"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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nationals report

This is a loooonnng post, sorry if it’s a little boring!

So after my third and final race of the year I have some searching to do. This year has not followed the path that I was hoping it would. I have not only raced less than I had hoped to, but I did not reach my goals.

For the most part, things had been going really well in cycling throughout the year, running was improving (until an injury at the end of April), and swimming was fairly stagnant. As of about the middle of June I started to notice changes in my energy levels on the bike in particular. It frustrated me to no end and on some workouts I was so annoyed with it that I just about threw the bike. I missed Coteau-du-Lac at the end of June because training was not going well, and then the same thing for San Francisco in July. I then missed a week-long training camp in the middle of July.

What happened is not documented in bloodwork and so therefore apparently unknown to some degree - I hit a wall, not literally. It was extremely frustrating to be told that it was mental and that sort of criticism was not beneficial. For the entire month of July I was pretty much sleeping 11-12 hours a night and then waking up dead tired. I would miss workouts or go to a workout and have to drop out early. It felt as though as soon as my heart rate was elevated I was done, nothing left in the tank. So, I ended up taking about 2 weeks almost completely off. By the beginning of August I really had to make a decision on whether I was racing Kelowna or not. In hindsight I still think I made the best choice to do it. For the 3 weeks leading up to Kelowna I started with 1 workout a day and gradually managed to get 2 done a day. I still found that big days would leave me exhausted for about 2 days after.

I raced the sprint at Sooke, which went as poorly as it could have gone. I had a very flat bike with no energy to climb through the rollers and subsequently I placed 7th or 8th. This race was to see where I was at in terms of my recovery from being so exhausted for so many weeks, and to see where my fitness lay.

So coming into nationals I was well aware that I was not there to be competitive at the level I had hoped for, but really my goal was to get out the swim and onto the bike, and then from the bike to the run, and from the run to the finish. It was interesting to see the nervous faces on some of the men around me. It reminded me of how I was last year, but this time around I was ready to get out there and have fun! I had number 35 and so had a decent start position, a good start, and then faded back to a sluggish swim. The run from swim exit to transition was tough, mentally and physically, because I knew that I would have to stay with the other guys getting onto the bike, but my body was rebelling and guys started flying by me. Onto the bike I didn’t get into my shoes until I was up with 3 or 4 other guys, but I really struggled to find any strength on the hill and was dropped immediately. I was unable to help on the bike and was passed by others that got out the swim minutes back of me. I tried to hold it off, but on my 4th lap the motorbike caught me and pulled me out the race.

Watching the lead group go by was tough as I felt deflated knowing that for another year I had a DNF to my name. At the same time, I know that I gave every ounce of energy that I had and it wasn’t enough. Last year I psyched myself out the race and it frustrated me. Between not being 100% again and not being as fit as I should have been, there was nothing left in the tank. However, the added corners this year on the bike course were a lot of fun and I found myself taking more risks than I would normally just to try to stay away from the bright lights of the motorbike.

I have been given really helpful advice from a lot of people. I was told by somebody that I “deserve better” as he had seen the progress I was making on the bike earlier in the year. I know that with the progress I made in the early months of this year, I could have had a good race and to hear that validated by an impartial individual was extremely gratifying and gave me a little more drive to get back to Victoria and figure the next few months out.

For now, it’s time to get back on track and find that consistency in training again. I am pretty excited to do some cyclocross racing and cross-country racing this fall – just making training fun. I think nationals are back in Kelowna next year – 3rd time’s a charm, right?

Full results from this weekend found here. If you look at the swim times of those that finished and mine, you'll see that if I had the strength on the bike then it likely would not have been a DNF finish! I can't wait for next year so that I can smile crossing that finish line :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Make or break time

The last month and a bit has been a little of a downer but my body needed the rest. The last week I have had a training schedule and have been trying to get the workouts done. The biggest problem is getting any sort of speed back, and fitness is obviously a bit of an issue. I want to race Kelowna and pulling out at this point (which I thought about lots throughout the month of July) would be stupid. I've put so much work in over the winter and beginning of the year to let it slide away. Yes, it hasn't exactly been the year I was hoping for and training for, but I want to salvage something in 2 and a half weeks at nationals.

So, this weekend I'll see where I am as I've signed up for the sprint in Sooke. It will be my second race of the year...yep, that's right, SECOND. At least I will get a chance to practice my transitions and just try and give'r.

That's all for now. I'll update at the end of the month!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Passing Time on Canada Day

Just sitting, lying down, listening to music. Just easy, relaxing music.






And my favourite from their album 'Good News for People Who Love Bad News':


Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ok, I'm done learning

Wasa was supposed to be a good race for me this year. Supposed to be. I headed up there on Thursday, taking the 7am ferry to Vancouver and driving 10hrs to Cranbrook. The weekend went by, I felt great on Saturday's workouts, yada yada yada.

Sunday morning I felt fine. Went for a run to get the legs going, warmed up on the swim, ready to go. I was stood between 2 other athletes from Vic at the start and proceeded to get cut off from the left by one of them, then got kicked in the face, hit, and swam over for the first 250m until the first turn. I tried to find some clean water to the left but was completely boxed in - front, sides, and back. That got to me. I started passing the people that seeded themselves incorrectly and prevented me from getting a good start, but missed the train, f*$k. Swam into one guy on the first lap that was stopped in the water (sprint distance racer), and then into another on the 2nd lap (oly distance on his/her first lap). That was wonderful.

Out of the swim and onto the bike. Not a great transition but not bad either. I need to listen to my coach more and maybe ride the bike a bit more before trying to race it. Bad idea. Didn't have the bike split that I have trained hard for and can ride. That bothered me. On the bike I started slowly cramping more and more throughout the course on my right side in the intercostal region. Onto the run that would get me. Coming into T2 I looked for my shoes when I was running to rack my bike and didn't see them. Perrrrfect, some helpful person put my wetsuit on top of them to get it out the way. They were soaked and a challenge to get on. So, the run - 49mins. I ran...a little. I think the only thing from stopping me from DNF-ing was knowing that I'd have to walk all the way back anyway so why not just go that bit further and make the turn.

The "nail in the coffin" came at the awards ceremony, which we stayed for. Steve King announced the F25-29 A/G podium (congrats to Jane!) and then moved onto the men...haha. I didn't even look at the results at the end because I didn't want to know the time, but Steve King (who is a great guy and the best announcer!!) piped up with a time and then announced "from Victoria...Kamal Rae"...oh god. I felt pretty ashamed to be standing up there on the 3rd podium spot (for the M25-29) with that time hanging around my neck.

Not riding the TT bike more than once hurt me. Not only in my bike strength but it put me into a position that caused cramping (because of not being used to it) which failed me on the run. Completely my fault. The swim: well, that first 250m was the problem. Some over-zealous people seeding themselves incorrectly and getting in the way didn't help much.

Back to basics and training. More running mileage, and looking forward to some (hopefully) good racing in Quebec and San Francisco.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Energy Balls - Courtesy of Noa

I just made myself a batch...or three...of these energy balls:

http://ptperformancetraining.com/blog/2010/06/one-bite-goodness/

{For "fear" of a snarky comment from "Mike" (see previous post comments) I won't go into the details of what brands of food I used.}

These balls are sooo easy to make! Noa has some awesome recipes so check out her updates!

Friday, June 4, 2010

"They're stiff, and dirty"

That was how I summed up my cycling shoes after a wet, dirty Wednesday ride. Wednesday I was reminded that I am "fair" at cornering ;) , I need to learn a lot about pack riding to become more efficient, and that I still have a lot of hours to put in on the bike, in the hills, to get stronger. Time and an open mind to learn is my friend.

Last September I headed down to the Gold Coast for some racing, and a bit of a break. I bumped into somebody that I had met in Vancouver the previous year that is from Adelaide - small world, right! I was introduced to the RBC custom shoes and Simon Heading, who is a great photographer too. At that time I was really interested in stepping into something more custom than the "custom" Shimano shoes that are readily available. Unfortunately, they do not have North American distribution and I wasn't willing to part with a lot of money for a pair of shoes when I still had a lot of work to do on the bike.

That leads me to today. I was down at Pro City Racing (The Trek Store Victoria) and saw that they had a couple of samples of Bont Cycling shoes. I went and did a little research on them, their history, and ended up getting a pair of Bont Sub-8's just the other day. They also started in Australia, much with the same roots as the RBC shoes I saw when I was down at the Gold Coast. Very similar roots in custom skating, very similar look to the shoes.

The nice thing about these shoes is that they are extremely stiff (great power transfer) and fully heat mouldable at home by using a regular oven on low heat (140-160 *F). I had them all setup in about 20 minutes. Price-wise, they are very comparable to the top-of-the-line shoes that one would find from other companies.

I have only had a couple of easy rides on them but they are very comfortable, even though they lack the extra padding that most other shoes have. There is a long grab-loop thing on the heel to get the shoes on while on the bike. When looking at the shoes I thought that the big piece of rubber would get in the way and rub my achilles and lower leg....turns out it doesn't even come close to my leg and there are no issues. Bont Cycling also does fully custom shoes but for an off-the-shelf shoe, these are great as they are still fully mouldable at less than half the price. Go check them out!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dirty salty roads

Today felt a little like November or January in terms of the weather. Got in from my ride mid-afternoon to a joyous greeting from the puppy. These videos summarises what happened next, without the head licking.




Who needs a shower?!

Monday, May 24, 2010

"What made you start triathlons?"

I don't know.

I get asked that a lot. Much of the time I think it's because people think I am nuts.

It's taken some time to really think about it and I still don't know why I wanted to do one. I had no ambition at that time (2007) to see where I could seriously go with it. I quit a good job and relocated to a different city to pursue this more seriously after thinking mid-2008 that maybe it was worth a shot.

Still, I don't know why I started.

So what made me do something crazy like give up stability to pursue something that I may never end up reaching... It's basically a channel for my energy. I've found that instead of putting that energy into thought about things that have happened in my recent lifetime, I'd rather focus it elsewhere.

Instead of turning to alcohol, drugs, or something else as a coping mechanism, I have done something positive for myself. Life is about choices. I hear all too often that people are wallowing in self-pity over their perceived lack of fortune and a tough run at life. While I am somewhat empathetic, at the same time I wonder what they have done for themselves; I am a firm believer that if you don't help yourself then nobody else can.

Life is full of paths and choices. An envisioned outcome rarely comes about through the path that you see it happening on. I know that there are multiple paths to the same goal, so taking positives from a negative will only create a stronger drive to find that alternate route.

Channel your energy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What does "Pro" mean to YOU?

I think the growth of triathlon is great. Getting people active and engaging them in something they are passionate about is so important for general health and overall balance in life. Everybody has different goals: some to get fit, some to STAY fit, some to just be competitive and find that energy that they used to have. Others want to be the best, be that in their age-group or as an elite athlete.

On a personal level, I endeavoured on my journey at the beginning of 2009 with a lot of **unrealistic** goals. Sure, they were goals, but totally out of reach for time and the amount of work I needed to put in. After meeting my coach and understanding over the course of months how my goals would have to change, I revisited where I was in the sport and how I needed to **realistically** get to the end result (whatever that may be...). I can't say how much being humbled by the best in the sport makes you realise how much work you really have to do.

I think that there is such an elitist view from many athletes that are new to any sport, and I am finding moreso that triathlon is no different. Some feel the need to say they are "Pro" and set themselves apart from everybody else by putting themselves on a pedestal or associating themselves with big names in this sport.

I find it disgusting looking at an athlete tell tales about who they are and what they are doing. It shows a level of disrespect for all the people that have already put in years and years of hard work, money (or lack of), and have endured ups and downs in this sport. To be successful you have to be realistic. Just don't lie, to yourself and to those that are highly impressionable by you.

I hope I can go through the years of trials and tribulations to reach that dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A quick update

Lots has been going on in the last couple of weeks. I didn't run the Sun Run and will not be going to Ixtapa next week. Lots to look forward to this summer without making a mess of it right now.

We start open water swimming tomorrow and I'm hoping (*fingers crossed*) that it's going to be non-wetsuit temperatures in Thetis...ok, maybe not...but it should be warmer than last year given the mild winter we've had.

I've also been working on getting my deck cleaned up and ready for some summer use. Today I bought a softwood deck chair and built it up to find that I'd done it incorrectly. Instead of fixing it, I just varnished the pieces to weather-proof it all. Tomorrow I'll take out the 20 screws and put it together properly. Canada's worst handyman? Maybe.

I was listening to this on Friday and enjoyed the beautiful weather we've had this week in Victoria:


Sunday, April 25, 2010

TC10k

How times change...I remember last year I would have been so happy to have run a 35min 10k. I ended up with 37:35 at the TC10km exactly one year ago. Today, although I ran faster than last year, I am disappointed at the time that I would have been have with one year ago.

Going into the TC10km I wanted to see how I could do with pacing. In every running event to date I have gone out far too hard and ended up blowing up. The only reason I have gotten through with ok times is because the faster starting pace averages out with the blowing up pace in the rest of the run!

We decided that sticking with the women at the start would be a good strategy today and that is what I did. I found that through the first km I was actually thinking more tactically - bridging up to another small group or person and kind of "hopping" up the field. I could see people ahead of me through the first couple of kms that I wanted to pass but rather than speeding up to catch them then and there, I waited patiently and kept it steady (well, maybe slowing down a little...) eventually reeling in 2 of the markers that I had set early on in the race.

So I came out of it with some good and some bad. The good being that it was faster than last year, and that I was patient and remained confident that I would make goals I'd set within the race. The bad being that I did not get the time I was after - even though it was a time I would have been happy with 1 year ago. To that end, I'm going to head to Vancouver in 2 weeks and try to slaughter the SunRun course!

You can read all about the entire performance of the PT team on Noa's blog. The guys all ran well - definitely thanks to the great coaching and time put in by Noa, and a sign of things to come!

Right after the run I started getting stomach cramping and it's been going on all day now (it's now approaching 7 and a half hours of it...). I am pretty certain I ate a SMALL amount of wheat yesterday and this is the result. For all those that have stomach issues, looking into wheat-free or gluten-free diets might be a good idea. I am a Coeliac and have been since I was a young child so I am used to the "restrictions" it imposes. Those "restrictions" are a common misconception that most people see with a wheat-free diet, but these days (yes I may sound old, but in the '90s it was a lot worse!) it is easy to eat well and avoid most grains associated with wheat.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Photos from Aus - Thanks to Simon and Craig!

I received a small package in the mail the other day from the land down under. It was about 3/4" deep and 5" squared. I had been expecting this package. Simon Heading took a set of photographs the day before and the day of the race down at the Gold Coast in September last year. A big thank you to him, and to Craig for sending the cd up to me! Below are some of the shots that Simon took.














Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the worst blog title ever

See the similarities....?






The new pup has been a HANDFUL! Wow, I never really understood the undertaking of having a dependent, but aside from all the complaining it is a really good thing. I am enjoying seeing the changes in attitude, understanding and learning that Bentley is going through almost on a daily basis. This week he has taken a liking to balls of dirt in the flower beds...haha!

What else, what else...oh yeah, training. I pretty much had a breakdown in front of Derek last week in the pool. I think it was just a bad day and the looming start to the ITU season for me is quite frankly unnerving me in that I know every workout needs to matter and be done to the best of my ability. So, swimming is coming along very very slowly - much slower (literally) than I had hoped for. Biking has been going so well it's scaring me a little...I feel so comfortable on the bike right now and almost enjoy the hard sets and hill climbs because it feels like a game with little surges now and again. Running has been going ok and I am pretty pleased with the progression to date. I guess the TC 10km in just under 2 weeks will be the ultimate test to my fitness right now. None of the gains/improvements could have been done without my coach, Noa, and all the motivated guys I train with.

Off to make some lentils, bean, and veggie mix (not really sure what to call it...?), and get the BBQ fired up! YEAH!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Moving

It's only taken me about 6 months to finally do this, but I am going to start using my new domain name....finally!

http://www.kamalrae.com/

THE schedule

Ok, so this is the plan for the summer. IT took months of work thinking about it, committing to it, and then going back and changing a lot of things. These are the races I am planning on:

May 22nd - Ixtapa, Mexcio - Pan Am ITU
June 13th - Wasa Lake Tri (BC)
June 27th - Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec - Pan Am ITU
July 11th - San Francisco, USA - Pan Am ITU
July 17th-24th - PT Performance Training Penticton Training Camp
{insert local race here}
August 22nd - Kelowna, BC - Premium Pan Am ITU (Nationals)
September 12th - Alabama, USA - Pan Am ITU (**tentative)
October - some race ideas that include the last LTF series races, but this is TBD

Strathclyde ended up not being a viable option as the jet-lag and colder weather out-weighed any benefits heading that way. I was looking forward to racing back where I grew up but I'm certain I'll be back for that race another year. Alabama in September is tentative as it is the US Elite Nationals, so I don't know if it is worth the trip.

Off to Thetis this morning for our group long run. Paula at Lululemon Victoria hooked me up with a pair of the TIDE SHORT to try out. They are a swim trunk for beach use (summer) but I'm going to see how they do on the trails today! I'm a big fan of Lululemon - their clothing is so comfortable!

One more build week and then a recovery week! It could not come at a better time as both my finals are that week. TC10km in 3 weeks!? YIKES!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

He pees on my floor and then goes to bed

That's what the new puppy just did. He took a piss on the floor, stood in it, and then walked about, ending up in his bed. Now he is fast asleep. Thanks to Kirkland Costco-brand kitchen towel, and the ridiculous quantity that one can buy, I have no problems with clean-up.

So the Dave Reed Spring Classic went off on Saturday at 9am in Vancouver. I love Stanley Park, in part for the nature and beauty of the city, but also for the active lifestyles that west-coasters lead along the seawall on a daily basis. I went into this race with the plan of running hard and fast and proving to myself (and maybe others) that I am getting faster. I came out of it pretty disappointed to be honest. Training has been going well, and the mid-week days have just been destroying me (in a good way) on a weekly basis. While I am feeling stronger and fitter, I still know there is a lot of work to do. On Saturday I couldn't find the legs. They weren't firing and I couldn't keep my leg turnover as fast as it should have been. I didn't feel out-of-breath or dying at the end, it was all in the legs. In hindsight it may have been in part to getting a massage late in the day on Friday, but I am still disappointed. My finish time was something like 17:25 - not good.

On the upside, I headed over to the Sunshine Coast right after the race and ended up coming back to Victoria with a 3-month-old Goldendoodle! He's been a character and it's coming out more and more each day. I never really got the concept of how much work it would be to have a puppy (that was for you, Adam), BUT that is also part of the reason that I wanted to get a dog. Dogs are such great companions and although it sucks now and again with peeing on the bamboo floor, I can't wait until I can take him running on the trails!

Finally the long weekend - time to recover from lack of sleep from the puppy and maybe a chance to clean my place up a bit!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hello

Not much to post this week. Just rolling along as per usual. Today was great weather and I managed to squeeze out some hill reps in a running singlet! I love the summer and can't wait for it!! Next week I may or may not have a bit more exciting news (not triathlon related)!

I was debating racing the Strathclyde European cup race on May 23rd or the Ixtapa Pan-Am race on May 22nd. It came down to Ixtapa being closer (i.e. no jetlag), cheaper to get to, and warmer. So I'm entered into that as my first race of the season. Not long to go before it will be upon me...now just less than 2 months! Lots of work to do before then, although I am gaining some confidence in areas that I was lacking last year, and seeing mental and physical gains.

Finally, I picked up a couple of pairs of new kit from Speed Theory Vancouver on Sunday. I am lucky to be affiliated with them. A big thank you to them. My ass will thank them too as new shorts are always a good thing!! I'll get some pics up soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to date me

It's that time of the year when the blossoms are flourishing and the rabbits at UVic are getting their groove on, making friends, making mates....well, just making in general. There are some things that should be known before embarking on an unknown endeavour into the land of a triathlete's life. Knowing what to expect can make the difference between utter shock and disbelief, and not even blinking an eye.

If you're curious, which I know you are if you have read this much, please read on...

Stupidity should not sway you...just roll with it







You must be ok with tight speedos...because you know they are only going to get tighter




You must be ok looking at spandex 6 hours a day, because even if the ride is only 4 hours there is still chamoix time to be had during post-workout meals...




Above all, you must be ok with silky smooth legs during the racing season. It's not that I enjoy making them smooth, but it makes me look bigger.



There is one thing that cannot be pictured...well, maybe it can... stupidity runs in the team, so you must be able to deal with friends and teammates that are equally as crazy and ridiculous



Still interested?



Saturday, March 13, 2010

just a quickie

The last three days I'm pleased to say that I've felt much better and basically back to normal again! Wednesday we had a solid ride up towards Durance Lake doing 5 times hill reps. Thursday morning I swam better than I have in a while, finally being able to push past that mental barrier of wanting to stop when it hurts. 800 draft pack was fun, 600's were solid. Thursday running started out as 6 times a loop (~2k) up at Rithets Bog. That turned into 3 loops on 2 mins rest, and as I started the 4th my lower calf and into my achilles was hurting so I stopped (it was getting worse over the previous 2 reps). All rolled out and massaged now, but it's probably just due to wearing running flats. Today was the OBB ride. I really enjoy the group feel, even though it can seem disorganised at times.

Some music to leave on:


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Plans don't work so just wing it

The last couple of weeks now I've been trying to kick some cold symptoms and I thought I was on the mend. There are some tell-tale signs that let me know I am getting sick or fighting something: I get pain on the left side of my chest (kinda in the intercostal region) and I sweat for no reason at all (gross, I know). Unfortunately I didn't end up racing Bazan Bay today because I don't want to stay sick for the next week! So, I'm going to add another race at the end of the month to the schedule to make up for missing this one.

The Dave Reed Spring Classic 5km runs around the Stanley park seawall and should mimic Bazan Bay pretty well since it is flat (with the exception of the very beginning). I just looked it up and see it is the 2010 BC Athletics 5k champs too (not likely to make much of a difference to me, but that means some FAST people!).

I'm also going to try my hand at a half-marathon on the 21st in Comox (part of the island race series). Good or bad idea, I'm not sure, but it'll be my first.

Some pics from today:











Monday, March 1, 2010

Camp Recap

I'm going to get rid of the negative before moving on...

United Airlines is by far the worst case of money-gouging I have ever experienced. $175 US ONE WAY is TOO MUCH to take and handle a bike. Maybe a fee is necessary, but that is extortion.

Allllriight then...camp was great! We had a solid week of increased volume and intensity in different surroundings, and managed to get some sunshine in there too! This year it was definitely a little cooler and there was a noted presence of RAIN! I just tallied up the hours from last week and I think it was a 33.5hr week. Until Thursday I was getting sicker and having the worst sleeps so I did miss a 7am run session on Tuesday. I think sleeping a bit more meant I could go and feel good for the other training sessions that day.

Tuesday we had a pretty awesome ride out through Saguro (sp?) Park and around the back side of Gates Pass, with 1hr sub-threshold effort. That was a solid ride and I was happy with it. We hit up the much talked-about Zinburger that night - great burgers!

Lemmon this year was great, and cold. It was a sunny day and the views were as spectacular as last year. At mile 10 or 12 (of 26/27miles) we started seeing snow, and from there it got progressively colder and snowier at the sides of the road. I bonked TWICE: once at about 12-13miles and again at 20miles. Still, it was a much faster effort than last year at 2:08, but next year I'll take another 10mins off that, at least. Such a great climb and a wicked descent.

Swimming last week was ok. Swimming SC yards really isn't the most fun but at least it was outside in the foothills of the mountains. Plus, we got to show off our scandalous (Tyler...) swimsuits that we got from Splish! :)

Friday we ran around Catalina Park and got some great views of the park after a decent rocky ascent. My geology background was urging me to stop and check out the metamorphosed and folded rocks. I saw my first ever Road Runner (I don't know their real name) which was cool...it really does look like the cartoon version.

Today my body is pretty tired and sore. Yesterday was a long day, starting at 2:10am PST with some airport and travel time thrown in there too. Swimming this morning didn't feel great, but at least it's a good way to start another day and week!

Pictures to come sooooon...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Left the sunshine for rain...

We got down to Tucson on Saturday after flying into Phoenix and driving 100 miles or so south. I am never flying United again! They charged us $175 one-way for our bikes...and we booked it as an Air Canada flight!! Anyway, that's my rant for today.

It seems unseasonably (?) cold and wet here. Last year we got spoiled with an entire week of sunshine and heat, but this time is a little different. Yesterday it rained on and off and was a little windy. We had a 70-min easy run and bike later in the afternoon with 4x15 min just sub-threshold as a main set. Today the heavens opened and it was like a tropical storm with the amount and ferocity that the rain was falling! They don't worry too much about drainage here apparently and just funnel all the storm and rainwater into a channel - one that we ran through this morning as a recovery run! This afternoon we were dodging all the roadside pools of water on a 80-min run as: 20min ez, 25min steady, 15min 10km pace, 10min 5km pace, 10min ez.

Today we hit up the pool in the morning and I was AMAZED when I saw a familiar face. I roomed with a lady from back east down in Oz in September (along with a couple of other people). She and a group from Canada were there, at the same pool! Such a small world! By the time we got out the pool it was basically triathletes, mostly Canadian too.

Here are some pics from the camp so far:


Our small collection of nike footwear - missing a pair (between 5 people)


Tyler showing his pipes...no wait, that would be his forearm


Pics on the fly - goofs


A sunny pic from the first day - asking directions because we got lost


Derek has bigger legs after all...damnit! Annnd he can make a mean face


Friday, February 19, 2010

"we nailed it"

Awesome line from A night at the Roxbury. Kind of how this week and the latter part of last week (with the exception of saturday...) has been going.

Recovery weeks are great! All the hours and hard work - the workouts that have sucked, and the ones that have felt great - are paying off slowly. My body is learning how to feel pain and push through it, knowing that I can go past the limit and still finish strong. Swimming has been great, biking has been good, and running has been really good compared to last year.

A year ago from now I would have stopped/given up/ not pushed it going the same (most likely slower) paces than I am right now. Yesterday we had a steady run with 5 x 3:30min intervals at a 'steady' pace. The goal was to run a km in 3:30 (i.e. holding a 3:30/km pace). Basically it felt great, I felt super relaxed and tried to focus on breathing and keeping my leg turnover higher if I started feeling fatigued. We ran down to 3:19 pace feeling relaxed. Last week was the ~750m loop hard efforts and they averaged around 3:14-3:16/km. I hope that I can translate this into a good race time!

Today is ridiculous! I've left waaaaay too much to do today before leaving in the early hours tomorrow morning. If there were a degree in procrastination, I'd be a first-class student!

Off to run errands!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feel this

That's right, feeeeeling the water again...woohoo! Today and yesterday were good sessions in the pool in terms of that word that we all throw around: FEEL. It felt SMOOTH, effortless, and time and meters went by so fast. The last two days the body has hurt a bit as this is now a recovery week, but today it's feeling a bit better (knock on wood...!!).

ALSO, we're headed to the sunny desert land they call Tucson in 3 days!!! SOOO stoked for the sun and a change of scenery, but also for all the guys going down there. Last year we spent a week in Phoenix and made the day trip to ride Mt Lemmon in Tucson. There are some cool rides up in Phoenix but the city is so massive (sprawl!) that it takes time to get to those nice riding areas. First piece of business in Tucson is to find a coffee shop!

In a few hours I am going to re-attempt the FPT test that I blew up on at the weekend. Let's just see how it goes...

Only a few more training sessions and even fewer sleeps now!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Take 2 in a few days

Went for an easy run today through downtown and along dallas road today. Windy down there and made it more like a walk, even though I was "running". Looked something like this:

Just a little windy...

The FPT test didn't go so well this morning. I think the legs have a bit of fatigue from this week and the last 2. Will try to do it again Wednesday on more rested legs. I could really feel the fatigue just running easy in the afternoon.

Just watched the women moguls...wow, those top women looked amazing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting down to it

Hmm, I'm slacking on the whole music thing every week, so here is a late instalment. Heard it on the radio for the first time in a while today.



The official start was also a sad and tragic start to the olympics. I don't know if there are really words to describe something so horrific.

Dreams are made for realising.

Into the last few days now of the 3rd and final build week before a recovery week and then training camp down in Tucson. Thursday saw the first hard training run of the year. I realised that I work harder and am more focused when I'm not joking and talking. Go figure. Noa has definitely put together a great group of guys to train with this year!

Functional Threshold Power test on the bike tomorrow. Should give a good idea of where I need to be training going into training camp. Update to come.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Power

Power is such a great thing - it gets you from A to B. Quantifying it is even better because you can measure progress so easily. I'll be the first to admit that I have been terrible at following my power and progression since I got the tool.

I sent my srm away to get a new battery and for a recalibration last week. Today was the first ride on it since I got it back (which took no time at all - they sent it back within a few days of receiving it!). Anyway, I was really excited to see that my power output has not only increased but maintaining it feels so much easier than a year ago (or even 7 months ago). Go get yourself a powermeter if you are thinking of doing some upgrades to your bike! Check out Speed Theory in Vancouver for the Quarq and the Powertap.

Another week in the bag almost. Missed a couple of swims in the morning this week but made them up later in the week. The body is holding up, although I definitely felt the legs on todays long ride. Only 2 more weeks until Tucson training camp!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Olympics

I saw something on the news tonight that is plain and simply, STUPID. A protestor stating that more and more people are being "inspired to be arrested" through their protests. The Olympics start in 11 days. Don't protest, be supportive. Protesting at this point is pointless.

Support the athletes that have given up years of their lives and made numerous sacrifices for maybe only 1 run on the slopes, or 1 round of hockey, or to stand on the podium.

I have no plans to head to Vancouver to spectate as it will definitely be manic (I'm not so good with crowds), but I support all the athletes.

Found a new song (new to me...). Snow Patrol is awesome.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

TGIF

I haven't look forward to a Friday as much I am am right now. This week has been pretty hectic between my lack of time management with school, and training hours between Tuesday and today (a little over 11hrs). My body is beat up, legs hurt, buttocks throbbing from doing some heavy weights. But I'm satisfied with training. Today we did a 400 TT in the pool in the AM, and a 3.5km TT running around the hilly Cedar Hill GC loop. The swim was ok, really felt comfortable more than anything else. The first 100 went by in 1:10 (but in my mind I thought at that turn I should have gone faster), then the remaining 300 were about 1:20 splits to total 5:11 for the 400. Running was good and ended up 5 seconds off the last time we did the loop. I'm happy with it considering the increase in training and having started a weight training program.

This weekend I'm off to Vancouver to visit the guys at Speed Theory and see something different on the long ride! I'm keeping an eye on the weather though so that I don't get stranded at the ferries with high winds!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love what you do, and do what you love

Today was an especially long and non-stop day. Not really much time to put my feet up and just relax. It started at 5:30am when I got a wake-up call, hit the pool for 6am, out and off to class for 8:30, into the gym for 10, a bit of schoolwork and then to chiro for 12:45 (spent an hour there), 50min run at 2, RELAXED for 2 hrs, iced, came home to a roller ride at 6.

I complained to people about how long the day was, how it was a rough training day, etc, etc. But at the end of the day, I enjoyed every minute of it (well, maybe not all the driving back and forth).

I am knackered now and not looking forward to a 5:30am wake-up tomorrow. Unfortunately I am a procrastinator by nature, and the middle of the week is the worst for school as I have LABS = LAB REPORTS.... :S

Goodnight!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekly instalment

This one has a good beat and keeps me moving


Recovery week

This week has been a casual training week with some good workouts none-the-less. Today was a spectacular January day in Victoria and perfect riding weather. The 9am OBB ride takes you up from Oak Bay, towards Sidney, around past the ferries and back down into Victoria (basically around the Peninsula counter-clockwise). Nick, Leif, Tyler and Derek were all out for the ride today. Group riding is awesome! I love it! The pace changes and the feel of fluidity when everybody is in sync is amazing.

Here are some pics from the day:


View From Sidney out into the Juan de Fuca


Leif and Tyler posing


I think this speaks for itself


Nick eager to get going


Derek stealing the shot :P

Today I spent about an hour or so in anatomy lab before getting bored and coming home. But I did spend another 2-3 hrs going through the lab. It's a tonne of work so far, feels like studying for a midterm! Not a class/lab I should fall behind on.

www.kamalrae.com is up and running but I have a lot of work to do to it still.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breeding

negativity breeds negativity. Be positive.

I'll try a new weekly thing: song of the week. I'm constantly finding and learning about new music (even if it is decades old). The instalment for this week:


Saturday, January 16, 2010

A week closer

It's almost like a countdown. It's only January but that means there is only 3 months of base, build and race prep before the first race of the season! So, every workout counts.

This week has been an up-and-down week of workouts, with some great sessions, some awful ones and some that are steady. Highlights in the pool include a 8x400 (pull/sw by 400) main set on Thursday morning, which was then knocked down by a terrible noon-hour run the same day. There is definitely something to be said for pushing the body past the limit, past the point where your mind is telling you to stop. But, at the same time you have to know your body. Thursday's run was off from the start and I chose to take it easier than the workout the rest of the team was doing. That day finished off with a good weights session.

The long ride in a group comes around once a week. Today was that day and the weather turned out to be PERFECT! If anybody is thinking of gifts, an outside thermometer would be great as I walked out the door and didn't feel my toes for the next 3 hours. NOTE TO SELF: check the weather/temperature before leaving. It was a good ride in good company. This ride is important not to miss (to me, at least) for a number of reasons, but for one BIG reason (in my opinion) in particular: if you miss it one week, the next time you get the chance is in another 7 days! That means, you would have gone a full 2 weeks without. I guess every workout can and should be approached in that same way.

School is good. I'm one of those students that is ridiculously early to class (partly because I'm already awake and partly because parking at UVic is insane!). Somehow I think midterms are going to come up on me really quickly!

Tomorrow will wrap up at 21-hr week. I definitely felt it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Summing it up

Well, yesterday wasn't great but a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is mine:




Not relaxed, foot planting didn't feel right (it felt like I was running on tired legs right from the start, even though my legs didn't actually feel tired (to start with anyway :P ))....very strange.

Photos can be found at Tony Austin's site. Lots of people out there and it was cool to see a lot of familiar faces. These are PT Performance guys results.

I failed to mention this before - Noa has a sweet new logo! Check it out on the right of this page - the PT Performance one. It looks AWESOME!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pioneer 8km

It sucked. Signed up day-of and just felt off, wanting to walk after a couple of km, and stop at 4k, but finished. The PT guys did well out there with placing as high as 28th (this was a STRONG field of runners - BC Champs).

Full results here

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wake Up

I have to admit that whenever I feel like I am taking things for granted, or even if I need the motivation to get out the door for a workout, I search youtube for something that reminds me of how lucky I am: To have my health, to be able to walk out the door in the morning and do what I love, to have good friends, and to have family (no matter how big or small, whether you get along all the time or not).





Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I didn't make any, I forgot. Too late to do it now, right? I had a thought today about where I was last year at this time... I was in Cranbrook getting ready to head out here to Victoria! I still had no idea what was waiting for me out here, but I knew this was the best place to be if I really wanted to make a go of it.

I spent New Years in Kelowna with my younger sister and then came right back to the island on the 1st. This week was the first week of weight training on the legs. Needless to say, the few days after my first session made me feel old being unable to move very much without my ass or legs hurting. All is good this weekend though.

Yesterday involved a 2.5hr bike and an easy 35min run. Today was a little harder on the legs but they are still going strong. Started out at mt doug with Nick and ran for 100mins, followed by a quick stop to grab a coffee, and then hit the gym for a 90min weight session. Came home, ate some leftover Moroccan lamb soup that I made last night, had a rest, then headed out the door for a 90min cross ride. It was fun and I got good and dirty. Back home to an ice bath and some stretching and dinner!

So tomorrow I start school, again... It's been a while since I had regular classes (almost 2 years in fact!) as grad school classes were very informal, very unlike the regular routine. I think having a routine outside of training will be better and create a better overall balance. Pioneer 8k is next week, ALREADY! I can't believe where time goes! Not sure where I will be time-wise, but we'll see closer to the day on how the legs are doing.

That's all for now. I'm waiting for a few things before getting my schedule finalised for racing this year, but I will have it up soooooon! Happy New year!