"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

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Place!

I got the keys to the new apartment today! SO excited!! I thought I would have to wait until tomorrow or even wednesday, but they gave me keys today!

The morning started off better. I'm catching up on sleep and awoke less tired than the last few days. Swimming felt totally uncoordinated even though I wasn't going too slowly. It's the return to long course that is getting me. After weeks of flipping every 25, I have to regain some core strength and coordination I think. Quick bite to eat, off to the lawyers to give them MORE money, and back home for a rest before lunch, then core and strength, then an easy 45min run.

Pretty exciting day. Training was good, weather was great, and I am smiling ear to ear.

Tour in 5 days!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Packed, moved, new start

I've packed up my life in Cranbrook and moved it out to Victoria. This last week has been one of the most stressful periods of my life with getting a 24hr "flu", rushing to pack, dealing with lawyers, banks, movers, training, and driving all the way across the province. Finally, I got back into town yesterday evening and got back into the groove.

After days of little sleep (averaging about 5hrs over the course of 4 days, 3hrs sleep being the worst) I got up this morning to my alarm feeling SO TIRED! I was supposed to get out the door for the OBB ride and finish it off with a run. Well, it took me half an hour to get out of bed. During that time I told myself that I was too tired to ride for 4 hours and run 40 mins, that I could sleep longer and do it later. Then I thought about how I wouldn't have the motivation to ride for 4 hrs on my own later in the day and that I wouldn't have the opportunity to ride with those guys for another week if I missed it. Then I thought about how if I missed the workout I would only have 3 or 4 more chances to put in a workout like that before Calgary 70.3. Then I got thinking about a blog I posted about whether anybody would know if you didn't do that workout. Well, I made myself get out of bed. It was a long and painful process!

The ride was OK, nothing special. Legs were heavy but still motored along.

Amazing racing down in Des Moines today! Wish it was on the new Dextro circuit so that the entire race video was posted.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to hit up thetis for an early morning run finished by an open water swim. I tried to go for a swim in Kelowna on Thursday afternoon but it was so windy that there were white caps breaking, kite-surfers playing, and nobody else crazy enough to be in the water. I opted for the new H2O water park. It has the most clear and clean water I have ever seen in a pool. You can see another swimmer at the other end of the pool (50m!) so clearly!! I recommend a visit to those heading to do the Apple this August.

Bed time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wasa top 10

Wasa is a really fun race. This is the 3rd year I have done it and it has always been very well organised and put on. This year there were some slight changes to the bike course and a huge change to the swim course. On saturday, Andrew, Nic, and I went out to the lake to get in a swim and a ride. The lake was REALLY shallow this year. It was pretty clear and there were lots of places where you could touch bottom (not that you would want to since it felt like "goose s***"). After some frolicking around and getting beached a like a whale, we did 20km of riding then headed back into town to have an early dinner, get our race packages, and listen to the meeting.

This race attracts lots of Albertans since it is so close. There were 495 finishers in the olympic distance this year, and a total (between kids, sprint, olympic, and relays) of close to 1000 atheletes. It was good to see Steve King as race announcer. He has a way of knowing every athlete and being able to roll facts off his tongue.

The swim was actually a little short. Apparently the buoys had moved overnight but by how much I don't know (?). The sprint was definitely more like a 500m swim than a 750. Our swim course was a 1 loop joy. Thes start was not stellar but I did stay out in front of the mania following behind. I could see Kris Loshak coming up the inside line through the first 500-600m (not really sure how far, but it was the distance to the first buoy) and some others trailing back. After the first half, I started to find a rhythm and felt stronger. I was starting to catch the small group chasing after Andrew and Jon and came out the water about 20 seconds back of them. I walked a bit of the beach/trail/grass run to transition trying to get my wetsuit sorted out (maybe need some work) and was passed by Matt Seeley before the timing mat (so I came out in 9th, not 10th out the water). As I saw him run out of transition I said goodbye to a final overall position. He is much stronger on the bike than me.

I only had one goal on the bike and that was to have a final split of 1:02.00. It took a few kms to find my legs but once I made the turn right to Skookumchuck I got going and felt good. I wasn't putting myself into any pain or trouble by pushing hard but was putting out the watts and maintaining a speed that I thought (averaged out with the faster return split) would meet my goal. I ended up pushing harder the last 10km to make sure I made my time and was happy with it. Onto the run I wasn't feeling my legs for the first couple of km and let James Cunningham pass me but kept him withing 10-15metres. After about 3km I passed him and kept him there the rest of the race. I only had one speed on the run, the same split almost for every km. I think I could have run like that for a while if the blister on my heel hadn't been there. Definitely need some speed!!

Overall 9th. An improvement from last year but compared to last year I have put in WAY more training and hours, so it should be natural that I am faster. Still waiting for that run to improve...

Andrew won again for the 3rd straight year, and Nicolas came in 4th. Great job. Results here.

I am re-evaluating what my racing plans will be for July. The next 'bigger' races are Calgary 70.3, and the most important are Kelowna (elite race) and age-group worlds in Australia. Swimming has been coming along throughout the year and I am happy with the direction it is heading. Biking is getting there too, definitely in the right direction but a little more slowly. I need to work on strength in the near future. And running....well, I feel like there is little to no improvement. Like I said, last year I was in a different place in terms of aerobic fitness so this year it is natural that I would be a bit faster. I feel like I am not seeing any of the work translate into better runs in racing.

So, I think July I might only race once (other than a 10km or 5km on Canada Day) in order to put in some good hours. I won a draw prize to enter the Vancouver Sprint/half in the middle of the month so I might use that for training. I'm not sure if the Peach Classic will leave me too fatigued, taking away days of good training because of recovery from the race. The most important races are my focus and as much as I love to compete, I do have a goal which must come first. With the move into my new place I think I will have my hands full too :S .

This week is dedicated to packing (and training) and (hopefully) selling the last of the furniture before I move to the coast. This weekend I am going to head down to Coeur D'Alene to watch some friends race Ironman, and get some training done in NEW surroundings! It's only a 3-hour drive, so why not!

I read about a the open water group in Kelowna having set up an 800m course in OK lake that is protected from boaters by buoys. On my way back to the coast I am going to stop over and check in out!

I'm excited for the rest of the summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Furniture, anybody?

C'mon Amber and Matt, you know you want that sectional...

Seriously though, I have 2 weeks to get rid of A LOT of furniture. And by get rid I mean sell, as it is all BRAND NEW! I actually started to pack the other day, after about 4 days of procrastinating. Turns out I have learned from school that although it might seem like it will take no time, leaving it to the end will lead to severe lack of sleep and stress.

And I still forgot pics.

The last few days have been OK. I had a bout of sinus pain last night which I am going to go ahead and attribute to the abundance of chlorine in the pool here. On a more positive note, swimming is going well. The open water swim on Thursday night ended up being fairly easy as I had already put in the time for the day. I love my new suit more every time I use it. It is so flexible and I haven't had the issues of tightness or lack of ROM in the shoulders as I did with my previous suit. Last year I wore the Nineteen Frequency, and this year I am giving the Orca Alpha a go. I remember saying to Brian at Podium Imports in June last year (after worlds) how I thought the suit was a bit of a waste of time (with the forearm rubber parts for your catch and the thin upper). How wrong I was... It is expensive, but totally worth the money if you have those $$$ kicking around and want uninhibited movement.

Today and the rest of this week is easier in preparation for sunday. I'm off to the natural food store to get something to clear up this sinus pain.

Congrats to everybody that did the Oliver Half yesterday!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sunny Kootenays

I wish I had some pics to go along with this post but I haven't yet uploaded them, so maybe next time... It has been GLORIOUS out in Cranbrook since I've been here.

Monday morning I got up at 6:30am for the 7:30am swim, left the pool at about 9am, got home and packed up my bikes (yes, 3 bikes for 3 weeks away...it makes sense!) and then headed out to a 9:30 chiro appointment. Unfortunately my chiro was running a little late, so at 10am I had to leave in order to catch the 11am ferry. I stopped in Abbotsford to have lunch with a friend, and then hit the road ending in Kelowna at 7pm (throwing in an evening run). Dinner and then bed. Up the next morning for a swim, then a 6 hour drive to Cranbrook. Great weather, roads weren't busy. Good time. I had wanted to get into town so that I could ride at 6:30 with a pack of cyclists/triathletes. I was running late as usual and booked it out to the meeting place just off the highway, just in time to get going. The pack was split into 3 groups. I thought there were 2, otherwise I would have not been in that last group. We went off hard right from the start and about 5-10 mins in I decided I wasn't in for such a hard ride and took it a little easier. I still almost caught the second group that headed out before us just before they turned a different way than me. Ended with a solid 2 hr ride. Legs definitely felt tired from the drive, and I definitely didn't get enough food in me throughout the day either (BUT, I did hydrate!).

Yesterday I definitely felt the heat on my 1hr20 run. The bike isn't so bad but I am staying aware of fluid intake. This morning I got into the pool. The pool in town is 25 metres long, is fairly warm, and has WAY too much chlorine in it (at least it feels like it does). Main set was 8x50 band, 10x250 (200 steady, 50 hard), 8x50 sprints. I always used to like 25m pool as you got that little bit of rest and reprieve every 12 -14 strokes. Now that I swim in a 50m pool almost daily, coming back to half the distance is hard. All the flip turning...

3 more weeks and the house sale closes. I bought a condo in Dockside Green just before I left Victoria, so I am downsizing drastically. I think I have to get rid of about two thirds of the contents of my house here!! Packing and training aren't the challenge...it's trying to sell my furniture.

In a week and a half the Wasa Lake triathlon takes place. I am getting comfortable on the TT position so I'm fairly happy with the bike right now. I'm just looking forward to a fun day of racing in some beautiful weather like last year.

Thats all for now. Must run, literally. Pictures next time.