Saturday, May 29, 2010

So ....IV team it is!

Tonight I got a call from the Medical Tent Captain for Ironman Canada 2010. I had submitted my name to volunteer there since I was going to be there signing up for 2011. I knew the general idea behind a medical tent but got a few more details about the roles/expectations.

At IMC there are 3 areas of the tent. Number 1 is do a quick assessment to see who needs what and goes where. Number 2 is the chairs...
"I have some blisters". And number 3 is the cots....I need a ton of IV fluids and give me some medications while you are at it". As for personel, for every 6 athletes there is one Dr, one "bedside" nurse and one "IV" nurse.

Not to toot my own horn but there are very few people that can start an IV as well as me. So I am going to be assigned to the IV team. My role will be to start the IV, give fluids and I may have to administer medications. Intersting enough, some of the nursing personel may be nursing students. Given their limited scope of practise this will be one of the instances where I would be administering meds.

I am pretty excited to do this. I think it will be lots of fun and a way to give back to the triathlon community (and yes, easier sign up is a good perk). I don't wish a trip to med tent on anyone but it happens and I don't mind being there. Hope I don't see anyone I know there!!

On a personal training note, I am pretty much recovered from training camp. I am doing the Calgary Half in the morning. I can't say that I am too excited about running tomorrow. This weather is bringing me down!! I remember how great the weather was last year! I just want to run in shorts and a t shirt, no more jackets or tights. Anyway, I am sure I will be more postive tomorrow night after I am done,lol. I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Legend training camp weekend!

My long term goal right now is Ironman Canada 2011. It's something I decided that I wanted to do and I am pretty good at doing what I put my mind to. My coach's may long training camp would be the perfect chance to see exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew that going into this it would be a bit of a test for me. My longest ride ever has been 100km and that was last summer. This year's longest has been 60km...inside and on the trainer. The plan for the camp was two 150-160km rides and a true hill climb. Just a little more than I am used to, lol. My coach said "you can tell me if you still want to do an Ironman at the end of the weekend". So how did it go....

Day #1 Friday

The plan for the day was the IMC course but in reverse. By doing it in reverse you get a hill climb early in the ride and the "rollers" are a bit more work. We started the ride early in the morning (not too early). At this point it was nice to be out on the bike. Very quickly into the ride I learned that I was not a climber, lol. I have usually done ok on "hills" but know when I think about it they were just rollers. I was very quickly getting my first taste of true hills out here. Going up Yellow lake was a grind but it was still early so I felt ok. Going down Yellow was FREEZING, still somewhat early in the morning and in the shade of the mountains. We stopped at the "The Bear" and got some refills on the fluids.

We bypassed the out and back, didnt sound like I was missing much. For the next while it was nice and flat and were had a nice pace line going. I took the lead for a brief period and that was the end of that. Definately a skill I need to work on. I thought I needed to pick it up to overcome the drag at the front but I ended up breaking up the line. Next time I will be more aware.

And then came on the rollers. Up down, up down...a couple near the end were nasty. I remember being a bit tired going up the last one, lol. Not too long after the rollers we were heading up the backside of Richter's pass. It was just another climb at this point. I admit that I was often in the easiest granny gear...I got no shame, lol. Coach Greg came back to check on me and give me some motivation....thanks. And then finally we were at the top...hell ya. Lots of people heading up Richter that day. And then the decent....brrrrr. I thought my thigh was cramping at one point, but no, it was just that cold.

So at the bottom we stopped at the Husky and refueled. Aint gonna lie...I am tired at this point, lol. But still 60m to go at this point. Quick break and its back on the bike. No big hill sclimbs left but just feels like a long way to go. I really was happy that we were getting close to home. We stopped at Tickleberry's (awesome ice cream place) but we didnt get ice cream, lol.

We decided to take the "run course" route home. It was nice to get to see this part. I have pretty much decided that this part of of the run when I do IMC will suck. The turn around for the run is in this area and it is a little bit hilly, lol. But then it turns into nice flat road. Very nice to roll back into town on. I started to pick it up a bit and hurry my ass back into town. I had a feeling that the rest of the group would be waiting ahead. My quads were a bit on fire and I was afraid they were going to cramp up. I hit a small up swing in the road and decided to stand it up...big mistake. My quads, especially my right, started to cramp. I streched them out for a second and then kept my legs moving.

I wasnt sure how my transition run would go but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I did a quick change and started to run. My legs are pretty dead at this point. I made it about 1km and the cramps came back in the quads. I gave them a brief massage and then started back to the hotel. The cramps were getting progressively worse to the point of reducing me to a standstill on arrival at the hotel.

I hobbled back to the room and started to take in any food I could get. I was so hungry. My wife later confessed that she really thought I looked bad when I arrived and could not believe that I even attempted a run, lol. Day one over time to sleep.

Day #2 Saturday

The morning was an open water swim in Oliver. I was feeling surprisingly ok by morning, the quads were a little tender but functional. I was excited to try out the new Xterra wetsuit I have bought. The water was cool to say the least, lol. We did a little work on sighting to start things off and get warmed up. After that we did a few exits and entrance drills. It was nice to get out of the pool for a change. I ended up being quite pleased with the new suit....much more comfortable on the shoulders!

Next on the plan was a 20 km warm up ride from Oliver to Anarchist to start the hill climb. I wasnt sure how it would go....15km up. My plan was to start the climb and to just keep my legs moving. For the most part I did the climb in my easiest gear with brief perios in some harder gears. About 1hr and 15 mins of un upward grind and I made it. The rest of the crew were there waiting for me...they did that alot this weekend, lol. Decending is another area I have to work on. I need to gain confidence that I wont die on the decent. I get a bit freaked out by the speed on some of the hills. The ride back to Oliver was pretty uneventful..with the exception of having to call Greg andget directions back to the lake, lol.

Day #3 Sunday

Last biking day of the camp....IMC bike course in the normal direction. The weather looked like it had the potential to turn was cool, cloudy and some wind going on. We threw on some extra layers and headed on out of town. As we were on our way out we came upon a half marathon that was being run that day. Not exactly great weather for that either. We made our way through Mclean and headed towards Richter. Along the way, one of the other riders and I (Curtis) rode together and had a good talk. Always nice to meet new people and it surely helped pass the time.

We hit the Husky and again we refueled. Greg told me to head out when I was ready. Pretty soon after I was back on the road heading up Richter. Not much after that they group was passing me on the way up. Some fast riders in out group...I dont feel bad getting passed by guys like Greg, Darryl and Trevor. It was good to have seen what the part of the course was like even though in reverse. I just kept telling myself...keep the legs moving. It was nice to get to the top and to see the group waiting there.

We started to get a few sprinkles of rain and the roads were a little wet. Not cool for someone that hate decending at the best of times. But I keep a little tension on the brakes and used some techniques that Greg had told me about. Obviously I made it down ok, lol.

And then came the rollers! Definately much easier this way! I decided to keep pace with another group of riders ahead and just to keep them in my sights. It wasnt long before the we were out of the rollers and on some flat surface again. I caught up to this other group and then decided to draft with them for a while. I thought about passing them for a short period and then though...why? Its not a race and I still have alot of riding to go. I stuck with them until Greg and Darryl came back got me and Curtis.

We hit "the bear' to get more fluids. Unlike friday, we had a hill climb near then end of the ride....not looking forward to it at this point. Keep the legs moving, just keeping telling myself that. I was happy that at this point I was not having any muscle cramping and actually felt better than I had on friday at the same distance in the ride. One thing that I had changed was my nutrition. A sponsor for the camp was Hammer nutrition. I decided to use Hammer gel, HEED and Perpeteum on Sat and Sun. I had been using Gu and Nuun before this. I really think this switch helped cramps, GI issues and I felt stronger!

So after a little while I was at Yellow lake and getting ready to decend. Always good to see your coach come back down to check on you and the goup waiting at the top, lol. Pretty much all downhill from here!! We got a little sprinkle going down ....again, not cool. I was glad to see the flats again. As we were coming into town I realised that I was feeling ok. I was hoping for a good transition run.

Getting back to the hotel was a good feeling. A quick drop off of the bike and a change and I was out the door. I felt tons better than on Friday!! The legs felt pretty good, tired but still good. I was actually running at close to half marathon race pace. Not sure how I would feel later if I had to keep running but for now I was ok. I did 2.75km in just over 15 mins....not bad after 155km on the bike. And then to top it off was a nice cold water immersion of the legs in the lake sipping on a recovery drink, lol.

Day #4 - Monday

The goal for today was a longer run. I decided to shorten the run up a bit to 1 hour just to get on the road a bit earlier. I knew it was a long drive back home and wanted to get my wife and son back at a reasonable time. I did 10km in 1:05 which I was ok with considering the volume I had put in over the weekend.

Overall it was a great weekend. By far it was the most volume I have put in that short amount of time. Got a bunch of confidence in my riding skills too. On the flip side I have realized how much more I need to do for next year. It was awesome riding with some really great guys as well. Over the weekend I would my totals look like 1km of swimming, 400km cycling and 15km running. Would I do it again...hell ya.
And to answer your question Greg....I still want to do an Ironman.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UCTC super sprint

The tri season has officially kicked off for me in a rather gentle way. I figured the UCTC super sprint would be a nice and easy race to get back into the swing of things. Being that it was only a 300m pool swim, 12km bike and 3km run I expected it to be a quick one too.

I had no plans to get there super early as I knew where I was going and didn't really care about my transition spot. I decided that the extra sleep would be better for me. I made it there at about 6:45 and was quickly set up and ready to get the show on the road. But like all tri's you get set up and then its time to wait.

After what seemed like forever the race began. I was in the second heat which started at 8:30 and was happy to get in the water. During registration we had to provide out approximate 300 m swim time, I had figured my out to be 6:30. Each heat started 15mins after the first, four swimmers per lane and each swimmer began 10 seconds after the person ahead of them.

I can't say that I really enjoyed the pool swim. I think there might have been a combination of me swimming faster than the time I gave them and the person ahead of me swimming way slower than she told them. A 25m pool and 300m distance equals 12 lengths and I was on the heals of the person ahead of me on length #2. I could not pass because of the narrow lane and I would have had a head on with the other swimmer. I basically had to stop swimming at one point and wait. I was pretty frustrated with that. My swim time was 6:45 which included a walk from the pool area. Not happy with that time since I felt like I was held up. Not going to cry about it, it is what it is. Regardless I was glad to be heading out to the bike!

The bike course was 4 loops of a 3km route. It ended up being a bit technical and fun in that sense. Lots of turns and short sprints. It was hard to keep speed due to the short distance and turns but it was not a big issue. My time was 25:02 for the 12km.

The run was a simple, flat out and back. I think I could have pushed it a bit more here but that doesn't really help me now does it, lol. My time was 15:45 for the 3km. Not much to say about this one.

Overall my time was 47:38, good enough for 26th/102 people. It was a fun season opener for me and to get the race drive going. Looking forward to the next race!!

At the time I am hitting the publish button here I am back from the Legend Training camp in Penticton. I will hopefully writing my blog about that later tonight but until then, in one word.....EPIC.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

OMG...your legs are getting big!!

The other night I was getting into bed and my wife blurts out "OMG...your legs are getting big!" I kinda chuckled...they were always "big" but then she clarified by big she meant muscular, lol. I still chuckled when she cleared that up, lol. I don't really notice the look but I am definitely noticing some performance.

This weeks training has been awesome. I feel unstoppable on the bike right now. One work out was 7min time trials x9. I felt better and better as the workout went on. Today was 8 x 4min big gear hills, I was able to push and keep a 80+ cadence and still feel good. Loving the bike!

My swim has felt great too. Although yesterday it was rough getting up at 6:45 to head to the pool. I had just been up at 5:00 to 5:30 feeding my son. It took all I had to get out of bed. But I just reminded myself that GWN is only a couple months away. I am not worried about the swim cut off, I know I will make it. But I don't want to just survive it..I want to kick its ass ;). It was a good swim but I was getting tired at the end. I think that was due to sleep and not the exertion.

After that swim I went home and we got our son ready to go "swimming" for the first time. We went to Cardel Place and I was not surprised at how many families were there! It was great being in the water with my wife and son. Normally in the bathtub he is splashing around like crazy but in pool he was not as active. I think it was just a different experience that he wasn't used to. He didn't cry or seem unhappy by any means. It was fun and I we will probably try to take him weekly.

Later that day it was time to get my run in. I debated to do a treadmill run or to venture outside. With the weather being so crappy as of late, I have had very little desire to run outside, despite my usual disdain for the treadmill. But I decided to suck it up and run outside. I started at the shouldice pool and headed east along the bow pathway. Ended up doing a good 8km run at not quite race pace but faster than I normally run in training. It was a good run with the only exception that I was starving by the last 2km. My stomach was growling so loud! I didn't bring any calories to eat so I headed on over to a grocery store and grabbed some chocolate mile...totally hit the spot.

I am really feeling good about training right now. I am feeling pretty strong and my toe is feeling much better now! I am looking forward to this month too. I have the UCTC super sprint on the 16th ( 300m pool swim, 10km bike and 3km run)...this will be a balls to the wall race! May long is the Legend training camp in Penticton. Having never been to Pentiction I am very excited to go there. I think its going to be a hard few days of training but I will love it! And then at the end of the month I have the Calgary Half marathon. Had lots of fun with this one last year and I think I will enjoy it again...just another training day!

Hmm what else...ordered a new wetsuit yesterday. With the Legend team partnership with Xterra wetsuits it was an easy choice to try one of these. Only bad part is buying a wetsuit without being able to try it on. I have a good idea of my size but I can always exchange it if need be. I will let you know how it works out!