Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cabbage Rolls and Borsch

This is a bit of a random post but in last few days different events have linked together around 'The Ukraine' so it's worth sharing.

I suppose i'll start by mentioning how impressed I am with the development of triathlon this past year in 'The Ukraine'. For some time their lone soldier and flagship athlete was Volodymyr Polikarpenko. Simon shared a story of Volodymyr just yesterday about how he grew up in a factory tower room as a kid. This season however I've noticed several Ukraine athletes having respectable finishes on not just the ITU circuit but also 70.3 and Ironman. To name just a few you have: Danylo Sapunov, Yuliya Sapunova, Maxim Kriat, Andriy Glushchenko, Rostyslav Pevtsov, Oleksiy Syutkin, and most recent IMC winner Viktor Zyemtsev.

If I watch some of these athletes swim strokes and running forms I find it hard to fathom how they can swim/run so fast. This is not a jab by any means, rather a compliment. You see I believe the way they do it is through pure grit and suffering. They have grown up and matured with less offerings than the Western world, or even their neighbour Russia, and hence have mastered the art of 'getting the work done' at any cause. This is all just a theory, it could very well be the result of their delicious native cuisine.....mmmmm cabbage rolls.

They did have 3 men at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 which you may not have been aware of although I think they only qualified 2 and were given another invitation slot. Nontheless, in 2 years time they most certainly will be another country on the growing list of nations fighting for 3 spots without a doubt.

So Ukraine, I salute you.

Now the real reason for this post, an excuse to play yet again my favourite Seinfield moment...Kramer had many ingenious ideas, some which I have modeled my life after, however on this one he was wrong, in both a Risk and Triathlon sense.

Aside: Some of Kramers Best Business Ideas

- A pizza place where you make your own pie. "We give you the dough, you smash it, you pound it, you fling it up in the air, and then you get to put your sauce, and you get to sprinkle your cheese and then you slide it into the oven

- A roll-out tie dispenser. "You're in a restaurant. You got a very big meeting coming up. Oh man! You got mustard on your tie! You just tear it off and you got a new one right here. Then, you're gone

- A cologne that smells like the beach.

- A coffee table book. About coffee tables, with little legs and a built-in coaster on the cover.

- A brassiere for men. Inspired by Frank's man-breasts. Named "The Bro" by Kramer but "The Manssier" by Frank. "Bro's no good, too ethnic."(Frank)

- A restaurant named "PB&J's". Serving only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

- A car with a periscope installed. To help urban drivers with navigation.

- A bladder system. "It's not for people, it's for oil tankers!"(

- A bottle containing both mustard and ketchup.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Apple Video

How bout them Apples?

"When the time comes, you'll be able to run" N. Deutsch

The timing for me and this race could not have worked better. A week earlier and I might not have started, and a week later would have just been too long to wait.

The last while has been a time where i've discovered more about myself in this sport than in all years past. Having to give up an opportunity to race in Europe was very tough and felt like I was missing out on a huge development step. But staying at home and applying myself to the task at hand has opened up a path to race into the later half of this season.

Paulo did a great job of instilling confidence in me for this race and I feel the run progression we made together was coordinated to a T. I was more nervous for the Tuesday leading up to the race than on raceday. Tuesday had a motorpacing workout which went into a 2k run build. This would be the first pace effort for me in over two months. Relieved that i ran pain free, things began to fall into place throughout the rest of the week.

Perhaps 2 sports to focus on this last while has been a blessing. I've felt i've made large technical gains in my pedal and swim stroke with the help of Rick and Houshang. This has helped to create a more efficient one two platform.

On to the race...

What a great time. Full startlist was bound to happen at the Apple sometime. The organization and execution is World Cup calibre.

70 guys on tugboat beach. Starting on the right side i knew three key packs would emerge, one lead by Simon to the right, two lead by Bird/Darling to the left. That is exactly what happened with a merge happening just before the first can 250m out. The pace lifted after the run out and this managed to created a gap for about 12 of us at the exit.

On to the bike Darling and Fernandes had a small gap that was reeled in at the bottom of knox lead by Whitfield and Bird. At the top of the climb the group had emerged as Whitfield,Jones,Bird,Fernandes,Sexton,Bechtel,Bredschneider,Darling and myself.

Very impressed by Bredschneider. First year out of juniour and he stuck up that first climb well. A small error of closing a gap before the second climb was his undoing. You don't need to close that next time. Leave it for Mr. W :)

After the first lap I began to feel amazing in saddle. Relaxed, fluid and strong. The group worked well for the remainder, well everyone from above the equator that is. I felt we could have cut the group to an all Canadian affair perhaps if some more effort had been laid down on the later climbs but the consensus seemed to be keep it steady.

We came into T2 with about a 2 minute gap on the chase, which was a nice reward for our coordinated efforts.

First out of transition I quickly assessed how things felt in my knee. A niggle was there but certainly nothing hindersome. The first two laps went by quickly as Jon Bird and I ran together about 45s back of the front 4 of whitfield,jones,fernandes and darling. Sexton had come by us as well and was inbetween. At 6k I bluffed and put in a surge on Jon. I didn't know what would happen, but i knew i would not be able to stay even paced on the back half of the run. The final two laps i began to fade as expected. I was just able to hang on to 6th/3rd CAN as AP (nice run) and Jon closed in on me over the final K.

Surprised with what water running and low effort grass running had produced I am happy with this race and ready now to begin building my run fitness back up.

The fall will hopefully have three races in store:

Sept 25th Tuscaloosa ITU
Oct. 10th Huatulco WC (pending standards and qualification)
Oct. 17th Puerto vallarta Pan-American Champs

Thank you to Michele Rule for hosting Noa and I again this year in beautiful K-town. Thank you to all those who braved the wet weather to cheer us all on and a big thanks to Blair and the Muldoons for their encouraging presence and motivation.

This week will be Simon and Kyles last time here before heading over to prep and acclimate for the GF. I'll do my best to push them.