Jun. 13, 2009

Tracing

I'm "tracing" up in Huntsville tomorrow. That's a "training race". The Muskoka Long Course race is an oddity; long swim (2K), short ride (54K), long run (15K). It was a world championship race back in the 90's and still draws a small pro field for the Chase (women pros get a head-start, there is a single prize pool). I earned an Ironman Canada slot in this race last year. I didn't know until a few days ago whether I'd be able to go up because my son's time with me has been all screwed up due to a combination of teenage resentment and exam studies. But I'm heading up in an hour or so, and I've even arranged a "home-stay" like to pros often do! One of my marathon clinic students offered to put me up at her parent's cottage a few minutes north of town.

The water promises to be pretty durn cold, probably 61°F. I'm planning on a double swim cap and on pre-filling my wetsuit with warm water. Because of the long stony walk to the swim start I'll also be adding a disposable pair of sandals to my gear. The transition area is totally changed this year because they are in the midst of construction of accommodate next year's G8 Summit on the same site. Fingers crossed.

I'm about six weeks out from Ironman USA and a bit behind schedule in my training program. I've been training pretty steadily, but at a relatively constant volume and have also been pre-occupied with my marathon clinic student's own schedules. A couple of weeks ago I finally glanced at my own training program, which I'd printed out and was just sitting around waiting for me. I was supposed to be six weeks into it already! So I've pretty much jumped in close to the volume I should have been building up to...

That's why this weekend's race isn't going to be all-out.

Perhaps my training isn't as far off schedule as it looks though. I've been cycling in to work quite often, adding about 80K a week of un-logged "bike intervals" to my routine. I missed a week of bike commuting because of a flat though, which cost me about $100. I destroyed three tubes, two sets of cheap tire irons, a crappy pump and replaced the rim tape in vain trying to fix it! Initially I though my son had deflated the tire as it went flat overnight, which shows you where things stand with him these days. Then the inner tube seemed to suggest a spoke puncture, so I replaced the rim tape. Finally I spotted the chunk of glass that was the root of the problem. Between pinch flats and re-punctures I managed to use all my spare tubes and break my pump. With no functioning bike pump I swallowed my pride and took the wheel down to a bike shop and begged them to do it for me. I have no trouble changing my tri bike's tires, but my commuter bike tires have a wicked bead. The mechanic turned the air blue trying to change it himself, and ended up using a different sized inner tube as well. So I bought a new better-quality pump and left feeling mechanically adequate again.

I watched the Turkish Grand Prix with my friend Brian last weekend. Jenson Button got his Brawn-Mercedes past Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull before the end of lap one and cruised to his sixth victory in seven races. Mark Webber and Vettel's Red Bull cars filled out the podium. Ferrari is slowly returning to form while McLaren is still back in the weeds. The most interesting drive of the day was Rubens Barrichello in the other Brawn car. He had a terrible start but fought his way forward heroically before having to retire with gearbox problems on lap 48. Track temperature was in the high 40's C! Tire wear was a big factor.

I also saw the new Star Trek film last weekend. I've always enjoyed the franchise, but have never been a nerd about it. I enjoyed the new take on the old characters. The acting was good and effects were, as always these days, spectacular. Funny how the 'tech' in science fiction films always gets cooler even if they're set in earlier times than the previous film! The best stuff was, of course, in the trailer... I glad they respected the redshirt principle though. Some things are just sacred.

Listening to: Typical by Mute Math from Mute Math.

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