Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back In The Groove

Well it's the first weekend back from Hawaii and I must have been motivated by seeing all the pros tear it up in the World Championships because I felt like I was making progress again. Two swims Wednesday and Friday 3kms each and an hour spin on Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday was the first weekend of our Grande Prairie winter bike training. AD and I had one joiner, Duncan, he spun with us for a little bit but after 50 minutes he left and Amber and I killed ourselves with some threshold training thanks to Coach Troy's spinervals. It's been a while since my legs felt like that but I know those sessions are going to pay off big time this year. We came up with our 2009 schedule and the theme next year is "local" and "speed." We're keeping races somewhat closer to home after four big trips this year and spending a year working on speed will help us come back to IM stonger and faster. Also we need to spend some more time on projects around the house, it was a little neglected this year because of all the training and recovery.

Today was a long run, 90 minutes 22kms and it was very, very tough. I could tell I'm not in running shape but a few more workouts like that and I'll either be dead or incredibly fast. I was averaging 155-160BPM and I was a little worried I would blow up after 40 minutes. I was starting to really hurt at about an hour but I managed to struggle home. I had to really push myself for the final 3kms but just kept telling myself, "don't stop, don't stop, just keep moving." A couple more long runs like that and I'll be back on track.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some Cool Kona Pics

AD with the Ironman legend- Mark Allen

AD and me at the finish

Swim start

Andy Potts was first out of the water but he thought he was in an ITU race and kept running when he was supposed to be on his bike! Get on your bike Andy!

Our friend and a great pro, Kyle Marcotte

Another legend, Natasha Badmann

Normann in his element, he had a great ride

He was leading the race at one point!

Chrissy Wellington was amazing! A ten minute delay because of a flat on the bike and she still blew away the competition.

After watching Craig Alexander run in last years' race I picked him to win this year. He is an absolutely incredible runner, 2:45 in 33 degree, high humidity weather. No one can keep up on the run!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Trip of a Lifetime

Amber and I just got back from Hawaii and it was an incredible trip, fun, adventurous, eye-opening, and life changing. The highlight of course was our wedding but we had so much fun everyday that we've both come back refreshed and ready to get back to work. Our wedding was beautiful, just the two of us on the North Shore of Ohau on the beach at sunset. The place was perfect, the setting was exactly what we were looking for and Amber was absolutely beautiful. We spent a lot of time taking pictures (seemed a bit like a photo shoot) but the service by Reverend Jim was perfect, not overly religious but enough to make you realize that our joining is going to be for life. We were both very moved and happy with the entire evening.

The rest of the time we had fun renting some road bikes and touring the island, going to the Polynesian cultural centre (which was a little to "touristic"), trying some surfing, boogie-boarding, and running along the beach. Hawaii definitely has a lot to offer and the weather is always, always good. I'm going to miss it but fortunately I have some fantastic memories with AD and a reason to go back in the future some time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hawaii 2008- Kailua-Kona

After what had to be the longest trip ever, Amber and I made it to the promise land. We started out by getting up at 4:30am to catch our flight from Edmonton to Phoenix. There was a bit of a hold up with the ticket agent as she didn't know what she was doing but after about 30 minutes had everything figured out. That should have been a warning sign. We took off from Edmonton right on schedule without a hitch but when we arrived in Phoenix the pilot mentioned there was a lot of air traffic and we would have to remain in a holding pattern for a while. The only problem was that we didn't have much fuel so if we were there for more than an hour, we'd have to go to another airport. Luckily after half an hour circling we were able to land and fortunately catch our connecting flight to Kona.

The next flight was delayed for another 40 minutes while they tried to replace a burnt out light and noticed some other problems. The plane did look a little dumpy for a major American airline but we were so happy just to be on a flight to Hawaii, we didn't care. We were about an hour and a half into the flight just about to go over the Pacific when the captain mentioned he had some more bad news, the short-wave radio was not working and they couldn't go over water without it. We had to go back to Phoenix and get it fixed or get a new plane!

So back to Phoenix we went, tired, hungry, and not knowing when we would get to Hawaii. After another hour and a half in the Phoenix airport we boarded another plane and started out again. So far we'd been travelling 11 hours and my butt was really sore. This time we were off for good and 6 hours later we arrived in Kona! It was so nice to be there! All the crap of travelling for 20 hours was forgotten and we were happy to be in the promised land.

I met a fellow triathlete in the seat next to me, Paul, who was in the 50-54 age group from North Bay, Ontario and he qualified at Louisville. Way to go Paul. It was definitely tough out there. He was also an investment guy working with RBC.

Our condo in Hawaii was awesome, small but fully stocked with everything you need. We had a good night sleep and woke up bright and early at 6am (10am our time) and went to the pier to go for a swim. It was great hanging out on Ali'i drive, we ran into a bunch of pros and even stopped to talk with Sam Maglone and her coach (husband) Cliff English. Unfortunately she's not racing due to an achilles injury, I mentioned I had the same problem and she asked me what I did to rehab it. I told her go for A.R.T. as much as possible, that's the only thing that worked for me, thanks to my buddy Colin. Cool, Sam Maglone was asking my advice does it get any better.

Walking around town was a lot of fun, we saw Lisa Bentley, Peter Reid, Desiree Ficker and as I went to the store last night I saw Chris MacCormak look right at me as he ran by! Wow, how awesome is it being here!

We had a lot of fun doing non-triathlon related things as well. We rented some cruisers and they were great for getting around. We also rented some snorkel gear and it was so much fun swimming with the fish who were so tame that they didn't mind you swimming around with them. And the sea life here is so amazing! Every color of fish you can think of, Hawaii truly is a paradise!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Running for a Great Cause

Today AD had an opportunity to run the CIBC run for the cure to support breast cancer research and help find a cure for this terrible disease. Fortunately neither of our families have been affected by it but when you think of how widespread and horrible cancer is, we were happy to give any support we could. It was a small turnout but I was incredibly surprised and happy to hear our small community had raised $25,000! Way to go Grande Prairie!

It was really nice for both of us, Amber had a lot of her women who train with her running and I had a lot of people that work for CIBC there. We ran together in the cool and wet weather but had a great time enjoying a beautiful run through Muskoseepi Park and it turned out the 5km run was actually 7.7km. It was fine for me, total run from our house and back was 17km.

Tomorrow we leave for Hawaii! Well Edmonton tomorrow and then Hawaii on Tuesday. I'm offically in vacation mode, I'm super excited for our wedding it is going to be the greatest moment of my life. I get an opportunity to marry the woman of my dreams in the most beautiful place on earth. Watching the Ironman World Championships is going to be awesome, but getting married to AD is definitely the most exciting! I love you babe and I'm looking forward to many, many more incredible moments in our lives together.