Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monkeys are Smart

When I took up tennis as a passe temp with friends in high school we had no real lessons or coaching. We watched Pat Rafter win the US Open and then would go out mimicking the serve and volley style, or we'd focus in a Greg Reusedski, aka scud, and learn how to serve.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

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Sunday marked the beginning of a solid week here in Victoria. A lot of swimming to get done paired with some efforts in both running and cycling.

For the first swim on Sunday I arrived a little early which is unusual for me. The Commonwealth pool breathes High performance and Sunday was no different. As I started to get some blood flowing the Swim Academy, coached by Randy Bennett, was in the midst of their first post-christmas session. Up until Christmas swimming for me was feeling laboured and forced. No real rhythm was happening and I was lagging behind.

Warming up my shoulders that morning I found myself really paying attention to the academy swimmers. Right in front of me was high performance swimming, what better way to find a rhythm.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

The rhythm is returning and I feel I owe it to that morning of being a Monkey for 15 minutes.

All of the centre athletes are so privileged to be on deck as the academy finishes their main set and cools down. Ryan Cochrane is the best distance freestyler in the western Hemisphere and he swims 5 feet in front of you....going back and forth.

Privileges are to be respected and then made the most out of.

10k swim on the horizon...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can't Beat the Babka

This just came out of the oven.



My first chocolate babka. I made it in the shape of an 8 for the 8 days of Hanukkah. Will this rival Noa's Grandma's recipe??? Time will tell, only problem is we have to wait until we reach the family tomorrow to sample it......


For the Rest of Us!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Need for Speed

Whoa!







Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Did he just say what he said?

Macca suggests that Lance will get chicked at KONA.

Pool Progression

Swimming is one aspect of triathlon that stands alone as the black sheep.

It is it's own water world that poses as many questions as answers.

After taking a break from the pool I found myself floundering about, trying to remember what swimming felt like. If you take 2 days out of the water there is some loss in feel let alone 2-3 weeks. Humans were not born to swim, we were born to walk on dry land, unless of course your name is Andrew McCartney.

However that is not to say swimming is lost after time out of the pool. It is frustrating but over some time your body remembers. The specifics to swimming are what has to be remembered to swim well. The specific shoulder and back muscles need to remember how to work efficiently. Wrist and elbow angles need to be re-established.

After 2 weeks of swimming with training wheels, this week I noticed some progression back to normal self.

With similar 100's sets throughout the week I saw my pace drop from 1:15 to 1:11 to 1:06. This spurs on thoughts about the adaptation my body is going through right now. It is quick and with significant gains, kinda like going through puberty all over again.

A whole bunch of other related questions pop into my head while wandering off on a 600 fins.

- should i be eating more and/or more of something specific during this period?
- am i creating new neural pathways or just blowing the dust off of old ones?
- do i need more rest during this time?



...Thanks for the ginger cake Kirsten, hit the spot.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Victoria World Cup 201?

In the summer I thought a lot about this topic - If there were ever to be a World Cup in Victoria where would I hold it?

Downtown was the first plan, but as I looked into I think it would be too difficult. The harbour is labeled an international airport (floatplanes) and there would be far too many hurdles there.

The next thought was either Thetis or Elk Lake. These would be great spots but you would not have the same public draw to come watch the event as you would near the city.

It was then that I felt the best place would be on Dallas Road just past Clover Point. Within 2k of downtown Victoria and not forcing road closures in the downtown core would make this an ideal site for a beautiful west coast feel race. With Google Maps I began nerdishly plotting a course.

SWIM

The swim would be pretty basic. A beach (rock beach) start into the frigid ocean waters. The race would have to be held in late July or early August to avoid too many hypothermia casualties. Wetsuit 1500m swim of two loops with a re-entry off the concrete pier that juts out from the beach (would need to be low tide).



TRANSITION

The swim exit would have athletes run a short 50m or so up onto Dallas rd where both transitions would occur. Exit Transition to the Left and Re-enter from Right.


BIKE

For the bike I thought of going up King George hill but decided against it in favor of beacon hill being more spectator friendly. The 8 lap 40k bike course would head West on Dallas rd to make a CW loop of Beacon Hill Park to rejoin Dallas rd with a hard 120 degree turn to now head East. Left on Cooke street, right on May, right on Memorial Crescent to pass the cemetary before going right on Dallas to pass through transition. The bike is fairly flat but high winds off the water could make it interesting.


RUN

For the run athletes head out of transition and straight onto a water level seawall to run up to and loop around Clover Point. Coming out of Clover Pt. take a left on Dallas rd. and run to the turn around just past Linden Street. Run straight back along Dallas rd. to transition to repeat 4 times of 2.5k.



Anyone wanna front half a mill to get this on the ITU Race calendar?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tough Guy

The name of it says enough

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Making a new Move

Seems like I left off a while back days before racing the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater. I won't go into details of the race as you can view it on the Checkmate Triathlon Team site which I am very excited about and will elaborate more on later. I would like to thank everyone who has helped make 2009 another great year for me in this crazy sport. Special thanks to my Dad and Sister for their unwilling support, Patrick Kelly for developing me through another successful year, Champion Systems, Sequel Naturals, and aquaman for their aid in my endeavors. Another big thanks to Hyack Air and the Allards for taking me in and putting a roof over my head, and Noa for taking a chance on a goofy guy like me.

I've just finished up my season break, quite short, with a few days of skiing with my good friend Marty. Wow, my legs have really forgotten what that burn feels like, but unfortunately my back hasn't. I had some time back in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm as well getting in a good visit with family. My 7-month niece, Stella, is always entertaining to see but on this visit it was amazing to see how much of a little person she is now, no longer a baby! We had a day together by ourselves, mommy and daddy may not let that happen again though after a little piggy backing mishap.



I've been trying to hide her from the internet because it is a dangerous dangerous place but without further adiou....STELLA!!



She was angry because there was no Simon Whitfield on the box

It was Noa's birthday last week so we decided to check out the butterfly gardens in Victoria. Worth while visit with a lot of bizarre looking butterflies and other creatures there. Noa is on a big tear as of late pumping out new nutritious recipes all the time so I treated her to some of my cooking that night with a recipe from my sisters whitewater cookbook.


Flamingos


They will land right on your fingertips if you cover them in Honey


Today was my first day back with some training. A 3k swim at Commonwealth where I hung out at the back trying to keep my heart-rate in check started things off and a run at one of my favourites, cedar hill, will cap it for today.

Getting back to Checkmate. This team of 6 athletes has been created just recently in the States with the idea of team racing. The concept of team racing has been around for some time with Countries going for a team approach at major games races. However a mixed nation team of athletes has not been common place. Checkmate has high aspirations for 2010, the team will race at Continental Cups, Pan-american Champs and a few World Cups together to give ITU racing a new look. I am excited for this opportunity to put nationalities aside and rediscover team sports once again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

your hot then your cold...

Huatulco recap

swim was great, perhaps my best swim for the effort i had to put out of the year. Not a good start as i dove under Serrano, but didn't panic and just found my rhythm when clear water came. 15th or so around the first bouy and then basically just kept out of trouble and made sure to breath to both sides.

good exit and T1, straight into the pack and felt great up the climb on the first lap near the front. The first 2 laps i found a distinct pattern to how the lap was played out. On the 3rd lap on the descent a gap formed right about in the middle of the group. I wasn't really concerned, as were the other guys in the split. but then things didn't lull up as they did on the previous laps where it had. So ben collins and an estonian athlete were cranked it up to close the gap. The three of us along with kevin collington caught back up at the base of the climb. For me however the chase was too much and I couldn't hang on, on that climb. Frustrating as a rode the remainder with 4 others but a lesson learned. I didn't have the respect for those athletes and course that I should have. I was too passive. I look back on my coaches comments for the bike before the race and can only look back in regret that i didn't follow them better.

by the run i was cooked, well done in fact. All my focus was now on crossing that finish line. And i did. 23 men finished the race, 26 men dnf'd. Some coming to an actual standstill on the climb...it was that steep.

This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, both physically and mentally, and i am very proud to have finished.

That evening the race had quite a nice wrap up dinner where a lot of the athletes were ready to let loose as it was the end of their season.

The next day I traveled to Tampa Bay, home of the lightning for my final race of the year. 70.3 World champs.

I met Brent and Carolyn in the airport that night and we drove over to clearwater beach where we are staying in a condo about 1k from the race transition.

The ocean here is quite choppy and there are constant strong winds. Come saturday it may clear up a bit but if not, it will be challenging day. It is pretty cold here though compared to mexico and there has been a fair amount of rain.

Today brent did an interview with tsn. following up after him was big matty reed. I sat and eavesdropped for brent while matty was interviewed to get his strategy for sunday.

some photos are the travels thus far:


Me on the memorial cause way bridge



View from another bridge...many bridges here.



Brent...your my boy blue!




Matt may have destroyed everyone in the race but he got destroyed in the cake eating contest!



Huatulco transition set up

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hurricane Ida

Huatulco report to come, but for now a classic seinfield quote that made me smile while it ran over and over in my head today as brent and I swam in hurricane inflicted waters here in Clearwater.

"the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli!" George Castanza

Friday, November 06, 2009

Huatulco WC





I´ve arrived in Huatulco for the last World Cup of 2009. First impressions of the area are great. It is the nicest spot in Mexico I have been able to visit. The blend of small resort with a spectactular coastline have me enjoying the trip already.

Everything is within walking distance from the hotel. Have just gotten back from a swim at the venue, which is at the bay of Santa Cruz. Warmish water which is very salty. Coming back into shore there are consistent slow rolling waves that you can hold onto at race pace. The feeling is like having fins and paddles on, unreal.

Hot/humid conditions will make for an interesting race on sunday (830am pst). The demanding course as well is sure to take its toll.

I am coming in with no major expectations other than to be as competitive as I can be on the day. I love this sport, and to be able to race in a place like this makes everything that much more rewarding.



View of the swim start, Santa Cruz

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Photos from the HK Trip


IO liking the Juice. Big Dog Fan is IO


D.Smurov and 2xB setting up Transition at 6am


Jelly Fish at Ocean Park


Hong Kong Triathlon President giving the guided tour meeting and explaining this is where we will be riding on grass!


Drink of Choice in Asia!

Back to the Rock

Hong Kong ITU

16,000 miles for a flat tire....

Let me explain.

Swim went off as a deep water start. Knowing that this field had some strong and weak swimmers I decided to take the far right and try to get clean water off the line. It worked, I separated myself from the others around me then drifted over to the pack which had gotten off to a quick start. I had been swimming well up to the race and had confidence I would swim well here. However I think a lack of open water training hurt my positioning and tactical sense during this portion of the race. I was pinned to the outside of the pack and was not getting a draft. I essentially had to swim the leaders (D.Polyansky) pace, which was pretty swift. The exit from this swim was unique in that you had to climb a ladder, maybe 3 or 4 rungs out of the water. I exited just behind Barrett Brandon from the USA in about 7th spot 10s down from the lead out.

The T1 was a long one, and I got gapped here from the front 6. I had to really lay down some anaerobic power to bridge up quickly before they got organized on the bike. I was able to do so and started to began to find a better heart rate zone. The bike course was quite challenging with a longish big ring climb (maybe 4%) that was to be hit 14 times in the 40k. Unfortunately my race had only just got interesting with a good feel and some surges before the dreaded sound of a puncture occured. Your first thought is "was that my wheel", then " no, thank god" , then "oh wait it was me, crap"

That was it, I was a long ways from the wheel pit where I still probably would not have been able to get a wheel from another country. I watched the race ride away and was now a spectator.

I have learned though to accept this as part of racing. Sometimes you race well, sometimes you flat, sometimes you race horribly. It is all part of the game.

The remainder of my stay I had a great time with Ikko, Erica and Makoto. We went to the infamous Mongkok marketplace where you name it they have it. From chickens to bowling balls it can all be found there. Ocean Park, a large aquarium/amusement park was a good time as well as the final dinner we had at a Schezwan restaurant. My first impressions of eating jellyfish were that it is unique....very unique.

Flying home I was delayed again in San Francisco to no surprise. Hmmm...two trips, both involving SF and both resulting in flat tires. Note to self: Next year avoid SF when possible

Thank you to Ikko, Erica, and Makoto for hosting me during this time. You showed great hospitality once again. Another thank you to Champion Systems for helping out with this race, it was great to meet some of the staff at the race, it was unfortunate that I couldn't complete the race in front of you all. And thank you to everyone for their kind words and support. Racing at this time of year can be difficult to find that umph, but you have been very motivational.

I am not done yet, no sir. In two weeks I will travel to Huatulco, Mexico for the last World Cup of the season. The following week I will end the year in Clearwater racing the 70.3 World Championships. Then it will be time for a deserved break indeed.

Back in Canada I got a quick jolt to get some solid training in before these next races from the following Big Willie Special:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hong Kong Arrival

San Francisco....what a gongshow.

Trip plan was Vic -> SF -> HK

Vic to SF went well, small plane was thrown around when descending but I managed to keep my no puke streak alive when flying.

However it was a monsoon in San Fran, heavy heavy rain and 60mph winds.

Looking at the departures board in the airport the HK flight was on schedule, great!
Board the 747, change watch to HK time, well time to sleep.....
Wake up, need to pee...stand up and walk back to the toliet but the stewardess stops me and says to go back to my seat...turbulence i guess. Sit back down and then have a look outside to see where we are. Hey we are at an airport....and its raining and windy...wait, this is still San Francisco!

I had slept for almost 4hrs yet we had moved perhaps 100m!! No wonder I slept so well.

We continued to sit there and then the pilot thought he had a chance to take off with the winds favouring us, but still no dice. 747s are quite heavy and don]t like the wind so much

In the end we deboarded, waited for new crew and pilots and then reboarded. Leaving 10hrs after schedule.

I was able to let my friends know I was going to be very late. I arrive at 3am and there is Ikko waiting for me outside the gate!! I could not thank him enough.

Ikko and Erica have moved slightly since my last visit. They still are in a ginormously tall apt building of 45 floors. Ikko showed me his complexes pool this morning and I went for a splash. Nice pool, awkard length.

It was quite nice to walk out of the apt this morning with 25C. The humidity isn:t too bad either yet so it is nice.

Had a look around the Ho Hum Marketplace and had a street noodle breakfast. Most interesting food item I saw would have to the eel tank, big suckers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Preparing for the Orient

Time to post, time to travel.

Tomorrow I will fly over 8000 miles to do a race. Why?

To Compete.

Originally I thought of racing at the Dallas and Los Angeles LTF races. Closer to home, little time change, but the ITU allure was too much, ITU is just too compelling that I had to fly 8000 miles to do one and then fly 8000 back home.

What is my plan for this race?

The same as almost everyone else. Swim like a fish, try to get away on the bike and as Jarius put it so well, run from the hip. But in ITU that plan can change in the first five strokes and can continue to change throughout. So there really is no plan....just race like a Canadian and believe in my ability.

My training has me very confident right now. I need to travel smart, activate, and prepare for this race like it was my last.

I would like to thank Champion Systems for helping out with this trip. I have had nothing but 100% support from them from July. It is a home race for them and I would love to represent them well.

I can't wait to toe this line and go to work.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Our Nordic Team Getting Ready for Whistler

Nordic Medals may have seemed like a long shot in previous olympics but with this group of skiers I think we will see our first mens Nordic medal ever and continue on with Chandra's success in torino.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

O.A.T.S

I like Oats, i eat them most mornings, great way to start the day

Today however I had a run-in with an O.A.T official during the Muskoka 70.3 that has put a damper on my oats love affair. Will get to it shortly....

8am start to the race held just outside Huntsville at the Deer Hurst Resort.

Great swim, relaxed and in rhythm to the exit where I came out in 3rd with Bechtel. We made the killer T2 run up from the lake to the bikes and mounted our tripped out steeds.

The lead group quickly formed with Paul Matthews (swim leader), Craig Alexander, Richie CUnningham, Sean Bechtel and myself getting it on very early. I last about 2k before I was put off the back, never to see those guys again. I worked on my own through to about 45k where a Brazilian (Ascendo?) and a big German named Maik came by me. Again I hung in for a little longer this time (maybe 5k) before they rode ahead. Great conditions for the bike and what was an amazing course. Always kept you guessing and shifting pretty much for the entire 94k. I struggled a little over the last 10k on the out and back section that had some really good stingers that hurt oh so good near the end of the ride.

Coming in to T2 things were looking good, in 7th spot and about 2' from 5th. Then Mr. O.A.T came into the picture.

Frank the official came chasing after me as I set out on the run out of transition, yelling at me to stop. In hindsight I should have just kept running, he couldn't have caught me.

Frank: " 4' minute penalty for dismount 1 foot after the line"

Me: " You have got to be kidding"

Frank: " This is your first X two more and your a DQ. Go to the penalty box to serve it"

Me: "This is ridiculous, absolutley bogus ( i actually said Bogus, it just came to me)


I cursed my way over to the box and couldn't believe what was happening. I was joined very quickly by Brent Poulson who was given the exact same penalty. Both costing us some good races.

To be one foot over the dismount line is like giving a penalty for hooking with 2' to go in the third period of a 1-goal game.

The phrase "LET THEM PLAY" comes to mind

I don't believe I was over the line, I think my second foot to strike was and that is what he saw. But a call is a call and if it costs you Prize money then it stings just a little bit more.



After the penalty and started the run, on a rampage. Way too fast but I needed to vent after Franky's call.

I began to hurt and suffer around 8k where you ran up a long climb. It was the cheers and water stations that kept me going, especially the one manned by my Homestay family (Rob, Justine, Madeline and Seb you guys have been great!!)

I crossed the line in 9th in 4:14 +4minutes for 4:18.

I did somehow manage to grab a Clearwater spot. Everyone in front of me has one so I lucked out.

Muskoka has been a great stay and look forward to racing here again, next time however I will get off 1 foot before the line, for Franks sake.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

No Title



No title for this one, bits and bites (that wonderful WestJet snack) of the last few weeks.

AP and I drove down to Kelowna what seems like a month ago but was the thursday before the big shabang. Was hot the days leading up to the race but then characteristically cooled off giving us 25C and 21C water temp.

Made sure to warm up in the wetsuit before the start. I find for myself that if the temp is borderline i need to warmup with a wetsuit to get my shoulders warm. I think 40 guys started in what was a true nationals. I had a good start with AMac to my right. After 50m or so I ducked in behind him but found myself sharing his feet with Mr.Whitfield. We stayed this way until I gave in and went behind. I was lucky there was a little gap behind Simon and that is where i tucked in. AMac soon after , set his spinnaker up and sailed away for what was a 40s lead coming out of the water. I tickled Simon's feet for the remainder of the swim and was very pumped to come out of the lake in 3rd with Kyle who would lead us out of T1.

On to the bike I was not able to help Simon and Kyle for the first lap. My body was not responding well on the first climb, they actually waited for me, hoping I could help keep Paul and Brent from bridging up, but I was pretty useless for the opening 15' of the bike. It wasn't until Paul and Brent caught that i started to feel better. The 6 of us (whitfield,mcmahon,tichelaar,jones,mccartney,russell) worked in unison and fairly fluid for the remainder with no major attacks being played.

Coming into T2 i felt i could have a good run. However I found myself a little flat and unmotivated to make myself hurt for some reason. I was stuck in 4th gear and as John McEnroe would put it 'needed some more hot mustard' on that stride.

I did manage to hold off Austin and AP who running me down from the chase packs, but work is needed on run this winter.

In all I am pleased with the result and especially feel good about the swim.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the apple Noa and I visited my Mhairi, Tim and Stella in Salmon Arm. We were treated to uber amounts of fresh produce grown in the back yard, eggs laid from across the fence and many good times admiring Stella Bean and how she is changing every day. Thanks Var and Tim!

Then it was off to Revelstoke, home on the range, for a few days to visit with my Dad. Noa and I went to regenerate ourselves at halcyon hotsprings near galena bay on thursday and then had a visit to the summit of Mt.Revelstoke on Friday. I rode up the 27k (0k marker to true summit) climb in a little over 1:17, but not good enough to better Mountain Bike Olympian Catherine Pendrel of 1:16. Had Noa not made me take my cell phone up with me I would have beat Pendrel.... Noa did some altitude running at 6500ft and then tried to keep up with me on descent.

Saturday we headed to my good friend Josh and Jill's Wedding being held back in Kelowna. What a beautiful golf course they had picked looking over the Lake and vineyards. A lot of neat additions to this wedding that were quite entertaining.

Sunday was the big day for Noa. Ironman! 5am start with Kamal giving us a lift to the race site. I won't get into the details of me not being able to drive due to a 2 month expired license, but lets just say when they send you a reminder act on it right away or you'll forget.

Ironman was quite the day. I cannot believe the amount of time that must go in to organizing one of those. My good friend Steve Kilshaw was racing pro in his second big dance and I had good hopes he would show his talent to all. Although it was not to be on that day, sometimes the pop is flat. But he is true ironman, in fact more like a martensiteman (look it up). Too often I feel Pros will just throw the towel in if things aren't playing out like they had hoped. This is unfortunate as a Professional should set an example to others as how to compete. Steves grit to gut out the marathon, reduced to walking almost the entire course, was an example to all that you finish what you start.

Back now in Victoria, I am preparing for two races in the short term. The Vancouver Olympic Triathlon in Stanley park on Labour Day and then Muskoka 70.3 on the 13th of September. I revisited my Time Trial Bike this afternoon with some fears as to how my knees would feel after, but things feel not bad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't Feel So Bad

After reading this article on legendary marathoner Bill Rodgers, I don't feel so self conscious about eating PB out of the jar daily.

Training is rolling along quite well at the moment. Feeling a good rhythm in all 3. Hoping to keep this ball rolling up to next weekend in Kelowna.

Friday, August 07, 2009

KOM Ride in Photos

Todays ride was a great one. Four amigos set out on a KOM ride through Victoria's rural routes. Check out the slideshow below.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

4 Minutes




When you exit on the shores of Okanagan Lake to hear the crowds you have 4 minutes...

When your heart rate starts to sky rocket and your legs feel like rubber as you crest the bridge you have less than 4 minutes

When you mount your steed and start to hammer you have 3 minutes

When your trying to make that group just up ahead at the railroad tracks you have 2 minutes

When you see kids frolicking on knox beach while your body feels like it's disintegrating you have 1 minute

Then you see it...

It rises from the valley floor like a steeple

You have no more time

This is it

The acceleration you've been waiting for

This is where your race can change...


- In 2007 my race changed for the worse, in 2008 my race changed for the good....what will 2009 reveal?

You reach its top and feel the lactate flush....'wait I have to do that 5 more fu$King times?!'


- Matt Chrabot 2007 post race - ''Dude, that hill is legit!"

Yes, yes it is.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Getaway

I will be see this movie for sure. It was a book that offered the perfect getaway fantasy for every kid in the 80's.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jens Voigt is the Man

On stage 16, Jens Voigt crashed on the final decent going 80+ km/hr

Here is an update from him in the hospital. What a soldier. Cool and calm like it aint no thang, quite humorous really


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To a Good Tour

Great Tour this year, I enjoyed every stage.



Out for cycle myself, fingers crossed for the knee.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Peanut Butter and Honey

When I was younger I wasn't a peanut butter fan. I have, however, been a honey fan for some time; Honey sandwiches were a favourite for school lunches. THere is something about the texture of honey that is irresistible. Peanut Butter came later, much later.

I would hear stories of people eating PB right out of the jar with a spoon and couldn't comprehend the habit. I remember a particular story that was told to Stevo, Scotty and I in the hot tub a few years back where a guy had a marathon runner stay with him for the Royal Victoria Marathon i think, and this guy would eat both by the spoonfull, one after the other.

Well, over the last 12-18 months i have become that spoonful tucking guy. I eat Peanut Butter and Honey more than any other food item. I cannot believe how much of it I actually eat.

One day I decided i needed to put some numbers to this craving, so I went to Costco and bought a 2kg Tub of Peanut Butter and a 2 kg tub of Honey. I would eat them both as I regularly do and once finished would count the days it took and from that determine how many calories per day of the two I was consuming.

Here are the Tubs upon arrival, July 4th, 2009.






Here are the Tubs on completion July 27, 2009



Together the 4kg's of golden deliciousness had 20,000cals of chemical energy. The period of time was 23days subtract 4 days when I was away, so believe it or not I consumed roughly 1000cals of the mixture per day over the time period.

I believe the craving for these two food items stem from their ease of preparation (no prep necessary unless you use bread), energy density, ease of digestion, and ease of eating (no chewing really). Together the two fuel me through training.

I do however need to watch the intake of them when I am not training that much, like right now. I do not want a relapse to last year which involved nutella

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Knee for Sale

The day after racing in San Francisco I did a run in Golden Gate Park before departing for Victoria. WHile on the run I began to feel some knee pain in my left knee. This has happened before but it usually shakes itself out. This time however I had to stop and walk it off. I hobbled back to Serge's appartment (Thanks very much Serge for the great hook up and city tour). I felt it would pass and things would be fine but after attempting a ride the day after arriving home I realized the severity of this injury. The pain was too much..

Since then I have been having a lot various types of treatment on it from many helpful therapists and doctors in Victoria. It is beginning to improve but still has some time before I can resume regular training. No time is perfect for an injury but I think this is as close as it gets for me. There is not a lot of racing for me at this time and perhaps this break will serve me well later in the season. I will however not race in Calgary 70.3 next weekend, it is out of the question. Instead attention will paid to getting this knee working properly again and focusing on Kelowna.

My season after Kelowna also remains questionable. Initially I thought of racing ND Olympics and a 70.3 but with this injury I am hesitant to ride my TT bike. I think I rode it too often and too long at first and brought on anatomical changes to my lower body to quickly.

Swimming however is gonna quite well at the moment, I am logging great mileage and feeling great. Tomorrow I will swim a 3k Open WAter race for Multiple Sclerosis .

One activity on the bike which I think I could handle is the BierBike, what a great idea, bringing together two great passtimes into one! Unfortunately i don't think it would ever fly in North America.

Monday, July 13, 2009

San Francisco ITU Treasure Island

Yaaar Matey. Sailed back in from Treasure Island last night with mixed results.

The race was held on Treasure Island, located under the Bay Bridge (connects SF to Oakland) under sunny skies and temps of 22C air, 17C water. Wetsuit swim with one of those hokus pokus deep water rope starts, not a fan. Received a good Brazilian beating for the first 250m but then settled into a good rhythm for the remainder coming out near the front of the main group after 1500m.

Had decent T1 but the man I needed to mark, Mr.Whitfield, had a better one and had an agonizing 15m gap on me onto the bike. I hovered there for what seemed like a couple of minutes, contently thinking that the group forming behind me would catch up and we could reel him in. I lacked the killer instinct to burry myself in an attempt to bridge up to Simon. This was costly and a valuable lesson. The group did catch me but Simon rode away and joined the front three of McCartney, McClarty and Leto. However my race came to quick end when on lap 4 of 6 I heard the sound we all fear in racing...passing gas...from my tire that is. A flat front going into a tight corner spelt danger and I just managed to hold the corner and get off the course.

First flat when racing, has to happen sometime.

The race was not done though for my teammates so I set out on the run course to cheer on Simon, Andrew, AP and Kris. Simon set it on cruise for the run. The camo suit was quite fittingly for racing on a abandoned military base by the way! The highlight of the race was watching AMac take home 2nd! The break stuck and he had a great run! AP and Kris I think were happy with aspects of there races, but the full package wasn't there for them on this day.

I was so pumped for Amac and Simon at the finish that I went in to congratulate them both right after. What was I doing....I didn't belong there and then I go on to steal a high five from AMac as you'll see at around 1:30 into this video




Good times for all maties!

Now back to the grind, approaching 70.3 Calgary off ye starboard bow!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Other Coach


It has been a tough transition back into some training after taking a good solid break post Coteau Du Lac. Everything feels slow and heavy at the moment. This afternoon was actually the first workout where I felt ok, a 2hr ride climbing up Mt.Revelstoke.

Doing the workouts and being motivated to get back to training has been tough on my own. I've started to go a little crazy too i think....he is what i mean.

While running on the river flats the past couple days I have been affixed on Mt. Begbie as it towers over me, so ominously, on the valley floor. Quite intimidating really, and maybe thats where I have personified it as being a coach..."The other Coach." The name of the mountain also comes from a pretty intimidating old guy by the name of 'Hanging Judge Begbie' whose hobby I bet you can guess.

So while running at the speed of the caterpillar crawling beside me a loud booming voice enters my head.....HIPS UP, RELAX THE SHOULDERS, GET FORWARD!!

Ok Ok yes coach

While climbing Mt.Revy this afternoon once again...."HEY, DON"T CHANGE GEARS..PICK UP YOUR CADENCE OR STAND UP!!"

Right away Sir

Well tomorrow will be a short swim and then off on the road back to Vic. Begbie only has one more workout to get at me, unless he finds a way to hitch a ride in my trunk....

The Photo

Triathlon is a fairly young sport compared to others but it has had quite a storied history with many definitive events marking its path to today. I believe no picture has been captured in triathlon that represents the sport more genuinely than this photo taken today at the mens world cup in Des Moines. It is a photo that will be timeless in depicting our sport to the masses as it continues to grow.



Delly Carr has captured so much in this photo it is unreal. The photo is almost frightening, in the sense that it shows just how much energy and emotion is required to win an elite race. This photo stares at you on the couch and says "get the f$!# up and do something", it really does. It is raw triathlon and I love it.

Congratulations to all the Canadiens that raced today at Des Moines, you are an inspiration to all of us.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Coteau du Lac ITU

Race today here went well all around:

Prep went well, big meal for breakfast and a smallish bowl of pasta before heading out for a 3:30 start. Overcast skies that looked threatening hung over the course all day but not a drop of rain was felt.

Swim:
Wetsuit swim. Decent start, with a good position on the pontoon took me into the front pack right away. The pace on the first lap was full on, especially around the turn bouys I was redlined. Get out and re-entry on the second lap was sub par I had a pretty pathetic dive. The second lap the pace settled in and when you can draft behind guys like bechtel and bryden it becomes even easier. Coming out of the water I was about 6th or 7th in around 17:40. Fast swim , happy with it.

Bike:
A-Mac was first out of tranny and it took a good 2k to reel him in. The initial front pack included. McCartney, Dye, Elvery, Sexton, Limkemann, Green who was useless, myself, bryden, webber and pattle. For most part it was dye,sexton, limkemann and myself keeping the group rolling as a chase pack which included some great runners like AP and Yorke were about 45s back.

On lap 2 we were caught by the chase. Bechtel played a big domestic role in this race and was the most influential athlete on the course today. Had he raced his own race and put that work into the lead group things would have played differently. Cudos though to him, such a strong cyclist.

Once the packs merged I took a breather for most of the remaining bike. I threw in one attack on lap 4 to test out the pack followed by an AMac special with cheese, but it was not to be on the flat out and back course. Another Cudos to my roomate here, Patrice Hamelin, who rode a flat front wheel for the last 6k of the bike, and still hung on.

Run:
Into T2 I had a great one and was out with the two kiwi`s Elvery and Pattle to start the 10k. Elvery set a high pace very early, running away with the win within 1k. Things got interesting at about 2k when a pack of 4 formed of AP, Yorke, Pattle, and myself. Pattle pulled out with stomach issues and I dropped off the pace at about 3k. Great running AP and Yorke. At about 5k Sexton came up on me. He probably raced the most agressively on the day, staying at or near the front for the entire ride. I hung with Sexton for about a mile and then saw him creep away. So I found myself in 5th. With 1.25k to go Francois Hogan, who I believe was racing his first ITU Olympic, was starting to press on me. I had to really kick it up a notch for the remainder to hold him off, what a scare he gave me. So i finished 5th, very happy with this result. Felt solid in all three disciplines today and did not suffer from any rib/diaphragm cramping, I think i know the secret now.

Results are posted @ elitetriresults.com

Good luck to all the Canadians racing in Washington DC tomorrow! I`ll have some bacon and eggs ready to watch the men at 9:15 and then the women at 11:45 est.

I will take an active recovery week now which will take me to the end of the first half of my season. It has been a successfull campaign so far I think, pretty consistent.

Embracing it

Funny I would get this bit of wisdom in my mailbox from Rigpa the day before a race. The main emphasis here is on emotional pain, but I think is some senses it applies to physical pain, like the kind I will be having in about 5 hrs from now. Read on:

Whatever you do, don’t shut off your pain; accept your pain and remain vulnerable. However desperate you become, accept your pain as it is, because it is in fact trying to hand you a priceless gift: the chance of discovering, through spiritual practice, what lies behind sorrow.

“Grief,” Rumi wrote, “can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”



Andy Potts (USA Olympic Triathlete) once said that when he feels pain rushing through his body he doesn`t resist or cringe or fight it...he embraces it. He absorbs it. He uses the pain as energy to push on.

Arrived in Coteau du Lac Thursday Night. I am staying with Patrice Hamelin, from Quebec City, at a great homestay only 1km from the race site. Luc and Nadine Chouinard have been superb and very gracious to have us both in their home. Their children Dorothy and Gregory along with their pets Balto (dog), and Alonzo (cat) have provided a great uplifting distraction from the race. We had a light day of training yesterday on the race course. The swim is a two lapper down a skinny canal that has a tough exit with some steep stairs. The bike will be a bomb path, really fast, out and back in an L-shape for 6 laps. A flat 4 lap run and there you have it. Phillipe Bertrand and all his crew have things running smoothly here and I look forward to a good hit out this afternoon.

Will update you after the race...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beasts in Action

If you were driving on Hwy 23 south today you might have thought you saw two beasts pretty much recycling the road. Well you were actually right. Two days after racing Wasa Lake in Cranbrook, Nic and I were back at it hitting up some great training.

Pre Swim COre

Swim (5k) Main Set as : 3x (4x100 on 1:20, to 200 @ 2:40)

Run through the Columbia Wetlands

Bike like beasts down Hwy 23 with 3x10' Tempo

Great to have a guy here that just simply loves training and likes being a fellow beast with me.

Wasa went very well this year. The swim was short although i'd like to think I can swim 15:00. 40K TT on the new bike machine that was fitted to a T by Noa. Felt strong and comfortably pumping it through the kootenays. I didn't know what to expect on the run. I was weary that my hip flexors would be a little tight but things were just fine and the run went quite smooth. New course, new record.

After the race Kamal took us up to a great hot spring in White Swan Park, followed by DQ to cap off a great weekend. Thanks Kamal for hosting Nic and I. It was a great trip.

Tomorrow is another good day of training then thursday it is off to Quebec to race Cote Du Lac ITU on Saturday.


The Beasts ready to Depart

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Is this dying?

What is wrong with me....when i bend down to tie my shoes my head spins, when a take a deep breath through my nose my head hurts, my neck is unbelievably tight and I generally just feel like ass.

Things started to brew up on friday and have progressed till today...time to get the doc to check it out.

This morning's swim was the best workout today but even that had a mediocre feel to it. On the bike I was useless, sitting in or getting dropped like a wuss. Then i proceeded to try to run off the bike and made it 20' before dizzying out, at base effort!!!

Now i am sitting here eating ice cream trying to feel sorry for myself.

Doctors out there send me a diagnosis and a fast track plan back to normal.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Legless

If feels like i have no legs right now....seriously.

Tonight was the Hilly Newton Heights Crit. Being that it is lighter out later now they decided to punish us with 25 laps. The loop is 1.7k and the elevation gain per lap is 40m or 130ft. Hmmm 25x130 = 3250ft of climbing at threshold or above. Legs, don't worry you wont see a pair of bike shorts for at least 1 day....they aren't happy.

The race went well though I hung in longer than ever. Lap 19 i got spit out from the lead group of 5. A-Mac finished 2nd, and myself 5th, not bad for a couple of triathletes.

The ride home was anything but a cool down. Just past the mail boxes on Wallace drive Shayleigh (spelling), A-Mac's girl suddenly attacks....I look over at Andrew and say "well, she is your girlfriend you chase her down." She rode very well also taking 3rd i think overall in the B group.

How hot was it here today in Victoria (record heat) try SIX bottles hot.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Repercussions of Brownlee

Sunday Morning I awoke at 7 and flipped on the live feed from the WCS #2 in Madrid. I missed both races but caught the mens award ceremony to see the baby faced Brownlee on the top step. A dominating race they were calling it (I later watched the whole race and wow that was dominating). Little did I know how this result would directly affect me some 45 minutes later.....

Roll up to Thetis Lake to meet Simon, Adam, Jp, and Austin for a 90' adventure run through the trails. Chit chat about the race for a bit and we set off warming up....

About 5 minutes in the warm up is over and the pace increases slightly. We hit the hilly highway trial that takes us to Phelps road and the pace increase a little more...a little more and I am struggling to hang on....a little more and I am in a few sweat....a little more and Simon, Adam and Austin appear to be shrinking quite quickly before my eyes...a little more and they are gone.

Brownlee apparently had light the fire for Simon that morning. He is ready to go, look out in Washington/Des Moines.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Operation BATMAN

After the Austin ITU my homestay, John, took me back down to the race site. We had some dinner and then walked over to Congress Bridge before dusk. People were gathered watching a performer who was quite good. Funny and talented, he had a great one liner when a runner jogged by right in front of him. "You can't run from your problems" he says. I found it funny.

Quite a crowd had gathered near the end of his show, but they were here for another reason...to see the bats!

COngress bridge houses the largest Urban Bat Colony in the World from March to October. THe bats roost underneath the 300m span bridge. How many bats do you think can fit in 300m....try 7 million!

As dusk hit, the chirping increased and a couple bats started to fly out. Then came the masses, it looked like about 4 or 5 steady streams of bats coming out to hunt in the night. THese streams of bats went on for, no exaggeration, 25-30 minutes!

Taking photos under the bridge I could feel some rain hitting me...wait it can't rain under a bridge? Bat piss! Wow you can't even see it, but you can feel it.

Here is what I collected from the endeavour:


A Tex Mex Burrito bigger than yo Face


Many Bats...Many




video

Monday, May 25, 2009

CapTex ITU Pan-Am CUp Report

Back home from the race site and about to head out for some Comfort TexMex for dinner, but before I dash out and quick synopsis of what went down today:

Before I start I need to congradulate Stevo Kilshaw on a FANTASTIC performance at the LifeSport Shawnigan Half this weekend. What a race man, you are the man of men. How does that feel baby?

Ok, on to my race today in southern Texas yip yip. Temp was 33 i think for the start. Light winds and clear skies. The water temp was just right at about 22C.

Light warmup besides a good swim before the start as to not get too hot before the start. As for the start, well this was perhaps the only thing the race staff slipped up. It was changed from a dock dive start to a deep water start. The rope however that they had strung between two canoes was only long enough for about 20 guys to line up, not the 55 that were chomping at the bit while treading water.

Horn went off and I had a great start, avoiding most of the contact. I started right beside Barrett Brandon and pretty much swam beside him for the entire swim. It was a swimmers field here with 4 guys including AMac coming out with about i think 20s on the next group which I was in. This might have been one of my best swims to date.

A decent T1 and I get rolling right away on the bike. Over the bridge with Brandon, Limmkeman and O'Grady from NZL I took the first corner agressively and gapped them. I then proceeded to pump it H'Core up to Ethan Brown who was on his own as well. The two of us worked like clockwork to catch another group of 3 including Collins, Fernandez and Darling that had splintered off the front 4 of Fleishmann,Dye,Van Akkeren and McCartney in T1. With Collins the group had added horsepower but the other two were not much help. We rode for about 1 lap before catching AMac who had fallen off the lead 4. We weren't able to gain on the front 3 and were eventually caught on the 3.5 laps of 5 by the main group of about 20. Once caught I took a breather and regrouped. The remainder of the ride was not bad but then things got nasty.....

ON the back stretch of the final lap, complete straight a-way, someone 5th or 6th wheel rubbed and went down. Unable to avoid the carnage that ensued I proceeded to ride over the guy in front of me and then have 4 guys ride over my back as i skidded on the tarmac.

....get up see 8 or 9 carbon bikes on the deck, look around...nope not that one, nope , nope, ahhhh there you are. Put the chain back on and remount. Open up the front brake cause the wheel is now rubbing and get rolling again. Determined to make this race count I rode into T2 probably about 45s off the guys who avoided the bedlam.

On the run I built it each lap, reeling in 6 or 7 guys in front to finish somewhere around 11th or 12th i think.

Tough day for all, but am really happy with how things went here today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't Mess with Texas

Here are some photos from my short time here in Austin. I've really enjoyed the time here so far. The city combines texas flare with great scenery and fabulous training.
One morning I did a run along the river trails and I don't think I've seen so many people out exercising since stanley park. The city even sets up free hydration stations for the runners, cyclist to combat the heat that apparently isn't even hot yet! On to some photos:


Saturday Morning Austin Farmers Market, Bison Burritos were tasty.



Downtown Austin, 5th and Guadalupe.


Lance's Tour de California Comeback Aresenal at Mellow Johnny's



Another weapon from the Tour days




This was an interesting spot. JP and I swam here on Friday. Barton Springs is a natural fed spring that is 1/8mile or 200m long. Busy place and at one end it is shallow so it makes for great open water siting practice when you near the waders. Being fed from a spring the water temp is constant at 70 degrees 12months of the year, so you can swim OW on new years day if you want and not have to join the polar bear club.


They have a pretty classic diving board as well that had one great guy double bounce off it to a belly flop.




I felt like the paparazzi when I snapped this photo of the Armstrong Manner. He is in the Giro now though so I wasn't asked to surrender my camera.



View of the Downtown from the West on top of Mt. Bonnel



Looking down on Lake Austin from Mt. Bonnel lookout




Mt. Bonnel siting rocks. You could spend hours out here watching the wake boarders, sail boats, and seadoos.



Today JP and I met up for a swim at the Deep Eddy pool. Another beauty, with an obscure distance of 100ft (33m) per length. Fed from a spring as well.

More Oklahoma Photos


Me looking like I need the can. I had actually just got off the can in this photo after suffering some bad sort of gastro-intestinal bout post race. Christian was very kind to let me borrow his scooter to get to and from the pool.



Christian pumping out some serious watts to beat the sunset home!




A hitching Post! Yup my first viewing of a real hitching post...these guys had just pulled up on their steeds.



Finding some great riding with the OKC Tri Boys



Christian and Alicia showed me around the OU campus one night with Harvey. Beautiful campus with many classic buildings. The football stadium was giganormous.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Make ya slap ya ooooold Pappy!

My parents visited Austin some years ago and when they came back a popular catch phrase in our home become "Make ya slap ya ooooold pappy!" It stemmed from a BBQ flyer they saw while down in the Texas Capital. I think it refers to slapping meat on the grill but maybe there is much more to it than that.

Years later I am in Austin, TX getting ready for the CapTex Triathlon/ ITU Pan-American Cup being held here on Memorial Day. I have only been here since Wednesday but have seen quite a lot of the area. My homestay, John, works as a geologist and I can see why in a place like this. The City rests on either side of the Colorado "river" which has been carved out of limestone. The "river" is now a series of damned lakes. Beautiful lakes!

The topography here is off the charts. Constant steep rolling hills encompass the entire area. Mt. Bonnell is a great lookout of the entire region which we had a look at yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday, I had one of those days where you really ask yourself, Am I really doing this?

Am I really standing outside Lance Armstrong's House?

Am I really swimming in this outdoor spring fed pool under the Texas Sun?

Am I really riding up a 30% grade hill?

Am I really doing this....Yes I am!

This trip has made me realize how lucky I am to be able to travel to so many new places, and get the full experience from wonderful hosts.

I hope to redeem myself on the run this weekend. Sure to be another great race with a good field.

More later, with photos to follow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

OKC report

Oklahoma City hosted the Juniour, U23 and elite Pan-American Championships over the weekend at the Chesapeake Boathouse in Oklahoma City.

Canada did very well as a nation, the juniours did especially well showing great form with 3 podium performances (kyla Coates 1st, Marianne Hogan 2nd, Connor Hammond 2nd).

In the elite mens race I found myself out to a great start in the swim, quickly onto the reed train on the left. Around the 400m I got in some contact and got gapped from the front group. I did well to remain just off the back of the group for the remaining 1000m. Coming out of the water Andrew McCartney lead the entire field with the likes of Olympians Hunter Kemper and Big Matty Reed on his heels. I was about 10 seconds off the back but had a great T1 and caught on quickly on the very windy bike. During T1 and the first couple k of the bike 6 guys pulled away and had about 25s on the second group after the first lap. Ok, i thought if we work hard we can perhaps bridge up. Well, no this did not work so well. We had some strong cyclists in the group but the organization of the echelon was scattered with the wind. The 25s lead ballooned into 3' coming off the bike and to make matters worse we were caught by the big third group on the last lap.

Onto the run I had another great transition and headed out first in the chase. I went out too hard though and payed for it at the end of the run. Once again I was hampered by upper rib/diaphragm cramps that riddled my last lap to a slower pace. Four guys went by me on the last lap!!

Not a bad first race, but it was a exciting, fast and am I very happy with the results of our juniours, the future looks bright!


Kyla and Marianne on the podium!


Two of the three Andrew's on the Run

The next day AP and I got to watch our homestay couple, Christian and Alicia, race the age-group Olympic. It was Alicia's first Olympic race! Christian ended up 3rd overall and 2nd in his age group with the fastest swim on the day! Alicia raced to 2nd in her age-group as well. A pretty good one-two punch.

After the race we went out for dinner. Things get a little fuzzy there as a wave of stomach pain and diarrhea ensued throughout the night. I can't pin point it but it could have been anything from the river water to something in the post race food to the 5 donuts i ate in the morning. I am just extremely glad it has past and I can now rehydrate myself.

Up next, Austin ITU on the 25th.


Alicia on the podium


Christian riping into T2


The swim exit


The venue from the bridge


AP supervising the wetsuit application