Firstly Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everyone. This is the October holiday season over here in Canada with everyone stocking up on turkey dinners and stuffing before trying to slim down for the run up to Christmas!
Last week was pretty tough, had three major test sets in the pool, a few big rides, one 17km run, two 10km tempo runs and a "triathlon" session on Friday morning with 3.5 hours of almost continuous swim/bike/running. The weekend was needed, took 48 hours of complete rest and headed up to Whistler with my friends for some shopping and chill out time. It was the annual "Turkey sale" at Whistler Blackcomb - a mad weekend of 70%-off sales "everything must go" style when all of last years stock gets sold off. I picked up a new set of skiis, boots and bindings for about 40% of what they would cost on a normal weekend so it was successful in that respect, unfortunately things didn't go well all weekend. Collin, my partner in crime when it comes to worshipping Whistler, had taken his downhill mountain bike for some serious trail pounding on the Saturday. Kitted out in his full body armour, helmet (complete with helmet camera) and downhill bike he headed up again and again to the top of Whistler for the serious extreme trails. On one of the last runs of the day he misjudged a corner and started to veer off the trail at high speed, he continued to slide and upon dropping his bike fell over 15 feet down some serious cliffs. Feeling a little shaken he proceeded to climb back up the cliffs (while in major pain) to then get back on his bike and ride to the midstation first aid centre. Here they immediately called in an ambluance and put him straight on morphene. This is when I was called, "Hey Mike, it's Collin, you'd better come to the hospital"...crap I thought.
I spent about 4 hours at the hospital before they decided he was serious enough to ambulance down to Vancouver over night to under go more detailed scans and see a specalist. I got some sleep before driving to the Lion's Gate hospital early Sunday morning, I had called the Doctor's before I left and they reassured me he would be ok. When I arrived they told me he had fractued his Pelvis and would be out of action for about 6 weeks, this is a really good diagnosis on a fracture though as some can put you out of it for years and sometimes even worse. He is hard as nails though and as I speak is doing his best to rest up and get around on his crutches. Get well soon dude!
After the drama of the weekend I thought it best to get some rest last night and prepare for my first "training" race of the winter. This morning was the 10th annual Vancouver thanksgiving 10km, a gorgeous running race starting on Granville Island just outside of downtown Vancouver taking you all around the downtown area, through the marinas before B lining it back to Granville for the finnish. There were 2,000 racers who showed up in the rain and I counted at least 20 people with Triathlon World Champs T-shirts on, myself included! Main goals for the morning were to take it out hard but to come back harder, hopefully negtive splitting it and in the process not coming last.
I took it out hard with a group of 4 in about 6th-10th places overall, this group fell apart 2.5km in when we had a nice climb over Burrard bridge where I pushed it and held pace to the 3km mark where the race entered downtown. Then, racing in and around the skyscrapers, I dropped off a little up to the 5km mark where I passed at 18:48. Back onto the water front and - pretending I was in a triathlon - started to push on the second half pretty hard. Two guys past me and I jumped straight on the back of them as they were obviously pushing it hoping I could hold on for the final 2 or 3km. Keeping a track of my times on my watch I saw I had picked up the pace and managed to hold onto my 2 pace runners, leaders in sight, to run across the line in 37:40 - PB! Did what I wanted to do, best time and really pushed on the second half...didn't kill myself in the process either. 7th out of 2000 and 1st Junior - couldn't have imagined myself doing this a year ago - can't put it in words but I'll just say it's awesome fun! Have two more races coming up, one in 2 and one in 4 weeks time, so will hopefully see my times continue to fall with more and more running in my legs.
In the mean time though I will keep working hard, studying hard and looking after crazy friends who do slightly more dangerous sports than me!
Training hard in BC,