"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning" - Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Could this be any better?

This weekend is shaping up to be as good as the last few days with such beautiful sunshine beating down all day long. FINALLY, yesterday I was at about 85% better with that whole stomach thing plaguing my sleep for the previous 6 days. Today, I feel SO much better after an uninterrupted sleep.

I woke up at 7:30am, got some food in me and got myself ready and out the door to OBB for the Saturday ride. I was feeling just OK riding over, a little sapped of energy but it was still early. The ride today was surprising. It was more of a casual stroll for the most part out from Matticks Farm to the airport. At the airport I was waiting for somebody to take out the sprint and get some speed going, but nothing. So, I jumped out from the middle of the pack and took off up past the front. I am trying to get used to riding in my drops and today I got a lot of it. The pace picked up from there on to Brentwood but then as we made our way along Wallace Dr it had dropped again. So I put in another surge to get people moving. Interurban was fun with lots of attacks and some good speed. I was pretty happy with the ride.

Monday is coming about pretty quickly. I am not looking forward to the drive over to Cranbrook as it is tiring, even though it just involves sitting down for hours. I contacted Charlie Cooper of RMEvents to get some info on group workouts while I am over there. He puts on the Wasa Lake triathlon in June. It is the first race I ever did (in 2007). Very well put on, lots of energetic volunteers, and a beautiful location. Anyway, there is a group ride once a week (sounds like a team pursuit type deal) which I might make it to on Tuesday, some group swims (open water too - but it is still pretty cold), and lots of trails (with bears) to hit up.

Off to do some cleaning and packing...

Monday, May 25, 2009

For all those "burger without the bun" people

Ever asked for a burger without the bun and received the response: "would you like it wrapped in a lettuce leaf?"? Maybe the restaurants on the site below will understand without thinking you are on Atkins.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


Today was a beautiful day just as the previous couple have been. The weather could not have been more perfect for the race up at Shawnigan. Leading up to the race I was really looking forward to racing the olympic distance and getting some open water swimming in. The course is beautiful and there is a tonne of support throughout the bike and run courses.

Friday I had the day off training so my younger sister, myself, and a couple of other people headed up to Thetis lake to a quiet spot that we would never have found if it had not been for the leadership and navigation of Jasmine (we had to trek along a small path through the bush...but it was nice). I left the lake a little earlier than the others as I had a massage appointment with Gibson. On the drive back to Vic my stomach started acting up, some pain and that urge to go to the bathroom. So, I made a stop before the massage. About 35 mins into my appointment I had to say sorry and leave as I didn't think I could hold out for the remainder of the hour before needing the bathroom. Turns out it was just cramps and bloating.

Friday night I spent a good amount of time in the bathroom and saw every hour pass by right up until I "got up" for the day. I spent a lot of time lying in the fetal position on my bed wondering how I was going to sleep, when I was going to sleep, why my stomach was being so crazy, how could I stop it, and how screwed I was for the race today. A bunch of Gas-Ex later (they are just like listerine strips, I never knew that before...) and little food (my appetite was gone) we were off up to Shawnigan to make the bike drop and do some swimming/biking. It felt fine. I never ran as I didn't think that it would feel so great.

Saturday night I ate as much as I could (even though my body was telling me no) as I would need the energy for racing, and having eaten little throughout the day it was really a last ditch effort to get those calories and carbs in. Last night I slept more but still made aquaintances with the bathroom door on a few occasions. I woke at 4:48am, 12 mins before my alarm. Got up, tried to eat some toast with pb and honey, and then headed out the door. I had already made the decision that I was not going to race the olympic distance, but rather do the sprint. I didn't get the rest or nutrition over the last day or so to make it worth it and I didn't want to DNF.

8:45am (or thereabouts...I forgot a watch) and we were off. I just wanted to get out in front and hold it for the short 500m swim. Pretty quickly, I looked to my right and there was nobody and to my left I could see Brent about half a metre back taking the inside line (he swam the half, the olympic (for fun), the sprint (for fun), and then ran for the half relay). After the start I settled into a comfortable "cruising" pace and tried to make sure I was swimming in the right direction. At the first turn Brent had the better line so went ahead. I snapped on his feet for the next 2 buoys but after the last turn he opened up a gap. I really need to practice drafting. Lowell was drafting off me and in the last couple hundred metres was swimming side-by-side, ending up 2 seconds out ahead of me.

The bike is a nice course, circling the lake. It is undulating but you can carry speed into the small hills. I had taken the new TT bike out the day before and heard squeaking. So, race morning I adjusted my brakes (figuring that's what it was) and let it be. Well, the squeaking was back and I figured out what it was. Turns out my rear wheel was rubbing the frame. I hadn't checked the dropout limit screws. Didn't have much energy for the bike and it showed in my split. Going into the run I was about 40 seconds back of first and started gaining on Lowell in the first 2km. Legs felt good and turnover felt good. He picked up his pace and I think I lost ground. I was pretty surprised with the run time (again, no watch) as it actually didn't feel bad.

Second overall (and age-group) in a field that wasn't strong like last year. It was a gorgeous day and I am glad that I raced, but wish that I could have done the olympic. I don't regret changing to the sprint. Steve Kilshaw had a great race in the half-iron (new course record) and Facundo came a close second behind ex-national team member Kelly Guest in the olympic distance!

This week is the last in Victoria before I head to the Kootenays for the month of June. Lots to do (including tiding this place...yes Facundo, I do clean...and I know where most things are).

Hopefully the sun will stick around for a bit longer to help with getting through workouts! Fingers crossed this stomach thing goes away soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

North Shore Sprint

So this is how it went: Thankfully it was an ok day for a race - no rain and fairly cool but not too cool. Leading up to the race there was some thought that I might not do it. I have been itching to race and get a feel for my legs, especially with Shawnigan and Wasa coming up. Last weekend I swam at Thetis Lake and by Sunday evening I was feeling sick. The week was ok with sessions in the pool and on the road not being bad but I was finding getting speed tough. Recovery was not great and my legs were pretty tight and sore (especially after track on Thursday night). So there's the build-up...

Anyway, I was excited to race with some super-fast junior elites. From the start I knew that I was at least going to get my ass handed to me in the pool as the juniors tend to be good swimmers. I swam somewhere in the 9:40ish range, hitting the mat outside the pool at 10:01. I was pretty surprised at the time as the swim felt pretty awful. There was no rhythm to my stroke and breathing (or at least I didn't feel it). T1 was ok, but getting on my bike and up the hill was really bad...after hitting a couple of cones and almost falling at the top of the hill I was on my way. David Roulston and I took turns drafting each other for the entire bike. I knew that he would be stronger running (as he was a runner at UBC) but I couldn't pull away when I should have.
T2 - not good. Really need to work on those transitions this week before Shawnigan. Ended up losing sight of David as we ran through the trails and just gave what I had left. The finish was so close to being under an hour. If I had just pushed harder going up those inclines through the residential areas instead of holding back then I would have posted a 59 something. One junior that didn't unbelievably well was Hillary Wille. A 16 year old girl in her second every triathlon and she went under an hour, up there with the guys. Congrats to Facundo for putting up a strong performance and a second overall!

So today I woke up to a really stiff/sore mid-back. I figured out why I was getting cramping just below my rib cage too! It started after my 2-hr trainer ride last week on the TT bike. Those muscles are just not used to being used! Anyway, the back...racing in the shortys on my road bike basically gave me a sore back. Good thing I am going to the chiro later today for my hip! Ever feel like the only remedy to your back-ache is a good crack? That's how I feel right now. I tried to stretch it this morning with no relief.

This morning we had a MS of 3x200, 6x100, 3x200, 6x100 (3:05, 1:30, 3:00, 1:40). It was a decent swim with steady efforts that were not too hard. I had to pull out of the last set of 100s after half way through the 3rd as my back was pretty sore. This afternoon I see the chiro then go for an easy run.
A couple of pics from the race:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Drive, determination...snooze

I am reminiscing on the brief period of rowing I did at UBC and remembering how if one person didn't turn up for practice, it would change the entire workout for everybody. It is so easy to hit snooze in the morning and fall back asleep.

If you are not training with anybody is that lateness noticed? Maybe not right away, but when you race those missed workouts become recognisable. If you could change it, would you not hit snooze and jump out of bed even if you feel groggy?

This morning I hit snooze. I was supposed to be up at 6:30 to get some food and be in the pool at 7:30. My own schedule, my choice, and I hit snooze. Well, I actually turned the alarm off. Thanks to the sunshine, I awoke at 7am and made it to the pool.

I head over to Vancouver tomorrow to pick up my race package and get sorted out for the north shore sprint on Monday. Jeremy from Speed Theory is kindly letting me stay at his place for the night. Thanks!

Happy long weekend to everybody.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Staying strong

2 posts back to back...something must be wrong. Or maybe I am turning over a new leaf, kinda like finally updating my workouts on training peaks... :D

How often do you think about the people in your life that create the biggest and best influences on you? Or the people that bring the best out of you? Today was a busy day with a 5.3k morning swim, quick breaky, 90 min bike, quick lunch and shower, then to a meeting at the bank, then home to eat some more and relax for an hour or so, then to chiro, then a 45 min break before track. It all went like clockwork though.

Through the course of the day I found out that a person who has given me so much valuable advice over the last 6 years and been so honest, is sick. What do you say to somebody when they tell you that? "I'm sorry" are the first words. But what are we sorry about? Selfishly, I can't imagine dealing with anybody else. This honest, parent-like figure is the first person I think of when I need advice. I wish him a healthy and speedy recovery.

Monday is the North Shore Sprint. My first elite draft-legal race. It rained last year and I have heard that it is normally pretty hit or miss with the weather. This year looks to be no exception with rain looming at the end of the weekend....fingers crossed for dry roads!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New beginnings - and bike for sale

So it has been a while since my last post. Since then a lot has happened, both in my personal life and in training. Just a quick recap:

my g/f and I broke up after 4 and a half years, sold my house in the kootenays (made a pretty decent loss on it - such is life), raced in the TC 10km, battled some hip issues, got sick, got a new TT bike - more on that another time.

A bit of a rollercoaster ride with lots of ups and downs, but the weather has been alright and training has been coming along. Swimming is going well, biking is feeling strong, and running is kinda lagging behind. The TC 10k at the end of last month wasn't the race I wanted it to be. The positives at the end totally outweighed the negatives though. I have had some left hip pain and instability since the beginning of March and finally got it looked at post-TC. Dr Andrea Sargent at Murray Chiropractic has been so helpful. The treatments and exercises seem to be helping a lot, and the hip is close to back to normal.

Sunday was the spring sprint out in sooke. I rode out in the morning to watch and then made my way back to Langford to meet up with Don to finish the ride. I didn't plan the day well at all. I had eaten a small amount of oatmeal in the morning, a banana, boost and some nuts in Sooke, energy drink, and some gels - all between 8am and about 3pm. I could feel the bonk coming on, and even a quick stop at Mac's didn't stop it. Great learning experience.

I have started swimming with the longer course guys (Adam O'Meara, Steve Kilshaw, Jasper Blake, Ben Cotter, Sara Gross - to name a few) 2 days a week. It is great to swim with other people. I really like swimming and training in a group - self-motivation doesn't always push you to your limits like somebody else will. Today was so miserable outside. It is also crit day, but I never even tried to go. Last week it was raining too and the race was cancelled. Unfortunately the 6 or 7 of us that turned up didn't get that memo. Anyway, because of the rain and wind I did a 2-hr indoor ride on the new TT bike to get used to the new position. It felt pretty good. I started feeling the left hip after about an hour but eased off and it was ok. Did a quick run on the tready right after. The legs felt fresh!

I'll get some pics up next time of the new bike - it's a Scott Plasma 2.

I am going to be selling my 56cm Cervelo P3C (2006 colours - red and white) right away so if you are interested or know of anybody that might be, please send me an email at: kamal.rae@gmail.com. It is well-mantained and cared for. Ultegra groupset, 175mm cranks, vision base-bar, t2 cobra aero extensions.