"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, 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:


{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!