Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Weekend in Paradise

Yes it was another fantastic weekend with Amber and Harley in beautiful Jasper. I spent a couple days in Whitecourt doing some work and made my way to Edson on Wednesday afternoon. When I arrived I was a little disappointed that the Financial Advisor there told me she had no appointments for us but I was also a little happy, that means I can go to Jasper today! Okay sorry I can't help this month but I'm just going to go straight through to Jasper, bye.

I called Amber that night and I could tell she really, really wanted to be here too. I felt bad she wasn't here with me but I was in the most beautiful place on earth so how could I be in a bad mood. When I left Edson it was blowing snow and colder than I could imagine for the end of March but Jasper was sunny, warm and beautiful! It stayed that way for the next four days. Amber surprised me and rescheduled her class so she could come down Thursday afternoon and we spent the next few days trail running, swimming and biking. I had a rough early season ride up to Maligne Lake yesterday (ran out of food and water) but made it home drifting into town on fumes. We decided to take it easy today so we just took Harley out for a 90 minute hike, packed up and came home.

It's hard to describe the sense of joy and peace I feel in the mountains but it truely is the place where I feel at one with the earth. Being there in nature makes you appreciate how tiny your life is and you can really see what a beautiful world we live in. Everywhere you turn in Jasper you are surrounded by incredible vistas and landscapes that take your breath away. I'm happy that Amber and I have been given the opportunity to be there as often as we have been, one of the great perks of my job up in the great white north. With all the travelling I do for my job I'm definitely happy that Jasper is one of my branches that I visit once a month.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Proud To Be a Part of Team Ernie's and Speed Revolution

All the years I've been doing triathlon I've resisted joining any type of team or club but there are some great athletes here in GP that have inspired me to join them in representing our city. I'll be joining two friends and fantastic triathletes, Robert and Dennis Seitz, and wear the Team Ernie's colours at my races this year. I can't wait to be a part of a team with some other very fast triathletes who seem to be getting better every year. I'm also going to be supporting Amber and Lori's new venture which I'm really excited about, Speed Revolution. Mainly because I've been trying to start a high level multisports club in GP for a while now and Amber and Lori have taken the ball and run with it. Amber's done a fantastic job with the logo and website and I'm interested to see this venture grow. It's going to be an incredible 2010 season!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lonely Weekend

Harley and I were bach'ing it this weekend, Amber was off to Calgary on Friday for a business course and is coming back this afternoon. It's a strange feeling being the one who's left behind, now I know what Amber is going through when I leave on my little business trips twice a month. I felt really lonely and did everything I could to keep myself busy but there was still a big empty hole in my days. I know what great friends Amber and I are when we are together but this weekend I realized what a great couple we are when we're together. Harely seemed a little lost all weekend too, he just mooped around looking really sad like something was not right. Saturday we went for two walks and Sunday a long run and he still wasn't himself. I know exactly how he felt. However things will be back to normal later today and I can't wait to see Amber, after being together for almost four years I still love her more everyday. Glad to have you back home babe.

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Ride of 2010

I can't believe I had an opportunity to ride outside on March 4th in Northern Alberta, that is almost unheard of in this part of the country. It was so nice to feel the sun and brisk wind on my face, I was loving every minute of it. I was on my way out of our little community and I saw a lady in a car obviously in a fight with her daughter because she was screaming and waiving her arms around and I was thinking, "man I am sooooo lucky that's not me." I love my quiet, serene life where I decide where I want the excitement to come from. Today it's from riding my bike HARD and off I went, 25kms to Bezanson and back.

I started off very well just like most years my power on the bike was great, averaging 37-39km/hr all the way out. I was thinking of turning around after 20kms but I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance like this again so I kept going a little longer. I should have turned around because I was seriously struggling on the way back, all of the sudden my heart rate dropped and I had no energy. I felt a little bonky out there but I wasn't in a race and didn't care about time I just wanted to have that feeling of actually moving, it was awesome! I remembered why I love riding my bike, it's such a feeling of freedom and joy that you just can't get from a lot of other things. I enjoy trail running, swimming, mountain biking but riding on the road is that perfect balance of getting the most speed you can out of your body and the adrenalin rush of being the engine moving through the air at 40kms/hr. I was getting a little cold on the way back and my water stayed cold the whole ride, which is very strange, but I didn't mind 90 minutes out on my bike in March is definitely worth it.

I've been trying to make more of an effort to get in the water as well. So far, so good 4 swims this week with over 10kms in total and a 1500m TT effort at 26 minutes, not my best time but it gives me something to improve on. I'm hoping to get down to 21-22 minutes in three months, just need to keep the workouts consistent. Now that I have a few swims under my belt I'm enjoying it a lot more too. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't need to make every swim a super-hard effort. I took it easy today and just worked on technique and strength building, I'll save the intervals for another day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3 Months! What!

This weekend was a lot of good times with the crew although I could tell some people are really getting worn down from some hard indoor training sessions. Three of the four people who joined us for our Saturday ride were either sick or extremely tired, I cut the workout down to 90 minutes and said we're taking next week off. I need the rest as well, I still haven't shaken a stubborn flu that I contracted at the end of January.

Sunday I met Robert and Dennis at the pool for a brief swim/ run and those guys are some of the best triathletes in town but all three of us struggle to maintain some momentum in the pool. I admit I haven't had the best winter when it comes to swim training but those guys are even worse, Robert was saying this was his 4th swim since Ironman! I'm not too worried and I know we'll all be in good swim shape when the season starts but Dennis seemed a little surprised when I mentioned the first race this year starts in three months. I think just like most of us he was just waiting for the outdoor biking season to start and then he'll get into some serious swim training as well. The problem with living in Northern Alberta is if you wait until you can start riding outside you'll probably be waiting until mid-late April.

So the pressure is on me this year, Robert, Dennis and myself have started a tri racing team with Ernies (local sports store) and I want this to be my most successful season ever. I'm confident I can improve on the run and bike. I've been consistently biking very, very well and the computrainer was worth every penny. I set a new PR in December at the Vegas marathon so I know I can run faster too. I just need to get in a good three months of focused swim training and I'll have set myself up for another great year. The first race is the Hinton Triathlon on June 6th and I'm determined to do a sub-24:00 in the pool. I actually had a better swim in 2008 than last year but they've all been around that 24 minute mark. No flats this year and I'm going for the elusive 1:00.00 mark on the bike. It's a very, very tough ride (climbing for 20kms and descending for 20kms) so I'll do my best to get as close as possible to that 40km/hr average speed. Finally a sub-37:00 run will put me very close to the 2:00hr mark, something I never thought I could do. For now the focus needs to be on my swimming and I'm going to make it my mission to consistently get in the water and improve as much as possible. Sometimes it's difficult when I'm on the road but I'll find a way to make it work for me and show up ready to race hard again this year.