Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tripolar disorder

No its not a mental disorder but it really is all in my head....I think. My personal view on triathletes is that we are "jack of all trades" individuals. We are good at all but master of none. If you put the best athlete of each individual discipline against the best in triathlon, chances are the triathlete would not come out on top. Put them all together and then the triathlete shines.

We all have our favorite/best area in the sport. My desire to swim is largely just to get to my bike. While I like swimming more now than ever, still so much to work on. The bike has become my love. I have so much fun when I get to hammer and just go. I still have so much to learn about cycling however. Descents tend to make my stomach knot...its the speed you see. I am sure in time that will change...or I hope it will. But what of the run?

I guess in a way I started out as a runner. I credit it as being a huge factor in my weight loss. I remember running my first continuous I wanted to be able to run because I was never able to before. It also seemed to be a great example of endurance. I also remember the first time I ran a half marathon without stopping. But right now that is just a memory.

At this point I know I would have to stop/walk on a long run. I have really made big gains on the swim and bike. Maybe at a cost of a bit of the run. Here is where the Tripolar disorder comes into play. Trying to find time for 3 sports and not focusing on one. It does become a bit of a task to manage all three. The good part of having a coach is having someone to largely take care of that. But he one thing your coach can't do is make you like them all.

I am just not feeling the run love right now. I seem to go in cycles with this. Right now my running just seems so much harder than ever before. I did an 8km run yesterday and it felt horrible. I know that I am not even a week out from the Calgary 70.3 but I still didn't like the feeling. Running used to seem effortless.

But right now I can't tell if its some degree or running deconditioning or if its all in my head. Am I just giving up when I think I am having trouble or am I really not running well. I am having hard time selling myself that its deconditioning. I seem to be doing really well (for me) in the other areas.

So what am I going to do about it?!?!? Talked to my coach and we are going to add another run into my schedule. I am planning on doing some 10km/half marathon races in the fall/winter to work on some speed and to keep me racing while in the tri off season. And just a small more immediate playlist. Music usually is a good motivator for me. One of my new favorite songs is Debonaire by Dope. Definitely not a song for everyone but I like really like the sound.

Anyway...enough whining...I have a kick a@@ playlist to finish.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Calgary 70.3

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to race this one due to work but I managed to get a shift trade that helped me out. I worked the day before the race and was home by 8pm and in bed by 9:30. I almost had to literally drag my behind out of bed at 3:30am to make it to the Dalhousie bus at 4:15. When I got up and looked outside it was dry...get out of the shower....rain. The 60% chance of rain is now 100% I guess, lol. The bus ride out to the start was nice and quiet, but I didn't nap, lol.

It's still lightly raining as we arrive at Ghost lake. T1 is dark and muddy...awesome. I get set up and then run into a few friends and it seems like its go time, well, after the pro's are off. I can't believe how fast it seemed that countdown went! But now its time to get going.


Right off the bat there is lots of contact in the water. Doesn't really bother me now, I actually think I am getting used to it and really expect it. I know right away that I made a mistake but grabbing my tinted goggles. What the hell was I thinking??? Had the sun been out and not so cloudy I think it would have been ok but that was not the case. And to top it all off the lenses were fogging big time. I had to stop a couple of time to defog them. Overall it definitely affected my sighting. I did find it hard to navigate around the boats in the water. Lesson learned for next time.

Swim time - 45:30

T1 - 4:50

Everything was wet and if it was previously dry it was now wet. My dry socks and bike shoes were soaked even before I made it out of transition. Wet grass and mud...damn you mother nature. The only "dryish" area is the carpets leading in/out of T1. As we are coming out of T1 to the mount line one not so considerate guy stops right in the middle of the carpet to turn on and adjust his bike computer and block everyone behind him..seriously dude, you could not wait?? Anyway now its time to ride.


The plan was again to start off relatively easy and then ramp it up. Slick roads make me pretty nervous. Although cycling is my best discipline I am no Lance Armstrong. I am not super confident in my bike handling yet. I basically did what my comfort zone allowed me to do. I know that I was holding back on the bike. But I kept saying to myself...finish the race, don't let it finish you.

The course itself is not that hard. All the hills are fairly gentle and not really that long. On areas that were flat or dry I tried to hammer through those areas and it helped. At one point, I was pretty much hating the ride...I was getting wet, cold from the rain and then it really got enjoyable when we had some small stinging hail. I could barely see out of my sunglasses at times but I hate not riding with eye protection.

Throughout the bike I was feeling ok physically. My breathing was good and the legs were turning. No cramps so I was happy. Mentally I was not happy. I hated the weather and was severely disappointed by the last of drafting officials and the number of drafters/blockers. In a way I kind of expected it because it seems to be a common complaint with WTC/Ironman races. Not like the GWN where I swear there were more draft Marshall's than riders, lol.

One case that made me ticked was when I was passed by what was a pace line of 4 riders. They pulled ahead of me and then dropped in line about a wheel length ahead of me. I dropped back to the 7m distance so I was drafting and then they slowed down so I decided to pass. This went on 3 f'ing times. Finally I had enough I hammered down and called them out and asked how that drafting was working for reply.

A few minutes later we were turning onto Glenmore so I slowed down to make the turn and take a quick last drink. Sure enough the draft pack passes me and one of the girls says...hey Dan how is your race going?? My reply was "I am having fun enjoying my race and not someone else's". If you want to cheat fine...just annoying when they are affecting your race....don't pass and then slow down(repeatedly). I was ok with my bike time at the course is a little long and I was not 100% with the conditions.

Bike Time - 2:59:31

T2 - 2:00

Kinda like at T1 everything was wet but not muddy here. I had actually put an extra pair of socks into my T2 bag but decided to to change socks as I thought the would just get wet during the change. I could have been a few seconds faster if I had not pondered the sock issue.


Unlike my last Half IM, I felt pretty good off the bike...and luckily no cramps! At about KM 1 I ended up talking to this one guy and that lasted 20 more Km's. We were both running at the same pace and it was good company. We were basically joking around and motivating each other. About 15km into the run he was hurting and told me to go ahead but I chose to stay and walk his issue out. It wasn't a long break and I welcomed it anyway. We both agreed that there was no way we were running the hills in Weaselhead, lol.

We made it back into North Glenmore and I was so happy to see my wife and son on the side of the run course. I ran up and gave my little boy a big kiss when brought out a big "AWWWWWWW" from all the ladies in the area. I told my wife later I was going to say she was my sister and ask for phone numbers...she laughed but boy did I get an eye roll from her, lol. Seeing them was a huge boost for me.

I was still feeling ok but then as Dexter says "my dark passenger" came out. I started to cramp in my hamstrings...usually its my quads but whatever, it hurt. It brought me to a walk a few times and I told Nathan (the guy I was running with) to keep going but he said there was no way he was going on without me. I totally wish this guy lived in Calgary (live in Saskatoon), I think he would be an awesome training partner.

Not long after we were back to running and the finish line was in sight. Just before the finishers shoot I told him I had another cramp and to keep going. I totally didn't and just wanted to give him a chance to cross the line and grab the banner alone. It was his first Half and the extra few seconds would not kill me, lol. The few seconds later that I crossed was some hand shakes and congrats. One of the girls at the finish was a trainer who works at the gym I used to go to. She bravely gave sweaty me a big hug and then took my chip.

Even though I found the run to be a hard one I enjoyed it. It was great seeing people I know racing and getting motivation from it. So many people on the run were telling each other , good run, looking great, keep going, we are almost done, etc... With names being on the bibs, alot of people were calling each other by name. Lots of love on the run today, lol.

Run Time - 2:22:31

FINAL TIME 6:14:22

Overall thoughts....

I definitely made a mistake with the goggles but it was a lesson learned. I am otherwise happy with the swim. The bike was frustrating to say the least. I wish I had more confidence to push as hard as I would like to. The weather conditions aren't something that you can order up for race day and you have to deal with what you are given. I just have to get better at doing that. Maybe I need to ride more in the rain, lol. The drafters will always be there and I have to accept that. The run was neutral I am not thrilled or unhappy. But I do think I need to get my run back to where I want it to be.

I am glad I got the chance to do this race. As for next year, I am not sure I will do it again. I enjoyed it more after the finish then I did during the race itself. Not sure why I feel this way, could be a combination of things I geuss. I am not disappointed in my time despite it being 25 mins slower than my GWN time. It's a different course under different conditions. Next year will be focused on IMC so my race schedule is going to be alot slower.

I am looking forward to ramping up the training again and voluntering at IMC. Hopefully I will ever get a few good training days in while out there. Still debating if I am going to race next weekend at Lake Chaparral, we will see how the recovery goes. I am feeling pretty good today (tuesday) and should be normal by tomorrow. No time to rest...IMC signup is less than a month away ;).