Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Travelling and Training

It's not easy being away from home but I knew this was going to be part of my new job and I love what I do for a living. I really miss hanging out with AD but I'm trying to be as productive as possible. It's hard when you are trying to get established and you haven't developed a lot of the relationships that are necessary to be successful in business yet, but I'll get there.

Sunday was a great run/ride with Amber, I woke up feeling pretty good so I went out for a jog and ended up running 21kms in 1:25. Still felt really relaxed and easy so it was nice to finally have my legs back. After lunch Amber and I rode out to Beaverlodge and I got in 90kms in 2:42, not bad considering it was really windy. The ride out was fast and the ride back felt more like a cross wind so someone was smiling down on us that day.

I hit the road for Whitecourt later that day and I'm still here. The appointments have been going well but results are coming a lot slower than expected. I plan on doing a 60km ride before I leave for Edmonton tonight, I'll spend two days in meetings there then it's back to Whitecourt Friday and on to Hinton for the race this weekend. The first Olympic tri of the year and I'm expecting to win! I'm in great bike and running shape and my swimming has improved dramatically. A lot will depend on how I feel on the day but if training is any indication of how I'll perform, I'm expecting to do very well. I'm also really excited to see how Amber's going to do, I think she's going to surprise herself and kick some serious butt!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Swimming Always Makes Things Better

I woke up yesterday and my body felt like I had been hit by a truck, I was completely exhausted and there was no way I was going to make it to the pool. I decided the smartest thing to do after a very busy weekend of training was to just rest. It was probably a smart decision because even though I woke up feeling rough again today, I made it to the pool and had a fairly good swim.

We are doing our first Olympic tri in 10 days so I decided it would be a good idea to 'test out' my 1500m swimming arms. I managed to get through the distance in 25mins (very good for me) but I'm sure I could get that down to 23:30 for the race. I've been feeling this strange tightness in my chest, like it is a little difficult to breathe, I'm sure it's just fatigue and taking it easy for a couple days should solve the problem.

After finishing the 1500m sprint set, another triathele I met here in town mentioned I was crusing pretty well. He said I looked very strong in the water and should be able to do quite well in the race in Hinton. That made me feel good, I wasn't all that impressed with my time but hearing that I "looked strong" was great!

I'm going to take it easy for the next couple days and have another great weekend of biking and running with AD. I have to travel all next week so the training will be spotty and I'm going to need to just get it in when I can.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Great May Long Weekend In GP

Amber and I had a great training weekend together and spent some time exploring more of the Peace Country. Friday we went out for a tough 50km TT ride in the wind and I think that took a lot out of me and set me up for a very tough next three days. I was still feeling good but it's hard sometimes to tell when you've pushed it a little too hard. I found out on Saturday when we went out for our long ride, as you could probably tell from my last post, it was one of the toughest training days I've had in a very, very long time.

On Sunday I was up for going for a little trail run and Amber had heard about some nice trails at the Wapiti Nordic Centre. It was a great place to run and I wanted to go for at least 90mins but after 30mins my body was telling me that was it! I was so physically drained and felt as if I could not put one foot in front of another, it literally took everything in me to just run 30mins. I was really disappointed but I gained solace in the fact that Amber had a good day and we were in an incredibly beautiful place. It was hard to feel down when you were surrounded by nature and in a magnificent enviroment. North West Alberta is definitely a beautiful place to be in the spring and summer, who would have thought? I love our new home.

Today I was really apprehensive about getting on the bike again after having such a difficult ride on Saturday. AD was my little motivator and got me out the door and I'm glad she did. I took it easy and stayed in my recovery zone, the wind was full force again on the way out and I had the opportunity to ride with my girl. She stayed in my draft for most of the ride and we had a great day together. It wasn't that hot out so I wasn't worried about running out of water but by the time we got to Sexsmith (70km) we were ready for a little break. We finished the day with a 5km transition run and I felt great again, thank God! A great weekend and we had a lot of fun going our for our rides/ runs while we watched the neighbours do yard work all weekend. Ha ha suckers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Thought I Was Better Trained Than This?

It's May long weekend and Amber and I have some great training plans to keep us occupied. Yesterday we went out for our usual Friday night TT and even though the wind was blowing at about 50km/h we were determined to get used to riding in the wind because it's not going to get better for at least a month. The ride out to Beazanson was great, I was pushing it and I felt like I was riding a time trial in the Tour De France. I finished the first 25kms in 27 minutes, averaged 55km/h. However when I turned around it was time to pay the price, it was incredibly frustrating to be going so fast and then go so slow. I had a straight on head wind and it was TOUGH! I was spinning as hard as I could and couldn't get over 22km/h, arrgghh!! It was one definitely one of the toughest 25km rides I have ever faced, I finished the second half in 1hr 5mins, total time of 1hr 32mins for 50km. Amber was facing the same difficulties and even though riding in the wind really sucks it will make us stronger for future races.

Today was an even bigger test, Amber mapped out a great 175km route with a few stops along the way to refuel and rest. I was excited, the temp was supposed to hit 28 degrees and there was no wind! Yeah! We started out towards Bezanson and I was feeling strong and fast, I was hoping the rest of the ride would be this good. Turned north to Wanam and the ride was absolutely beautiful! There were rolling green hills and I was still averaging about 35km/h, things were working out great today. I stopped to fill up my bottles in Wanum and noticed that the first 87kms went by in 2hrs and 27mins, awesome I felt good and I was going to finish this ride in under 5hrs. Another 20km to Rycroft and I noticed that the cross wind was starting to pick up, oh no. I could only keep pedaling but I noticed that I was getting really, really salty. I was taking salt tabs but there was no way I could replace the amount of salt I was losing. I stopped again in Rycroft and had a sandwich and called AD to make sure she was doing okay. All was good with her so I started on the long road back to Grande Prairie.

The road home was the longest 70kms I have ever riden in my life, the sun was beating down, I was completely dehydrated, salt depleted, bonking and riding uphill into the wind! I ran out of water 30kms from the next stop and I hit the wall at 131kms. I had to get off my bike and lay on the side of the road just to regroup, I just could not physically turn the pedals over any more. I was going so slow and getting absolutely no where. I knew no one was coming to save me so the only way to get home was to get back on the bike and keep going. Amber was doing the same ride and I was sure she was hurting too, I had to get home. The next 10kms were so painful and mentally fatuging, I cannot describe how much it hurt. At about 141kms I made a right turn and the wind was no longer in my face, that helped because I was able to spin out the next 15kms to Sexsmith and buy a bag of chips and a coke. Amber was going through the same turmoil so I rode the final 20kms fairly strong and I felt a little better after filling up my water and eating something. I was sooooo happy to see the Grande Prairie city limits sign it was a very, very hard ride and I was excited to finish it.

Friday, swim; 3kms- 55mins, ride; 50kms- 1hr 32mins
Saturday, ride; 177kms- 5hrs 32mins

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Epic Ride This Sunday

Today was a great ride discovering some of the "peace country" with my favorite training partner AD. We went out towards Sexsmith and it was extremely windy as we were riding straight into a headwind. Fortunately I was still fresh and it wasn't a big deal, once I turned west I was flying again. The ride out to Valhalla Centre was fast and a lot of fun, the road was a rough in some spots and as soon as I finished my first bottle my other full bottle bounced out of my cage and opened all over the road. Thankfully there was a small shop (I say that loosely as it looked more like a horder's messy house) and I grabbed some water and gatorade.

The wind was blowing north to south and as I made the turn at Valhalla I had a great tailwind. I was really moving now and the 24kms went by very fast, lots of fun! I turned onto highway 40 and struggled a little bit back home, I was eating on the ride but still ended up bonking at about 115kms. Made it home though, there weren't any mechanical issues and AD and I kept in touch over the phone so it was a great training day.

Bike; 133kms, 3:58

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today Was Supposed To Be A Long Ride!!! Arrgh!!

It's great that the weather is nice enough now in Grande Prairie to ride outside. It was still a little cool at 9am when Amber and I headed out to highway 40 for our Saturday ride. I was hoping to finally start working on my endurance and get in at least 120km but it just wasn't in the cards today. I sliced open my new $90 rear tire and although I should know better, I've been using my race wheels until I could buy a new one.

I went out feeling really good and not pushing too hard and I was managing to hold a good pace. I could see some rain clouds coming in from the west so I decided to make the turn north to try and avoid them. Highway 723 to Valhalla Centre doesn't have a lot of traffic but it is a little rough and I think the constant pounding and little rocks were too much for my warn rear tubular. I could feel it slowly going flat, aaarrrrggghh! And of course I didn't have a spare! I was 46km into the ride and I thought it wasn't that bad and a CO2 should fix the problem. I used one and it seemed to do the trick but I wasn't taking any chances so I headed toward home. Unfortunately it only did the trick for about 5kms and I was forced to use my second and last CO2. About that time Amber "sensed" something was wrong with me and gave me a call, thank God because I left her a couple messages with no answer. I was riding on a flat by the time I saw her and she gave me her two CO2 cartridges to get me a little closer to home.

I was still 40kms away and I knew I wouldn't make it back but I was determined to get as far as possible. I left Amber and put the hammer down, pushing as hard as I could on highway 40 (a much smoother riding surface) and I think it helped because I was able to go about 15kms until I needed the last CO2. I kept pushing and I half thought I would make it home but my luck ran out at the 80km point, damn. I was still 12kms from town and was forced to walk, oh well 12kms is not too bad. AD passed me 2kms into the walk and I walked another 2kms until she retrived the car and picked me up, thanks babe. I'm really fortunate to have a great training partner, I owe you one.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Seems To Be Our TT Night

I had a tough day at work today and most of the week has not been as productive as I'd hoped. However, after getting out on the bike with my favorite training partner AD, I felt a lot better. It was a 50km TT out the highway behind our place and I had on my race wheels so I felt like I was flying! All of the crap of the day just seemed to fly off my shoulders as I was riding faster and faster. It is a great out and back, flat and fast ride, I'm sure I'll become very familiar it over the summer.

Bike- 50km; 1:17.23

Post Race Recovery

Lately after racing it seems like my body has been taking quite a while to recover. I've been trying to get back into training with the same enthusiasm as usual but after the race this past weekend I was completely spent. I did have quite a bit of travelling to do with work so that may have contributed to the fatigue a little but I'm hoping that I'll be able to bounce back a lot quicker for future races. AD and I have a lot of races planned and I can't spend all summer in "recovery mode." I'm sure as my endurance improves I'll feel a lot better, this weekend we have a couple long bike rides planned and I'd like to tie in a mid-distance/ long-distance run in there as well.

I took it easy yesterday on my run but I still have that inner voice that is constantly telling me to "GO FASTER." I guess it helps to keep my intensity up but I need to balance the intense training with some long-slow-distance, that is what is going to pay off for Ironman.

Run 21km; 1:24.00

Sunday, May 4, 2008

First Tri of the Year

Well today was an opportunity to see if all the winter training paid off for me and I can definitely say it did! Unfortunately Amber wasn't feeling well this morning and even though she was struggling before the start she still pulled out a phenomenal race. The competition was fierce out there and I new I didn't win but I did have a great race. The swim (for me) was very strong, a good bike even though I was severely slowed in the "no pass zone," and a great run. There were some extremely strong young triathletes and it makes me feel really good about the future of the sport in our country.

I was completely wiped out afterwards, it shouldn't feel that way for such a short race, I know I have to work on my endurance over the next four months. The next race is Hinton Olympic distance tri and I'm going to work on incorporating more bricks into my routine. My legs were extremely heavy on the run.

1 129 1/3 M1419 Austin HORN 1 8:48 1:11 1 33:41 35.6 1 16:40 3:20 59:09
2 121 1/6 F1619 Paula FINDLAY 4 8:50 1:11 6 36:30 32.9 3 17:30 3:30 1:02:50
3 52 1/15 M3039 Darin HUNTER 16 11:12 1:30 4 35:23 33.9 2 17:02 3:25 1:03:36
4 92 1/14 F3039 Kristina SCHULTZ 6 10:06 1:21 5 36:20 33.0 12 19:26 3:54 1:05:51
5 26 1/26 M2029 David ELIUK 22 11:44 1:34 3 35:19 34.0 15 19:57 4:00 1:06:59
6 125 2/26 M2029 Mark GUEST 23 11:44 1:34 9 37:15 32.2 4 18:24 3:41 1:07:21
7 142 3/26 M2029 David ROBERTS 32 12:13 1:38 7 36:52 32.5 8 19:10 3:50 1:08:13
8 46 2/15 M3039 Patrick HEWITT 24 11:46 1:35 10 37:34 31.9 7 19:04 3:49 1:08:22
9 128 4/26 M2029 Simmon HOFSTETTER 7 10:16 1:23 15 39:05 30.7 14 19:53 3:59 1:09:13

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Night TT

After spending the last couple days driving all over north western Alberta for work I needed to feel the speed of my bike again. Amber and I headed out on the secondary highway behind our community and I immediately put the hammer down. For a change the wind was blowing east to west and the headwind on the way out made things really challenging. I struggled to stay over 30km/hr but rolled with the punches and managed to pull out the first 25kms in 45mins. At the turn around that's when the fun began, I was absolutely flying! I was averaging 45km/hr and managed to finish the next 25kms in 32mins.

Tomorrow we leave for Edmonton for the U of A tri. It's going to be really nice to start racing again and have that feeling of competing against other like-minded (crazy) athletes. The key for me is going to be the swim, if I have a good one it'll be a great race. I'm expecting great results!

Biking 50kms in 1:17.40

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Testing Out the Legs Again

It's been a full 10 days since I've been out for a run. My legs were really distroyed after the marathon and I was limping around until Thursday last week. It was definitely worth it though, I had the race of my life and of course beat Lance. However it was time to get back out there and see if I still had anything left before our first tri of the year U of A. It's a sprint race so the most important discipline for me is going to be the swim, if I fall too far behind there won't be enough time to get back into the race.

The first five kms were tough, I was running fairly fast and I wanted to stretch myself a little bit. I did my best to keep the pace up but I was really starting to feel my legs fatigue a lot sooner than they normally do. The final five kms were extremely tough but I kept my pace and had a lot of fun passing bikers on the pathway. Finished the 15kms in 58:08.