Cycling Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Running Swimming Triathlon

Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2016 – Race Report

This was my third Ironman and I think the first thought that will come to my mind or anyone else that did Ironman on this day is the weather. All week long the weather was predicted to be rain/thunderstorms. I was just hoping for no Thunderstorms early because I didn’t want the swim to be cancelled. The rest of the day I would just adjust to weather and have to accept whatever came. Well, rain and more rain is what came and lots of it!

The Swim

The swim is a wave start at Tremblant. They have the Pro Men and Women and then they had the age groups go out, the men and then the women. I think I was probably the 5th wave to go. I didn’t really like this start at all, it meant that I would have to swim through all of the waves in front of me. I would have much preferred the rolling start or mass start that I have experienced at Lake Placid. At least with those starts you can seed yourself or get out in front of all the novice swimmers.

The swim itself for me was nice. My plan was to relax and enjoy the swim and be ready for the bike. The beginning of the swim was probably the worst part of it with trying to navigate around the large pack in front of me. By the time I was about halfway down I had already passed probably every color cap but the pros. The water itself was about 72 degrees and with the wind there was some chop and swells. Nothing really all that bad though. Total time for the swim was 1:10:04, so about 5 minutes slower than my IMLP times. I think most of that time was wasted navigating around the other swimmers.


I came out of the water and jogged up to the wetsuit strippers. They had me lay down, quickly pulled the wetsuit off and had me back on my feet in a few seconds. As always the volunteers are awesome at Ironman. The transition took me 7:21, exactly the same time it took me at IMLP 2013. Heading out of T1 Kelly and the kids and my father-in-law were cheering me on as I headed out onto the bike.

The Bike

This time around on the bike it wasn’t raining when I started it and after all the predictions of rain I thought we might get lucky. Well, that luck rain out about 20 miles into the ride. Actually probably a little sooner but because the wind was at my back and didn’t realize just how hard it was raining until I turned around out on 117. At that turn around is when the weather turned around as well. The rains came and the wind and it was just a miserable ride after that. There were times when it was raining so hard that it hurt.

I’ve done plenty of riding in the rain and I don’t enjoy it. It just comes with training for Ironman, if you have a ride scheduled and it is raining, you just head out and ride. However, I’m a lot more cautious rider when it is raining. On the downhills I did a lot of breaking, I just don’t feel the need to end my day early. I did ok in the beginning of the rain, but by the time I got to the short turnaround on 117 before coming back on Monte Ryan was I getting cold. I had to sit up out of aero position and work harder to generate some heat. At the time I was getting worried about having to do another entire loop in the pouring rain.

By the time I got to the end of Duplessis I was warmer and feeling a little better. I started to eat the Cliff bars they had on the bike course because I just couldn’t drink enough because I was cold. I knew I needed the calories so I started eating the bars through each of the support stations along the bike course. I had planned on taking in 6 bottles of nutrition and ended up only drinking 4 of them.

The second loop of the bike was just rain, rain and more rain. I saw my family again at the short turn around on 117. They all had on rain gear and cheered me on. It lifts your spirits momentarily, then it rains a little harder to ruin the moment.

My total bike time was 6:13:55, this was a little faster than IMLP 2013, but considerably slower than what I had trained and planned for. I just wasn’t willing to push the envelope on the downhills in the rain and I paid for it in time. I’m ok with that, considering that there were some pretty nasty crashes on course and people didn’t get to finish because of it.


The transition to the run was pretty easy, the awesome volunteers grab your bike and rack it and you just head off to change. For me I changed everything. I just wanted to start out the run feeling a little dry. I ran out of T2, stopped to pee and then headed out for 26.2 Transition was 6:31.

The Run

When I got off the bike my legs felt cold and tight. I figured they would loosen up a bit once I started running. The other thing that I was a little surprised about was that my lower back was really tight. I started out jogging a long and felt ok at around a 9 minute pace. Just before I got to the trail out and back Kelly and her Mom were on the side of the road and they cheered me on. I think I remember telling Kelly this just sucks. It was still raining and would rain even harder.

Around mile 4 I felt better and was averaging around 8:30 pace, that had been my target. I manage to run and not walk for the first half of the race. At that point my legs hurt too much and I would walk through each of the aid stations. I was still taking in plenty of calories and water and of course the rain was keeping my cool. I made sure to have a gel every 30 minutes or so and I had water and Gatorade at each of the aid stations. The back half of the marathon was just very disappointing. Total time for the run was 4:20:16. Over an hour slower than my standalone marathon time.

The sun did finally come out for the last 3 miles of the run.

I want to thank my family for all of their support. Kelly, who has put up with all of my long training rides on the weekends. Mackenzie and JP have been great throughout the training, of course they just figure Dad must be out on his bike somewhere if I’m not in the house. I keep asking Mackenzie when she is going to do an Ironman with me. She says she will, but I think she is just humoring her Dad. This time around my in-laws made the trip to see the Ironman. I’m not sure they realized what they were getting into with all of the walking around, but I appreciated the support.

Thank you to Julie Valenti, Melinda Vaturro and Mike Yako for training with me. A big part of the journey that is Ironman is having some good people to train with. Congratulations to Mike on having a killer first Ironman, next time around try not to get hit by a car in the middle of training! Congratulations to Julie and Melinda on finishing what I think is their 3rd Ironman.

The other group I would like to thank is Breakthrough Performance Coaching. I had decided to write my own plan this time around, but I have to give them credit for being able to do that since I learned so much from them when they worked with me while training for my last Ironman. They were and are always super supportive at the races and it was great to see and hear them cheering out on the course. I did ok on my own, self evaluation is tough. If I do another and I’m hiring a coach, Dave Sek and BPC would be my first choice. Thank you again for all your support Dave Sek, Jeff Capobianco, Jonathan Steeves and all the rest of the BPC athletes. Also Congrats to Dave on his 1st place AG, awesome!

Cycling Training

First Century of the Season

I’m sure there are quite a few cyclists out there that have already done their first century of the season. For me it was yesterday, and it was a great day for it. I decided to take the day off and go for the long ride when I saw the weather forecast. After riding in the rain for 4+ hours last weekend I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

Instead of making up my own route I decided to search up some of the local century rides and see which ones go by or close the house. Turns out the Ride for Shelter goes right by, so I downloaded the GPS from their website and off I went.

The ride goes along the Merrimac River and then up the seacoast along Hampton Beach. The views are great and the roads for the most part were in pretty good condition. Although in Amesbury the roads along the Merrimac were horrible and my water bottle was ejected and I had to turn back and get it. From Hampton the ride heads over to Exeter and then back down to Mass and goes along the Merrimac once more.

The second loop goes south through Newbury, Byfield, Georgetown, Topsfield, Rowley, Ipswich and Boxford. Not necessarily in that order, but I’m pretty sure I was in each of those towns at one point yesterday. Most of these roads are back roads and very rural. Unfortunately some of them do not seem to get much paving or it is the fill the pot hole paving method. This made for some very rough riding for some parts of the ride.

I think if I do this ride again I would probably change up the second loop to roads that I know and that are in better condition.

Cycle For Shelter 100

Cycle for Shelter Century Route
Cycling Training

The Trainer Road 20 Minute Test

This morning the 20 Minute Test was sitting in my schedule. The last time I did this test was about two months ago. It did not go well to say the least. I made it about ten minutes into the test and I was cooked. I knew that it was going to be tough, it always is, but it was really ugly. I think it recommended that I drop my FTP to 235, it had been 260. I decided to drop it to 250 and start focusing on some VO2 workouts.

At least once a week I scheduled a VO2 ride. Usually one that is 120% of FTP for 3 minutes. The first one of those did not go well. I made it through the first 3 of the 5 intervals, then about 2 minutes into the next one I had to stop and start. On the last one it was about half way in. After a couple of weeks of this workout I finally can make it through all of them. So no I will look for one that has 6 intervals instead of 5.

Back to today. I knew the test was going to go better since the VO2 workouts were going better. Fitness had to be improving right? I started out and felt pretty good through the first 5 minutes. I felt pretty confident that I was going to be going be making it the full 20 minutes. I was even considering shifting to a harder gear for the last 5 minutes. I decided to not go crazy and waited for the last minute to shift. Next time I will try a few minutes earlier.

At the end of the ride Trainer Road suggested I set my FTP to 251. I decided to just leave it at 250. I will keep the VO2 workouts going and see where I stand in another couple of months.

One thing I did realize is that it felt like I was in between gears riding. The gear I was in was tough, but I think I had a little more. When I shifted though, the next gear was just too hard. At the same cadence that gear was at least 20 watts more. I was looking for maybe 5-10. Something I will have to figure out.


Cycling Race Running Swimming Triathlon

Race Report – Mass State Triathlon

This was a first for me. I have never done the Mass State Triathlon even though it is one of the more popular races in the area. Having done the race I can see why it is popular, it has a lot to offer. The swim is in Lake Dennison and the water temps are usually low to mid 70s for the race. The bike is a pretty fast and flat course, a few rollers in it, but nothing that you can really call a climb. The run course is pretty flat as well, it does rise as you go out so on the way back you have that slight downhill and much of it is shaded. Finally there is the fact that my employer Neighborhood Health Plan is sponsoring the Max Performance triathlon series this year. Oh and lets not forget all the really cool swag!

The Swim

For the swim I had decided I was going to push a just a little more than usual because my friend Kristin Murray was also racing as part of a team. We had been talking some trash before the race. I knew she was probably going to beat me, but I just didn’t want her to beat me too badly. I started in the third wave of the day and moved up to the front of the group. The annoying thing with the swim is all of the triathletes that think they can swim and try to get up front. As usual the swim starts and all these guys start sprinting around me, within the first 400 yards they are pretty much all behind me. I end up coming out of the water 6th in the group and managed to pass quite a few of the  people in the first two groups. Kristin, did beat me, but only by a minute.

The Bike

I had a plan for the bike of holding 90% of FTP for the hour. I figured that would get me done in over 22 mph. Since I was never on the course and I heard it was flat I thought it would be a reasonable goal. I wasn’t able to hold the watts, at least not for average. The problem for me was the downhills. I think that I need to put different tires on my rims, the 21mm tires make me feel unstable. In the end I was able to finish at 22.2 mph. The bike remains a work in progress.

The Run

I didn’t have a plan for the run. Just go out and do the best I could given the conditions. Even though the run is mostly in the shade, it kind of felt like an oven with no breeze. I felt pretty good on the run, heading out it is slightly up hill so my pace was a little slower than I wanted. On the way back I managed to get down to a 7:15 pace and ended with an average of 7:33.


Felt pretty good with the overall result. The race is convenient so I would definitely consider doing it again. The race starts at 8 am and by 10:30 you are done. Unless you are staying around for awards you could get out of there pretty quickly. Even if you hang around it is still not an all day event. The race is well organized with lots of volunteers and lots of support on the course. Thank you Neighborhood Health Plan for sponsoring the race series!

Cycling Race Running Swimming Triathlon

Where did May go!!!!????

Ok, so it has been a while since I posted. The month of May has just flown by.

Twin Lights Half marathon

On the running front I did another half-marathon, the Twin Lights out in Gloucester, MA. It was a fun race that I did with a few friends. I had planned on just running along with easy with a friends son who was attempting his first half-marathon. I was told that we would probably do about 8 minute miles, and I thought great, no problem! We started out running the first mile in 8:07 and from there we just kept going faster. By the 10th mile we were doing 7 minute miles! I end up having a PR of 1:37:52!

Stiles Opening Day

Next up was opening day at Stiles Pond. Water temp was 64 degrees and no one was wearing a wetsuit, so I didn’t either. I made it to the GAP (about 3/4 of the way across) and realized that I was getting really cold. I did make it across and told the guys I was heading back, no chatting for me. On the way back I stayed closer to the shore than I normally do because I was getting so cold. When I hit the beach I was shivering uncontrollably. I still might be shivering now two weeks later!! That is by far the coldest I have ever been in the pond. Took at least 30 minutes before I stopped shivering.

Tour de Pepacton

This past weekend I signed up for a 60 mile ride around the Pepacton Reservoir. NY states largest reservoir. It turned out to be a beautiful day and a great ride. I was fortunate enough to get in the lead group of 7 or 8 guys and had a great time riding in the pace line. I think it would have been good to have a road bike rather than my tri bike, but it all worked out.

Coming up in June is the Patriot Half-Ironman!

Cycling Running Swimming

CompuTrainer is paying off


I wasn’t sure if the CompuTrainer was ever going to pay off. It seemed like I just couldn’t get any faster last year. Worked all winter, then we went out and did long slow rides. Seemed liked month after month my average speed was always around 18 mph.

This winter I started fresh with the CompuTrainer and decided that I needed to do at least four rides a week. The first two workouts of the week are the hardest. Tuesday is usually a 6 x 6 minute at 100%+ of FTP and then Thursday is 2 x 20 minutes at 90% of FTP. Then there is the long endurance ride and a Tempo ride. Last year I just did the first two and the endurance ride. I think adding the Tempo ride has really helped.

Every ride so far in April has been over 19 mph. The last ride being at 20.1 mph this past Saturday for 46 miles. I’ve only been able to maintain that speed for that distance once before and that was on a much flatter course. I’m feeling much more comfortable in the aero position on the bike and I’m able to hold pace for longer periods of time. I also feel like I really haven’t even pushed it yet.

Looking forward to getting out there this weekend and seeing what I can do when we go over 50 miles.


On the running front, I signed up for another half-marathon. Probably won’t be any personal bests this time. I told a friend that I would pace her son to his first half-marathon finish. He has never run more than 8 miles, but I’m sure he will do just fine.


Swimming is slowly improving. Pond season is almost here and it will be good to get some longer swims in. I enjoy the shorter interval training though.

The weight has been pretty steady at bouncing between 155 and 157.

Weight: 156lbs

Cycling Running Swimming Triathlon

First Pond Swim!!!

The weather has been so nice that last Thursday evening some of us decided to head to the pond for the first swim of the season. That’s right, on March 22, 2012 a group of us did the first crossing of Stiles pond for the season. The water temp on Stiles beach was 54 degrees and felt even colder. I forgot how much it hurt to put your feet in water that cold, no less your face! This is by far the earliest we have ever been in, for me personally I have never been in before the beginning of May. There are some really drastic temperature changes in Stiles this time of year. By the time we got to Camp Rotary (other side of pond) the water had warmed up considerable and we were able to hang out and chat a while. I would guess it was at least 60 on that side. The bad news was that we had to swim back through the cold. Great to be in the pond again though!


Had some good swim workouts last week. I’ve been pushing up the yardage on Monday and Friday to around 4000 yards now. May push it a little further to 4500.


No outdoor biking this past week. Sunday it rained and was cold. I did manage to get in 3 days of riding. I took Saturday completely off to give my legs a rest. Hoping to make it out at least once this week, maybe Friday.


I added some more running to the program last week. On Wednesday I went out for a 10 mile run. Felt pretty good and averaged around between 7:15 and 7:20 per mile. Here is the Garmin recording Also did a coouple of shorter runs. I need to get in another good week of running before my half-marathon coming up April 7. Looks like I will probably fall short of the 60 mile goal I set for the month, but not by much. I’ve managed to get in all of my biking and swimming miles for the month of March already.

Weight: 156

Cycling Running Swimming Triathlon

Back on the road

This past week I ended the week with over 9 hours of training. I think that is the most I have done since sometime before Ironman Lake Placid last year. Most of that time was spent on the bike or in the pool.


I had a good week in the pool. Monday morning was awful, but Wednesday I managed to get a couple of thousand yards in and then Friday was a very good workout. Mike K. showed up in the morning and that kind of motivated me to keep up. Ended that morning with 4400 yards and was pulling 4×200 @ around a 2:40 clip. We did them on a little under a minutes rest. From now on Monday and Friday the goal is to get in at least 4000 yards.


Tuesday morning wasn’t very good. It had been warm the day before and the garage was warm and I started getting way too warm. I barely was able to finish the 4th of my 6 intervals and called it a day. That afternoon I ordered up a fan with a remote to try and help keep cool on the trainer. Cranked up the fan on Thursday morning and had no problem completing the 2×20 minute intervals.

This weekend was the first outdoor ride for the season for me. Well, the first outdoor ride in the Northeast anyway. It felt good to get outside. Still a little chilly at the start, but I had plenty of gear on. It will be nice when I can start the ride without all the gear. I managed to average around 18.4 for the ride. Felt very comfortable and never really pushed that hard, heart rate stayed between 140 and 150 while leading. The only time it ever popped over 160 was for a short sprint up a hill. I know the spot is one of the segments on where everyone compares themselves to others. I’m ranked 16 of 78 at the moment.


Only one run this past week. I need to get out at least twice this week and make one of them a long one. I’m thinking of making my Wednesday run a long one.

Weight: 157

Cycling Running Swimming Triathlon

Daylight savings….

Where is the savings? Just as it was starting to get a little bit light in the mornings when I run daylight savings comes along and takes it away. I don’t mind running before the sun comes up, but when you start way before the sun comes up it’s still dark when you get back! I wasn’t a big fan of Springing ahead this weekend as you can tell and I really felt it this morning in the pool.


The last couple of swim workouts have been just ok. Haven’t had much speed. I think the problem Friday was that I was still sore from my shoulder and back routine from the previous day. This morning though it was all about daylight savings! I got to the pool and wanted to take a nap. Lucky it was a short workout, I extended it out to about 3800 yards just by swimming easy at the end. Hoping this Friday is better.


Had some very good workouts on the bike this week. The 6 x 6 minute intervals on Tuesday were very tough, but made it through them. Sunday I rode the Timberman course again on the CompuTrainer and shaved another couple of minutes off. I have it down to about 2 hours 50 minutes. My legs are starting to get used to the longer rides again, which is good, I wanted to get them ready before actually heading out on the open roads.


The run was pretty much non existent last week. Did a measily 5 miles on Wednesday, I will have to pick up the pace a bit if I’m going to get in 60 miles this month.

Weight: 159

Cycling Running Swimming Triathlon

Back from Vacation

This is the first full week back from vacation. No blog entry for last week since we were away in Florida.

It was nice to be out running without having to use hand warmers. The first run was kind of tough because it was so much warmer than I was used to. The humidity was the big factor really. The 9 mile run on the first day wasn’t bad, managed to hold a 7:30 pace. The second run was better though and I managed to get it down to 7:15. There was a little more wind, but that doesn’t seem to be a big of a factor as the heat.

The swimming in the outdoor pool was great. The water temperature is perfect for swimming long. I hit the pool twice and basically did 500s. 500 swim, 500 pull, 500 kick and just repeated until I had about 3500 yards in each day. I wish I had tinted goggles for the swim though, the clear ones made it tough to see with the sun out.

I brought my Garmin for my bike so I would know where I was going and how far I was biking. The bike I used was a 1980s Peugot. I think I might have mentioned this last year. Nice bike, but I missed my biking shoes, you can really tell the difference when you bike with just plan old pedals. I also missed being able to shift from the handle bars instead of the down tube. Not mention there was no indexed shifting so you kind of have to hunt for the gear you are looking for. It was nice to get outside and ride though, much nicer than yesterdays 3 hours in the garage on the CompuTrainer!

The good news about vacation was that I didn’t gain any weight.

Weight: 158lbs