Thursday, 26 February 2009

Birthday reflections

Upon typing my birthday into google, hoping to find some cool people born on the same day as I I was disappointed to find only George Harrison and Sally Jessey Raphael. So dead Beatle and old TV host aside I continued my search.

This brought me on to famous things that happened on my birthday...things got a little random.

On the 25th of February;

1751 - 1st performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1 cent)

1964 - Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) TKO Sonny Liston in 7 for heavyweight boxing title

1982 - Record speed for a snowmobile (239 kph)

OK so as you can gather from my blogging thus far yesterday was pretty uneventful. Got some nice presents from my family a few weeks back but they were already all opened and I got a new shirt from Denise which I look forward to wearing when the occasion arises :)

And I did check, the current snowmobile world record is 284.85 kph (177.0 mph).

I am continuing my daily battle against the clock here in Van, even when I get up at 4.45 I still only just have enough time for my 3 sessions, 4/5 stops for food, class, studying and occasionally a shower. I have come to the conclusion that the earlier you get up, the longer you think you have most often resulting in you taking a more relaxed approach to things ... hence resulting in an equally "tight for time" day. That aside I am fitting everything in.

Time management is one of the things they don't write on the front cover of any sports books, training magazines or websites. It is something we all battle but for the few pro athletes out there it is one of the things that makes them the best guys in the world at what they do. Talent, attitude and drive may all be ranked higher on the list of "essentials" but if you can't fit it all in, can't fit in the time for relaxing, school work, family, food etc nothing else will work either. My skills at fitting things in have been pressed over the past 6 months but it has most definitely given me a new appreciation for naps, getting to bed before 930 and a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes!


ps. just ordered a new Dura-ace Cassette :) I am now 66g lighter on my bike woo

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Back to school work in Vancouver,

Drove back up from Oregon on Sunday afternoon (took 8 hours!) but is a pretty easy drive. The longest you ever have to drive in Scotland is about 3 hours so it's a bit but numbing at first but I guess not as bad as 100km on the bike :)
The camp went really well, got in some good work and got a pretty feel for where I am going into the season. First race is in 12 days, the UBC triathlon, and I'm excited to race. It's been almost 8 months since I last did a triathlon (time goes FAR too quickly here) and I can't wait to zip up my trisuit next Sunday.

Basically when we were down in Oregon we trained, slept and ate. I have never eaten so much in my life, I was just munching all day...

...we went through all this in 4 days

And the house was beautiful too which made sitting around watching the Tour of California on tv very tempting,

But of course there was plenty of time, after the eating and the sleeping, to get on my trainer and do my sessions,

Was a solid week and I think it will pay off in a few months time. This is basically the last of the winter work, seeing as racing starts in 2 weekends time, so we bid a sad farewell to the joys of off season training and give a welcome home party for race season work!
Train hard,

Friday, 20 February 2009

Training Camp Update

Mid way through the training camp here in Oregon.

Pretty much dead but have just about enough energy to write a quick post!

Been full on since we arrived on Tuesday; Swim/Bike/Run etc etc etc. Had some great rides up in the hills, perfect roads for riding and there has been a constant head wind to contend with. Sun has been out so have some colour on my cheeks!

Had Gordon out with me on my ride today in the car protecting me from traffic (two big steep and narrow climbs) but as we crested the top of the last climb my follow car (that was now in front of me breaking wind) decided to stop abruptly sending me crashing into the back/side and over the handle bars. Cuts and bruises aside I'm still 100% though I think my driver got a scare!

Still got some seriously hard work before I get to go home, loving it though. Many thanks to my uncle for letting me use his house!

Will get a full report + pictures once I'm back in Canada.


Saturday, 14 February 2009

February training


quite a bit to catch up on. Last weekend I was in Victoria celebrating an early Valentines day, was nice to get away but come Monday we were back in trianing mode. Tuesday morning was interesting...

0450 I set out, goggles in hand, for my 1km trudge to the swimming pool. It was frosty and about -5 but I didn't really notice it as I was wrapped up.

HOWEVER once I got on pooldeck at 0515 (we train outside on Tuesdays) it started to feel a bit colder ... then I took my kit off so was standing there in just my trunks. New meaning to the word shrinkage. Oh but it got colder, literally just as I was about to dive in on came the snow, lots of it. The entire pooldeck was covered in about 4 inches of snow within the hour, so by the time 90minutes came around and it was time for me to dash back inside in my trunks I was pretty chilly!

Unfortunately once I had gotten back to my room, had eaten and fully warmed up, I had to don all my winter cycling gear and head out for 2 hours in the chilliness. Was all good fun though and was a nice thought knowing no one else would be riding outside that day :)

The week then went past pretty quickly, my sister Britney and her boyfriend Euan arrived on Wednesday and Denise's mum arrived on Thursday along with a few midterm exams to make it all interesting. We then headed up to Whistler yesterday for a few days, before me and Gordon head down to Oregon for a training camp come Tuesday.

Looking forward to getting in some solid training over the next week or so without the distraction of school and homework (even though some people would say I do without the homework most weeks anyway! :D )

On another note, watched Lance ride in the first TT of the Tour of California today. He looked pretty good finishing 9th, lets see how the week goes and maybe I'll increase his tour chances (currently at 40% to win).

Have a good spring break


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

It's been a while but I've been fully immersed in training for the last three weeks and have had to abuse my blogging. Been heading up to Whistler each weekend and have been having a great time in the snow taking advantage of the mountains and the training they give way for.

Cycling in Pemberton on Saturday

January went VERY quickly and I am scared to think that it is now February. In 22 days I'll be turning 20 which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time, I have vivid memories of being a 14 year old swimmer training my heart out 4 mornings a week in Kincorth pool, Aberdeen, struggling to write my log book on the way home in the car, never drinking out of my water bottle during sessions, struggling to stay awake in class...

Well I still struggle to stay awake during class but at least I drink a lot more now. Back in the day (like 5 years ago not 50 :-) ) I was in the pool 20 hours a week with 2 hours of land work, this was the most I ever trained while I was a swimmer and I loved it. I always thought I trained really hard and got some good results from it...that said I had my fair share of bad results too. I was in the pool doing the work, doing the main sets right, the warm ups, swim downs etc...but there was always a little bit I held back. Plus the fact that I wasn't drinking, sleeping, stretching or eating right...but you can't blame a 14 year old kid for that :)

My point is it takes a lot of work, outside of training, in order to get the most from your sport. You don't realise that when you are 13/14 or even 16/17 but there comes a point when you have to decide why you're in your sport and whether it's for the long run...then you have to start drinking from your water bottle!

Bringing me on nicely to a mixture of my two favourite athletes Mr Phelps and Mr Armstrong.

Phelps is the best swimmer and Olympian ever, he trains just as much as the other guys, does the same pool workouts, the same number of hours but where he wins is out of the pool. Sleeping, eating, drinking, flexibility etc coupled with the fact he takes the tiny things in the pool (turn technique, push offs) more seriously than anyone else. So I will completely overlook the fact that he smoked pot ... he is a normal guy after all ...

Lance is the best cyclist, comeback athlete and one of the best endurance athletes ever. REGARDLESS of how he races this summer in the Tour he has that title...but somehow I don't think he'll even be racing unless he has a pretty good outside chance ... we'll see.

That's my little defensive rant over.

Some more pictures to even out my post!


Denise showing me how to ride on snow ...

XC Skiing, Day 2. Callaghan Valley

5 hour training day refueling food...SUPER BOWL NACHOS :)

Train hard!