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


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


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.