Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finishing off the Camp

Ahhh Christmas morning. No other morning quite like it. I've got my robe on and i don't plan on getting into real clothes anytime soon.

Well, the NTC christmas camp was quite a good one. Starting on Thursday last week to Tuesday (6days) we got in a lot of mileage in all 3 sports. Most noticeably in the pool with 40+ km in the books. Five days of roller rides was tough, a lot of sweat and washing of clothes. Tuesday's swim was 100x100m, a new milestone for me.

I drove home to Revelstoke on tuesday and yesterday finished off the camp with a 4k swim here and a 75' skate ski. Felt really good to be out on those MacPherson trails. A lot of memories stirring, starting with Mr. Nicholson's beaver lake science trip, XC Mt. Bike rides and races, and then a particular ski where there was a 3 car Russell pile up coming down Forest Lane.

I'm always amazed at how full-on, full body, skating is. Everything is worked, legs, arms, core. THere is no pull bouy or kick-board to rest half the body either. Thanks for the poles Steve, just right.

Merry Christmas to all eh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rhythm

After a race prep run before Kelowna in 2007 I can remember Stevo saying the following:

"It's all about rhythm man, finding the flow."

At the time, I was so focused the race I don't think it sunk in as much as it should of, but recently I have been finding rhythm's in workouts and am now on the same waves as stevo 100%.

It is so true. If you think about it, it is true in all sports. The Sedin Twins cycle is a rhythm, in fact the Sedins know eachothers rhythm as well as their own. A basketball players free-throw is all rhythm, a figureskaters rhythm is from their music, a mogul skier performs their run in a very visible rhythm. These are the obvious ones, other sports may not be so obvious.

You ever find yourself in stride with a running partner? Happens all the time to me whether running outside or on a tready, and when it does it feels a little easier. In this situation your sort of floating for a while on their rhythm.

When Jordan would go off on a team and score 50 he often said he was just in 'the zone'. He had found his rhythm.

I like to think of rhythm as a means for your body to operate at it's peak efficiency. When you hit your rhythm it becomes almost effortless and your body flows.

Try this. Your motions as an athlete are a series of different waves. When you hit your rhythm, these waves interfer with each other CONSTRUCTIVELY. That means they amplify eachother or join forces. Your rhythm is a sort of harmonic and harmonics are powerfull, like the one that destroyed the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

Swim, bike, run. Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Storm's a Coming

It is currently dumping outside here in Victoria, flakes the size of loonies. Storm warning in effect they say, 10-15cm and high winds. This makes for some indoor riding and a lot of swimming. Well guess what? That is exactly what is planned 45k in a week with a highlighted 10k challenge session come Sunday. I'll let you know how that one goes.

After both of these storms pass it will be nice to be back home in Revelstoke enjoying the snow on the resort and nordic trails. I am planning on racing a loppet in Kelowna Jan.11th so I will need to get some practice in on the skinny's before then.


Denver, Colorado Dump

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Draft Packs Revisited

Another draft pack set this morning:

3x (3x200 DP, 100 kk )

Paired up with Brook it was clear from the start that Scotty and Sharpie were going to give us a good battle. They dominated us for the first two rounds where we eat their wake for the most part. We were going to have to beat them with brains not brawn this time around but brains.

So then came the strategy, as Terry Tate puts it at exactly 1:12, sometimes it's about intimidation you know... it's mind games. So at exactly the last round Brook and I hatched our plan. Maintain the same pace on the first one, this hopefully would give Scotty and SHarpie the false sense of reality that we were cooked and the last two 200's would not be contested. So we come into the wall at the end of the first 200, third round, and the chirping is still coming from them. Ok, it looks like the first part of the plan has worked, they are giddy and relaxed, they "know" we're cooked.

Surprise! 2nd last 200 Brook takes it out strong and holds even with Sharpie..flip...out I come and hold scotty at check for the first 50. Then I take him to the cleaners on the back 50. OOOOOh where did that come from? Save up Sally's I guess but Smart Save up Sally's.

Last 200, same first 100m...flip..come out a little behind. Work hard to bring it back on the first 50, get a lead out of the 2nd turn. Scotty closes that gap over the back 50 and we go stroke for stroke to the wall.

Great times, good friendly competition that brought out the best in both groups. Couldn't ask for more than that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Heli-Jet





Friday afternoon I hopped on to heli-jet and flew over to Vancouver for a christmas party. The ride was very quick, >30 mins door to door, here is a breakdown:

0:00 Leave Victoria Harbour
07:30 Swartz Bay
09:10 Salt Spring
12:33 Active Pass
17:40 White Rock
23:23 YVR
25:10 Stanley Park
26:22 Downtown Vancouver

No better way to do it. Thanks to Marty and the Allards for bringing me over for such a great time!

While over there I got a base run in at Stanley Park. Revisiting some of the loops I did with the UBC X team in my last year; the beaver, the P loop and Punisher hill!

Now it's time for some Asian Cooking.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Team Work in the Pool

This morning's swim was a good one. Some speed work and then it was the beef of the practice.

8x300 Draft Packs (Race Pace Swimming) Each person leads for 100m and then drafts for 200m while the other two take there pulls and you try to hang on.

After the first rep Neil mentioned something about teamwork...working as a team...but i didn't really take it in.

Next rep he harps on it again. That the three of you need to work together for each other to get the time down.

On the third rep again he tell's us this with the 40 seconds rest we have. And i think it is here where we realized the truth in it.

This was a big fatty set. 2400m of hard swimming. Establishing your role in the group was what was needed to get through the set and give you and your teammates the benefits from this speed endurance set.

So it was determined then that I would lead, set a strong solid pace for the 100m. Sharpie would take the second 100m and maintain that pace while already being fatigued from the first 100m, and then Brook would lay down the hammer and godsmack us both with the last 100m.

By rep 4 or 5 Neil saw that we were each taking our roles serious now and he was happier, even though our time was perhaps not to much fast as a group.

Draft pack swimming...an old NTC favourite that takes your swimming up a couple levels pretty quickly.

One sidenote: Brook's swimsuit is getting out of control. Two suits he wears, and it is the top one that is hanging on by what is 5 or 6 knots. The suit is ripped to shreds, but still hanging on. This reminds me when i was his age or so and a guy in my summer club, Marc Beaulieu , first popularized ripped suits on top of a good suit. It was cool, and fun to see how long that raggedly old suit could stay on with from the solid shots of chlorine it was subjected to. In the end we were banned from wearing ripped suits at the pool because the manager kept finding clumps on suit in the pump house, which were blocking pumps or pipes. Fun times

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

NTC Run/Walk

This past weekend the Triathlon Centre hosted their 3rd annual Run/Walk event set to raise funds for the Cool Aid Society. Every year the event grows, which is great to see. Every year the event seems to off smoother and smoother as well. Steve and Scotty put a lot of time each year into making sure the event is the best it can be, GREAT JOB GUYS! Unofficially I believe the event raised close to $10,000 for Cool Aid which they will use towards building there new Access Health Centre downtown on Johnson street.

Here are a few photos from the event, i believe the full gallery/video will be mastercrafted by A-Mac sometime soon. He also made quite a good video in review of this past season here.






Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Leaf Blowers



Alright, Victoria seems to have leaves on the ground from November through to January and as a result leaf collection is a HUGE activity that is done by the city, individuals and contractors.

One method of collecting leaves that I CANNOT comprehend is the leaf blowing. Leaves were meant to be blown by wind, that is about it. Why are earth would you buy a gas-powered polluting machine to blow leaves randomly but eventually into a consolidated pile in double or triple the amount of time that it would take to rake them (grass), or brush them (concrete) into piles.

I can see that the leaf sucker is a good method but some machines just blow and they really are useless. What makes them even more useless, if that is possible, is using them on windy days! I am not kidding! Yesterday I was riding through the Uplands and saw some contractors blowing leaves with a slight wind making it even more time consuming. Maybe they are paid by the hour?

Geesh what a racket and waste of energy. The good old rake is the way to go.

Monday, December 01, 2008

World Championship Series



The ITU has released further details following this weekend on the World Championship Series debuting in 2009.
Click here.

A while back i made some predictions about the locations of the races....well 2 for 6 is pretty bad. It appears the locations will be

Singapore
Yokohama
Madrid
Washington DC
Kitzbuhel
Hamburg

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 CAN XC

2008 Canadian XC Championships were run in Guelph Ontario on Saturday. Check out this surprise finish in the junior mens race where Olivier Collin takes the win when Mohammed Amhed eases up to celebrate his victory...or wait...I guess now that he lost he was really celebrating his 2nd place finish.....NEVER GIVE UP BEFORE THE LINE!

I'd start watching around 10:00. The announcers are even sure mohammed has it...or does he. At 12:20 I like the guy in the crowd that tells the eventual winner that it is over......wow you sure have egg on your face now buddy. AP was that you?click here You can watch all the other races there as well.

In the mens race Simon Bairu from Sask. took the title edging out Robyn Watson. Top BC athlete was the Duke in 9th place.



results are here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Good News Bad News

Right after we finished a 4k regeneration swim this morning Coach Harvey says: "Bad News" ...oh no i thought he is gonna add another kilometer on or maybe some buzz cool down.... "Bad News, this practice is over." ....phew!

"Good News" he says, "Good news is we have another practice tomorrow"

I could tell though that the real good news was that Neil knew that this moment marked the end of our 4 day regen swim period. I know he has been itching all week to see some fast swimming. So I asked him , "So, what's going down tomorrow morning then, 6k?"

"We are gonna rip you to shreds tomorrow. Well maybe not right away tomorrow, but pretty close."

Am I scared? Well a little, but i'm fired up more than anything. Neil has a good way of bringing out the best in you between the lanes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just had to Add this one as Well

Bode's Plan

How he gets it done


Opening Day

THere may be no snow in Victoria, but the first frost was observed this morning as I had to get the scraper out before driving to swimming. Tomorrow marks opening day for the second season at RMR now boasting North America's Greatest vertical drop at any ski resort...move over Whistler.

This revelstokian however makes his own vertical turns all human powered. He owns the world record for most vertical feet skied in a day under human effort at 51,000. I heliskied one day non-stop till i dropped and got in 30,000 with a chopper hauling my butt to let gravity take over. Check out his data of a 40,000 foot day in rogers pass on his website profile.

Unbelievable really after looking at the data. 12am till 8pm skiing and hiking non-stop! 40,000 feet up, 40,000 down.Truly an endurance athlete.

Featured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival here are a few of his short videos of the adventures he and his buddies get up to in the Selkirks.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Power, Speed, Efficiency

These three words are what makes an open water swimmer. Efficiency being the most important results in Speed; Power is nice to have for the start and at the bouys.

Lately in the water my efficiency has been coming back slowly to the point where this morning I felt as efficient as ever. I think the main technical points that help efficiency are: staying long throughout the body (fingertip to toe), balanced rotation (from bilateral breathing) and a still flat head position.

THis mornings swim was 5.4k which is becoming more and more routine. A good set of 24x50's (4band only, 4 Fast) followed by a speed endurance set of 8x200 (2moderate, 2 at pace) and then a steady set of 3x400 (pull, fins, swim). Sharpie and I battled it out on the last two 200's, guy is swimming world cup pack speed at 18 years old!

Short run after the swim and then a second run this afternoon at UVic.

Next weekend the NTC is hosting it's 3rd annual run/walk for the homeless at Beaver Lake. Details on the event, for the whole family, can be found here

Friday, November 07, 2008

99.9

Seeing gas under a dollar today was quite a nice surprise and put some light into a day of good solid rain. Yesterday was the biggest rainfall day for the year in Victoria.

Today I got wet 4 times. First time was a swim, 4.2k of smooth swimming. Thanks A-Mac for letting me ride your stern wave for 3k of it. 2nd time was a great cross ride with the same partner in crime across various parks and puddles in Victoria. 3rd time was a run thru shin high puddles at the bog. 4th and final time was a scottish massage (forget swedish) with none other than Gibson . Every time i come out of there i feel like a million bucks ready to take on as many miles as i can before the next one.

Quote to finish off:

"If the mind is not first trained to enjoy hard work, to relish suffering, to address the unknown, then no program, no amount of training can be effective."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Balanced Stroke

When thinking about swimming the other day I had a few thoughts to share.

A good quote from patrick spurred on a bunch a thinking about balance in the water.

" You need to breath bilateral to balance your stroke, you don't have to race breathing to both sides but training that way will make you a better swimmer when racing"

After thinking about it he couldn't be more right. See, often when you have your stroked analysed you will have a flaw that is predominate to one side. Hand placement, catch, pull or whatever will be off slightly and often to one side. This is because your stroke isn't balanced. Perhaps you are producing this flaw as a way of trying to balance out your stroke. Breathing to both sides allows you to become balanced and correct this flaw to some degree.

Balance in the water might often be disregarded in comparison to other dry sports like say rowing, but it shouldn't. You need balance fore/aft, laterally, and torsionally to obtain the most efficient path through the water.

If you think about how you swim in open water as opposed to in the pool this theory of balance may become more apparent. Do you ever find yourself swimming off course in the lake? Yup, that's stroke imbalance.

There are a lot of drills to assess your balance in the water. One of my favourites that I try ever now and then to see if I have improved is doing a floating starfish on your front. To stay balanced requires your core recruitment and balance. After a while your legs are sure to sink as mine always do. With movement through the water though your legs will stay up. This drill isolates the fore/aft balance I mentioned eariler.

Swimming right for me is chugging along at about 20k a week. Litte effort is being done right now, focusing more on technique and feel.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008

I've had some time to think about all the times this year has brought in terms of triathlon for myself.

It began early last fall focusing on bike mileage and bringing my cycling up to where it needed to be. This was a lot of wet solo rides that gave A LOT of time to think about the upcoming year and what i wanted out of it.

By January my goals were set and it was time to prepare for the new season.

My introduction to cyclo-cross was something i am thankfull for. Many rides with stevo and brent stick with me as where I laid the foundation to my base fitness.

The first taste of racing come quickly with a 5km run and my first nordic loppett. Nordic racing is something that I really enjoyed and will revisit this year winter in more depth.

Then came Tucson which was the best month of training I have ever had in terms of quality, variety, weather, and friends. The lemon house is waiting for us to return for another spring training camp, heck we could probably buy the house straight up for a couple bikes with the market the way it is now.

From April to September I raced predominately draft-legal ITU in Mexico, Europe, and Kanada. Racing in Europe was where I gained a lot of race experience, ate too much, and got to see a lot of family.


Here are a list of some memorable times from this year:


Swim:

Pool - Fort Lowell, AZ - After eating a lot of junk food at the diamond backs/giants spring training game we had Bouy swim with 30+ people. Followed by the gauntlet. No upchucks, I was surprised.

Open Water - Thetis lake - On the 3rd of 4 efforts from the shore to small island i be a jerk and try to come around Scotty right at the end. MISTAKE, right before starting the last one scotty mentions this act of selfishness and say's "don't worry i've got a surprise for you on this one" and leaves me choking on his wake.

Bike:

Indoor - Roller heat session in pool office and being told to turn the music down.

Outdoor - First assault of Mt. Lemmon. See here for more details.

Run:

Shirts off Run in Mazatlan. Not a good first Impression.

Track:

3x1k all out at UofA track

Friday, October 17, 2008

Revelstoke

Canada has many beautiful spots each with it's own character and presence. Winter is approaching and when the snow flies, Revelstoke is one place that becomes a winter wonderland. Check out this video that the resort did for the community. Opening day November 21!!

New World Championship Series


The ITU has unveiled a new format to racing next year. The Super Series will consist of Six Super Races in Iconic cities drawing the cream of the crop in short course racing. The idea is similar to Mens pro tennis (ATP) in that they have grand slam events which highlight the season numerous times, not just once at the year end.

This is a great new approach i think to the sport. The races will guarantee live tv coverage and with the racing taking place in large metropolitan cores the races will be well spectated.

Although the races have not been announced I couldn't resist trying to predict where they will be. These are my picksin the order they will happen:

Sydney, Australia
Seoul, Korea
Lisbon, Portugal
Des Moines, USA
Hamburg, Germany
London, UK

The series will also support a 'Golden Group' of athletes to ensure that these events in fact do attract the best pros. The golden groups consist of 10 men and 10 women. I chose these based on 2008 World Cup and the Olympic performances. Whether the group is subject to change throughout the year or not I am not sure but here is who i would start off with in no particular order:

Men

Rana
Whitfield
Gomez
Docherty
Kahledeldt
Henning
Unger
Frodeno
Kemper
Don


Women

Warriner
Densham
Fernandes
Snowsill
Moffatt
Norden
Ide
Bennett
Spirig
Tucker

UK finale

After the race in Vienna I came back to meet my aunt in England where I was planning to train for one more week before finishing my season at the Lorient World Cup.

No such luck. Upon returning i got an infection and a bad flu that left me no choice but to end the season early. Although i was a little disappointed I knew it was my body saying no and shutting down for some hibernation.

Good things can come of a situation like this though. I was able to be with family as my sister and Tim had come over to meet and greet everyone who couldn't make it to their wedding last year. A sort of reunion like atmosphere was felt when relatives from all over the isle came together for a memorable dew hosted by my aunt daphne.

With the season ending I had some time left in the UK that i hadn't anticipated. I made the most of it by renting a small small car and exploring the entire isle whilst figuring out how to drive on the wrong side of the road. Bigger than i thought I drove from London up the entire isle to durness, scotland visiting family and friends along the way. Some highlights from the trip included being blown sideways on a yorkshire moor, swimming in Loch Ness, revisiting my birthplace, hiking the most northern scottish munroe, and gorging in english/scottish food and drink.

If you have not visited scotland, I would advise doing so. The bad rap it gets with being wet and cold is not true. I had a week of sunshine in october that illuminated the highlands beauty and character. The beaches of the north coast are absolutely stunning with not a soul on them.

When flying home this week I was asked by my british seat neighbour what i was looking forward to the most upon landing on Canadian soil. Maple Syrup i told him, a good swig of real maple syrup is the best way to feel your in Canada. That and a good sniff of rocky mountain air.


Top of Ben Hope



Mmmmmm True Black Angus


Balnakiel Bay


Russell's and Steel's

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wien Report and He who holds the Ladle...

Yesterday i raced in the Vienna European Cup which takes place on the isle of Danube. This is a manmade island that divides the danube between new and old vienna. My first impressions of the island when i went to check out the race site on friday were not great. It was really dirty, and basically felt like a carnival...no offense if your a carny worker.

The feeling i got from the island and the race meeting, was .....hmmm i can see this is going to be a little different than last weekend. Last weekend in Poland the race was very well organized a part from the dogs, but here in Vienna not so much. You would think perhaps the opposite but this Triathlon was not only poor organized it was also freakin out of control....

Race day came and i felt good as i rode the U-bahn subway to the race site. Start time wasnt until 4pm, so i had a good bike warm up planned. The water was just over 20 so no wetsuit, but the air temp was 17 and windy. I made the mistake of warming up sans wetsuit and then becoming extremely cold before the start. This was not good...

The starting mechanism for this race was similar to diving off the rail at thetis lake. Good thing i do a few of those per year to prepare me for this. Basically you climbed over the railing on the pedestrian bridge and stood precariously on a float hanging on until the start, then dove in.

I had a good start, right on to sysoev in the first 100 but then i felt my shoulders become really tight from being cold and from then on it was a flail fest. I came out about 1min down from the lead group. not what i was anticipating.

On to the bike a good size group of 25 or so formed and worked really well. Almost too well. I was suffering out there, my legs wouldnt warm up and I was convinced my brakes were rubbing, they werent. I dont think ive ever rode that fast in a triathlon, maybe even in a crit. It was good though, because we caught the lead group with 5km to go, and then the paced eased.

The bike course was so dangerous and unbeliveable i cant begin to justify its silliness. Imagine having 50 guys racing along the galloping goose, or those revelstokians the greenbelt, that is how wide the bike course was. On one side you have about 1m of rocks that descend into the river and the other a stone wall! Because the path was so narrow, when the groups came together it was impossible to move anywhere. The course also had too many pot holes to remember and no one controling pedestrian traffic....smack smack smack, i wanted the ride over as soon as it started. No broken bones..i am OK!

THe run was the best part of the race for me this time around. 5laps of 2km, 1km out and back. First 2km went well, 2-5km i got another stomach cramp, go figure, then 5-10km i had the best running of this season. I really started to fly on the last lap and pulled back a number of guys who went by me earlier.

Finished up in 22nd. Im happy with it, but not overzealous.

After the race, i decided to ride the bike course once more just to take a look at this devilish deed. On the way back though i got very cold once again, and shivered my way back to the hostel. I suffered a bad fever last night, i think from the tough race and getting so cold. Laying in bed at 11pm my heart rate was 80, thats double what it usually is. THe body was definitley fighting something along with trying to recover. Well it did its job as today the heart rate was down and im feeling much better.

I went for an easy swim this morining and afterwards went down to the saunas. Much different experience in the sauna than in North America. Everyone in there is naked, except for me and it is hotter. There seems to be a "leader" of the sauna here. He is the one who holds the pail and ladle and pours water on the rocks. Along with the water, they also pour on some sort of herbal concoction which makes the room fill up with beautifully delicious scents, much like a ricola cough drop. The "leader" also does most of the talking why he holds the ladle, not that i could understand but it sounds like some jokes and chit chat that the others smile and nod at. That will be my last sauna experience whoever, because near the end of the session the "leader" noticed my wristband colour and kicked me out, "verbotten" i understand as forbidden now. I mistakenly thought that the pool and sauna were the same price, but it is not that way.

So the next part of the trip resumes on Tuesday when i fly back to the UK for 2 weeks before racing in my last race in Lorient september 27th.

All for now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vienna Man

Have arrived in vienna and had some nice training yesterday and today.

A great 50m pool is not a far walk from my hostel. The pool is unlike any other i've swam in. It is made from Stainless Steel! As a result the pool is very very clean, no algae gonna grow on stainless. It is all welded as well , neat to look at while swimming.

I had a classic ride for me yesterday. I pulled out the biggest map i could of the city and planned a route to get me out of it as fast as possible and then explore. I dunno why i do this but every time i get somewhere big i want to see all of it and more of it as fast as possible. The urban riding here is very technical. Cobblestones, tram tracks , and lots of traffic. dip, dive, duck dodge and dip my way to the mountains, which turned out to be a 8km climb on cobblestones. This turned into an epic bumpy ride down the other side.


Vienna is a very beautifull city. The race is taking place on what i think is a man made island in the Donau river. The course is pancake flat. With me already having maxed out my point results i need better than a 12th here to gain anything. That being said the field is good here and i would be hard pressed to get a result like that i think. Therefore i am going to go for it on the bike. Try and get in a break and work it like no tomorrow and no run to follow.

auf weidersen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

KK Race Report

Just back from the race which took place about 8km from my hotel in the village of Kozle. The 8km was a good distance to ride out and warmup on the way over. Wetsuit on and a good warmup to get the shoulders ready.

On the pontoon i started near the right side. Usually i am able to get a good start in continental cup racing but with these euro cups the field is stronger and deeper and I noticed this right off the start. There were some really good swimmers (little vasilev and a slovak named richard varga, both last year juniours!) and they took off in a big way. I managed to maintain a spot in the big pack that swam quick but not insane. There were some surges that i was able to take and without getting beaten up to bad i exited in a good spot right behind Kazak Olympian Sapunov.

Onto the bike it was pretty good pacelining for the first 3 laps trying to reel in the lead group of 3 which had about 30s out of the water. By lap 4 the group had got them and it settled in a bit with the odd attack here and there. Little Vasilev though takes right after his big brother, in that he wouldn't let us catch em easily. There was one crash on the cobblestone corner, but the main danger were the dogs. I have noticed the dogs are pretty territorial here and anyways, on lap 5 or 6 3 dogs, yes 3 dogs side by side were on the course up ahead and were coming towards us barking! This was very scary, i thought i was going down big time at 40k/hr. Somehow they were avoided, but i will always remember the moment when i saw the terror in the dogs eyes as i brushed by him and likewise he with me.

Coming into T2 i was at the back of the pack but avoided most contact and got out onto the run. The run went well for me with one minor glitch were i couldn't hang on to a group of 4 on the first lap and spent the rest of the run trying to reel them back. With the run being 10.5k my split was about a 34:10 10k which is where i've been at most of this year.

One interesting thing was racing two twins from Israel, the Alterman Brothers. On the run i went by one, but then a few minutes later i saw the same name up ahead. What! i just past this guy, did he shortcut somewhere? I couldn't get him in the end and considered protesting, but after the finish i learned that they were twins. Now i know what it feels like to play against the Sedin Brothers or race the Coates Girls, its like the old double mint gum commercials!

Finishing up in 12th spot was a decent result, just out of the money though which could have helped.

Tomorrow I will do doing some light training here, and having a look around before heading by train to Vienna on Tuesday to race another euro cup on the 13th.

cześć

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Two Beauties

"I love a good nap, sometimes it’s the only thing getting me out of bed in the mornings."

[George Castanza]

Why is commitment such a big problem for a man? I think that for some reason when a man is driving down that freeway of love, the woman he's with is like an exit. But he doesn't want to get off there. He wants to keep driving. And the woman is like, "Look, gas, food, lodging, that's our exit, that's everything we need to be happy. Get off here, now!" But the man is focusing on sign underneath that says, "Next exit 27 miles," and he thinks, "I can make it." Sometimes he can, sometimes he can't. Sometimes, the car ends up on the side of the road, hood up and smoke pouring out of the engine. He's sitting on the curb all alone, "I guess I didn't realize how many miles I was racking up."

[Jerry Seinfeld]

Friday, September 05, 2008

kedzierzyn-kozle

Have arrived here in the small town of KK in southern Poland. Good first impressions of the country, town and race committee. They are well organized here and it shows. Was picked up at the airport and driven 150km here, that is pretty good commitment to the athletes. I was told that this
race will be a world cup next year.

Poland, from the countries i've visited seems to me like a cross between germany and hungary. The language although is terribly hard to pronounciate. Usually i'll learn some words to not seem like im a totally ignorant westy but it is hard here cause whats worse, someone butchering your language, or someone using sign language?

My hotel is at a great part of town, running trails right out the doorstep and an indoor pool about a 5min ride.

Tomorrow i will ride out to the race venue. A few interesting features to this race are:

- wetsuit swim
- river with current
- 2nd transition at different location than 1st
- extra 500m on the run.....that might hurt a little

Having two transitions is choatic as in the 2nd one everyone just throws their bikes aimlessly into the racks. You need to be near of the front of the pack on those ones.

About the only thing i can watch on tv here is eurosport, as sport needs no language. Good coverage of the tour de espana and the us open. The mens semi's for the open are two great matches. I will say Djokovic takes down both federer and nadal to the title. Although i would like nothing better than for Andy Murray to win, just so there could be some happy bagpipers in ol'scotland. Cause when was the last time a bagpiper was appreciated?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

LegoLand

I arrived in the UK and settled in just in time to leave. I will be back though for a much longer stint after racing a couple of european cups this weekend in Kedzierzyn-kozle, poland and next weekend in Wien, Austria.

The last three days have been great weather, especially for over here. I am staying with my Aunt in the countryside of berkshire in the small village Binfield. Binfield is home to F1 car racer Fernando Alonso and has some brilliant riding, just amazing roads. One great workout i did this week involved hill repeats up at LegoLand. There were a couple of groundskeepers working on the hill as i started. They noticed the second time that i was doing a workout and jokingly said "were gonna have to start charging you to use this hill." From then on, every repeat as i came by they shouted words of encouragement making the repeats a little easier to finish.

I've joined up with a local swim club here as well and have been very impressed by their group and the facilities they have. The head coach has been very glad to have me train with them for all sessions. They swim over 6k per practice though so sometimes i cut it short. The pools they use are both on military bases. I'm biking to these workouts and I must say i feel pretty confident my bike is safe outside with armed troops marching around the base.

Tomorrow i am off to Poland to have a go, and lay down some Canadian Bacon!

I would have some pictures up but i seem to have forgotten my usb cord!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Crook goes for Triathlon Escape

Found this story a good laugh.

http://www.startribune.com/local/27368119.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP40:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aU7EaDiaMDCiUT

steal, swim, bike, run!

Kelowna Canadian Championships Report

For the last two years I have had some brilliant sections to my race in Kelowna but the overall result has been disappointing.

Last year I had a great swim, got dropped on the bike, and then ran my best 10k (low 33).

This year I had an even better swim, awesome bike, then ran a horrible 10k.

Lets Recap.

I had a great start on the beach, the start line wasn't fair for everyone and as a result the right side, which i was on, got a straighter line to the first bouy 250m out. After coming out at 750m i was hanging on the back end of the front group including Daniel Wells, Kalen Darling, Sean Bechtel, John Dalhz and Brent McMahon. I continued to hang in there until about 1200m when i got gapped. Coming out after 1500m i was on the heels of my teammate Scotty Dagnall, who im sure would have lead out the swim had he not had the worst starting spot.

Scott, myself and Matt Seymour had 15s to make up on McMahon's group but the three of us were no match for that group and we ended up getting swallowed up by the next chase grp of 10 or so on the 2nd lap. It took that grp of now 13 four more laps to reel in the leaders, they were working hard.

Cycling has been a focus for me ever since i got it handed to me last year at this race and I saw the rewards in this race. I felt very strong throughout the whole ride and the climbs were no longer an area of concern. i could climb well and even had some attacks up my suit.

Near the end of the ride i felt a slight stomach cramp, but it was minor. On to the run the cramp flared up significantly. NOT GOOD.

By halfway in the run i had dropped right back to back of the group i came off the bike with. Not longer than 5k though the cramp subsided and i started to find a rhythm. By this time though it was way too late, and my late surge would not catch anyone. Crossing the line, i was down on the result but knew in the back of my mind that with the strong swim/bike i have made a good jump up from last year and some day the run will come together.



This week has been a rebuild into steady training as my season is not quite over. At the moment I am in my stomping grounds of Revelstoke enjoying some cooler weather, feels like good old fall.

On the weekend Im headed to Calgary to fly over to Europe AGAIN!

Sept 7 Kedzierzyn Kozle, Poland
Sept 13 Vienna, Austria
Sept 27 Lorient, France (pending selection)

I'm looking forward to this trip as i will be based out of my Aunts in London throughout. My sister will be over there at the same time as well to show off her Husband Tim to all of the family who couldn't make it to Canada for their wedding last May. Tim, it may say you are married on your certificate, but until the brits approve you better make sure you can stomach the Haggis and bitter.

Another update to follow later this week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

To To Too much Fun

If i had to go to summer camp, i'd make sure it had one of these

Monday, August 11, 2008

8 Gold?

The Olympics have started with a real bang this time around. The opening ceremonies were incredible and the events have been just that as well. Cancelera was so strong in the mens cycling road race I wanted him to win with the amount of work he put in, but to still grab 3rd was impressive.

Phelps won the 400m IM decidedly but last night the mens 4x100m relay was up. The french had a body length on the US with 50m to go and I thought the 8 gold wasn't gonna happen but lochte (edit Lezak) came back on the french in what was one of the most exciting finishes i've ever seen in swimming.

And phelps has been down-playing the whole 8 gold thing, but with this picture i think it is safe to say he was fired up to have the dream kept alive....



Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ali

One athlete that I have really begun to admire and thought of as "the man" is Muhammad Ali or Cassius Clay Jr. I suppose it started when i saw the movie Ali with Will Smith. I had not known the whole story behind the The Louisville Lip.

It was the combination of his pure athletic talent, pose in the ring, and his comical arrogance that set him a part and made him appear almost supernatural.

At the end of a long tough week i had one last workout to do. A long run... I was struggling to get out the door. I then came upon this video which i remember seeing on tv a while back and all was clear.....out i went.

"Follow me Chumps"

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sir David Bowie

So europeans are supposed to be all healthier and less obese than us North Americans. They don't consume the fastfood trans fats and such.......so howcome i went there and gained 10 pounds?

Yup, on Monday i weighed myself at the pool and bingo bamo im 10lbs out of race shape......ah guhhhhh?!

So i thought about it for awhile and started to piece together how these 10lbs came to be.

As soon as i was over there i found myself incredibly hungry. In the night and day i would eat....i think the natural cycle of eating was so engrained in my system that i had to maintain it and then also eat according to the new time zone. So this went on for awhile, but then continued right thru the trip as bigger meals, especially breakfast.

Here is what breakfast usually entailed. Sometimes i'd have a small breakfast first thing like orange juice, muesli with yougurt and a banana before swimming 3k in the early am. But every day i would have the following, taking full advantage of the buffet breakfast:

3 bowls of muesli with full cream yogurt and honey
2 hard boiled eggs
6 pieces of rye bread with a combination of nutella, jam, speck (smoked ham), and or gouda, edam or swiss cheese
Herbal Tea
Orange Juice
Pastries

yes this is making more sense now.....

Lunch was nothing unusual, but dinner got out of hand i guess a couple of times. I ate so much fatty pork over there I now have another similarity with talking like Porky the Pig...





Kerry with one of our Hungarian Dinners




So with that in mind i've got two more weeks to shed this 10lb dumbell or that kelowna hill is going to be even harder than i remember. As for now it is on to the David Bowie 70's Diet of Red Peppers and Milk.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The (C)razy (R)ace (I) (T)ried

The last wednesday night crit went off tonight at Newton Heights and it was one to remember.

Just the lone 4 NTC riders (Me, Stevo, Scotty, A-Mac) made the trek out to pummel ourselves in what would be a small but talented race.

Right off the gun Britton takes it at tempo up the second climb....what!? no free lap, i was counting on that so i could be say i hung in one more lap then i should have...gesh. 3rd lap Stevo attacks up the first hill..good acceleration...i manage to hang in. 5th lap A-Mac plays his cards on the second climb....strong attack and no one follows. As a result the next two times up the hill are hard trying to reel him in. By this time i was starting to feel it in a big way and i had not even taken a pull...so as fate has it i take a pull on the flat leading up to the first climb and try to set a moderate pace up it hoping everyone else would say ok maybe its time we had an easy lap....nope Kenyon attacks and i fade my way to the back of the pack to be spit off. Sorry stevo for inadvertenly blocking you on that one. The remainder of the ride was riden with the soul goal of not having to get off my bike on the first climb, mission accomplished. Stevo rode an impressive race and may well have been in the break had i not done the opposite of what a teammate should do. A-Mac rode with heart and stirred up the pot early on with his valiant break. Scotty pulled around the entire B pack in what was worthy of the red (most agressive) digits.

There was no way we were getting back home without some sugar on the way back. thank-you shell station!

Some pictures from the evening.







Hurts so Good



Returning from Europe i took some downtime to recover from the racing and travel in Whistler with a couple good friends. I was really tempted to hit the glacier for some skiing, but knew i would be in a sorry state if i did. This past winter, my first day back on the boards i went hard and skied the whole day only to wake up the next morning having to roll out of bed, literally cause my back had seized up.

So in whistler i had some good rest and resumed light training on the weekend. It felt fine and loose...but that was light training.

On tuesday this week i realized i had forgotten what real training felt like. Hard swim, hard run and it hurt so good. I was dropped hard by stevo and ap on the 2km intervals. I think i could hear the lactate sloshing around in my legs as i finished off the last one.

After the run i went down to ice in the ocean....turns out i had forgotten how that felt too. My legs ached from the water and i nearly tapped out.

It's ok though. Three weeks before the dance in Kelowna and its time to train hard up till then.

This morning i woke up pretty sore, but hopefully tomorrow i'll wake up a little less sore.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wrap Up

Kitzbuhel

I hope i can come back here and race again, it is a beautifull spot for a race and the organizing comittee is on top of the ball here.

The race was close to being a good one. How close?...5s close. Swim not as good as previous races but came out at the back of the second main group. On to the bike formed a good working group with bucholz, seymour and few more euros. Was good work closing the gap to the main group thru 3 laps. Down 10s on the 4th lap. Take a pull in to a corner...attack by bucholz to leap the gap and i blow up....dropped...bye bye race..haunting really watching the race ride away from you.

Overall though i am very happy with the way this trip went, raced well, developed and got to train, site see and race in great places.

tomorrow things may be capped off with the bang. If it is sunny the race comittee is taking 3 of us paragliding off the kitz horn compliments on the house!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dream

When i was young i dreamt of racing in a world cup at kitzbuhel. It was the mecca, the race that really mattered. Legs were broken, people died on this race, that made it the be all end all.

Skiing that is.....i never imagined id be here ready to toe the line for a WC triathlon.....triathlon what was that?

I am very excited to race here. The village is very welcoming and is a place id like to come in the winter for some runs and apres.

We are staying in a pension which serves a great breakfast. Then we are off to the pool to get in our laps and some recovery watersliding. Today though we went to the swim site. Rain and 21C it was cold and hard to stay warm.

Lunch is basically and 2nd breakfast as it is all the stuff i have smuggeled out from the morning....plus nutella nutella nutella.

Dinners i have been eating traditional, which is pork pork and more pork with spatzle, potatoes, saurkraut, cabbage.....hmmmm not the greatest for me and my track record of letting some good ones go.


Today we got a massage at the race hotel, 15€ for 1hr was great.

Tonight they had a team triathlon in the village centre, but it was very unique and i think a great way to promote the sport. This was the format:

3 people to a team

1 swimmer
1biker
1runner


The swimmer is set up in an endless pool, or swimming flume. The biker on a stationary bike and the runner on a treadmill.

Everyone starts at once. The runner and biker have to go as fast as they can and rack up as much distance as possible because the swimmer in the flume has the speed gradually increased until they drown, or go under becasue it is too fast. Once this happens the bike and run mileage as well as the swimmers are added up. The biggest total wins!!

All for now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

tizzy and kitz

wow,

i am really liking this trip.

hungary was rustic, hot, tough and another great experience. I think i may have been my best itu race top to bottom. Great swim start, fought hard to stay in theh group, bridge up on the bike and ran well in the heat. Taking turns at the front with colucci was just too much fun. On the run there was some heat to add to the heat. I rubbed shoulders with JJ from Cze and he retaliated with a shot to the kidneys and a shove to the back, which actually pushed me forward and got me fired up, thanks JJ.

I had an adventure getting out of hungary though. 5am monday i get to the train station and aparently there is a strike! What, well i start to make my way back to the hotel and then a young guy comes up to me and says

Hi i am borrand my mother works here at the station and told me you need to get to austria. well my dad and i are driving to budapest we can give you a ride there where you can take a bus.....

ok, sure i hop in the car with my bike box on my lap and go to budda. I metro through the entire city, catch a bus to gyor, catch a train to salzburg, get picked up and BAM i am in bitzbuhel not too much longer than i had initally planned. funny how things sometimes work themselves out.

Some more pictures here:



My massage therapist Yelga, she may look like a teddy bear but she was one tough momma.


Awards with the one and only



My turn to taste the podium

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hungary pre-race

34C here today, not what i had anticipated but there is no avoiding it as tomorrow the predicted high is again 34.

We had time to check out the swim course today which is in a very small pond. From the pontoon to the first bouy in 350 and i dont think they could squeeze out anymore.

The juniour euro cup was today and they did an interesting format:

2.5k Run
10k Bike
750m swim
10k Bike
2.5k Run

Weird order you say, but the reason for it was because the swim they had was in an even smaller lake which they set up lane ropes in! I would say each lane was 150m long or so. Watching them put their swim caps on while running from the bike to swim was interesting.

Some good food was eaten today, more pig knuckle, but last night i think i caught a mild stomach bug from something. Last night i woke up twice wanting to puke, but ended up just laying by the porcelain throne. Today has been a day with a stomach ache, so hopefully tonight it makes its exit.

This field at this race is 65 or so. The top 30 i recognize names but the remainder is unknown. A lot of those racers though i think are strong, just underranked becs of the competitive euro cup series here and difficulty in scoring consitent points. It will be a crabshoot i think.

swim
bike
run

Thats what i gotta do.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More HAM photos


After the Race


Thank god there were no trolls under this bridge


Lisa Mensink Running for the Olympics
A downpour came on during the womens run!


From my seat at Transition


Auf Wiederesen!

Hamburg photos


Dont worry, this is as close as i got




I spent all week looking for the Russell vs Unger poster but i think they thought is was going to be too expensive to pay me for a photo


These freaks had loooooong legs


Transition on RAce DAy

Tiszaujvaros

After my race on Saturday I had a great dinner at an Afghanistan buffett, interesting food, followed by some dalmathes which put me over the top. Turks have a big population in Hamburg and an area i frequently hit up for food were the Turkish lanes and streets. Dalmathes are the bomb! So small, so inconscipuous yet pack a punch like no other. They are basically many many many layers of pastry densely packed together in the shape of an ipod video. Then they must spread the pastry with coconut and mint and some other stuff. Then they gotta soak them in honey for days to get that amount of saturation. They sell em by the kilo for 8 euros but i could only take on 1/4kg for dessert. Id like to try a kilo for say an afternoon snack, it would be a good test.

Sunday i watched the women race, see pictures below. I got to be part of the noisemakers and cheer on the ladies. In the field were no Canadians except for Lisa Mensink who has dual citizenship with holland and races for them. It was a big day for her with her making the olympic criteria of a top 10 finish, fingers crossed everything is approved. If it is approved Lisa, then ill sell you your qualification moment that i have on video for a resonable cost, say an olympic medal?

ON Monday i made the journey to Tiszaujvaros beginning dark and early at 03:17 from Hamburg station. The train is a great way to travel here. it is easy to sleep, get up and stretch and eat without trouble. The 17hrs riding the rails to Tiszaujvaros went by much quicker than expected.

Tiszaujvaros is a cool town. It is about 15000 people inbetween two rivers on the flatlands of northern Hungary. It is about 30C here but with little humidity. The area is also known for its wine which i can approve of.

Tuesday was spent doing a little bit of all 3. 90minute ride thru the quiet farm roads, a 30min transition run and later that night a short swim at the sport centre. The sport centre is quite a nice facility here for such a small town, although Tiszaujvaros was labeled a sport town of Hungary about 10 years ago making it a spot for national teams to train.

Tuesday night kerry arrived from Canada! We spent wednesday with some training with the 3rd canuck here, kyle jones. We swam at the outdoor pool this time, a nice 50m pool and some riding around the farmlands again.

Today another swim at the outdoor pool, but this time early. I was feeling pretty tired this morning so i came back and had a big big breakfast to knock me out for good nap. Then it was time to do the run intesity for the week. It took me some time to get out of the hotel but after 20 min Warm up it was time to get it done. After the workout i felt great, it is interesting how this happens sometimes. I find especially after running you get this sport induced high where you feel great.

This afternoon kerry and i went for massages at the spa. 15 dollars per hour, not bad. Yelga was good, she even massaged your eyes, weird feeling.

alright time to upload some photos so you can see some of this stuff.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hamburg Race Report

I feel shattered right now, absolutely.

The race went well i thought overall. I made the time cut off, barely, scoring some valuable points!

The swim was going well to about 400m where i was hanging on the back of the pack. ok it will ease up now i thought, boomza! off the back. Note to self: world cup swims never never let up. Swam to bridge solo and then was caught by a group behind. CAme out with 6 or 7 others who worked well together on the bike. We caught up to the first chase group of 4 and they helped us keep the leaders within 1minute.

Good T2 and onto the run. I forgot to put a gel with my shoes so i had no carbos for the run, oh well i thought i can still do it. Legs felt good for the run but i had some harsh ab cramps from lap 2 onwards. The run is somewhere i need some more work with in terms of relaxing i think and letting the rhythm come as opposed to fighting my way thru it.

Coming to the finish i knew i was flirting with the 5% cutoff to score points but when i saw on the clock the time gap counting up at 5:00 i got into a few out sprint. I made the cutoff by 3 seconds, wow that 3 seconds could have been lost anywhere and my mood right now would have been totally different. As it is im content with this and ready to improve on the run in tiszzy.

This race was out of control for fans. On the swim everybreath i could hear noismakers, on the bike noisemakers and the run it was deafening on one section. The fan base here is big for triathlon and it shows.

all for now!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hamburgerler

A friend commented recently how McDonalds has totally changed their marketing strategy. Maybe because he did a marketing degree is how he noticed this but he bang on. Gone are the days of Ronald, Grimmace, the fry kids and best of all Hamburgerler. Is that what a thief is called here in Hamburg?

I Arrived in Hamburg late Monday night and had a great first impression with the city. Midnight and i am dragging around my bike box getting lost. The streets are quiet but i felt as safe as could be. There just isnt the same intimidation factor of the german goth guy wearing an iron maiden shirt at midnight as there is in Canada. I continued to get lost until asking a middle aged women for directions, i gave in. She was having a little trouble reading my map so she said to just come with her and she will drive me there. We squeeze the bike box into her car and set out. It took a little while but she was one of the nicest persons i have come accross, let alone at this time of hour.

The last few days ive had a look around and done some running and swimming at the schimmhalle. Some nice facilities here. Hotel is great within walking distance to everything and clean.

I cant wait for this race, i feel very prepared having a great week of training prior to leaving. A good big island TT, good crit, and some good brick running out in Sidney, JP pushing me to the max on the last k. :49 thats Gomez speed dude, well just that he averages that over the entire 10k. Getting there.

If i can figure out how to load up some pictures somewhere ill do it soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Caleb Pike and Training

Yesterday and Today have been some solid days in the books

Tuesday had a hard swim set in the pool as 8x(100 on 1:15 / 50 on :50). This set was deceiving as the 50 offered no time to slack and fully recover. Good set i think for improving lactate capacity and buffering. Then we had a new look to cycling as we went to the velodrome for some steady state riding, motorpacing and 1km TT Pursuits. Scotty official has the record for 1km for a stationary start at 1:23. Stevo was not in attendance so I'm sorry Scotty but i think that record will fall in only a matter of time. To finish the day we had a hill tempo run at cedar hill as 1loop WU, 2 loops tempo, 1 loop CD.

Today was an OW swim in Thetis with a big island TT (15:28 with wetsuit). An easy run in the trails around the lake followed. Yoga at commonwealth was late afternoon followed right after with a crit at caleb pike. The ride out there was interesting. We left a little late, got detoured around by the Queen of Xterra, and then had to tempo it along hilly Munn's Road to make it too the start with 3minutes to spare. Race was 20 laps of probably 3km, long crit, like 90'. I raced A group with the goal of finishing in the mix. First lap, psssssssss, front flat, ok lets make this a duathlon. I ran back to the start, fix the flat and hop back in the next lap. This crit is different than Mt. Newton with more emphasis on cornering skills, short sprinting and power climbing. I stayed with the group and finished the crit in the mix, pat on the back.

Tomorrow is a lighter recovery day then the weekend should be some more intensity.

I'm happy to announce that i will get a chance to race in europe this july in 3 world cups. Thats saying i make it the 2nd and 3rd without getting destroyed in the first.

July 5th Hamburg, Ger
July 13th Tiszaujvaros, Hun
July 20th Kitzbuhel, Aut

I will post while over there and keep you all updated.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It could happen to you

Today was just a spank-beautifull day in Victoria. SUmmer is here now and i feel safe enough to the leave the house for a ride without packing arm warmers and knee warmers. This morning I slept past my alarm which was set to 6am to get out to elk lake and cheer my teammate Steve Kilshaw on at the New Balance Half-Iron. I still made it out to support but arrived just after T1.

While waiting for the return from the bike I did my long run around the lake as 6k warmup, 8k Steady, 4k Fartlek, 2k Cool Down. I was then back to see Stevo come off the 90k bike and out onto the run. Great race Steve you were the rookie in the field and put in a solid result (4:05!!)

Just before dinner i headed out for an ez ride by the water, but I was presented with a situation that i had previously talked about here. Thats right an encounter with two wheel huggers. I saw them turn off of Cooke as i went by and knew immediatley they would try to latch on. It wasn't long before i heard them chatting behing me and freewheeling to their hearts delight. First chance to drop them came at King George hill. One fell off but the other remained. Thru Oak bay he was still there although the breathing was getting heavier. With the help of some auto-pacing I managed to get him off the wheel. Thinking they would give up I relaxed and went back to my ez ride. But not too long after the two come by heaving and hoeing, the one says allez, allez, allez. This went on thru caddy bay but thankfully when we got to ash street we went different directions and they no longer had the freeride...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wasa Race Report

Last Sunday under beautifull clear skies the BC Championships were held in Wasa Lake, BC, a provincial park just north of Cranbrook.

I made the drive up on Friday thru the south Okanagan and west kootenays. It is a long drive but breathtaking, especially with nice weather. From Vancouver Osoyoos works out to be almost exactly half way so i made a stop there for a short fartlek run. The remainder of the drive is where you have to watch like a hawk for deer. There are so many deer between castelgar and cranbrook i was on edge the entire time. Keeps you awake though which is nice.

Saturday was a day of a light swim and bike with kerry at the race site. I've done this race 4 times now and every year it gets better. This year the capper was the nice weather, mid 20's and clear. Wasa is at 3700 feet, so it is nice to have 1day to adapt from sea level.

The Race

Swim

Got out to a good start and got right on what i thought were Jordan Brydens feet. After the first bouy though i saw that this guy had a different wetsuit than Jordan. An ironman wetsuit...hmmmmm...uh oh is this Tom Evans? Oh geesh this is going to good, my whole race plans were changing by the stroke now. Out of the first lap and onto the second I challenged Tom and took the lead into the first bouy. I couldn't hold it though and he resumed the raines coming out first with Jordan and right behind.


Had a good T1 and get right at it on the bike. Tom should be coming by pretty quick here.....ok maybe he had troubles in T1....ok maybe he got a flat. I rode the bike agressively and hard keeping a good high cadence. The course is very flat so it is very important to keep as aero as possible. Coming into T2 i felt ready to run.

Run was good with nice rhythm and leg speed. They added a trail section to the course this year which i liked but made comparisons to last years time a little skewed. I finished up in 1st with a 1:50 clocking.

I later found out that it wasn't Tom Evans racing but Jon Bird who lead the swim. Good swim man.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

wasa

Tomorrow I will be making the 12hr road trip up to WASa Lake. Vancouver to Hope then along the crowsnest to Cranbrook. Last year steve and I drove this route and it was a great drive. THis year i'll be doing it solo so it may not have the same effect. NO cruise control, maybe i'll have to bring a brick.

WAsa lake is my favourite non-drafting race. THe event is put on very well and it always draws good competition. I love the kootenay area as well having grown up in Revelstoke, so it feels like heading home when you start to smell that crisp mountain air mixed with pine.

This year the goal for the race is simple, have fun and race hard. On the run especially is where i have to dig deep and enter that dark room.

www.rmevents.com

Monday, June 09, 2008

Can't beat em...join em

Last year racing I had a couple of big races where i things went well in the swim, but I got dropped like a sack on the first 3km on the bike, or things didn't go swell in the swim and I wasn't able to bridge up on the first k on the bike.

So this winter I did a lot of cycling. Simple really, get in the miles and lots of them. More hill work as well. And it has shown, at least in the first couple of mexican races where I have bridged up to the lead group, with some excruitating pain of course. What i haven't had yet though is a bike where there is a steep hill right off the bat, that test will come later.

The last two weekends I have done a couple of road races. The first was in Armstrong, just outside of Vernon, BC. NOw this was supposed to be a 100k "ride" but a quarter of the way in it was evident that was not going to be. The riders in this group i would say were right at my level and it was a good tempo ride with one long climb up thru Salmon Arm.

On the first of June I did the second road race. BC Provincials in Vancouver on the new westside classic course. I am a cat3 rider, but for this race Cat3's would race with the 1's and 2's as well. The course was 12x10k loop then 10x2k crit loop. THis was a ride where I have never been so scared and in a world of hurt at the same time. The group was quite large (100 to start) and as a result the corners were agressive and sprints on the exits. The climb in the course was about 1k, but not steep. I got dropped at around 80k from the peleton and rode the remainder in a smaller group. FUn race, just above my level.

Some pictures from the race:







I would have loved to have swapped legs with Svein about 60k in.


This last week the group has getting some quality training in around UBC and taking in the elite races. Congradulations to all the juniour, U23 and elite athletes! It was motivating and thrilling to watch you all race. I hope the elite men caught a glimpse of the streaking hockey stick Flag running up Thurlow!

THis weekend, Wasa Lake Triathlon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Power of Words and Changes

Ixtapa

Great race for me, great swim strong yet fluid. First onto the beach, but nipped at the mats for the preem. The long run along the beach and thru the hotel was killing me and as result i had to work hard on the first k on the bike to bridge up to the 4 others. Whaddya know 4mexicans and 1 Canuck, but this time the mexicans all worked their butts and we built a 3'30 lead coming into T2 on the mob. The run for felt lousy, but i stuck it out for 4th, best result to date!

A few race photos







Today i was reminded of the beauty of Revelstoke. Bebgie Glacier while running steady state, dont mind if i do, beats staring at elk lake (no offence elk). Training in the Stoke brings back a lot of good memories and certainly motivates me to get out the door. This afternoon i headed out with some wolfmother to do one of my favourtie running loops. When i got to the trailhead though i was met with backhoes and dump trucks. The resort expansion had taken away my loop, well it had tried. I made a detour thru the bush and caught on to it part way. Turns out there are now more trails now and I found a new loop to my liking. As well with the machinery being around i don't have to worry about grizzlies stalking me and taking me on as their new chew toy.

This weekend i will get in for some ow swimming at williamsons lake. Small lake, probably 600m long, but has the best head up sighting view you could want and a sunken viking ship to oggle at each lap. As well my Dad and I are headed to Armstrong on sunday for a century ride. Beautifull riding in pleasant valley and the salmon arm area.

Interior baby, once the snow melts its gold for training.

Adios

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mark Visser Big Wave Surfer 2:20m -ve Breath Hold Swim 50m

This is the type of training that needs to be done before my next big wave race.

I for Intensity

This week has been very intense. Intensity is the theme right now and actually volume isn't too far behind, we're looking at about 27hrs.

Two hard runs this week totaling 20km at race pace or above. First was a 10k tempo of Elk Lake on Tuesday (33:49) and then 9x1km last night on the track.

Two solid rides with 8x the Durance Climb. That was possibly my favourite cycling workout to date. Before the workout i wouldn't have thought it possible to big ring the climb, but half way thru the set there you are 53x17/19. Today we had 6 loops of the west saanich/wallace loop on the board at a "steady" effort. Two heat roller rides this week, no hands has now been accomplished.

Swimming has been typical for this week. Speed on tuesday (40x50 ez/hard), draft packs on Wednesday (8x300), TT on Friday, Steady Saturday.

Monday was a great day where Stevo, Scotty and I volunteered for PacSport at Cordova Bay Elementary. The School had their annual sport expo where the kids get to meet high performance athletes in the region (swimming,rowing, lacrosse, triathlon, diving...) We had the kids run thru a mini triathlon that included a swim cord swim, roller derby bike, and aerobic step run! The kids all had a great time and we did to. Even the elk lake Triathlon Monster made an appearance for the kids. See the picture below, it is a little blurry as the cameraman was shaking in his booties.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Commuter vs. The Weeknight Warrior

I've seen this confrontation take place many times in my years of riding a bike. Sometimes i'm watching it unfold, other times i'm in the ring itself.

A lot of people have seen this or had this happen to them and share similar feelings regarding the "commuter leach effect" that happens on a street near you!

In this side of the ring we have THe COmmuter. The Commuter rides to and from work on his bike along the absolute shortest route. He/she is always looking to save seconds on the commute and will suck anyones wheel to set a record for there commute time. They go hard for basically 30 minutes, no warm-up or cool down. Out the door and straight to tempo folks. The Commuter is typically riding a touring bike usually outfitted with the following gadgets:

- paniers
- bell/whistle/horn
- OVERSIZED aerobars
- gel padded seat cover
- lights that are always flickering
- dental rear view mirror attached to helmet
etc. etc.



On the other side of the ring we have the weeknight warrior. The WW may commute to work but does most of their riding after work or perhaps on an early end to the day. They perhaps get in 3 hours during the week and then pump out 10hours on the weekend. The WW rides a true road bike anywhere from midline to top end.

When the two aforementioned riders meet eachother on the road this is what usually unfolds.


1. WW comes up on Commuter from behind traveling somewhere between 5-10km/hr faster than Commuter.

2. WW passes Commuter

3. Commuter doesn't think twice about it and immediatley jumps onto WW wheel

4. WW hears Commuter heavy breathing behind him/her

5. WW increases speed

6. WW increases speed

7. WW increases speed

8. WW sprints

9. If Commuter is still on wheel then WW turns off of main route or accepts Commuters presence

10. WW lets a fart rip


On thursday this week i saw a classic example of this happening on the Pat Bay Highway. The WW was suited up in discovery kit and the Commuter was in grey sweat pants in the aerobars drafing his butt off. I didn't see the end result but there was a hill coming up and hopefully the WW made his move there.

Last summer after a Lochside Run I was driving home and saw my coach with a commuter on his tail. I slowed down, rolled the window down yelled " PK drop this guy Man!"

So on your next ride if this happens to you, my best advice is to really blow by the commuter with a lot of speed to prevent any confrontation from arising.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

JUniour Carnage

Finally i find a home video from Mazatlan of the swim. This looks like the juniour women's race. Not great footage of the waves but it is a start. Hopefully some better ones come up soon.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mt Newton Grit Crit

First 6k swim in a while this morning. It went by well with the main set being 6x400m descending in pairs. Good set, buzz cool-down and we are out the door for an easy 30' jog on the trails.

At 4 we had a yoga session. At first we wondered how this would get as pumped up for the crit right after, but our yogi is smart and she adapted the practice to prepare us for the race. I came out of there feeling warmed up and ready to ride.

Racing A group my hope was to hang in longer than last year. And i did, i stayed with the main group until 2 laps to go. Those two hills are tough, 20X up them and you start to loose your eyesight. I felt like a cross-eyed bull about to be slain by the matodor on the last time up.

Now its time to sleep and let the fitness soak in....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

no title

Tuesday marked our first revisit to some intensity in training.

It began in the pool this morning with 20x50 (60/45) ez/hard followed by 6x200 start speed. Not a lot but a good start to build on. Next stevo and I did some heat maintenance in the pool room. 90 mins on the rollers at 33 degrees listening to green day. I felt like a rain cloud today as i sat hunched over my bike dripping sweat drops. The ride didn't feel as hard as i remember them being last year but i think it hit me later on at the run.

The run was at elk lake on a beautifull day. 20min warmup to Steady state. 4x6' tempo followed by 4x1' quick. Couldn't get going on the run felt like a sack of bricks.

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Just Follow your Nose" (Tucan 'the man' Sam)

Yesterday i had a 90' oyo spin to do on the bike but i just couldn't get out the door to do it. So i did it today...

I thought i might have avoided the rain from yesterday but it was raining again today. When it is raining i like to ride cross. You don't get as wet and the trails are quiet. So i dusted off the black lightning and headed out....pedal out of the appt. up the little hill and down...sweeping right onto esquimalt rd....oooow there is a good curb jump ahead swweeeet. vrrrrroom......BOOOM!

1min47s into the ride and i go ass over tea kettle..when i landed on the grass and tried to hop back up onto the sidewalk i got curb sucked and went for a dive. Right onto the same side as last weekend...great. I layed there sprawled on the sidewalk laughing and hoping someone saw it and would come up and ask if i was alright and then give me a lemonade or something. No one came just car after car driving by...Ok time to get up and back on the saddle.

After that spill the remainder of the ride went well. I just explored in esquilmalt and found some new trails. If you look well enough in victoria you'll find trails everywhere. First i hit up gorge park and then i found a great park called cuthbert holmes park. This park has it all, tough technical single track, double wide groomers, pavement, swampy marsh, muddy sections, beacon hill like mossy sections, very nice. If your on the goose heading to colville exit at admirals and cross over the highway. Then take a left as you start to descend, its right there. Great spot.

When i got home i found that i had reopened some of the wounds and created new ones. Ice bath and my favourite brew to soothe the pain.

This week of training looks big with some highlights being :

wednesday night Newton Heights Crit
Friday swimTT and swim/bike brick
Intervals at Lochside


My next race is coming up in 3 weeks at Ixtapa. I'm also hoping to make my half iron debut in oliver come june 1st.

all for now.