Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shawnigan Lake Race Report

The Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman was the first race of the 4 race Subaru West Coast Series, put on by Lifesport. It also doubled as the men's championship race, with prize money going 3 deep ($2000, $1000, $500).


The elites were treated to a VIP meet and greet on Friday evening up near Shawnigan Lake, complete with free drinks and snacks. Outdoors on the patio w. a couple glasses of wine, looking out over the water. Awesome. They ran a mini meet and greet for the top men's contenders, calling up the 4 main contenders to say a few words. They included: Jordan Rapp (5th 2007 IM Canada, 3rd 2008 IM Arizona), Andriy Yastrebov (4th 2007 IM Canada, 4th 2006 IM Lake Placid, 1st 2005 IM Wisconsin), Jasper Blake (1st 2006 IM Canada, 4th 2007 IM Couer D'Alene) and Chris Brown (3rd 2007 IM Canada). I was told I wasn't going to be called up, as I was considered the dark-horse, which was fine by me. I had no credentials behind me like the other guys, and I was just looking to see what I could do on race day.

I'm fortunate to have not only an awesome coach and training group out here, but also some generous buddies as well. Simon hooked me up with an extra aero helmet of his, and Jordan pimped my ride by giving me an extra Zipp 404 front wheel as well as an extra Zipp disc that he had. I was all tricked out now, no excuses.

Jordan and I headed up on Saturday to take part in the "Ride w. the Pro's" ride that went on prior to bike check-in. It was cool to ride a loop of the course with about 20 other athletes who chose to take part in the event. On the way back I was saying to Jordan that I was hoping to go 4:15 on race day (2:25 bike, 1:25 run, and then 25:00 swim plus transitions). Jordan said he thought that I'd go 4:10

The course:

2 loop swim in Shawnigan Lake (temp around 16 C - wetsuit legal)
4 x 22km rolling loop around Shawnigan
T shaped out and back run along the Cowichan Trail

Race Day:

Up at 3:30am to eat, and scooter down to Jordan's place. We left Jordan's at 4:45am as the race was starting at 7am. Set up transition, short bike to make sure things were working, easy run, quick trip to the bathroom, and soon it was time to start.

The race started w. a cannon blast from the local military base. Quite the way to start. I quickly moved to the front on the first lap, easily getting clear from the group along w. Andrew McCartney and Brent McMahon (who was doing a relay as he has Worlds in 2 weeks). I led through the first loop, before Andrew came around me on the second loop to lead us out of the water in 22:10. This gave me a 2:30 gap to Jasper, and roughly a 4:00 gap to Andriy and Jordan.

Out onto the bike course, I quickly dropped Andrew, and settled into my pace on the bike, not wanting to blow up too early. Jordan and I had a friendly wager to see who would be first through lap 1 of the bike (that was my goal point to hold off Jordan). I was still in the lead through loop 1, and continued riding strong on loop 2. Riding with the disc was awesome, as was riding and feeling the aero helmet touching your back as you're down in the aero position.

I managed to hold Jordan off until almost 50km (into the 3rd loop), where he came by me, gave me a few words of encouragement, and was soon gone up the road. I kept riding my own pace, making sure to get my nutrition in. I managed to hold off Jasper and Andriy until about 3 km from the end of the ride. The three of us came off the bike together, roughly 4:00 back of Jordan.

At this point I was in the running (both literally and figuratively) for some money, but I knew I would have my work cut out for me, as both Jazz and Andriy are noted runners. I think I got a little caught up in moment, or perhaps I wanted to try and run w. a shot at the money for a while, as I ran the first mile with the two of them, before I had to back off as my quads started to cramp up on me. I was stuck in no man's land, and just tried to settle into my pre-race goal pace of roughly 4:00 km's (1:25 pace). I was on pace until 10km or so, until things started to catch up to me. I think I paid a bit for the slightly faster bike split on the second half of the run, as well as the fact that the second half of the run was a bit harder (looser footing, combined with false flats)

I managed to limit my losses pretty well, only losing 4:30 to Jordan on the run, and 4:00 to Jasper. I crossed the line in 4:10:40 good for 4th place on the day, about 4:00 out of the money. Jordan made the front page of the Sport section on Monday which was pretty cool.

Jordan Rapp 4:01:35
Andriy Yastrebov 4:05:42
Jasper Blake 4:06:40
Daniel Wells 4:10:40
Chris Brown 4:21:16

Full Results w. splits are here.

I'm pleased with my first foray into the long-course race scene, and am looking to race the next race in the series - New Balance Victoria Half Ironman, in 4 weeks. After that, I'll race a few ITU draft legal events (including Nationals in Kelowna) before venturing down to Panama City Beach Florida to race Ironman Florida in November along with my dad and sister.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Finally some decent weather!!!

We were finally blessed with a few days over 15 C here in Vic. Fri and Sat the temperature climbed up to the mid 20's which made it great for training. Today turned out to be a good day weather wise as well, but the next couple days look cool and wet again. But...there is hope on the horizon as later this week looks to be warm again.

Now on to the training. Thursday morning was an ez 3000m swim in the morning, a 90' run on the rolling trail around Thetis lake, and an hour ez spin.

Friday morning was our usual swim to bike workout, but we were short one windtrainer this morning, so I was the odd man out, and just did the swim workout and then an hour ride on my own later in the day (along with a 50' run). The main set was 50 x 50 on 45" every 5th fast, followed up with a 500 hard (5:45). Colin and I had an epic battle, where I opened up about 5 meters on him in the first 100, but he eventually battled back and we ended up sprinting the last 25 trying to out-touch the other. I think I won :)

Saturday morning we met up down at Bubby Rose coffee shop pre-ride, before heading out for a 2:30 base ride. With the warm weather we had, it was nice to ride in just a jersey and shorts!!

Getting ready to ride from Bubby Rose

Later in the day we met up at Thetis Lake for our first open water swim of the year. The water the week before was 13.5 C, so I'm guessing it was about 14-15 or so this weekend. It was chilly the first little bit, but then you got used to it. We swam 2 loops of the big island (1300m per loop) and it was nice to get in the water and try out my new 2XU Velocity wetsuit.

Colin and I seem to be taking our time getting into the water

Joel took some awesome pics while we were swimming

Sunday we headed down to Beacon Hill for a solid run workout. 20' warm-up, then 6 x 1 mile (or so) loop on the road. I felt good running today, and ran some solid times running solo each time.

5:14, 5:16, 5:12, 5:15, 5:09, 5:19

I fell off a bit there at the end. for comparison's sake, Paul/Kyle/Brent ran between 4:36-4:45 for each one. Simon was just a bit quicker than that.

I'm looking forward to this weekend when I get to put my fitness to use in my first race of the year. I'm racing the Shawnigan Lake Half-Ironman on Sunday, and there looks to be some solid competition, so it should be a good day of racing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Highlights of the last 10 days or so...

I've neglected blogging for too long, and rather than bore you with 10 days worth of workouts, I'll highlight some of our more "key" workouts from the last 10 days or so

Last Tuesday we hit up Commonwealth for a good treadmill workout. 20' warm-up, then 4 rounds of the following:

3' @ 11.1 mph, 1' ez, 3 x (1' @ 11.4 mph, 1' ez)

I was dripping wet getting off the treadmill, always a sign of a good workout.

Wednesday we did some steady state riding on the Old West Saanich loop, with a 2km hard run off the bike, and a 3hr base ride on Thursday. Friday morning was swim to bike workout at the pool again..

Saturday we met up down at Beacon Hill to run the Harder than Hamish Loop (2km w. a hill in the middle). After warming up, the workout was 5 x HtH loop w. 2:30 recovery. I was able to build through the workout, without falling off pace at the end, which seems to happen.

Loop times were: 6:53, 6:51, 6:45, 6:40, 6:43

Team BAMF before the workout

Starting round #2

Sunday we were up at the Waddling Dog for our usual Sunday hard bike efforts, but Joel had a surprise for us today. Rather than our usual Motor pacing, today we were going to be doing team time trial (TTT) efforts. 4 x single loop. Round 1 we went in three groups of 3 w. 20" in between the groups. Groups were Dano, Connor, Kirsten - Colin, Jordan, Andrew - Simon, Paul, Kyle. The groups ended up coming together on the back side of the interval. Round 2, the groups were the same except for Jordan and Paul who switched groups. We were able to hold off group two a bit longer, with Simon's group catching us all right at the end on the line.

For the third and 4th rounds, we ended up going off in two groups (Dano,Connor, Kirsten, Andrew - Simon, Colin, Jordan, Paul, Kyle). With the amount of horsepower in the second group, Joel gave us a 60" buffer, and we were able to hold them off by 10" or so at the end. The 4th round we ended up with a 50" buffer, and our group was caught right at the end..with Paul catching the draft off a car to zoom by for the line. We finished the day off with our usual Sunday evening swim.

Tuesday was another treadmill workout, this one being a fairly long one!

20' warm-up
3 x 3' @ 11.2 w. 2' ez IBT
3 x 2' @ 11.5 w. 2' ez IBT
3 x 1' @ 12.0 w. 1' ez IBT
5' ez
15' warm-down

This one was a killer for me...I had to grasp onto the treadmill for a few stretches throughout the second round through on the 3' and 2' intervals...

Yesterday we had another hard ride (Broadmead loop - 4km) with a short hard run off the bike.
We went three rounds of 2 laps hard, then straight into a 3km loop of the Bog at effort, and a 2nd loop ez warm-down.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Singing Revolution

On Saturday afternoon, I went down to the U Vic movie theatre to watch a movie called The Singing Revolution.

My parents had gone to see it in Toronto, and as it turns out, it was the last day it was showing here in Victoria. I headed down after the run and ride, and caught the 2:45pm matinee. Here's a short preview of the movie.

It turned out to be a really interesting movie, chronicling the struggles that Estonia faced while under Soviet, German, and again Soviet rule. I had heard stories from my mom of what the conditions were like when her parents left Estonia for Sweden then onto Canada, but to see it in the movie put it into perspective.

"First occupied by the Soviets in 1939, then by the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again, Estonia lived through decades of terror. By the end of World War II, more than one-quarter of the population had been deported to Siberia, been executed, or had fled the country. Music sustained the Estonian people during those years, and was such a crucial part of their struggle for freedom that their successful bid for independence is known as the Singing Revolution.

"The Singing Revolution" is the first film to tell this historically vital tale. "This is a story that has not been told outside Estonia," said filmmaker James Tusty, who is of Estonian descent. "We felt it was time the rest of the world knew of the amazing events that happened here.""

Check out the website and see if it's playing in your area. I heard that it has been held over in Toronto. It's definitely worth seeing.

Catching up on training

Thursday morning we met down at Dr Rob Hasagawa's house for a 45' ez run where we warmed up for a lil bit and then he guided us through some specific running drills. We did a lot of key drills with strides, and then we also did some plyometric type exercises down at the water-front, and finished off with uphill bounding (running, trying to maximize hang time in the air). I thought this was a very good run session, as all we focused on was these key drills.

We followed up the run with a 3000m easy swim at Crystal. We were joined by Paul Tichelaar, who is in Victoria until Worlds in early June.

I headed over to the treadmill in the afternoon for the 20/20/20 workout. Right off the bat start out at 9.0 mph for 20 min, then 20' at 9.6 mph, and finally 20' at 10.2 mph (w. treadmill set at 2% incline the whole workout). I was feeling pretty good through-out, until the power went off at Commonwealth 11 mins into my final 20' piece. So I had an un-scheduled 15 break or so there, then finished off the workout once the power came back on.

Friday morning was out swim/bike interval workout again. A short warm-up and then into a tough swim set, total of 15 x 300 as follows:

5 Pull on 4:30
5 swim on 4:15 (3:45's)
5 swim on 4:00 (3:32-35's)

We then went straight onto the bikes for 3' hard, and then 12 x (45" hard, 15" easy). A 50' easy run finished off the day.

Saturday we headed over to Thetis Lake for our first run workout there this year. One loop of Thetis Lake for the warm-up (5km), and then we ran a hard 5km tempo loop (17:47). We jogged down to the Galloping Goose Trail, where we finished off the workout w. 12 rounds of (60" hard, 30" ez). Finished off the day, w. a 2hr ride in some light rain.

This morning we did our motor-pacing up at the Waddling Dog. The workout was single loop, double loop, single loop. The last single loop was a tough one...as Joel really upped the speed on the scooter going up the highway. All in all, a really good workout today. Now it's almost time for our favourite workout of the week....Sunday afternoon swim!!