"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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wow

WELL.... So, what to say? I probably shouldn't be blogging right now but I need to, just to get out some frustration. This was my first big race. Big names, lots of people, nationals. I wanted to finish. I didn't want to be one of those people pulled for being lapped.

Turns out I got pulled. But I wasn't lapped when I was pulled. The swim was actually ok. I had a decent arm turnover, just had a god-awful start and got thrown about like a ragdoll (it was INTENSE!!). Then I lost some feet at the first buoy, but started to get back to them through the course of the end of the first, and the second lap. Just didn't get there though, so I missed a group on the bike. I'm not sure what lap I was on, but I had caught, passed, and dropped a U23 and was passed by the lead motorcycle. They shouted something but I didn't hear and didn't pay attention. Turns out they were pulling me!!

The lap before, they said that the lead pack was 90 seconds back, so I picked it up and put in a faster, stronger lap and felt really good. The next time around at the same point they said I was just under a minute from being caught. Well, simple math says that I had only lost about 35 seconds on one lap, so I had AT LEAST one lap left before potentially getting caught. The worst part is that I was feeling stronger and actually finding some legs. So, I am really annoyed right now. Nothing else. I'm not upset about it yet. I'm annoyed at the actions of one official from Calgary and if he is reading this then he knows who he is. I feel like I haven't raced. I'm not tired or sore. This little man took away an experience that I have prepared for and put so much time into. Maybe I would have been caught on the lead pack's last lap, or maybe not. I heard from a few people that they slowed, not sure if that is correct.

Anyway, just a rant. I was in the same race as some world-class athletes and a lot of up-and-comers and it was pretty cool to be in their presence and extremely humbling to see them race.

So, I am sick of Kelowna and have a ticket booked back to Victoria tomorrow (Monday) and will be back in the Okanagan on Friday to watch IMC. I am going to get right into a couple weeks of solid training before Australia. I have something to build on at least but I am out for some redemption in 3 weeks time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughts and emotions

IT hit me about a week ago. In 3 days I am going to be racing against the best in the country in my first draft legal olympic distance race. I am scared. No, really. Not nervous, anxious, excited. Scared. Maybe I am a little of the former, but the fact that this is such a huge race for me is starting to scare me!

This is the culmination of so many emotions, injuries, training, sacrifices over the course of the year. What do I expect? The simple answer is I am not sure. I know that it will be hard, harder than I can imagine. But once the first one is out the way, it will get easier. I can't imagine how much one would benefit from knowing what it feels like. All those seasoned athletes that have raced continental and world cup races before know what to expect. They know the pace changes. They know what limit their body will go to. I am going to find out. I have something to prove, to myself and to others that may have doubted me, or to those that have encouraged me.

I just want to say a big thank you to everybody that has been giving me support!

I guess the next update will be in a few days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rolling along

Back into the swing of things this week with the back almost back to normal. Just making sure that I stretch a lot and keep my posture.

There is a youtube video circulating the blogs right now. You can find it at Mike Neill's blog.



Thought I would give a quick review of some wheels I picked up a few weeks ago. The Reynolds Assaults are 20mm shallower than the Strikes I got a few months back. They are a 46mm rim depth; more aero than a training wheelset but not too deep to get taken by wind. The Assaults are a carbon clincher, so not as light as a tubular but lighter than most other clincher wheels out there. I have ridden them on the R3 and now they are home on the Soloist. The roll I get from them is great, they are so light and quick at climbing and descending, and stiff too!

It turned out to be a decent day in Victoria. As the sun appears again, so do the tourists (in mass numbers). Time to go dodge them and get down to dallas road for a run!

Monday, August 10, 2009

blog, blog, blog

All I do is blog right now, in stark contrast to the last few months!! I guess lots is happening and I am finding the time, lots of it, to sit down and type away!

2pm rolled around today and I noticed something odd... There was a feeling absent that I have been feeling since last Tuesday; discomfort and pain. Sitting in my recliner I felt comfortable, not feeling like I needed to be more conscious of my posture. Maybe it was that stretch, coach? :D.

I'd encourage people to go pick up volume 4, issue 4 of Triathlon Magazine Canada (with a photo of Brent on the cover) and then go to pages 72 and 73. The article by Lee Gruenfeld is hilarious!! Not sure that I know of anybody training with a 747...

Calgary video

So at Calgary last weekend there was a motorbike with a guy using a video camera on the back, and they were getting in the way on the bike course. They'd fly by and then slow up and not leave any room to pass upcoming cyclists. Turns out that video is partially on youtube already. It's a nice course and the video highlights that pretty well. Look for me 4:43 into the video. I'm the one passing the camera in the orca gear and black helmet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAJlHcn5-PI

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Is summer gone?

Today I woke up and peered out the window to see flags waving fairly fiercely in the wind, clouds covering the previously blue sky and moving at a good pace. The weather report was for rain later in the day but with that wind I was worried that it would come in a little faster. So what did this all mean to me? Bike choice of course! Back to the OBB ride after a few weeks of hiatus from being out of town, so I wanted to ride the soloist and get some good rides on it before Kelowna. But, my new Reynolds wheels are on it so I didn't want to change the wheels and brake pads first thing in the morning. Anyway, out with the R3.

The back was pretty stiff this morning and still sore. I have a pretty good roll-and-fall-on-my-legs sort of technique for getting out of bed now. Only 2 weeks to Kelowna so I'm getting pretty nervous about it and trying to get quality workouts in without making the back worse. Today I saw my chiro after my brick and got some traction and ART done. It was so sore and bruised from the grassing yesterday and the entire area was really tight. As I sit right now, it is feeling pretty good (knock on wood). Just watching how I move and making sure the back is supported by my abdominals.

It's a soup day so I roasted up some veggies and threw them in a pot with some stock and then some lentils. Doesn't taste that great but it'll do. Consists of Peppers, artichoke hearts, carrots, onions, celery, garlic cloves, mushrooms, and eggplant, all roasted in olive oil that I "infused with fresh oregano and galic (ie, stuck oregano and garlic in olive oil in a big jar).

Time to relax and ice!

Friday, August 7, 2009

On Ice

Right now I am doing something like this...



Riding yesterday was actually OK. Trying to get up from the massage table was tough, and the chiro appointment hurt, but in a good way. Today it is feeling better but still not better. I tried to swim this morning and maybe got through 2k before I stopped. Not flip turning is a little different but I think I'll have it down before not too long :P.
Right now I am icing and heating on and off to try and reduce any swelling. Not a bad excuse to sit on the couch really, but I am looking at a disaster of a mess around me that needs sorted before the end of next week!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being stupid

Yesterday I did some moving of boxes, furniture, and started unpacking my bike box. Seems like I put my back out in the process as it hurts to stand tall and kick when swimming. I'm off out now to test it on the bike for an easy ride, but later on I have a massage and chiropractic to hopefully sort it all out!

I finally went to Mole this morning for a post-swim breakfast. Nice place, good food. It's given me some ideas for my own home-cooked food.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Calgary 70.3 race report

On the shuttle bus over to the swim start I was thinking about training camp last week. The day after camp was over I was talking with Adam and was saying that at that moment I didn't think I could put my body through any more of what we had just done. It is all mental. My mind knew it was over. So, I thought that if I told myself I could do it then I would. There is no reason that I shouldn't be able to.

The swim was a bit of a screw-up on the part of the organisers, in my opinion. The male 18-29 went off in the second to last heat, after all the older people and female heats. So, sure enough we caught up with the previous heat by half way through which started to kill my time. I wasn't just sighting for the buoy but was sighting almost every other stroke for other swimmers! People were stopping right in front of me, right at the buoys, and on the home stretch because there was a bit of wake. My time was awful in 29.16 but I was still 2nd out the water for my age group and 32nd overall.

Transition was LONG. The run up to the entrance took forever and we had to have our shoes in our bags, not on the bikes. Onto the bike I started to feel my left hip which made me a little nervous. I kept on going but would have stopped if it got bad. This was not an important race for me as Kelowna is in 3 weeks and worlds in 6 weeks. I started passing a tonne of people and just kept trucking along through the undulating countryside. I went through 45km in just over 1:13, which was on pace for my goal of 2:30 for the ride. I am not the strongest biker but things have been coming along, slowly but surely. I was only passed by a couple of people in my age group and one or two from the 20-24 group. The ride was 94km long and I went through that in 2:31:04.

T2 was slow. Onto the run: In the first Km of the run I knew it was going to be a slog. I tried to get a higher leg turnover but my legs were just done. I thought I would have to walk for a lot of the race at that point. I ended up walking quite a bit mostly because my legs were done but also because my right foot was getting sore (same spot as last years stress fracture). The first 10km got better towards the end and I wasn't walking as much and got a better leg turnover and pace going. I didn't even look at my watch because it was so bad and I didn't want the mental aspect to kick in. I was going at a pace that I was comfortable with and what I thought would get me to the finish. More walking up the hill and then into a slight jog 5km out. At about 3.5km out I walked a little more, and then at 2km I stopped in pain with blisters on my feet. The last 2km were hell. My body wasn't the issue anymore, it was the feet.

I finished a couple of minutes under 5hrs, about 24 -27 minutes slower than I thought I should have/could have gone. 82/1079 overall placing. For my first half-iron I wasn't too happy, BUT the bike was good (for me) and I learned a lot (like putting socks on for the run...).

It is humbling as the pros are able to run so fast off the bike. After doing the race I can say 110% that I would never have taken a Clearwater spot if it had rolled down (didn't stay to find out) as I am not ready for this distance. I might do one or two early on in the year next year but this and the Ironman are not my distance right now.

I already have the bike packed up so all that is left is to go eat some food!

Everybody out there did a great job. It was a very well put on race. Definitely some teething issues as there always are with new races, but it is a great course and I would recommend it to anybody looking for a 70.3 next year!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nerves

On race day when the usual nerves creep in, all I want to do is use the bathroom, and generally that is in my wetsuit. But the days before, like today and yesterday afternoon, I am finding myself question why I am doing this race. I want to come away from this with more than a good experience, more than a training day; I want a decent time.

When nerves creep in, I think of what I have done to get to this point. The hours of training are there, maybe not for a fast race, but for a decent one. I look at the people around me with their M-Dot shirts from other races and wonder how their experience will serve them tomorrow. Will they know not to push too hard on that hill because they know that 13km into the run they will hit the wall?

Adam and I drove the course and saw where all the tight corners and climbs are. That has made a difference to how I will approach the bike portion of the race. In the race briefing they called for a "gradual climb" for 16km. That "gradual climb" is in fact short easy climbs mixed in with descents, flats, and short steeper climbs. Knowing where to kick it if I am losing time is important. There are some nice looking roads, and even a freshly paved section (they were still paving it yesterday)!

I went to Popeyes and got my cytomax. Apparently nothing is small at Popeyes...oh well, more to pack home! I forgot to bring my fresh white bar tape so Brian from Podium Imports was good enough to give me some cork tape to finish off the bike. I think that's all I forgot!

I think, other than nerves, I am ready to go. Was up at 4:30am this morning to get some breakfast and get used to the wake-up. All that I can't control now is the weather!