Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to everyone! Canada Day finds Jordan and I heading up to Sidney for the Sidney Days 5km. We both ran there last year (Dano 15:55, Jordan 16:20), and the goal this year is for both of us to be under 16:00. We'll see how the legs are after the race last weekend, and a good weekend of training.

Updating my WR predictions at the US Swim Trials, the women's 100 Bk WR was broken not once, but twice this morning in prelims. The semi-finals were slower, but it should be an interesting final on Tuesday night (as will the Mens 200 Fr). So that's 4 WR's broken (3 events).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good Weather, Good Training

Wow, summer has arrived!!

Fri, Sat and Sunday have been amazing days here in Victoria. It's actually felt like I was back in Ontario! Yesterday the temp was 30 C, with a humidex of 34 C. It's nice to wake up in the morning, and only have to put bike shorts and a jersey on to ride. Making sure you get enough liquid in is the key though.

Monday thru Thursday were basically recovery days following the race on the weekend. Some 3km swims in the morning, and some ez spins and shuffles to get the legs going again.

Friday morning we had a great set in the pool. Main set of 30 x 100 as 6 rounds of (1:35, 1:30, 1:25, 1:20, 1:15). Jenkins and I pushed each other the whole set, holding under 1:13's for most of them. We had a 2 hr base ride with 8 rounds of 2' on/2' off, followed by a 40' easy run.

Saturday was a glorious day, and we met up downtown at the coffee shop for our ride. A solid three hour ride, with 60' of hard riding, then straight off the bike into a fartlek run of 20 x 1' on/ 1' off. The run was a rough one with the heat, and we all made a stop at the corner store on the ride home for some cold cokes!

Sunday morning we headed out to Thetis Lake for our 90' long run. Two loops around the lake (10km) and then the last 45' or so running flat along the Goose. My legs were pretty trashed from yesterday, so 10km of hills was all that I could take. We had a 4km swim at Thetis following the run, and the combo of the awesome weather and the water warming up, allowed us to swim without wetsuits for the first time today. A 60' ez spin finished the day off.

Today was the first day of the US Olympic Swim trials, which run until Sun July 6th. Michael Phelps started the meet off with a new WR in the first event (Mens 400 IM). Actually, both Phelps and Ryan Lochte both broke Phelps' old record.

Phelps battling with Lochte in the final

I meant to post this before the trials started, but I figure that there will be 8-10 World Records set during the US Trials. We've already got 2 WR's on the first night (Mens 400 IM, Womens 400IM).

The other WR's that I think are in trouble are: M100Br, W100Bk, M200Fr, M100Bk, W400Fr, W200Fr, M200Br, M200IM, W800Fr

I don't think Phelps will break his WR's in the 100 or 200 Fly, as I don't think he will have enough competition pushing him, coupled with his ultimate goal of winning 7 golds in Beijing.

Also, the LZR suit for the USA team was unveiled at the Trials, and it looks pretty sweet!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Balance Half Ironman Race Report

Race #2 in the Subaru West Coast series, and I was looking to move up 1 spot and get on the podium, as Jordan Rapp wasn't racing this one. Prize money went 3 deep ($1000, $500, $250) so that was extra motivation as well.

The course:
1 big rectangular loop in Elk Lake (1.9km)
2 loops throughout saanich, plus an out and back section from transition area (87km)
2 x 10km loop around Elk and Beaver Lake (20km)

Race Day:
Up at 4:30 for a quick breakfast, and hit the road at 5:15 for the short drive over to Elk Lake. Through body marking, pump up the tires, short run warm-up, and then get the wetsuit on and a short swim warm-up. The was a bit of a breeze from the south which made the first 800m stretch of the swim a bit choppy, which was music to my ears! It would help in my plan to be out of sight, out of mind.

For the second race in a row, I wasn't ready for the start of the race, which again happened with a blast from the howitzer from the local army branch. I quickly put my head down, and aimed for the first turn buoy 800m out. I ended up coming out of the water in 23:10 with almost a 4:00 lead. Quickly through transition and onto the bike.

I had ridden the course a couple weeks ago in training, and knew that it was going to be a tough bike course. I tried to ride controlled and effectively on the first loop, spinning up some of the hills, so as not to fry the legs too early. I managed to hold off both Trevor Wurtele and Andriy Yastrebov until roughly 65-70km or so on the bike. I was able to key off of them once they went by, but they pulled away in the last 8km or so, and I just tried to limit my losses at that point.

I was roughly 1:00 down on Andriy off the bike, and about :30 down on Trevor. I had no idea where Steve Kilshaw was. I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me to catch Trevor, as he had run 1:20 at Boise 70.3 a few weeks ago. Off I went onto the run, trying to spot Trevor up ahead. I was able to run pretty well throughout the first loop (37:15) but fell off a bit on the second loop (39:50). Andriy ran really well off the front for the win, while Trevor ran really well for second. I hung on for 3rd place, and a little bit of money.

I thanked Jasper after the race for opting not to race (he's battling shingles right now) and allowing me to sneak onto the podium! Also thanks again to Jordan Rapp for allowing me the use of his extra Zipp disc!

All in all, I'm happy with the way the race unfolded. I've still got a few things to work on for the long course races, as I had quad cramps/spasms in the left leg again. It might be a case of not enough sodium intake, or perhaps a muscle imbalance.

Andriy Yastrebov 3:57:14 27:06 2:16:41 1:12:06
Trevor Wurtele 4:00:57 27:15 2;16:32 1:15:40
Daniel Wells 4:02:58 23:10 2:21:34 1:17:09
Stephen Kilshaw 4:05:37 27:06 2:20:29 1:17:01

Full results can be found here

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Balance Half Ironman Pre-Race

The race goes tomorrow morning, bright and early at 6:45am.

We had the VIP reception last night, and it looks like there will be a good battle for the podium on Sunday. Jasper and Andriy are back to race, as well as Stephen Kilshaw (racing his first half), and Trevor Wurtele (who was 9th at Boise 70.3). Hopefully I can get out of sight and out of mind on the swim. Should be a good one.

For those of you with nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, there will be live timing updates on the race found here. The splits will be updated after the swim, bike, and then at the finish.

There is also the Des Moines World Cup happening tomorrow. It's a $700,000 prize purse there, yet there are only 31 women and 39 men on the start list. Prize money goes 15 deep on each side, with the winner bringing home $200,000 and a lexus I believe. In addition, there is a swim prime of $5,000 to the first male and female out of the water. Live coverage can be found here, with the women racing at 1:30 CST, and the men racing at 4:30 CST.

Des Moines Prize Money:
Place Amount
1. $200,000.00 + Lexus
2. $40,000.00
3. $25,000.00
4. $15,000.00
5. $12,500.00
6. $10,000.00
7. $9,000.00
8. $7,000.00
9. $6,000.00
10. $5,500.00
11. $5,000.00
12. $4,500.00
13. $4,000.00
14. $3,500.00
15. $3,000.00

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's been a busy past couple of weeks. All the excitement of Worlds in Vancouver has come and gone, and it's back to business on all fronts. I had a good week of training, as the weather has finally co-operated a little bit! Good open water swim yesterday at Thetis, and a solid ride with Simon, Colin, and Jordan who managed to spit me out the back on some of the climbs. Fun fun.

This weekend brings about my second race of the year, the New Balance Half Ironman at Elk Lake in Victoria. It's a sold out field of over 600 athletes, going off in two different waves. I rode two loops of the bike course last week, and it's a tough one! This won't be an easy half Ironman by any means. The run is two laps around Elk lake for a total of 20km. It's nice having the race in your backyard, as we do lots of runs on the trail at Elk Lake, and ride regularly on parts of the bike course.

Stelmach and I, having a brew after his race.

In Vancouver, I was able to hook up with a couple people I hadn't seen in a long time. Mike Stelmach and I used to swim and race tri's against each other back in the day (I think it was a Wednesday) and Kurt Hartmier and I used to run with the same track coach in high school. Kurt was there working for Racer Mate (computrainer) and Mike was there racing the Sprint race.

I also got a photo with 2004 and 2008 Estonian Olympian Marco Albert. I'm still working on getting my Estonian citizenship, so I will have dual Canadian-Estonian citizenship which will make for easy traveling through Europe.

Marco and I

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hurricane Season

Sunday June 1st marked the beginning of this years Hurricane Season (which I look forward to).

"NOAA's Climate Prediction Center today announced that projected climate conditions point to a near normal or above normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year.

The Climate Prediction Center outlook calls for considerable activity with a 65 percent probability of an above normal season and a 25 percent probability of a near normal season. This means there is a 90 percent chance of a near or above normal season.

The climate patterns expected during this year’s hurricane season have in past seasons produced a wide range of activity and have been associated with both near-normal and above-normal seasons. For 2008, the outlook indicates a 60 to 70 percent chance of 12 to 16 named storms, including 6 to 9 hurricanes and 2 to 5 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale).

An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes for which two reach major status."

No Hurricane Daniel this year...but there is a Hurricane Kyle (Jones) in the forecast!

Read the whole article here:

The week ahead

This past week was all about recovery from Shawnigan Lake.
Mostly regenerative, easy training through the week, with some harder effort coming once we got to the weekend.

Saturday we met up at the Oak Bay track for 5 x 1 km on 6:00 (1-5)

I ran with Kirsten, giving her someone to key off of, and it was a good workout.

3:16, 3:11, 3:08, 3:05, 3:04

The boys were flying at the front, with a couple of insane km's at the end of the workout. Everyone is looking really good for next weekend.

Next weekend is Vancouver Worlds. We're heading over on Friday after swimming, with the U23 and Elite races going on Sunday. There are 4 days of racing, Juniors on Thursday, AG Sprint on Friday, AG Olympic on Saturday, and the U23/Elite on Sunday. Vancouver will be a busy place this week!