Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

School is finally over!!

I finally finished my undergrad (still waiting on one more grade, but all my exams seemed to go well), and am moving on to real life. Not much has happened since my last post just grinding away at training and making sure I finished school this year and didn't have to come back for another semester.

Back in November I went to Guelph for a talent id day, and we did a 400m free time trial and then a 3k run. In the 400 I miscounted and stopped at 350m then had to sprint the last 50m. I still managed to pb by 1 second and I swam a 5:00. It was a bit of a heart breaker because I know I could have broken 5 for my first time had I not stopped. Next up was the 3k. I had not run a 3k in about 5 years, and the last one I ran was not very pretty. My goal was 9 flat as this has been a goal since grade 9, but my best is 9:30 from a 5k. There were pacers going out at 9 flat so I thought I would just sit in and follow. Now November is not the best time for running fast, most of my time has been spent in the pool, and I haven't done workouts conducive for a good 3k in forever as everything has been geared toward the 10k. The first couple laps were a shock to my legs having to run that fast and we went through the first k in 3:01. After that I moved to the front and put in a bit of a surge to get us back on pace. This was a mistake though because I was really starting to feel it at 2k (6:00ish). I died off in the last k and came home in 9:09. Both good results for November and I know I am only getting faster. Last year my fastest 400 was 5:05 so I am already about 5 seconds faster there.

Over the holidays I am going to be spending a couple days in St. George at Angela's and then a couple days in Chatham at my parents', but we have to be back in London for the 28th to start swim camp. I am getting the awesome opportunity to do swim camp with the Western Varsity swimmers that are not going to Costa Rica. There is going to be some big swim mileage, and I hope my arms do not fall off.

My goal now that I am done school is to keep this updated a bit more often. Stay tuned after Christmas for my early 2013 race schedule as well as reviews of some of the products I used in 2012.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Off-Season Dilly Daddling

School is on and the real racing is over. I am sorry to have left my readers (does anyone read this regularly) for such a long time, but school is on and so are all the new seasons of various tv shows. The only reason I am currently writing this is because I am procrastinating studying for a geography mid-term that I have on Tuesday. I also though this would be a good day to blog as we had a swim time trial as well as some lactate testing on the bike.

After Lakeside we took a couple weeks of down time, but never took time completely off with no swim bike run activity. I have been giving an awesome opportunity by Ken Fitzpatrick to swim with the Western varsity and boy has it been hard chasing these speedy fishes around the pool. The good news is my swim times are already starting to improve. Today I cruised a 100 to get the feel of pacing for the 400 then gave it a go in the 400. I was 4 seconds faster than I was in March, but in March I was rested and tapered where today I was the complete opposite (14x200 on 3 yesterday morning and a 40 minute run with 5 minutes at 10k pace in the evening).

The running is going well, but it has been put on the back burner a bit with the swimming rampped up. I am feeling just as fast though and that was confirmed by lactate testing with Cliff a couple weeks ago.

Cycling is our other area of focus this year. In races this year I was losing a lot of time on the bike, and this was really obvious in Lakeside when I couldn't run down guys I had beat earlier in the year because they were just to far up the road. This winter I am going to be riding at the Forest City Velodrome, and I recently added a new member to bike family. I rode on the velodrome a bit a few years ago, and I am looking forward to crank it with some real cyclists as well as some tri folks.

I hope everyone's off-season is going well and you have managed to stay in shape over Thanksgiving. Only one more food holiday to make it through.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lakeside Pre-race: The Showdown

Tomorrow morning will be the grand finally of the MultiSport Canada Triathlon Series. Like most TV series this season finally is promising to be a good one with numerous story lines to follow. The first and most important will be the race that morning. This could be one of the most stacked field in MSC history with Richard Pady, Cody Beals, Andrew Bolton, Keith Marchant, Jim Sunners, Myself, and I am sure I am missing some. Then we have the race within the race for the money. For the big money prize Richard and Cody will be battling head to head for a $1000 pay check, talk about pressure. Behind them there is going to be a battle for who gets the third place pay out of $500 with 20 points separating 3-5 with my self being down 105 points. However, I am the only one yet to do the 4 races, and I have the potential to be the biggest mover. You also can't forget the women's race with Angela Quick and Paolina Allen going for the big prize.

If you have ever read Put Down and Prognostications, of CIS XC, here is my (biased and not well researched) view of tomorrow's grand finally. I will do it in order of the way the standings are now.

1. Richard Pady - If the award went to who has the nicest wheels in the field Richard wins hands down. However, it doesn't and he is going to have to ride those wheels hard to get the win. Probably the most outstanding resume in the field dating back to before I could even walk. Richard has had the fastest bike split at 3 races this season and looking for him to back up a strong swim with an even stronger bike. With Derek Quick not racing Pady could lead out of the water and hold this right through t2. At Wasaga he took the lead on the bike and didn't look back. He has to watch out for fleet footed Beals chasing him down.

2. Cody Beals - Mr. Consistent Cody Beals has placed 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 3rd in his MSC races this year. After bursting onto the scene with a 33:56 10k at Huronia, he has been posting fast run splits everywhere he goes. With a strong swim, Beals has to hope to have a strong bike to stay close to Pady and give himself a chance to take the win and the money.

3. Andrew "I race every weekend" Bolton has done the most races in the series this season, but to bad for him they only take your best four. Andrew doesn't have the monster bike of Pady or the quick feet like Beals, but he puts together a strong race from start to finish. Look for him to be near the top in all three disciplines.

4. Mark Linseman - I am not sure if Mark is going to be racing tomorrow or not. If he is, he is another strong cyclist that will be hoping to get away during the bike section. The question will be how well has he recovered from 70.3 Muskoka where he placed a strong seventh. Everyone else only race a 5k/30k/5k duathlon last weekend.

5. Derek Quick - Uber swimmer of the series Derek Quick will not be racing Sunday because he had bigger fish to fry (is it similar to cannibalism when a fish eats a fish?) in Buffalo. Beals and myself should be glad he isn't there because there is no chance of him pulling Pady with him in the swim.

6. Jim Sunners - Can the old and wise beat the fire power of the young guns? We will see come Sunday.

7. Alex VanderLinden - I am the only one that hasn't done 4 races and have the most to gain (or lose) out there tomorrow. After a rough race at Huronia I will be looking to have a strong swim, and put myself in contention from the beginning. A top 3 moves me into 3rd in the series, but that could be a tall order in this stacked field. I am probably the weakest cyclist in the group, and will be looking to make my move on the run.

Not Part of the series is Keith Marchant of Burlington. Usually one to race the Subaru Triathlon Series Keith has crossed over to add another twist to the race. Keith was 4th in Bracebridge behind Beals, Bolton, and Linseman, but ahead of Pady who was 5th. Keith was another one to race a 70.3 last weekend but he was at Vegas World Champs, will he be recovered from the race and travel? just another question that needs to be asked.

There also could be an age grouper who jumps in the mix. Francois Cote did this in Huronia where he placed second in a sprint finish. It doesn't look like he is registered, but could another take his place.

My prediction (hopes) is that Pady will be leading off the bike with myself and Cody trying to chase him down. I am hoping we have enough room to catch him and we have a 3 up sprint for the win.

It has been a wonderful season, and I am quite sad it has to come to an end.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wasaga Typhoon Race Report

The season is quickly coming to an end and a new training cycle will be beginning soon. There is still one more race to go at the MSC Lakeside Triathlon, but on Saturday I raced their event in Wasaga Beach. The weather this summer has been amazing for training, but quite a few of my races have been in nasty conditions. This was by far the worst and unfortunately the Olympic distance triathlon got converted to a 5k/30k/5k duathlon. While I am a stronger runner than swimmer I don't enjoy duathlons very much and my legs hate them.

The first run started on the beach and we had to run along the sand for about 400m before turning onto the road. This was an interesting way to start and it reminded me of Chariots of Fire. I didn't want to go out to fast, but I knew it would be easier to run at the front before the packed sand got chewed up.

Every picture from the start line I am looking at the ground. Not sure if I am praying I don't fall on the bike or just focused.

The first run went very well. I knew Cody Beals and I were the strongest runners in the field, and if I stayed with him we would have a decent lead starting the bike. I felt very comfortable and based on recent track workouts I figured we were around 16:30. Turned out I was 16:34. I put a small surge in coming down the home stretch because I wasn't sure if there would be 10 bonus points for each leg or not.

First out of transition.

I knew the bike was going to be tough with all the cyclist chasing us so I wanted to just get out and settle into a strong pace. Boy is it a different mental game when you are riding near the front. The first 6kish felt really good and I was able to set my own pace. After this though I was forced to race the race if I wanted a chance to win. Cody passed me around this time and I forced myself to stay with him. I knew I could hang with him because we had similar bike splits at Huronia. Soon after that Richard Pady flew passed us. There was no way I could hang with Richard, but I hoped he was burning all his matches trying to get a buffer for the run. Not much happened on the ride back in except the rain picking up. Francois managed to catch Cody and I right before transition and the three of us came in together.

Ankle deep water for much of the run.

Going out on the second run I knew I was going to have to run fast if I wanted to catch Richard and get away from Cody and Francois. The first kilometer I went out flying and it was probably around 3 flat which is much faster than I know I can run, but I hoped it would put some doubt in my competition.  After that I settled into a quick pace and just focused on keeping my form strong. I put in a surge around 3k and did not look back after that. I managed to get a gap on Cody, but my 16:32 was not fast enough to catch Richard, and I ended up second. 
Coming down the home stretch.

Overall it was a great race despite the weather, and I was glad it didn't get cancelled. Next up will be Lakeside to close out the season. Hopefully all these guys will be at Lakeside as well and we can have a showdown.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mental Toughness

Well the last couple weeks have been tough to say the least. You always hear about mental toughness and motivation, and I think people just begin to believe that elite athletes are always at the top of their game physically and mentally. This is not the case, and luckily I saw something from Macca confirming this during a time when I was struggling to stay focused.

I find August is a tough month. The end of the season is near, and it seems like the body is just calling for a break from the intensity of the race season. After Knoxville the main focus of this season was the Magog Continental Cup, and after I finished it was like my body went into cruise control. Workouts the last month have been all over the place. One day the lifeguards are probably thinking about jumping in to save me and the next I am swimming pb's.

The good thing is no matter what kind of lull you go through that fitness is there somewhere; you might just need to change things up a bit. That is what we did last week. I was thinking about racing Bracebridge this weekend, but decided I need to get in a solid block of training. So instead of racing, Saturday was my highest volume day I have done this year (5 hours) and the swimming volume this week was up'd as well.

I have 3 weeks until Wasaga to get the body going. The Recharge With Milk series is really spicing up, and it looks like it is going to be a close finish in the points race. Hopefully I can come up with a couple end of season victories to get on the top step. It has been a great summer racing some really strong guys, and hopefully it will continue next year.

Like always I have to thank my sponsors for allowing me to do what I love, and Cliff for leading the way.

PS I am doing a relay at the Bulldog Triathlon, a little home town gem. If anyone else wants to put in a team bring it on ha.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Magog Report

Last weekend I was in Magog, Quebec for my first draft legal race. This race has been on and off the schedule since last summer depending on how my swimming was going. After Knoxville I was worried that I was not going to be able to swim fast enough to keep myself in the race, but I really wanted to get some experience in the draft legal format. With Magog being a 5 lap bike course I knew I would have a better chance of not being lapped than a race like Buffalo which is 8 laps.  Cliff, my brother, and I traveled up Thursday, spent the night just outside Montreal, and arrived in Magog early Friday morning. Upon arrival we drove the bike course then suited up for a short ride and run to shake out the legs after sitting in the car. I knew the bike course would be challenging, especially the 4 and 5 laps, with one bigger climb and a couple rollers, but the run course was 4, pancake flat loops. That afternoon was a quick swim to find landmarks for sighting and the athletes meeting. I thought I accidentally went to a meeting for a volleyball tournament because it seemed like I was the shortest guy there and surprisingly not the skinniest.

The elite men's race was not supposed to start until 11:45, and I ended up waking up early so I went out for an easy run in the morning to get the legs ready to rock and roll. We rolled down to the race site around 10 so we could catch the start of the Women's race, but the races had been delayed in the morning so we were about 30 minutes behind schedule. No biggie, something is always bound to not go according to plan so you just adapt and move on. I found a nice tree by the start line and got off my feet. Once the girls were out on the bike course we were able to set up our transition area and start warming up. I felt completely calm and cool before the race, compared to Knoxville where I was nervous and antsy. Warming up I was feeling great and knew it would be a solid race.

The Swim
Damn, I was really hoping to swim faster. 3:30 down on the main pack and 3 minutes on the chase pack is nearly impossible to shut down. I felt like I had a decent swim and the last 1/3 of the race I found some feet to draft in on. Coming out I was glad to see some guys around me, and I just hoped some of them would be able to ride.

The Bike
40k of riding scared for my life. The only goal coming into the race was not to get lapped out. Being down by 3:30 I thought we would be safe, but I did not want to take any risks so I went straight to the front of our group and was not going to wait for anyone. Good thing I did because the guys that came out of the water behind us and one guy from our group got lapped. Myself and one other guy were working well together for the first two laps and gaining on a couple guys ahead of us but going up one of the smaller hills he dropped off. I kept riding on and picked off one more guy. While I was hammering away the guys that had dropped off formed a pack of about 6 and started gaining on me. Starting the last lap I saw they had almost caught me, and I had the option of keep hammering and get caught by the end of the lap or ease up a bit and wait for them to catch me. I decided to ease up a bit as this would allow me to save up the legs a bit for the run and gain some experience in a pack as that was what this race was all about.

The Run
After a bit of a rough t2 (I have struggled with my running shoes all year) I was out on the run. The 4 lap run course had its pros and cons. Out and back 4 times is mind numbing and tough to stay focused on the race at hand, but it was nice to have crowd support all along the course when you feel like dying. Two guys that were a lap ahead caught me just after I started the run so I attempted to stay with them for a bit, but they ended up running 32 mid and 33 low which ended up being a bit fast for me. However, they pulled me up to a guy that was on the same lap as me. We ran together for most of the 3rd and 4th lap, but after hitting the turn around on the last lap I put in a surge got away. After losing a sprint finish a couple weeks ago I was not going to let it come down to a sprint again. I ended up running about 10s faster than Huronia. It is tough to compare races though especially when trying to compare draft legal vs non-drafting.

Next up will be the Tecumseh Triathlon. This is a solid local race with some prize money that usually draws out some of the stronger triathletes in Ontario and Michigan. Time to get back on the tt bike.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back At It

I feel like every post begins with me saying I am going to try to blog more often, but I am a busy guy so blogging sometimes falls on the back burner.

Since my last update not much has changed. Still training away and putting in hours at MultiSport Zone so I can pay for all my racing and equipment. Training has been going really well with one minor hiccup last week when my ankle/Achilles flared up after running on some gravel roads. Luckily Jenn Entwistle fixed me up and gave me the go ahead to race this past weekend at MultiSport Canada Huronia Olympic distance triathlon.

With nasty weather rolling in overnight we were in for an interesting race. Luckily I arrived early on Friday and was able to drive the course. I knew there would be some slick corners, and I would have to be a bit cautious. 

With fear of thunderstorms rolling in the swim was shortened to two loops and when this was done the course went from 1500m to about 1400m. I wanted a proper 1500m so I made sure to swim all over the place. Really I just could not sight to save my life which is weird because usually I am pretty decent at swimming straight. I came out in 19:51 which is the slowest pace I have swam this year. However, I did not know the course was short until after so when I heard 19:50 I was like damn I am flying lets get rolling on the bike.

Coach Cliff wanted some power data from this race so he lent me his powertap disc with the instructions of staying around 220w. Racing with power is so much easier than RPE especially on a hilly course like this one. I was a bit below the goal of 220w as my average was 210w with a normalized power of 215w for a time of 1:05:23 for 40.6k. The first 5k of the course were pretty much uphill and struggled to get into a rhythm here. After that though I managed to lock in and push away. Managed to stay upright through the slick corners even though my rear wheel did start to slide out on one corner. Unfortunately not everyone was so lucky and there was quite a bit of road rash and stories after the race.

Coming into the run I was in a similar position being down approximately 3 minutes on the leaders. I did not panic just made sure to get out at a strong pace. I thought the run was tougher than the bike with some short steep rollers where you would go down, cross a slick wooden bridge, and then back up. If you have ever run a course like this you know how hard it can be to get in a rhythm and unlike the bike there is no power meter for running. At about 3k I passed fellow MultiSport Zone athlete Derek Quick, and he told me the others were just up the road. This was one of the more competitive run fields I have seen at an Ontario race with 8 of the top 10 running under 40 minutes. Unfortunately my 34:38 was only good enough to lose a sprint finish for 2nd.

Next up is my first ITU Continental Cup in Magog, Quebec in a week and a half. I am looking forward to racing some of the best young triathletes in Canada as this is the Canadian U23 National Championships.

I am off to the track to crush some intervals. I am going to try and post a couple more updates before Magog.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Victoria's Du and Woodstock Race Reports

I thought I would give you guys a little update on where I am in life. Since the last time I posted I have been super busy training, racing, and working in the shop. My training schedule has been all over the place this month with the only group swim being 8:45pm-9:45pm and trying to fit in other workouts as well. A good example is Tuesdays where I work from 10am-6pm, hit the track from 6:30 to about 8 and then quickly grab some food and get to the pool for 8:45. I have an awesome group to work with though, and if they are doing it with me I can't complain to much. As for races I have done 2 since I last updated,  Victoria's Duathlon and  MultiSport Canada Recharge With Milk Woodstock Triathlon.

I will start with Victoria's Du. Duathlons hurt, the end!

Now Woodstock. This was my 3rd time doing this race, and I like to use it as a guide to check early season fitness after Knoxville. Each year I have moved up the finishing order and was hoping to be atop the podium this year. I knew it was a possibility to win the race, but you never know who is going to show up at local races and I recognized a couple names on the start list. For a condensed race report: I managed to get the w in a time of 1:24:11, almost 6 minutes faster than last year. For the long version continue reading.

The swim - 750m 10:49 6th overall (about a minute faster than last year)

After feeling like crap in most of my swim workouts leading up to the race I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I was feeling good during the warm up. I was as cool as a cucumber and was not nervous at all. The gun went off, and I managed to get on some fast feet. At one point I went to breathe and noticed I was actually ahead of Angela. I lost the feet of the group I was with at the first buoy and swam solo during the back stretch. Going around the second buoy someone started tickling my toes so I eased off, let him pass, and got on his feet. Turned out the guy tickling my toes was Mark Linseman, a strong Ontrario triathlete. We swam together the rest of the way home.

The bike - 30k 47:09 5th overall (almost 4 minutes faster than last year)

After putting the hammer down in transition and making up some time on the people ahead of me we were off on the bike. Mark took off fast and I couldn't hold on. I was feeling 1000x better than at Victoria's du, and it was showing in my numbers. I wasn't sure if Mark was a fast runner because at the time I had no clue who he was (I know peoples names from studying results but not faces) so I tried to keep him in site as long as possible. At the turn around I estimated he has about a minute on me. After the turn around I was passed by two more guys and lost site of Mark. I was getting a bit nervous at this point that I was not going to be able to close the gap on the run.

The run - 7.5k 25:02 1st overall (almost a minute faster than last year)

I was confident that my run would be faster than last years after having some good workouts with the TPT/MultiSport Zone crew and seeing some positive test results on Wednesday, but I was not sure if I was going to be able to close a gap that had grown to about 1:45. Woodstock is a tough course to run people down because it is not an out and back and when you are in the trails it is hard to see the people ahead. I came out of transition hard knowing I had to run fast and made my way into second by the 1km mark and could see first at the other side of the dam. The next 5k was the most painful 5k of my life and numerous I wanted to slow down, but I was not going to be second in another race. At around 3k I caught another glimpse of the lead and the gap had come down quite a bit. This was a great boost, that helped push through those mental lapses. At around 6k I finally caught him and moved to the lead. I wasn't sure if he had been saving it up for the final kick so I eased off a bit so I could recover a bit before a final move. The road kicks up just before the damn, and I knew this was where I was going to make my move. With a little surge a gap had opened, and now I was running scared for the finish hoping my legs didn't blow up. Coming into the final stretch I gave a quick glance behind me and the realization of finally winning a race set in. It was awesome to come down the home stretch with my family and grandparents there watching.

Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer me on. Thanks to Cliff for getting me ready. MultiSport Zone, Franklin Terrazzo, and Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies for all their support, without them I would not be able to train and race as much as I do with such incredible gear. Congrats to everyone else that raced this weekend, the MultiSport Zone had some awesome results with Derek Quick winning the sprint Saturday, Angela winning the women's race on Sunday, and so many other overall podiums and age group podiums that I can't even list them all.

Next up will be some down time to refocus on training and get some mileage in. The swim and bike volumes are going to go back up as I still need to see some improvements there. I am still deciding if I want to attempt some draft legal races this summer or stick to the non-draft. Only time will tell. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville - Race Report

Rev3 Knoxville was almost a week ago now, and I figured it was time to give my thoughts on the race. The race was extremely well run by the Rev3 crew, and even with a few hiccups everything was amazing. The city of Knoxville is an amazing city with an amazing bike course, a nice run, and well a river.

I traveled down to Knoxville on Thursday to allow my legs to recover from the 9 hour drive and give myself plenty of time to relax. Friday I biked the course to see if anything had changed and was confident I would have a good bike come Sunday. Saturday went for a little run and swim but was not feeling as good as Friday. I figured it was better to be tired the day before the race then the day of the race so I just shook it off and moved on. Saturday afternoon was the first big hit of nerves. I was sitting in the Pro tent for out meeting and when I looked around and saw all the talent there I was like HOLY F@*! I have to race these guys.

Race Day!!
Woke up nice and early Sunday, and I was feeling ready to go. Arrived at transition around 5:20; I like being early to races as it settles my nerves. Once I start warming up I forget about everything else and get into my zone.

The Swim.
This was the next and last time the nerves would kick. Sitting on the start line I look to my left and right. I tell myself I belong here, and if I get dropped on the swim I will catch some guys later. Sure enough I was only in the pack for about 50m. Josh estimated they went through the first 200m in about 2:10!!!!!. I still managed to swim 4 minutes faster than last year and was close enough I actually passed 2 guys in transition.

The Bike.
The Knoxville bike course is amazing. There is not really a flat spot on the course, but not to hilly, with some awesome descents. I was able to keep another guy in site until the final climb, and once again caught him in transition again.

The Run.
This is where I was really hoping to make my move. Even though I was injured a bit during the winter I had some excellent workouts leading up and ran a 25s pb in the 5k in one of my tune up races. Knoxville has a tough run course as it is slightly down hill on the way out and then up hill on the way back with a net elevation gain. I came out of transition with one other guy, who I raced last year here, with a couple guys slightly ahead. About 100m into the run my calves started to tighten up, but with a couple guys up the road I tried to push through. We caught our first guy about a kilometer in as he started to walk and was hunched over as we passed. Did I mention it was in the mid 80s and super humid? The heat definitely took some victims on this day. I know I could feel it as I have maybe only trained in warmish conditions a handful of times. About 2k in I caught Josh. He was having a rough day but watch out for him in his upcoming 70.3s. From then on the run was pretty boring. My calves were in balls and I wanted to walk so bad.

In the end this was a big eye opener for me, and it is time to get back to training so next time I will be more competitive. I did manage to finish about 4:30 faster than I did last year so I am moving in the right direction. Next up is the Woodstock Triathlon.

I have to thank all my sponsors, MultiSport-Zone, Franklin Terrazzo, Terrazzo Marble Supply, and coaches, Cliff from Transition Point Training and Ken Fitzpatrick of the London Silver Dolphins.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Summer Time

Exams are finally done. . . and I am already bored. This next week is 100% focus on Rev3 Knoxville. I am feeling ready to race, and with only a couple more workouts to fine tune some things not much is going to change. I am hitting the road Thursday morning and will be arriving in Knoxville Thursday evening. This will give me lots of time to settle in. Friday I am going to be riding the course in the morning, and then picking up my packet. This should allow Saturday to be as relaxing and unstressful as possible with a little swim run in the morning arnd the pro meeting in the afternoon.

It is only fitting that Knoxville be my pro debut as this is really where the story started. Knoxville is the city where I first fell in love with running when I joined the Knoxville Track Club. It wasn't  my first tri, but it was the first tri when I really had this whole turning pro idea in my head. Lots of good memories have been made in the Knoxville area, and I hope to add another one to that list this weekend.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo shoot and stuff

So as everyone who follows my blog knows Rev3 Knoxville is approaching very fast. I am starting to shit my pants. It is very hard to focus on exams when all I think about is going out to hit the next workout. The last week in the pool felt terrible, but now that the posse, Chris and Angela, is back from Easter break I seem to be hitting the stroke again (and doing everything I can to hang-on). Training hours got cut back slightly as we are being cautious with my IT Band so I feel like a giant ball of energy just waiting to crush every workout. I guess you could say training is going very well, and I am significantly faster than last year, but I am still nervous I am going to embarrass myself against the big boys.

On a positive note Rev3 has been amazing. I suggest to all triathlete to look into attending one of their races because they are absolutely wonderful, and elites you they make you a poster for your transition spot. Because you need to look fast to be fast, and my cousin Brandon Vandecaveye is such an awesome photographer we set up a sweet little photo shoot. Here are a couple of the pictures he took.

To check out more of Brandon's awesome work here is a link to his blog:

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The last 2 weeks I raced three races and experienced everything I could from the good, the bad, and the ugly. Last weekend I raced at the Ontario masters swimming championships and Queen's spring fling. This weekend was the McFarland Rollens Downtown 5k.

The Good
The good included the 2 pbs. I set a 10s pb (5:05) in the 400m free and a 25s pb (16:01) in the 5k. The 5k was from this time last year on the same course so it is awesome to see such improvements, especially after taking 3 weeks off for my it band. This time last year I swam 5:35 for the 400 free so to be about 25s faster in both events is awesome. I have to thank Cliff ( and Ken Fitzpatrick for all their help.

The Bad
In the bad category I would have to place my DNF at the Queen's Spring Fling. I thought I could get away with wearing just the trisuit (which is awesome) and arm warmers, but I froze. After about 3k on the bike I started to loose feeling in my fingers and by the time I was on the home stretch I couldn't shift or brake without pain. I made it to t2, but it took me probably 4 minutes to try and get my running shoes on. After about 400m my body was shutting down and there was no way for me to finish. Luckily my parents were there and quickly got me in the car with blankets to warm me up, half an hour later I stopped shivering. 

The Ugly
This is the heading that most of the racing fits into. I will start with Masters. In the 100m free I missed the wall completely on my flip turn. Thankfully there are no walls in triathlon. I am not even going to describe the 100IM and 100 back, but picture me doing either of those events and you know why it is here. Spring fling wasn't to ugly just cold, I did however swim an extra 50m so we can put my lack of counting skill in the ugly column. The ugly at the downtown 5k was that my shoe came undone 1500m into the race.

So many mistakes in these two weekends I feel like there is nothing left to go wrong in Knoxville. I hope everyone has had some excellent results in the unofficial kickoff of the racing season. Hope to see you guys at some races, don't be shy. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

That Time of Year

It is that time of year where triathletes tend to not update their blogs as much as the final training blocks before the season are being completed. I thought I would give everyone a little update on where I am currently at.

Swimming is going great. For me swimming is just a matter of putting the time and staying consistent. I was thinking about it the other day, and I have not missed a single masters practice since September or October. Only a couple of other swims have been missed, but those have been due to unforeseen circumstances such as pool closures. A lot of people ask me how I improved from averaging over 2:00min/100m and barely making it 500m to where I am now. The answer is this consistency. I am swimming Masters Provincials in Etobicoke next weekend and looking for some pbs.

Cycling is also going great right now, unfortunately my power tap is not working so I am not sure how great. To help with this I just got a new bike thanks to MultiSport-Zone and Cervelo. This year for draft legal races I am going to be riding an S5 team with Ultegra DI2. So far I absolutely love the bike and have nothing bad to say about it. My P2 hates it though as she has been neglected and just sits in my living room.

Running, I am on the mend. I had to take a couple weeks off due to IT band issues. Thanks to Jenn Entwistle at Reactive Physiotherapy in London I am back to steady state runs. Next week we hope to add in some intensity since in addition to Masters Provincials I will also be racing Queen's Spring Fling in Kingston.

I am getting super excited for Knoxville, and I feel I am ready to give it a go with the big boys.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Swimming Swimming In A Swimming Pool

Lately it seems like all my time is spent in the pool. I am not complaining about this as I have come to enjoy my time in the freezing cold Western Pool. It does help that most of my swimming is done with other people, and this seems to make the time fly by. We really do have an awesome group of triathletes and masters swimmers at the school, and Ken knows what he is talking about. Ken even managed to talk a couple of us into swimming a masters meet at the end of March in Etobicoke. Its going to be interesting to see what I can do in a real race. I don't know how swim meets work at all so I can add it to the list of things I need to learn this season. I am really getting the itch to start racing, and if things go smoothly there are a couple lined up in the near future. Western's Splash and Dash is March 11th and Queen's Spring Fling is the same weekend as the masters meet. These are nice low key events that you guys should come use a spring tune up. I am going to be using them as tune ups for Rev3 Knoxville in May.

Spring break is next week so I wish everyone going away to training camps safe travels. Unfortunately I will be staying in London this year. It is probably a good thing I did not sign up for a camp since I have listed myself as day to day with a lower body injury. 

Alright I have updated you with my going ons (aka wasted enough of your time) and I need my beauty sleep. Until next time. Train smart train hard. Peace

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Marathoning and Long Course Triathlon

The past year in the marathon has been extremely exciting to watch with many great story lines to follow. In 2011 Kenya absolutely dominated the marathon world posting the top 20 times in the world with three guys under 2:05 and a new world record of 2:03:38 (this does not include the Boston results). Including a 2:05:16 by a 21 year old, a 2:06:07 by a 19 year old, and numerous other 2:06/2:07 performances by guys at young ages. Already in 2012 a 21 year old ran 2:04:23. It seems there has been a shift in the age of marathoners and it makes sense. With the 5000m and 10000m being so competitive excellent talent is making a shift to the marathon earlier in life and not following the path of many that move to the marathon as they age. Not to mention there is a better chance of making good money running sub 2:10 for the marathon than the equivalent 27:40 10k. 

A similar thing happens in triathlon. All the young pups stick it out in the Olympic distance draft-legal scene and then move to long course when a) they realize they need money or b) they are no longer competitive in short course racing. Long course racing, especially in North America, is what the general public thinks about when they hear the word triathlon. I can't count the number of times people have asked me if I have done an Ironman once they hear I do triathlon. In terms of prize money triathlon is no where near running, and neither long course nor short course offers to much. However, in North America, I believe it is easier to find outside of the sport sponsors for long course then short course (my evidence for this is that there are more "teams" in long course then short course such as the old commerzbank team and tbb). So will this increase in possible income and the competitiveness of draft legal racing drive more young triathletes into the long course world? I know I have thought about it, but my bike is no where near strong enough yet. Perhaps if we do see a move by young athletes the eight hour mark will be broken more and more.

Kind of had to close this off quickly or I am going to be late for swim practice. Hope everything is going well for everyone. Cheers

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Blog

Hey everyone check out one of my friend's new blogs There should be some great interviews and other triathlon related goodies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Easy Weeks

Contrary to their name I find easy weeks to be some of the toughest in training. Not necessarily physically but mentally. I recently read a blog post by Ryan Hall where he said "I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength." I definitely fall into the category of someone who can train like a mad man (and enjoys to), and I am slowly learning to embrace the rest when it comes. The last couple weeks of winter break the volume increased, but I was still feeling great so when the rest week came this week I just wanted to keep hammering. These are the times where I am glad I hired a coach because Cliff knows whats best, and I am confident in his plan (it is easy to have confidence when you are seeing improvements). So this week I will rest so I can go harder in the future.

I also started my new nutrition plan this week. Sunday I went to a class called weight loss for endurance athletes put on at Multisport-Zone by Cliff, and my nutrition plan has been completely reworked. I do not think I have eaten as many vegetables in one day as I did yesterday. With the volume coming up I needed to make some changes that would allow for proper fueling and recovery. I think I will be spending a lot of time on fellow triathlete Cheryl's blog getting some good ideas for food.


I just realized for some reason things got highlighted white and were unreadable. I changed it to black so hopefully now it can be read.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

With the new year comes everyone's new year's resolutions, and you can definitely tell at the Western Student Rec Center. The place was packed in there today or maybe it was just because I slept in and went swimming a little later. The holidays have been nice so far because I have been able to do one workout mid morning and another in the evening. I find when I am home it is hard to go to bed early because the rest of my family does not live on that schedule, even though they are awesome. My new year's resolution is to start eating better. To start this off Cliff is sending me to his endurance weight loss class so I can learn some pointers on how to eat better. I did manage to gain some weight from the last time I weighed in, but I am telling myself its muscle from the weight room. Hopefully, this change in diet will translate to better training because I am sure the amount of cookies I eat is not the best fuel for this "finely tuned machine" (right mom and dad :P). This is going to be very important in the next couple of months as the volume starts to pile on. I have some interesting things planned in the new year and can't wait to see some results. I think my first race will be either the 5k or the 10k in London on February 26th. Hope to see some of you out there testing your early season fitness. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, but now its time to get back to work.