Thursday, September 02, 2010


To perform well in endurance sport you need a number of things. Too many to list here, but an area that I've really noticed the last while is committment. It sounds simple, but it's not.

It is not easy because to be committed you need to be darn right selfish at times. Turning down friends offers to ski, fish, etc. is hard to do.

There are many aspects to commitment that add to it's complexity as well. Commitment to your teammates, to your coach, to your country, and to yourself.

It's the last one that is truly the hardest. You are your toughest critic. There is no hiding from yourself.

If committment to yourself can be reached then your at the starting line. Then it will just take years of that commitment day in day out.

My season is running into October this year as I look to make up for some missed racing in June/July/August. With few training partners at the moment, commitment can't be stressed enough.

To finish here, I'd like to look at a case of commitment that has blossomed into something quite impressive this year. Although I'm sure for Matt Chrabot the commitment started well before Huatulco 2009, it was at this race that he showcased it to the ITU world.
On a course such as Huatulco, many thought Matt was committing suicide on the bike as he pulled away. To Matt though he was committing to himself and to winning. Every race since he has committed to the same plan; Sydney, Madrid, Kitzbuhel and most recently Budapest there is never any fear in commitment.

This picture has become a staple beside me on the trainer and treadmill these days to remind me of what can be accomplished with the right commitment....

Into the Wild

On Monday Noa and I returned from a great 'time away' from all things Victoria. We headed up to the interior to visit some family and friends. Salmon Arm and Revelstoke were both in shoulder season, not quite Fall but Chilly summer for sure.

Mhairi and Tim made us feel more than welcome as we enjoyed our time fully with them and the ever inquisitive Stella-Bean. Wednesday we had Stella all to ourselves and she did not disappoint with some knee slapping moments.

Off to Revelstoke for the weekend and a good visit with Dad. That town sure is changing, i must say though that I like it! Many neat coffee shops/bakeries opening up along with perhaps the best oil/vinegar/spice specialty shop ever called Crescendo, mmmm truffle oil. Sunday was the Mt. Revelstoke Steamer but alas I did not partake in the festivities, i was too scared that Catherine Pendrel, fresh off claiming the Overall WC Title, would beat me!

Saturday though I did have a great long ride. Here is my route. It is a beautiful ride. I recommend it to anyone visiting the area. It takes you from downtown Revy out along hwy 23 South to the Shelter Bay Ferry. If your really up for a good one, get on the ferry and then ride off it to Nakusp where there is a stellar hotsprings to realx in afterwards. You would need a lift back though, that wouldn't be happening after soft legs in the springs.

I had some intervals to do on the ride. Steady aerobic work and long. There is hardly any traffic or other riders on this stretch of Hwy. It was cold, damp and I was alone. I really began to take in my surroundings, feeling truly Canadian. For the last interval I had WLM (shivers, I know) on repeat while I looped the following images through my head.

Lumber Jack
Back Bacon
Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup drizzling over Back Bacon
Stick and Puck
Lone Wolf
Beaver Dam
JM Stomping the Podium
Lumber Jack....

To be honest, in that interval I have never felt more Canadian. I suddenly became overwhelmed at how lucky we all are as Canadians to take in this beautiful country each and every day, 100%.

Little over a week till Tuscaloosa. Keeping the head down and chopping.

Arriving Back Home

Removing the Crutch

As Tuscaloosa fast approaches I find myself realizing how fast the swim is going to be. This has the potential to be the fastest/toughest swim i've ever done in a race period. There are faster swimmers here (McLarty, Dye, Collins, Fleischmann, the list goes on) than the worlds cups i've done in a smaller/diverse field making it harder to hide in the pack. Looks like one loop from what I can gather with a straight shot 600m to the first bouy. All these aspects are gonna make it strung out and ON!

That being said, each swim workout leading up to this race takes on added importance to be done correctly and made the most of. At the beginning of this week I noticed one set in partiuclar on the program that caught my attention as the key to the key sessions, 8x300m Z4 (1500m TT pace). Mon-Wed held some key workouts as well, all making this set seem that much more important to be done with some fatigue.

Yesterday I found myself saying to myself...'8x300m its not that bad, if you get tired you can always use the crutch and pull a couple' Letting this thought enter my mind was one flaw, but actually believing it was worse. Later that night I went back on myself and stated 'What are you thinking? No, no pulling, even if you've sunk to the bottom your swimming that set througout. And dammit your gonna swim it well!'. The crutch had been removed. No crutches.

So, this morning after a good warmup, the ever positive DWL and I hit the set with a focused mindset to GET THE WORK DONE AND DO IT WELL! Although we did not have the ideal set up of swimming side by side there was a definite connection during the set that fueled both of us. Even though I saw Derek only at turns and for 20s at the wall each rep I knew as I swam that there was a guy 10m ahead in the same situation doing the same work.

It was no surprise that throughout the set this connection grew. When all was said and done we had completed perhaps the most consistent endurance set for both of us this year.

Money in the bank and laughing all the way there....