Monday, June 28, 2010

Cold my @ss....bring on the race.

Getting a cold a 1 1/2 weeks before my first Half Iron was not exactly in the playbook. I was worried that I would be unable to race the Great White North on July 4th. But luckily I have been on the mend and each day I have been feeling a bit better. I may not be 100% on race day but I am hoping to be close. Given how much I was looking forward to this race I decided to not let this cold get me. I coughed until I hurt to the secretions out of my airways. I just keep thinking I had to keep it out of my chest. with some luck that was pretty much the case.

The past few days have been relatively good training/taper. Friday was my first day back at it and was an easy 1 hour bike ride. Lots of coughing and snot rockets and a high heart rate but at the end I felt OK. Sat was a 50 min run with sun race pace intervals with lots of coughing and snot rockets. Sunday was a brick with no coughing on the bike, some coughing on the run and snot rockets on both. Today was a swim and no coughing and lots of sno...haha you thought I was going to say snot rockets. No, no snot rockets in the pool.

So yeah, overall I am feeling much better. Still a bit of pressure in my head but my breathing is coming along. No rattle in my airways, easy breathing and somewhat clear nasal passages. And now I am looking forward to race day again.

On friday I will be heading up to Edmonton with my wife and son to stay at my sis/bro in law's house in Edmonton. I am oping to get out to Hubbles Lake to get an open water swim in. I am debating driving the bike course just for the hell of it. We'll see what time allows.

On another note I would like to say congrats to the guys from the may long training camp that raced IM CDA this weekend. From the sounds of it there were a few rough days in there but everyone finished (with some awesome times too). I spent a good portion of the day watching the feed and following peeps on the tracker. Its a good feeling cheering on guys that helped make my training weekend so great. I don't know how I would have done that weekend without them. So congrats to Darryl, Curtis, Trevor and Mark!

Looking forward to seeing some of you bloggers at GWN this weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seriously bad timing..

Last week my wife and son went to visit some family in Dawson Creek, BC. Shortly after arriving home my little boy started coughing and had a open tap for a nose. His "voice" was barely there. Yup he got a full on cold...his first one. Very shortly after his Dad got his not so first cold. Normally its not a problem but I am 2 weeks out from my first Half Iron.

Good thing is I have almost 2 weeks to kick it. Right now its mostly in my head, just really stuffed up and a bit of pressure. I get up in the morning, cough up some nastiness and then feel ok from a breathing perspective. I started taking Cold FX to see if that would help...I never take it but am willing to try anything.

Despite the cold I managed to get in a 100k ride and a 3km transition run yesterday. Besides being the king of snot rockets I felt ok yesterday. I really have to get used to running in the heat again...I was sweating tuns but felt ok. Later that night I felt pretty tired. But I was happy to get my brick done.

I am gonna just keep up some level of activty, get as much rest as possible and drink lots of fluids. My son is doing much better so thats some stress off my mind. My wife has unfortunately become the third victim of this cold in out household. Just hoping to feel better by July 4th!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lake Summerside Olympic Tri race report.....finally.

This race was totally one of convenience. My brother and sister in law live in the Lake Summerside Community in Edmonton. And to top it all off, they are about 300m from the start! It was a no brainer...roll out of bed and do a tri, lol.

My wide and I drove up to Edmonton on Saturday and as soon as we made it our family's place I took off to go get my race package. Luckily, United Cycle was not far from where we were staying and was easy to find. After getting my package I decided to check the store out and I walked into a friend that was also competing in the LS tri.

My friend Dave and I used to work together at the Foothills in Calgary until he and his wife moved to Edmonton. Dave and I have been talking smack to each other leading up to this tri. We both have said we are going to kick each others asses..yada yada yada...but all in good fun. He has been in to all aspects of triathlon much longer than me bit I keep telling him I have youth on my side (like 4 years max, lol). After catching up for a bit we decided to head on over to LS and check out the transition walk through they were having.

The biggest reason for me going to was to find out about the status of the swim. Earlier in the week we had received an email from the race organizer that the water temp was concern and that the swim may have to be shortened or cancelled. AT the briefing one of the first things discussed was the swim and the news did not appear encouraging. The water temp needed to be 13 deg Celsius to have a swim at all and at that point it would be 1/2 the planned was at 11 that AM.

When I heard that the swim was "in jeopardy" I was quite bummed. Swimming is by far my worst discipline but I have been working hard to improve it. I also want every chance I can to gauge my improvement and to work on better open water swimming. But alas the final decision was going to be made in the AM. I went home and enjoyed a BBQ with the family and tried not to think about it.

The next morning I woke up a bit earlier than I had planned. I planned on getting up at 7 am when transition opened up but at 6 am I was wide awake. My son was in a crib in the same room we were staying in and was wide awake and staring at me when I looked at him. I got up and enjoyed a few minutes with him and then he went to sleep again. I grabbed my things and headed on down to the transition area at 7am.

Being that I was one of the first people there I pretty much had the choice of where I wanted to set up. I got the exact spot that I had scoped out the day before! I never place too much importance one the location but it is nice when you have the spot that is easy to find and easy to get to/exit. After setting up my gear I took my bike over to the United Cycle tent to have them do a quick look at it. After putting on my rear race wheel, the day before we left for Edmonton, I noticed a grinding noise coming from my rear derailleur. I took it to Eurotech cycle the day before and very quickly they were able to correct the noise. But when I took it off our vehicle's roof rack when we arrived in Edmonton and when for a test ride the noise was back. Luckily the On site tech from United Cycle had the problem corrected within seconds and I was good to go.

I saw the race director as I was setting up and asked him about the swim....and the news was awesome! Full distance swim today! The temp had come up 14.8 degrees. I do find it hard to believe that the lake temp would rise from 11 to 14.8 in one day...I am thinking there was some inaccurate measurements in there somewhere. Regardless I was not going to complain. Better run back and grab my wetsuit!

I had run into Darryl and he set up next to me and then my friend Dave came along later. Always nice to have a few people you know around and that you can pass the time talking to. We had a bit of time to head to the lake and get a warm up swim in. The water wasn't exactly warm but very tolerable. Then it was on to the pre race briefing and then it was time to race!


I decided prior to the start to just relax and do my own thing. I used to get a bit freaked out by contact in the water. I was not afraid of getting hurt but more of getting in others peoples way. This time I didn't care, I was going to swim and if contact was made so be it. I had just as much "right" to be in that space as anyone else. Given that the race numbers were small, just under 100 for the Oly, I didn't worry much about were to start. As soon as the signal went I headed in and went for it. The first turn buoy was fairly close to the start so it didn't take long to get there. I made the turn pretty clean and without hesitation. The next turn buoy was the longest distance away. I just swam and made sure to sight frequently. Eventually it was time to turn and I made the turn clean again. Now time to head to the beach and do lap #2.

During the Legend training camp in Penticton we did some open water drills on exiting and re-entering the water during a lap swim course. They came in quite handy!!! I swam up until the point of scooping sand and then headed onto the beach for the turn. I headed back into the water and then remembered...your heart is going to be up, you need to relax. I took it a bit easy until I felt the HR was coming down and then was making the turn on the first buoy. I felt mildly tired at this point but not exhausted. I also thought I was swimming just a bit slower on this lap. Later my wife said that on the first lap I was probably in the first 40% but for the second I was in the last 40%. I was happy to see that the beach exit was approaching and would soon be on my bike!

Swim time 31:27 (69/93)


Exiting the water I felt "ok" and by "ok" I mean my usual feeling of bunk. I ran into the bike rack and had my wetsuit down to the waist. Once I reached my bike I stopped and took a couple of deep breaths. Not sure of my actual time but it was probably about average.


The bike course was a flat, 2 lap route. After winding out of the Lake Summerside community it then went onto a secondary road for the majority. The pavement on the secondary road was bumpy to say the least. I hate getting shaken around like that but just had to roll with it. My goals for the bike was to keep aero as much as possible, don't kill my legs and be a bit more confident on my turns.

I felt ok coming out of T1 and it wasn't long before I found my cycling legs. The first lap was passing a fair number of people that had been ahead of me on the swim. Even though I am becoming a better swimmer I am still not that fast. I passed Darryl when he was heading back to finish. I didn't say hi because he looked really focused and he was motoring!

The turn around to start the second lap was right next to the transition area so as heading towards it there were athletes from the spring race just getting on their bikes. I was just coming out of the turn around when I noticed another rider swerving towards me from the other side of the road. I look over and this moron was trying to get his feet in the shoes he already had clipped into the pedal. I started yelling at him to watch out and he is coming closer and closer. I have to admit at this point I started letting out some rather non family friendly words. This guy had not business trying to put his feet in his shoes in this location. And it was obvious he was not good at doing it either. Just before he hit me he managed to turn away and avoid colliding with me. Anyway...rant over.

The second lap was pretty uneventful. I was feeling pretty good and was a bit disappointed to be getting off the bike. I was happy with the speed I was maintaining and the time I was going to have. But alas it was now time to run.

Bike Time 1:15:17 (32/93)


AS I was rolling into transition my friend Dave, the one that I had been talking smack with, was just heading out on the run course. He yells out something like "Hey Dan I am beating you". Ohh not what you want to yell at me, lol. I racked my bike, threw on my shoes and visor and was heading out of transition. I was happy with my exit time.


I was determined to catch up to my friend Dave. I knew I would do it too. I wasn't going to go all out but I picked up the pace a bit just to narrow the gap. I think it was about 700m into the run and I caught up with Dave and promptly gave him a slap on the ass as I passed him, lol. But I decided at this point just to ease up a bit and to run with him. The pace turned out to be comfortable and we ran very consistent. Darryl ran by us a couple of times and no surprise he was smoking the run.

The course was a 4 lap route for the Oly distance athletes. I had run it before while visiting my family so I knew what it was like. No bike hills, just a minor false flat. I took in some gel and fluids at each turn around, it was my first time using a gel flask to do this rather than taking a full gel packet. I will definitely do it this way in the future. I like the idea of spreading out the fuel.

I was still feeling ok at lap #4. I had some muscle "twinges" that I though were going to turn into cramps at the begging of the lap #1 but the faded away. I could tell that my friend Dave was a bit tired. As we headed toward the finish we had 2 turns...a right and then a left. Dave had the inside but as we entered the turn I started my sprint and "closed the door" as he called it. I sprinted ahead of him and didn't look back. After I crossed the finish I turned around and waited for Dave to give him a big high five...and to taunt him, lol.

Run time 59:18 (62/93)


I am pretty happy with a 25min personal best but more important I felt I had a solid race. I was very happy that I took about 10 mins off my Oly swim time. It was good to race with a few people that I know. Talking to Darryl just before the race start helped keep my mind off things. Running with my friend Dave and our friendly trash talk made the race even more fun. This race has helped with my race confidence. I am really looking forward to GWN!

Overall time 2:46:00