Friday, August 31, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

4340 km later...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Halfway Home

Currently in Grand Forks North Dakota. 2500km of driving is in the books.
We drove from Vancouver to Calgary on Sunday, and stayed at a friend of my mom's. 1050km in the books Sunday. Up early and on the road Monday morning, 1450km today.

Lots of driving today but we were able to make a lot of great time. It's pretty boring once we got past Calgary....until I was driving this morning somewhere west of Medicine Hat, and a large deer ran out in front of us on the highway while we were going 130km/hr. My super evasive driving skills managed to control the car, while avoiding the deer. My heart rate basically doubled, as I had a boost of adrenaline afterwards...kinda freaky...not knowing what the deer is gonna do. Luckily there were no cars behind me on the road.

The plan for Tuesday is to drive from Grand Forks ND, to Marquette MI. From there, that will leave us with a 10 hr drive or so on Wednesday back to Holland Landing. We'll cross back over into Canada at Sault Ste Marie MI, back into Sault Ste Marie Ont.

Crossing the border into North Dakota today was a bit of a hastle, the border cop asked us a ton of questions...and we thought he was gonna go through the whole car (which is packed to the brim) but luckily we got through without a search!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Week that was....and the Week Ahead

I got back from Kelowna Sunday night, with an evening flight on WestJet. Monday and Tuesday were a couple of easy days for me, just getting back into the swing of things.

Wednesday was a hard swim with the group in the pool....which I stunk up the joint in. Guess I needed one more day...we did 2 rounds of 6 X 100 best average on 1:30. I was really hurting in the water...starting off at 1:09's and falling off to 1:12's by the 5th and 6th interval.

Simon and some of the others going to Worlds did a wicked run workout down at Beacon Hill. They did 4 intervals on the Harder than Hamish loop. Simon took down his own course record 3 times out of the intervals....a very BAMF effort.

Joel has been giving out BAMF caps we had made...for BAMF type performances in workouts. Jordan and Simon were the first to get caps (Jordan for a 200 km ride at high wattage, Simon for breakign the Harder than Hamish loop). Andrew got a cap last week when a group of us went 15:30 for the big loop in Thetis (w. a leadout from Kieren), Kirsten got a cap for a hard ass treadmill workout she did, and Kyle and Terenzo got caps for dipping under 6:00 for the Hamish Loop (Simon has the record at 5:45 now I think).

Joel offered me a BAMF cap for my hard efforts this year, but I told him this morning that I had to earn the cap. We warmed up with a small island in the wetsuit, followed by a small island loop at medium/strong effort in the wetsuit as well (10:20). The group finished with another small loop hard (A Mac leading them through in 9:45), but I took the wetsuit off and attempted to break Colin's non-wetsuit Big Island TT record of 15:51. I ended up going 15:44, earning my BAMF cap from Joel.

I finished off the day helping AP out with his final hard workout before his U23 race at Worlds next week - 6 X 1km on Lochside trail. I jogged the first 500m of so of each interval ahead of AP, and then picked him up at 500m as a pacer for the final half km each time. AP was an animal, having 5 of his 6 at 2:55 or under, and his slowest being 3:00 (the uphill interval).

I'm now all packed up, and heading back to Ontario this weekend for the fall. The majority of the group leaves Sunday and Monday to go to Hamburg World Champs, but I'll be driving from Victoria to Holland Landing. I'm picking up my mom in Vancouver on Saturday (she's gonna provide some company and we'll split the driving) and we'll hit the road Sunday morning for Ontario. Not looking forward to sitting in a car seat for 50hrs or so...but should be a cool trip non the less.

I'm gonna miss the whole group out here....but I'll be able to save $$ living at home, and I'll re-join the group in January somewhere.

I'll try to blog each night on the trip home....


A Long Awaited Race Report from Kelowna

Race morning was about 17 C or so, and light rain. The roads were wet on the bike...lots of kick-up from wheels during the race. Usually, the interior of BC is dry, and hot...but not race day.

I was race # 15, and thus was a little before halfway in the field for choosing our start spot. I had a good quick start, getting to the first turn buoy right beside one of my training partners, Andrew McCartney. A Mac had the the inside line at the turn, so I tucked in on his feet at that point. We stayed that way throughout the rest of the swim. After the run up to transition, I was third onto the bike, behind Paul Tichelaar and A Mac. The three of us rode hard at the beginning, trying to get a break from the group. We were a group of three up the climb, before the group (8 guys) caught us on the flats up top. Our group turned out to be fairly strong, including Tichelaar, Wells, Bechtel, McCartney, and Evans (Canada), Messenheimer, Dahlz, Sexton, Collington, Chrabot (USA) and Richmond (New Zealand). Round 2 up the climb was fine, I was towards the front of the group, and we all rode tempo up the climb, no attacks, and I was fine.

Loop three was where I got popped. I wasn't able to get to the front of the group before the climb,without having to put in a large effort to ride to the front of the group before the climb. I took a chance that I would be alright for the climb (preparing to work hard to stay in). About a third of the way up, Tom Evans put in a surge, which spread the group out. I got strung out, and was 10-15m off the back over the top of climb. I put my head down and tried to close that gap...but I just wasn't able to, and soon the group pulled away (and my hopes of a good finish). I ended up riding the last 18km of the bike solo, losing 2:47 to the group. I was swallowed up by the chase group just as we entered T2.

I couldn't get any speed going at the start of the run....I figure it was from the hard 18km solo effort. Who knows. I negative split the run (17:55, 17:05) but that didn't do much, as I finished in 18th place.

Oh how I wish I could have hung in on that climb...I know it was a dumb mistake on my part...and I paid the price for it. If I would have been 3 or 4 bikes further up the group, I would have stayed in, and then I would have been running for a Top 10 finish. I guess that is racing though.

Race Photo's can be viewed here (I couldn't download any of the photos)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hurricane Dean

It won't be too long until we see Anderson Cooper on CNN broadcasting in the heart of the storm. Dean is expected to be a Category 4 storm (winds over 131 mph) by the time it hits Cancun on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A couple solid days of training

Back to some training with the group....we've got a couple additions right now...Terenzo Bozzone is in town to train with the group before Worlds, and we've also got Kieran Doe here training. Terenzo spent some time here after the Vancouver WC, he's a funny guy, and a great guy to train with.

Here's a recap of the past 4 days or so of training.

I headed over to the treadmill early in the morning, to get my hard workout before hitting the road for some 2XU work.

20' warm-up
2 rounds of (3' @ 11 mph (2%), 2' @ 11 mph (4%), 1' @ 11 mph (6%) all with 3' ez in between
A tuner-upper for the weekend Joel called it.
A 10' warm-down to finish off the run. The hardest of those intervals I found were the 2' efforts at 4%, they were long enough and steep enough to start to feel it!

A 60' ez spin finished off the day of training.

We had a big group at Thetis Lake in the morning for the swim. A small island warm-up loop, then the main set called for 2 big island loops (1 steady, 1 HARD). Our group is really swimming well right now, and with the addition of Terenzo and Kieran, we were flying today! The steady loop we swam in the wetsuits, and went through in 15:45.

The wetsuits came off for the hard one (Kieran kept his on). Kieran was setting a great pace on the front and we were soon strung out in a line behind him. We ended up losing contact with Kieran somewhere after the turn at the big island, and I was doing all I could to hang on to Terenzo's feet. I kept having to surge to get back on, as were Simon and Colin behind me. I pulled up alongside Terenzo and A Mac by the end of the loop, and we finished in 15:30, which turned out to be 20" faster than the official non-wetsuit loop record held by Colin. Though this one won't count for any of us, as we had the lead-out from Kieran in the wetsuit. All in all, a really solid swim today.

We did a 50' run at Thetis after the swim, it started as a group run with Simon and Terenzo, but after 10' of running uphill on this insane trail (and thinking I was a mountain goat) we (Colin, Kyle, AP and I) branched off and found some flatter terrain to run on.

My legs paid dearly from that mountain goat excursion yesterday! My quads were extremely sore today, as were Colin's, Kyle's and others. Today was a TOUGH couple of workouts back to back.

Leave as a group from Thetis on the bike, for about a 35' warm-up ride out towards East Sooke. Then it was into a tough rolling 27km loop as a group. I was feeling pretty good on the bike, until I went out the back of the group on one of the first climbs. I managed to work my way back to the group, and back into the rotation. I hung in, working really hard, until this massive climb at around 18km. This was a long climb, and my legs were completely shot. I was dropped like a rock. By the time I managed to drag myself over the top, the group was up the road, and AP who was dropped, was getting the moto-pace from Joel. I was left to ride the last 9km solo back to the start.

285 W avg

We had a quick change, and then onto the Galloping Goose trail for a 10' warm-up jog, before the run workout.

3km tempo - 10:10 (3:23,3:25,3:22)
2km tempo + - 6:50 (3:15, 3:35)
3 X 1km pace - 3:19, 3:11, 3:16
4 X 400 hard

Let's just say my legs were completely trashed after the workout. The group ran really well...Simon setting blistering paces on the front w. Terenzo, Kyle and AP right there, and Kirsten was running like an animal as well.

We rode easy back to Thetis after the run...and my legs were toast.

An easy, easy 30' run this morning. The legs were pretty sore at the beginning, but loosened up as I got into the run. A Mac had the same run, as we're racing next weekend in Kelowna. The rest of the group is still in hard training for World's, so they all backed up yesterday's workout with a 90' long run this morning.

We swam at Thetis this morning for some easy swimming. A small island warm-up loop, and then 2 broken loops around the big island (1 with paddles, 1 alternating 25 strokes fast, 25 ez).
An easy 60' was all that was left for the well as lying around watching the final round of the PGA championship, and the NASCAR race from Watkins Glen.

More Photo's from Drummondville

AP running to his National Silver Medal

Tichelaar running to his 2nd Canadian Title

The Top 3 overall in the race: Plata (2nd), Shoemaker (1st), Tichelaar (3rd)

Out of the water

Onto the bike

180 Turn to start a new loop

Part of our 11 strong lead group

The finish

Photos from Drummondville

The swim Start

1st out of the water, with A Mac and Bechtel with me. We had a 30" lead that lasted for 7km of the bike

Bechtel and I on the bike

Off the bike into T2

Trying to Hold on to Bryden..

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oh How I Love BC Ferries....

Tuesday August 7th, 8pm

Well, I spent Monday night in Vancouver at the UBC dorms, as I was going to doing a bit of sales work for 2XU on Tuesday. I showed my first shop in the morning, went for a 40’ run in some light rain (it seems it always rains in Vancouver), and had a lot of time to kill still until my 4pm showing in Port Moody. Luckily, I got the final Harry Potter book from my parents in Drummondville and started reading it on the flight from Montreal to Vancouver.

After my 4pm showing, I headed down toward Tsawwassen to catch the ferry back to Victoria. I arrived at 5:35, and thought that I might be able to get on the 6pm ferry. Nope. 7pm ferry? Nope. 8pm ferry? NOPE. I’m stuck on the 9pm sailing to the island. Arrive at 5:35, and finally leave the ferry terminal at 9pm. Geez…I can’t believe they can be that backed up on a Tuesday evening. Oh well….I’ve got Harry Potter…and I’ve saved the last 50 pages of the book for once I get onto the ferry. I’m sitting in the car now, just listening to some music, killing time until I can get onto the ferry, and finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I figure in total it will be about 9 hrs of reading to read the whole thing. The book is so easy to read…yet so hard to put down!!

We’re back to training tomorrow, most of the group is in their last training block before Worlds and Beijing World Cup, both of which are Olympic Qualifiers for Canada. We’ve got a swim in the morning, as well as a 2hr base ride, and Thursday brings a pretty solid treadmill workout….just what the doctor ordered, as I think I need a couple good hard tready sessions before Kelowna in 11 days. I’d like to run solid off the bike (like Geneva) there, and make up for the disappointing run from Nationals.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Nationals Race Report

Drummondville ITU Continental Cup / National Championships
Aug 5th

Race day came with sunny skies, a little bit of wind, great temps (high of 24 C) and NO HUMIDITY! The race was not only our National Championship, but it was also an ITU continental cup, meaning there were valuable ITU points up for grab as well. I was ranked 9th of 42 men on the start line.

I was positioned between DJ Tache, and Jamie Stephenson on the start. I put my head down for the first 10 strokes to try and get some clean water and get to the first turn buoy at the front of the field. I wanted to really push the pace on the swim, in the hopes of getting a small group away on the front, and carry that into the bike.

At the 750m mark, there were only two guys right with me (Sean Bechtel and Andrew McCartney), with the main chase group a little ways back. I continued to push the pace on the 2nd loop, trying to make that gap a bit larger. We ended up having a 30 sec lead out of the water and into T1.

I thought that Sean, Andrew and I were working fairly well together on the first loop of the ride, until we looked back at 7km and saw a group of 8 chasing us hard. We realized then that we weren’t going to be able to stay away, and soon we were 11 guys on the front. Our group included: Jarrod Shoemaker, and Victor Plata from USA, Fancisco Serrano from MEX, and 8 Canadians (Bechtel, McCartney, Baillargeon-Smith, Bryden, Wells, Russell, Tichelaar, Tache).We worked well as a group, trying to widen the gap back to the chase group, so that the race would come down to just our group. We managed to build a lead of 2:30 coming into T2, at which point I knew that I was going to finish 11th overall, 8th Canadian at the worst, as long as I ran solid.

I fumbled around a little in T2, and ended up starting the run in 11th place at the tail end of our group. Dumb move. I lost touch with the guys I needed to run with right off the bat. I struggled on the first 2.5km loop, but managed to come back a bit on the second loop, catching up to McCartney and Bryden. The three of us ran together the 3rd loop, before I fell apart around 7km, when Bryden opened a gap on McCartney, and I fell off the pace. I struggled through the last loop, knowing that I was going to finish 11th. I still ran well enough to score some valuable ITU points (92) which will move me up the ITU rankings a bit. I just wish that I could have run here like I did in Geneva a few weeks ago. I outran a couple of the guys who beat me today in Geneva, but I just couldn’t produce that run again. That’s why we race.

I’m heading back to Vancouver today, staying in Vancouver Monday night. I’ll be busy in Vancouver Tuesday showing the spring 2008 line for 2XU to a few shops, then catching the ferry back to Victoria, and back to training. Next up for me is the ITU Kelowna Continental Cup on Aug 19th, where I’ll be looking for a solid run and some more ITU points.

1 Shoemaker Jarrod USA 01:45:59 00:18:58 0:56 0:54:27 00:53 30:47
2 Plata Victor USA 01:46:08 00:19:09 00:49 0:54:19 00:53 31:00
3 Tichelaar Paul CAN 01:46:47 00:19:07 00:53
0:54:19 00:51 31:40
4 Serrano Francisco MEX 01:47:15 00:19:12 00:51 0:54:13 00:54 32:04
5 Baillargeon Smith Andre Paul CAN 01:47:27 00:19:07 00:53 0:54:20 00:53 32:16
6 Bechtel Sean CAN 01:49:00 00:18:32 00:53 0:54:55 00:53 33:48
7 Tache David James CAN 01:49:12 00:19:10 00:56 0:54:12 00:53 34:01
8 Russell Andrew CAN 01:49:35 00:19:09 00:53 0:54:17 00:53 34:22
9 Bryden Jordan CAN 01:49:40 00:19:06 00:56 0:54:18 00:56 34:24
10 McCartney Andrew CAN 01:49:46 00:18:29 00:56 0:54:55 00:56 34:32
11 Wells Daniel CAN 01:50:36 00:18:28 00:53 0:54:58 00:56 35:21
12 Mackenzie Dan USA 01:52:17 00:20:03 00:58 0:56:56 01:03 33:15
13 Yorke Andrew CAN 01:52:31 00:19:34 00:53 0:56:32 00:53 34:38
14 Woegerer Andrew CAN 01:52:43 00:19:37 00:54 0:56:29 00:58 34:45
15 Hamelin Patrice CAN 01:52:52 00:19:32 00:53 0:56:35 00:53 34:59

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Quick Update

11th overall, 8th Canadian, made $400 for the 8th place finish.
Not the greatest run, I should have been faster today.
Results will be posted at soon.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

All Systems Go

In Drummondville, and ready to race. The weather for tomorrow looks to be ideal for racing, 24 C and no rain or humidity. The last bit there is great news for me, as we haven't had any humidity to train in out in Victoria and my first day in Drummondville here was a bit rough with the humidity. the thunderstorms yesterday cleared all the humidity out luckily!!

I have start #9 for the race tomorrow, which means I will get a decent choice on the start line. The swim is two loops in the river, which has a slight current to it. The bike is 4 loops of a flat and fast course. The run is again flat as well, 4 loops.

We'll be missing a few key guys in the race tomorrow - Simon Whitfield, Kyle Jones and Brent McMahon aren't racing in order to focus on Olympic qualifying next month, and Colin Jenkins had to withdraw at the last moment as well with a slight shoulder injury. The men's field is still going to be a good one, with Paul Tichelaar the top ranked Canadian, as well as a few Americans up racing (2005 U23 World Champ Jarrod Shoemaker, Geneva ITU winner Victor Plata, and John Dahlz).

I'll be looking for a solid swim to split the field up, and hopefully we can get a nice group at the front, and open a gap on the chase pack, so we don't get a mass 10km run at the end.

That's all for now, here's hoping everything goes according to plan!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

First 720 in Big Air history...X Games

OK...Not quite sure how I posted the video a month ago...I'll have to wait until Colin can help me.
So, I'll just post the link here to this Big Air trick by Jake Brown at the X Games. That's gotta hurt.

I'm in Drummondville right now, Nationals this weekend. I'll post something on the race later today or tomorrow. It's hot and humid here right now!