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.

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.

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.

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 @

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


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.