I think they lengthened those remaining; they seemed less congested and less swampy (wider distribution of spilled fluid). Nonetheless, the shoes do the talking.

As I considered this a long training day and a 'C' event, I planned to run the first half in zone 2 and consider running the second half in zone 3, walking the aid stations. As it turned out, by the last third I was clinging by my fingernails to the bottom of zone 2. Clearly need more muscular endurance work for my type IIa muscle fibers, and should take in gels on the run - I'm not downing enough Gatorade to run on that alone.


Overall, happy with the day:

My thanks to the organizers, spectators, and volunteers!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Personal Event Report: Unofficial Disney Triathlon (May 21, 2007)

There's a lot that goes into a Theme-Park Triathlon.

Mental preparation: although I already know the course, I still skim my version of an Athletes Guide. The guide contains all the elements for putting together an effective race plan.

Physical preparation: do a half-Ironman the day before, have a dinner featuring red meat and starches, and then rehydrate with beer. Sleep as a proverbial log. Have breakfast featuring scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuit, hashbrowns, and iced tea.


Take the boat service from the Wilderness Lodge dock to the Magic Kingdom dock at about 08:30h. It's a mass start, so seeding is important. I edge to the right hand side, and press toward the middle of the pack. Too far forward and one has a poor view of the opening ceremonies at 08:50h (the "Good Morning" song, train drive-by of Disney characters, and official pixie-dust sprinkling). When the rope drops, just dodging the slow-moving strollers (singles and caravans) is enough to have a good start on a Monday out of high season.

Leg 1: Magic Kingdom

In order:
o Space Mountain;
o Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin;
o Peter Pan's Flight;
o The Many Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh;
o The Haunted Mansion;
o Splash Mountain;
o Pirates of the Caribbean (the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow makes for a more evident narrative to the ride);
o Mickey's PhilharMagic; and then
o 11:45 Dreams Come True Show.

Alright, I'm ahead of the game!

Nutrition is important: I've loaded up on chocolate icecream. Hydration: water and iced latte.

Look at merchandise; some of it makes me feel quite at home:


Monorail to Epcot. Because IT'S A MONORAIL!

Leg 2: Epcot

Topiarists have been busy:

In order:
o grab FASTPASS for Soarin' (required even on a slow day);
o Journey Into Imagination with Figment (I miss the old song);
o The Seas with Nemo and Friends;
o Turtle Talk with Crush (spot fellow athlete from T.O. crew Blair Larsen with family in tow - hey, it's a small world!);
o Ellen's Energy Adventure;
o The Circle of Life;
o Living with the Land; and then
o Soarin' (most excellent).

Nutrition: Mickey-shaped chocolate-dipped vanilla icecream. Burger. Fries.
Hydration: water and iced tea.


Bus to Disney/MGM.

Leg 3: Disney/MGM

All live shows are over, save the closing Fantasmic. A float for "Disney's High School Musical Pep Rally" does go by, though. The float features attractive 20-something women dancing in cheerleader outfits. Let's count that as at least the first part of a dream coming true.

Sole item:
o Star Tours (hey, it is the 30th aniversary of Star Wars, almost to the day).

It's past 18:00h and my ability to have fun is bonking. Exit the gate (a.k.a. finisher's chute).


Bus back to Wilderness Lodge. Dinner in the Territory Lounge. Start thinking about Florida 70.3 2008 with two days at the Disney parks and one at Universal.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Post-Florida 70.3 Shoes Picture

In a follow-up to Bold's post from last year, here is a photo of my shoes taken after Florida 70.3 2007 - just before throwing them out.

Not as swampy this year, but still....

Monday, May 21, 2007

Unofficial Disney Triathlon

There is an official Walt Disney World Triathlon. Of the tribloggers, I know that Andra Sue has participated in that one.

I did my own unofficial one today:
o the Magic Kingdom;
o Epcot; and
o Disney/MGM Studios.

OK, Disney/MGM was really perfunctory. I was just about at my theme park limit, but left Epcot to do at least one more ride (Star Tours) and maybe some others. After Star Tours I didn't even care to wait 20 minutes to ride the Rock'n'Roll Rollercoaster. Some folks will attest: if Brent has lost interest in rollercoasters, he is losing interest in consciousness. An excellent day.

Tomorrow: back to Grand Cayman.

Event reports for Florida 70.3 and my Unofficial Disney Triathlon to follow within a week.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

This Just In...

... I'm just in, back at the room. Per Ironmanlive, completed in 6:24:55. Per me, I'm healthy and happy enough with my event day - and pleased to have the benchmark for training.

BTW, I don't believe the swim split from Ironmanlive, and neither do a bunch of others, but the final time is right. Odd.

Did rendezvous with bloggers on Saturday, and also with the Toronto crew for a ride and dinner. Plan to have dinner with Toronto crew tonight.

That's all for now!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Uncrated bike and registered. Did not go to Blizzard Beach.

Registration didn't open 'til noon. I wandered over to the expo (20 minute walk) just prior to open, and encountered Toronto peeps Cara and Jason. They explained that the crew were now on differing agendas. I opted for the relaxed agenda of registering immediately - avoiding rushing about and possibly baking/overexerting at Blizzard Beach. Other Toronto peeps seen later at registration: Blair and Andrea. All commented on heat and humidity; I notice the humidity too - seems relatively low!

Yes, at the expo I was wearing my T-shirt advertising the Cayman Islands Turtle Tri: "Come for the race - stay for the vacation!"

At Inside Out sports I saw sales staff member Wayne, who had done so well helping with Wendy's goggle purchase at IMAZ. He recognized me before I had a chance to say anything - maybe my T-shirt helped. I told him that my sister really appreciated her new goggles.

Ended my day at the lake's edge watching the distant fireworks over Epcot. That'll do.

Earlier this evening TriJack phoned, confirming tomorrow's 7:30am BloggerCycle. Other elements of Saturday: 3pm BloggerRendezvous at the expo, mandatory bike check-in, and obsessive checking of gear.


First thing in the morning, Donald's relatives (including some very young ones)outnumber the humans in and around the pool:

And a few of Oswald's relatives are hopping about too! Here's one:

Both pix work better when enlarged via clicking. The pic of Oswald's relative has him or her pretty much dead centre, eating grass on the manicured fringe.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled AudioAnimatronics.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Here's the towel layout on the bed upon entering the rooms here at the Villas at Disney's Fort Wilderness Lodge:

Fellow Cayman resident and event entrant Dean (and his wife Debbie) were on the same flight as me. Have also made contact with Toronto folks.

Tomorrow: bike uncrating, packet pick-up, and Blizzard Beach visit with Toronto folks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blog-gone ('til May 23)

Blogging will be sporadic at best until May 23 due to Florida 70.3-related travels.

From the E-mail Archives: Personal Race Report Florida Half-Ironman 2005

Okay folks, I'm digging back in my e-mail archives for this report from my first triathlon, Florida Half-Ironman 2005. Not sure how much is in there for current readers, but it is a bit of context for this weekend, and posting makes it linkable in future.

The primary goal of completing without permanent injury was achieved. For those who want more detail, read on; for the rest, just skip it!

My results (from www.floridahalfironman.com):
Bib Number: 1134
Overall Place: 1317 (1744 starters, 1707 finishers)
Overall Time: 6:43:12
Division: M40-44
Division Place: 172/233 (223 starters, 226 finishers)

Swim Time: 37:17
Swim Overall Place: 548
Swim Division Place: 75
T1: 13:22
Bike Time: 3:25:08
Bike Overall Place: 1618
Bike Division Place: 220
T2: 14:35
Run Time: 2:12:52
Run Overall Place: 850
Run Division Place: 115

I found the overall experience quite worthwhile and interesting. The event was very well organized. I note that for the participant there's a lot of logistics to handle (shipping a bike and managing gear).

The water temperature was 81 degrees Fahrenheit, so wetsuits were not used. The first wave of swimmers started at 6:40; my wave started at 7:50. I'm told the ambient air temperature got up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit; above the pavement it would have been warmer yet.

I took the swim leg a bit too fast; it was difficult to find somebody going the right pace to draft in his wake. The heart rate did come down reasonably well afterward, so the swim pace didn't cause much trouble.

I took the transitions extremely slowly and deliberately. I could have pressed a bit more on the bike, but stuck with the heart rate limits I had planned. I should get better at picking up Gatorade from the aid stations and getting it into my front water bottle. Between miles 25 and 30 on the bike the route entered an area with a high pollen count for an allergen; I rode most of the second half of the bike with my left eye closed and occasionally wiping my right eye. I went past one fallen cyclist being attended by an ambulance and one cyclist doing repair work on his chain.

After mile 2 on the run I decided that I wasn't going to pick up the pace; my legs were OK, but I was feeling the heat. Although I walked through the aid stations (as planned), my stomach wouldn't tolerate the amount of fluids I wanted to force down. I settled for trotting along between aid stations, drinking what I could, and putting ice in my cap.

A few minutes after finishing I decided to check myself into the medical tent; the nice people there treated me for heat exhaustion (ice packs and IV drip -- two bags) and then sent me on my way with no lasting ill effects. I see that I missed a spot below my right shoulder with sunscreen (not major -- could only have been missed on the T2 switch from bike to run). The aftermath on the legs was less than for a heavy training weekend.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Florida 70.3 Blurbs

About Florida 70.3....

My bib number is 578.

I will be wearing the same shoes as I wore at IMAZ. I will then throw them out. Bold explained this in a post last year.

I know that wearing a fuel belt for the run saved Bold noticable time last year. Maybe I'll pack mine. Seems a shame not to take full advantage of catering at a "C" event, though.

This will be my first workout over 2 hours in duration since IMAZ.

On the plus side, at least I have been doing workouts, and have just started lactate threshold sessions.

Coincidentally, media guy James Lileks has a funny DisneyWorld post [Hat Tip: www.instapundit.com] Killer line on food: "I had the chicken with Shutters Potatoes; the secret ingredient was some sort of salt-based salt."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cayman Tri-Life: Donut Ride!

The Cayman Islands Cycling Association had a social "donut ride" this morning. This picture (by Larry Walters) shows the gang, with me the impatient fellow at the front, wanting to not have photo taken and start riding! On the right hand side you can see that we start and end at Baskin Robbins/Dunkin' Donuts. Good Times!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Florida 70.3 2007 Plans

This year Florida 70.3 is for me a "C" priority event - basically, it's a training day.

A few bloggy folks (ShirleyPerly, Eric, and Jonathon), some Cayman residents (Dean, Steve, Andrew, Michael, Kieran, and Robert), and a bunch of Toronto folks are registered.

Florida 70.3 2005 was my first triathlon, so it's nice to return to the event (I also did it in 2006). OK, I confess that the Disney parks may have some influence too - and seeing the Toronto tri folks.

I'll fly into Tampa on Thursday (17th) and fly out of Tampa on Tuesday (22nd). While this does require that I rent a vehicle and do some driving, it means that I have no connecting flights. Huge plus. I try to avoid flying into Miami from Grand Cayman - clearing immigration is highly variable, as is baggage transfer (last year one of the folks from Cayman had his bike miss the connection - fortunately it did catch up with him before the event).

Third year running I'll stay at The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. It's convenient to the race site and doesn't involve camping!

This year the Toronto folks plan to go to Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park on the Friday. I signed on - sounds like fun!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mail Call!

Various folks (including Wendy, Roman, Kona Shelley, and Coach Tammy) have sent items in the mail to me here, with varying success (and varying arrival times).

It's all so... variable....

Sometimes I comment that we're close to the Bermuda Triangle. Case in point:
Three year delay for some Cayman mail.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Zone 2 is the New Zone 4

Did my first post-IMAZ run on Saturday. One hour on the treadmill. Quads complained, and expressed continued indignance.

Last night's 45 minute outdoor run went better, but just now for running:
Zone 2 is the new Zone 4.