Monday, March 30, 2009


It was a great weekend of training even though I took Friday off. I really needed a rest by the end of the week, I was feeling sluggish all week and my body was telling me to take it easy. I'm happy I went into the weekend fairly rested because Saturday I did a 80 minute run with the GP running crew and H-dog. I took it fairly slow, the ground is still really icy and there was no need to push the pace that day. Afterwards we had our usual triathlon coffee discussions, it's always fun to get together with everyone and gab about upcoming races or other things tri related.

That afternoon Amber and I went to a meeting to discuss the GP triathlon and any ideas that we could bring to add to the race. It was interesting to hear everyone's opinion but in the end it's usually the race director that has to do all the work. Fortunately we have a great "tri group" that will help out when needed, pre, during, and post race. The last time I did this race was the last year it was put on (2006) and I finished 2nd! My best result at that time. I love doing an early season sprint race to kick off the season and having it here in our home town is a real bonus! No travel!

Sunday I woke up a little early so I headed to the pool before bike class and pounded out 2500m with some strong 200m and 300m efforts. I need to really work on my speed in the water over the next month to sharpen up and get ready for some short-fast races this year. After that I rushed home and joined the few faithful riders for a tough, tough 80 minute sprint session a la Coach Troy. There were a lot of all-out 10 second sprints followed by 50 seconds rest reps throughout the workout. They really start to hurt by the time you've completed 4 sets of 5 reps. He even threw in a set of plyometric jumps in there just to make us all suffer to the bitter end. Needless to say my legs were rubber for the rest of the day but I'm confident this workout will pay off come outdoor riding season (if it ever comes).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back Home Already?

I was supposed to be on the road this week but given the unbelievable weather we've been having I decided to cancel the High Level trip for March. I could not imagine that the worst conditions for driving all winter long would occur in late March. Now is the time I was hoping to be riding outside and instead there is 70km/h winds and snow drifts across the highway. Oh well, spring will come soon enough and I'm happy to be able to spend the next few days at home before leaving on my southern loop next Tuesday.

Training was good last week, got in a couple swims and was consistent with the biking and running. I still haven't sold my Zipp wheelset but I did get in my new HED 3's this week. They are HOT!!! I can't wait to try them out on the open road. I've been killing myself in the basement all winter on the trainer and I hope it's paid off. If I show up to a race with these wheels and bike like a jackass, it won't look good. I definitely feel like Coach Troy has made me faster, we'll see.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's About the Journey Not the Destination

Well Amber and I are back from Jasper for over a week now and unfortunately the weather here is still cold as ever. We're both really tired of winter and feel like we've done our time in the cold, even Harley is looking a little depressed staring out the window at a snow covered street. I know it won't take long for things to change but I'm getting a little anxious to do some outdoor running and cycling. We had a great weekend with the GP crew, Saturday I joined the group for an icy 17km run. I could tell I was still trying to get over something because when Robert picked it up in the last two kms I couldn't stay with him. I normally look forward to the last push to the finish but I've been trying to fight off a cold for two weeks now and I can tell that I don't have the same speed I normally do.

That seems to be one of the reasons I've been a delinquent swimmer. I just can't get my butt to the pool when I wake up with swollen glands and my energy is non-existent. I'm through making excuses for the rest of this week though, I need to hit the pool at least three times before I have to get on the road again next week. I'll get there Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Looking at past years' results of some of the races I have planned I need to improve my swimming and biking if I hope to do well. It's very, very hard to win a short-course race when you lose a lot of time in the swim. However my goal is to do my best and have a lot of fun this year, the results will take care of themselves.

Racing still adds so much to my life and I really enjoy the training, something Amber and I have a shared passion for. Amber is not overly concerned about racing this year, which is just fine, she just wants to have fun and keep in shape. I'm going to follow her lead and just enjoy being an athlete and not focus on the results. If you start thinking you need to win every race you enter you are bound to be disappointed and that is not the type of athlete I want to be. I want to make other GP triathletes stronger by training hard and racing hard with them and celebrate the success of everyone. We all have different goals and plans for our lives and I think sometimes we can let ourselves become overly concerned with the "results" and not see that the "journey" is what is really important. I have had so much fun this year training in a group environment (it's my first year doing that consistently) and when I go to a race this year it's just a culmination of the strength everyone has given me. Thanks to all GP triathletes I hope we all have a fantastic season and encourage each other to push ourselves to reach goals we never thought were possible.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back In Beautiful Jasper

I'm coming to the end of my two weeks on the road and I'm getting into a much more productive routine when it comes to training. When I first started last year I was absolutely wrecked everytime I had to hit the road. Getting up at 5:30am and driving for 2.5- 4.5 hours then working all day didn't leave a lot of energy to train in the evening. However now I've cut down the travelling to a maximum of 2.5 hours in the morning and the only time I really can't train is when I leave for Peace River in the morning, work all day then drive to High Level at night. That is my 12- 16hr work day and I have to do it once a month.

I've found some cheap hotels with gyms in them so I make sure that I get on the treadmill for an hour when I'm on the road and I feel so much better afterwards. I try and use the treadmill for my speed and hill work and I think it seems to be going well. It's the only time I'm not running with Harley and although I miss my running partner it's nice not having to wrestle with him on the leash when we run into another dog.

I arrived in Jasper yesterday evening and it was a great surprise to see Amber and Harley were already here. I'm a little jealous that they are out having fun today while I'm working but we all enjoy it here so much that I'm glad they get to spend more time having fun out on the trails. We have a lot of fun planned this weekend, some x-country skiing and some trail running, maybe even a swim tomorrow morning! As I was driving in yesterday I was getting that feeling of how nice it's going to be to start cycling here again. There are some of the best cycling routes here that I have ever seen. Challenging climbs, beautiful views, open roads, twisty decents, I can't wait! Hopefully early April will be nice enough to bring the bike, even if we have to gear up I won't mind. Not sure what Harley will say though.