Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Group ride...flats and intervals (no really ...FLATS)

So tonight was a group ride and the plan was for flats with interval training. Well we got the flats alright. After a warm up we got into the interval part and it was going well. I look up and Darryl is pulling off to the side, I ask if he is OK and he yells back that he got a flat. I thought I would catch up to Greg and Trevor and let them know (or try to anyway). All of a sudden I hear an noise coming from my tire and then really hear a noise...F&#K me dead...I got a flat too!

SO I pull over and start working on that. Greg and Trevor see me from the other side of the road yell that they will be back. I was thinking...don't worry I will be here, lol. Could not for the life of me find the hole in the tube. (mental note..bring your spare tube next time). Greg made it over to me and starts to inspect my tire and finds some fine metal filaments sticking in the rubber. We get those out and then Greg breaks out a spare tube for me. Not long after the tire is fixed and we are back on the road.

We meet up with Trevor and Darryl and find out that Darryl had gotten a second flat! Not cool when there are 4 riders and 3 flats. We decided to head back to teh church via the 1A (same route we took out there). Greg and I had made the u-turn to come back and he tells me to go ahead and be "the carrot". I laughed to myself but hell why not. I know thew will catch me but it was a matter of when, lol. Good thing is this does push me harder as well. Not long after I see a shadow coming up behind me and Darryl was there....and then Greg zoomed by..... and then Trevor..... and then good bye Darryl, lol.

Despite the flats it was still a good ride. The weather turned out to be not too bad at all. I don't mind being at the back right now, it gives me that incentive to try harder. A good training week thus far!

After the ride, I came home and had a quick bite to eat and then watched some TV with the wife. And then it was back to painting the nursery. My goal is to get the room all done by the time I go back to work this weekend. I am pretty sure I will but its not like I have a looming deadline, Nov 24th is a long time away. I am off to read a bit and then head to bed. Training awaits in the AM.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Canmore Sprint Report

Six days after my first triathlon I found myself in race mode again. I definately was not as nervous about this one, pretty gald about that. The night before can't say that I slept great ....again. My wife was pretty restless and I couldnt get to sleep. Then I woke up at 4:30 to hear her coughing and vomiting. She was quit miserable and obviously not going to be coming out to Canmore with me. However I did question if I would be going at this point. I made sure that she would be ok before I went and she assured me that she would be. After a quick shower I checked with her and gave me the thumbs up. But damn I am running behind!

I had decided the day before to take my wife's car instead of my Jeep and had already loaded it up. I hopped in and turned on the tunes and thought "gawwww forgot my ipod". I like music to get me motivated and it was going to be a "long" drive. But then the music came on and it was my new "Daughtry" CD that she had bought for me...whew this will do just fine, lol. I am not going to publicly admit to how fast I drove...but I did, as the saying goes, "drive it like I stole it".

T1 setup was quick and then up to the Nordic center for the pre-race meeting and T2 set up. And then after that it was the long wait until my wave started. The race briefing was at 7:15 and I started at 10:15...ughhhh. I went down to the lake to watch the other heats and headed into T1 for one last check of my gear. I looked over and thought I recognized a gentleman a few bikes down. Can't miss that moustache....Keith! I had never met him before and knew him from blogging, but the stache is a give away!


Fast forward a couple hours and its my time to start. Water felt a bit cold which made me cranky, lol. I was far less nevrvous about the swim this time. It was going to be my longest open water swim to date but I did 750m last week and knew I could do the extra 250. My sighting was much better this time, I didnt have to correct nearly as much. I just kept thinking about my techique and keeping to my plan. I didnt want to try to push the pace but rather do the distance comfortably. Another good thing this time was that I didnt care about contact in the water....its part of open water swimming that WILL happen. I felt better as the swim went on and at the finish thought I could have kept going.

SWIM TIME - Time 26:47 Pace 3:35 (74th/97)


T1 was a bit faster than my last tri. One thing I might try doing is going sockless. Putting on my socks consumed the most time by far. I was glad to get out on the bike...have I ever said how much I enjoy the bike ;)? Off the bat I was feeling strong and started to pass alot of people. Thie course had much more elevation change than coral springs. On the hills I really put in the effort to get up them quickly and make some gains. I was a bit frustrated when people were riding 2 and sometimes 3 across going up them. I just made sure that no cars were coming and went around them. The volunteers on the bike course were awesome, very vocal! I liked the added challenge of the short hills this time.

BIKE TIME - Time 52:46 Avg Speed 22.7 (25th/97)


T2 was super quick this time and then I headed to the run. I felt surprisingly good off the bike this time but that only lasted a short period, lol. My legs felt tired and I didnt get them back until 3.5km into the run. Unfortunately it was only a 5km run :(. I wonder if the elevation change was a factor, I am geussing it was. One of the voluteers said "you're doing great, keep going!!". I replied "I have to, got no choice" and she said "Sure you do, you can lie down here" The woman next to me says " I sweat to God if you do I will too", lol. I had a good laugh there.

RUN TIME - Time 30:22 Pace 6:05 (41st/97)

Nutrition - 1 Serving GU chomps before the swim with water. On the bike 1L gatorade and some water. The run was GU chomps and water/HEED sports drink.

Overall- Position 35 of 97. I knew I would be a bit longer time due to the longer swim and more challenging course. I had a really fund day. I still would have liked to have had a better run I think but I will take it. I don't think doing 2 sprints in 6 days hurt me, I rather enjoyed it :). I am looking forward to Olympic distance in August!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coral Springs Tri race report

So here it is...my first Triathlon race report.

Night before I decided to watch the UFC pay per view, relax and get to bed at a decent hour. Well, I did get to bed at 10:30 but damned if I could actually sleep. At this point, I can't say that I was nervous but I was thinking about everything. I have no idea what time I did fall asleep but it was late. At 6am I dragged my behind out of bed..a mixture of nerves and excitement in my head. A quick shower, some toast and my wife and I are out the door. It was nice on the way over, she sleep and I got to play my motivation music.

I get to the transition area and quickly set up my gear and then head into body marking. I had found out a day before that a girl I used to work with was doing the sprint as well so we waited in line together. I still am not that nervous at this point. After all the pre race business we headed down to the water. I look at the course and I get a bit freaked out...looked kind of far and I had some self doubt....I was nervous.


First wave was the Tri-it distance racers followed by the Olympic. And before I knew it the 2 minute warning was announced for the Sprint. In all reality it turned out to be more like 30 seconds...someone defiantly was not using a watch. The horn blew and off we went. I planned on staying somewhat back and off to the side being that it was my first open water swim. I remember walking into the water, diving in and then thinking...holy $&it.....I am actually racing. It seemed like this day would never come.

Initially I felt OK. I definitely noticed the buoyancy advantage of the wetsuit...wow. I am a master scuba diver but it is defiantly not the same wet suit feeling. I was heading to the first buoy and did a look and I was off course...F^%k! Corrected and got back on track, no problem. I made the turn around the buoy without getting killed. But at this point I started to feel super tight and tired in my shoulders. I started to panic a bit in my head. I was thinking I have so far to go and I am already tired. But then I thought ok you have no choice you HAVE to do it. I knew I could do the distance. I knew I was safe but I was worried about know being able to continue. Then the drive kicked in....follow your plan and relax.

Things started to go a bit better and I started to feel better. Heading out to the second buoy I went off track again...I need to get better at sighting. Corrected and got back on track, no problem. I am feeling better and motivated. Made the turn and was heading home! I made it a point to concentrate more on sighting on the way back and it helped, definitely more straight this time. I was actually feeling better as the swim went on. My shoulders were still not used to the wetsuit but it was better. Passed the final buoy and headed for shore! I did a quick exit and then didn't look back...literally. I made it through the swim, that's all I cared about. Once I hit the sand I took off running.

SWIM TIME 18:30 (80th/128)

Running to T1

Hint of a smile


I started stripping my wetsuit on my way through the transition zone and was quickly out of it when I got to my bike. I decided that I would not Rush myself and make any mistakes. All the sand had come off my feet running so I didn't have to use time cleaning them off. I quickly throw on socks, my shoes, jersey, sunglasses, helmet and then grab my bike. Just before I leave I took in a gel, drank some gel and then started heading out of T1. My plan for this leg was to hammer down and have a good ride.

I felt great from the get go! As soon as I was on my bike I was passing people left and right. My legs felt strong and I was loving it! We hit the biggest "hill" of the circuit...an overpass. It was pretty much flat after that. I got into the aero position and kept focusing on people ahead of me. One by one I catching them and passing...wahooo! After the first 5km the road got a bike rougher and the wind was a bit stronger. I didn't feel stable enough to stay down in the aero position so I stayed up and focus on keeping the bike straight and a high cadence. Quickly I came up on the turn around.

At this point there are less people ahead of me and its getting harder to pass. None the less I was still catching people. I was still feeling good and was getting more confident as the race went on. Less than 2km from the bike/run transition I finally got passed by 2 riders..they were flying! Had to happen sometime, lol. I was very sad to see the bike ending but bring on the run.

BIKE TIME 43:46 (23rd/128) Avg speed 27.4km/hr

Heading out to the bike course



The bike/run transition went well, pretty quick and easy. The legs didn't feel too bad initially until late in the first lap. I didn't cramp but just felt tired. The second lap things were back to normal. I wanted to make sure I didn't fall below 10km/h for speed and I was able to do that. I did get a bit of motivation on lap #2 though.

Right off the bat on the run I passed this one guy. On lap #2 he passed me about 1/3 into that lap. I didn't think much of it and kept my pace steady. But then I noticed as I got closer to him and was about to pass he would speed up and get ahead of me. This went on 3 or 4 times and we were getting close to the finish. I decided that there way no way I was letting him finish before me, lol. The finish turned into an all out sprint. I ran my ass off and blew but him in the chute! But we both laughed and high fived each other when we crossed.

Heading out at the start of the run

RUN TIME 28:49 (70th/128) Pace 5:46/km


Simple for this race...had a few sports beans before the swim. Consumed one Gu gel as I got on the bike with water. On the bike took in approx 1L Gatorade using by aero drink (found this very helpful). On the run stopped approx 1.25km (lap 1) and 3.75km (lap 2) took in small amount of Ultima at the aid station. No GI issues, cramping or low energy.

Crossing the finish.....

OVERALL TIME 1:31:05 (39th/128)

Overall thoughts on the day.....

I need to get better at sighting but I know this will come with practice. I was happy with my swim. My plan was to get through it and hopefully get an "OK" time and I think I did this. It was a huge confidence boost to get thought my first open water swim!

Again the bike went as I thought it would. Given that I only really started cycling in Feb I think I did well. I really thought running was going to be my strong discipline but I am thinking the bike is going to be now. It seems to be getting better and better. Still a long way to go but I am ready!

The run...I would say average. Nothing extra ordinary but again it went as expected. It was pretty steady and consistent and I felt good!

Most importantly I had fun!! I need to thank my wife for being the best cheerleader ever and Coach Greg for helping me meet my first goal (thanks for reminding me to have fun and smile....I think the pics are proof that I did). I hope this all doesn't come off as being high on myself....I am just thrilled with the results. In the end I am happy with the day even if no one else had been there racing. Next race is in 4 days and I am more excited than ever.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am officially a triathlete!

Just a quick post for now. Did the Coral Springs Sprint tri today...I had a great race for me. I am pleased to say that it pretty much went how I planned it. Oh yeah...I am definitely hooked! I will post a race report when I get my times. Wahoooooooooo!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cue "lose yourself" and go.....

Kind of a weird feeling right now. My first triathlon is in less than 24 hrs. No physical training is going to help me at this point. I know right now its all in my head. I can't lie and say that I am not nervous, my stomach is already doing some flips in waves. I know I really shouldnt be nervous....I know I can do this distance, I am not going to win anything. I do however want to place as high as I can. I want to enjoy it as my number one goal...I know I will though.

A little later I am going to head over to Coral Srpings just to drive the routes and see the transition area. After that I am going to look at cribs, lol. Right now I am more nervous about the tri than the birth, lol.

Interstingly enough, I wasnt listening to Lose Yourself as I typed this...it was "no easy way out" and "momma said knock you out". Until tommrow....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I never really liked the taste of chlorine anyway....

Man, am I tired. I worked the last 2 nights and I figure in have had 6-7 hour sleep in the last 72 hours. Night shift kills me nowadays and given how busy it was it made it a bit more of a chore. My first night I took care of a burn patient and the second night I was the ICU charge nurse. Despite the foothills having a burn unit, we (ICU) take care of the critically ill ones that are too sick to go to that unit. These patients are often quite busy to take care of....and this was the case for me, lol. And being in charge is never my favorite role. By the end of the night I hate hearing my name. But having said that I am on days off now!

My training the last couple of days has been "adequate". Kinda hard to give it your all when you are dragging you ass. My wife had a good chuckle when she caught me nodding off watching some tv. I was switching channels and would pause to "rest my eyes' and then pick up where I left off. I am, however, still very happy with how my swimming is coming along. You have to remember that its all relative.....I am am making some big gains for me. Still no where near where I eventually want to be but I am none the less pleased. I was doing some 300m repeats yesterday and I realized that I barely swallow any pool water now. When I first started I was thinking the chlorine was going to do me in. Not to mention I can't say that I am ever thrilled with swallowing water that strangers swim in. My repeats are becoming easier but its strange that I judge my progess on how much chlorine I ingest ;).

I plan to get a good night sleep and have a good training day tommorow. My week is pretty easy since I race on Sunday but I will make sure I keep the intensity that I want. I took my bike to Bow cycle for the "bike check" today. Not sure why, I knew it was fine to race and they looked it over but there is no record keeping to tell that it had been done. And on Saturday I am going to head over to Coral Springs to do a quick drive of the run and bike course. I know I could get away with not doing it but why not.

Anyway, I short post tonight. I hear a bed calling my name and I am not going to make it wait any longer. Adios muchachos.......


Friday, July 3, 2009

I am doing this for me...

I was cleaning the desk in my computer room and glanced up and noticed my favorite mug...

A friend game my this mug after Ironman Az last year after I told him that I wanted to train for an Ironman. The one thing he did say to me was "but you have to get your own finisher mug". That's going to be alot of work for a mug, lol. Why do we do this?? What is the motivation that keeps us going on days that we would rather do absolutely nothing?

I have asked myself that many times and I am sure I will ask myself many more times. But each time I come up with the same answer....I am doing this for me. I think I have come a long way but I don't want to stop. Training takes up alot of "free time"!! Life is going to get even more hectic with a baby on the way...and that is an ultrasound image of my future child on the monitor in the mug pic. I know there will be hard times ahead and will require me to dig deep. But I will...I look at it right now as I have no other choice. There are days that I really don't want to get on my bike or hop into the pool. But I feel so damn good when I do.

Right now I feel awesome. With the exception of a healing blister on my toes that I got running the other day, I am injury free. I have no nagging aches or pains (a quick pause to knock on my desk now). I haven't felt this good since I can't remember when. I am sooooo ready for next weeks tri. Who knows I could have the worst race of my life but I can't say that I wasn't "ready". I will be giving it 100% that day.

So on the training front...I put my race wheels on today. A pair of Reynolds strike carbon fiber rims and conti tires. Behold.....

I also raised my seat about 1/2 and inch after Greg suggested it. And then it was time to try it out. Today;s ride was high cadence and about 60-75 mins followed by a 20 min run...also high cadence. Raising the seat was fine, didn't notice it on the short ride, cool. The new wheels I did notice that occasionally a gust or wind would grab the wheel a bit.....not much but enough to notice. Other than that the ride really nice. I tried to keep a cadence of 100 +/- 5 and that seemed to work well. I made it back to the house at 59mins and felt moderately well. My legs were not sore from last nights hills but a but tired I guess. As for the run it was good as well. I am often shocked at how fast I am running off the bike despite feeling like my legs weight 100lbs each, lol. But that is why they call it a brick n'est pas?

Another great day to be out in the sun! I can't believe the tan I am getting...too bad its all on my arms legs and face, lol. I need to get some sun on the rest of me, lol. Tomorrow is a rest day and I am back at work. I can't complain...I go back for one day then I am off again. Speaking of work, I have to get my meals ready for tomorrow. Until next time....


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finally...Cochrane hill!

S0 tonight was my first group ride. I had done a few rides with others on mountain bike rides but never on road bikes. And in addition it was hills night! Finally I was going to climb Cochrane hill. Drove up it many times but never rode up it! I was actually almost "nervous" about it...kinda almost like before a race.

I decided to just bike over from my place to the meeting point...other wise that would just be lazy considering its just around the corner, lol. It was good to meet a couple of the other legend athletes (Darryl and Trevor). Greg showed up and then the four of us were off. Easy ride out there thanks to a bit of a tail wind. Since this was my first group ride, Greg gave me a quick drafting lesson. I can see how this helps when riding in a pack....no wonder it's a racing no no.

So we get to the top of the hill and we are off!! I am still getting used to the speed, no doubt about it. My max speed was 60km/hr. And yes I was on the brake levers quite a bit. The unfortunate thing about where I work is that I see what happens to people that crash at high speeds...be it car, motorbike, road bike, etc... I have to almost get this out of my head and get comfortable in my abilities first. Last thing I want to do is end up in the very ICU I work in...and since we are the only Trauma ICU in southern Alberta...I would be going there, lol. My coworkers would have a field day with me, lol. Anyway....back to the ride.

I knew I would be riding the hills solo, I know my speed and I cool with that. The guys were on their first trip up when I got to the bottom. A quick turn around and I was on my way up. I ain't gonna lie...I was dipping into the granny gears. But I did shift out of them for periods to make it a bit harder and would stand it up for a bit a well. I knew my heart was pumping hard, I maxed out at 178. As I was getting to the top, the rest were heading down (thanks for the encouragement guys). A quick drink at the top and I dropped back in.

Second time down was a bit better...a little more comfortable. The second climb wasn't too bad, a little more tired for sure but I was still feeling good. On the way up Greg met me near the top and gave me some climbing pointers. Always good to get a little feedback. I have never really learned proper technique in cycling, swimming or running for that matter. I guess that's why I have a coach now ;). Once at the top we stopped, had a drink and decided to head back down about half way. I didn't look at my timer to see how long it was taking each time. I figured it was close to 20 mins but Greg though more like 13 (looking at my garmin it was about 14)Trevor and Darryl were making their way back up from #3. A quick turn around and we were following...and then finally at the top!

I was surprised that my legs felt as good as they did on the trip back. I think it just shows that my conditioning is getting better. My thighs feel good...I can feel a bit of tiredness in my hips. Funny because Greg suggested bringing my seat up a bit to help prevent this. I am sure that tomorrow I will be feeling it, lol. The group ride turned out to be a good boost. On the way out and back I know I was travelling at a faster speed then my average and I felt great. It really makes me want to push hard during the Coral Springs Tri.

Thanks to Greg, Darryl and Trevor for making my first group ride a fun one.!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Awesome Canada Day run!

Today was a run day. I was actually looking forward to a longer run. It seems that I always hate the first 20 minutes or so but then I get warmed up and into the groove. I had planned on heading down to Glenmore landing and running the reservoir but then figured I might as well do the run from Edworthy to Center street. This way I could check out the Canada events down in Eau Claire. Maybe not the smartest move, lol.

The run down there was pretty uneventful, lots of people out and about. But as I got close to Eau Claire I was mobbed. Sooo many people out!! Luckily I was able to, for the most part, run through them. Things thinned out just before the center street bridge. The weather was perfect today though!! I put my run off (yet again) until the afternoon to let things warm up a bit. The only thing that wasn't good about today was my heart rate. I had an average of 154 which was high for me. I didn't feel that I was that "stressed". I will just keep an eye on that! I did 15km in just under 90 mins. I took it somewhat easy and didn't push it today. Overall a really enjoyable run !

Tomorrow evening is my first group ride.....hills! I am glad to get out with the team. I have a feeling that I will be the slowest but I will do what I can. This will be my first time climbing Cochrane hill....I am pretty sure I am ready, lol. This week had been a good training week and I am glad. Ten days until my first Tri!! It feels like I have been training forever for it (if you consider February forever, lol). I am excited yet nervous at the same time. The bike and run don't bother me. Even though I know I can actually do the distance, the swim still in on my mind. I guess that is normal? I am trying to think positively...those that beat me in the swim, I will hammer them on the bike/run, lol ( or try to anyway ;) ).

On the home front I mowed the back yard and went and picked up a new tree to plant there. Our last tree we planted there died. It was a Crimson Maple...we decided this time NO MAPLES!!! What did we come home with you ask?.....I frickin' Maple. Hopefully this one lives. Tomorrow morning I will get that sucker in the ground and then we shall see what happens.

From the True North strong and free......Dan out!