Thursday, 31 December 2009

New year training camp - day 3

New Years eve in Canada, tough day

video

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Training camp day 2

Update from day 2 of the winter training camp in Canada, TIRED

video

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Video Diaries

Santa brought me a fancy new ipod for christmas which happens to include a cool high res video camera. As my ipod is with me on most training sessions from now on i'll be taking little videos during my sets (especially if there is a good view) to let you all see what goes down.

Here are two from today, day 1 of my new year training camp

video video

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Training Camp

Clothes have been laid out, training kit accounted for, adaptors, ipod chargers, cameras, nutrition, trainers and gloves all packed away...all I have to do now is zip up my bag and head to the airport.

Tomorrow I'm heading to my favourite place on the planet (Canada) and my adopted home for a winter break with my family and 12 days of hard training. It is a cracking place to train and I had a great 2 week heavy block there in the summer which put me in good stead for the rest of the season. There will be no riding as the roads are pretty snowy but plenty of XC skiing, swimming, gym work, running and yoga to keep me more than occupied for 2 weeks.

I'll be staying about 2 hours north of Vancouver for most of it in the ski resort of Whistler, host resort of the 2010 Winter Olympics in 2 months time.

I have been heading across since I was about 8 and its a truly beautiful place, below are some awesome pictures I've captured over the past few winters and some of the reasons why I love it so much.











Hope everyone has a great New Year

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a safe New Year. I hope 2010 will be a great year for everyone.

The past 12 months have gone insanely fast on my end, I vividly remember last winter training hard in Vancouver. This time next year I'll be doing the same again.

I've already thanked everyone for a great season and first part of winter training, its been a tough 3 months but support has been amazing and I can't wait for next year.

Flying out to Canada on Monday for a 2 week New Year training camp, will post again with some more pictures once I land. No doubt it will be beautiful, they have had over 22 feet of snow in 8 weeks! A lot of snow running, swimming, gym work and cross country skiing to come I think.

Have an awesome Christmas!

Mike

PS. Here are some pictures from the last 2 weeks of snowy training in Scotland













This is how I occupy myself when I'm not training, studying, eating or sleeping. OK not quite but it was an afternoon project, 68 chocolate fudge bars later and you have yourself the best Christmas present ever!
Unfortunately it collapsed soon after this picture was taken...
...I am an engineer...honest

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Everyone's allowed a hero

It's official

My bedroom is now a shrine to Lance.

Gotta get your inspiration from somewhere...




Monday, 14 December 2009

Matters of the mind

It took me 4,500m to warm up this morning.

Granted it has been a long two weeks and with Uni stresses mounting up plus a whole weekend at -5degrees training has been tough. But still, I thought taking well over an hour to warm up in an early morning pool set was a tad ridiculous.

Back in the day (...about 5 years ago) we used to do some pretty long warm ups during heavy training, but at the most 2500m. So I took it as a sign that I was indeed feeling the effects of heavy winter work, nothing I can't hopefully handle though.

The important part for me was that the length I realised that I had finally warmed up I got myself refocused and managed to start reapplying some speed. I continued to then have a good set and finished up feeling much better than when I had started. It is very easy to convince yourself you're feeling rubbish and that it's OK to take the set, day, week, month easy. I don't argue the fact that if you are truly not 100% it is definitely OK to take it steady for a while, the hard part is however once you are back to normal being able to get back to it...and quickly.

Annnyway this lead on to a discussion after the session between Coach Stuart and myself about Tiger Woods and his exploits...on and off the course so to speak. It has been very easy over the past few weeks with all of the gossip emerging about Tiger's private life to jump to conclusions and quite easily decide that maybe he just wasn't the person we all thought he was ...

...but does it not deserve a little more thought? He has until the last year or so it seems lead an exemplary life. A true role model, amazing athlete, philanthropist and spokesperson. Someone who has re energised the game of golf and in the process become the single most well paid sportsperson in history. Does his behaviour of late not seem a little odd?

Certainly I found myself jumping to the conclusion that he simply was just a slime bag in disguise, seeing the revelations it was pretty easy to think that. However does it not seem odd that after a life of success and happiness he suddenly throws it all away in a year of cheating and disrespect?

There is clearly something wrong underneath the surface, his actions blatantly point to that. His unhappiness, anxiety, depression...whatever it may be, needs to be addressed. He needs help and support, probably from the people who currently wish to give him none of the above.

He has alienated his wife and family, the most important people in his life and the only ones who can truly make him happy again. I hope they stick together as a family and pull through, he is a great athlete, man and role model to a generation of aspiring golfers, sportsmen and people. I just hope the public can forgive him and he will return a happier, stronger and better person.

All the best Tiger.

Mike

PS. Supporter of the month goes to Mr Neil Gilles, my most devoted reader! Thanks for the support Neil and hopefully you'll give in to peer pressure and complete your first triathlon next year, you've got it in the bag already.

PPS. Here are some training pictures from the past week
3.5 hours in the cold and all that's left is an orange flavoured slushy
Out riding with Rob Foietta
Frozen countryside

Front of the S2 covered in ice

2.30pm sunset

Me looking decidedly grizzly after a few hours in -2! :)

Friday, 4 December 2009

3km Mum

Just a quick post tonight, almost missing out on the start of our celebration dinner!

Celebration is definitely in order today, my mum, after a 25 year hiatus returned to racing this afternoon with a cracking 3km road race at the beach in Aberdeen.

Around this time last year after 20 years of working hard looking after 3 crazy kids she decided to get back into the gym with the goal of being stronger, lighter on her feet and maybe able to keep up with me and dad a bit more on the morning dog walks. She started out on a full programme after the new year and by the summer was feeling a lot better for her efforts, in late October she went for her first run in 25 years. Since then she has ventured out a few more times but no serious run work of yet.

Out of the blue last week when I said I'd be doing the Aberdeen 3km beach run next Friday she jumped (with a little bit of persuasion) at the idea and decided to come along and race. Today however we found out (from the results from last months race) that the field was in general pretty fast (average time of 12 minutes [40min 10km pace]) and I figured she'd decide against the idea. She picked herself up though and even at the prospect of finishing last she was still adamant that she'd take part.

For me it was awesome to see my mum with so much courage in a sporting event. I've been doing this my whole life so know all about nerves and being in too deep, it took a lot for mum to want to race today and I was proud even before she started running.

I had promised that once I finished I'd run back along the course and finish the race with her. I had a good run and finished in 5th but I didn't waste any time and immediately ran back across the line (in the wrong direction) to find my mum! I spotted her pink jacket about 800m back down the path and quickly caught up to her.

She was running alongside another beginner racer and they were really pushing each other on. I did my best to shout encouragement while running alongside and she came across the line in 18 minutes and 13 seconds. Her goal was for under 20mins so she did awesome.

I've never been so proud of my mum in my whole life,

A great feeling :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

November in pictures

Realised today I documented the month of November very well this year with the help of my digital camera.


I wont write a big long post tonight but will just show you 15 or so of the pictures that help describe how November went. Thanks to all my training partners throughout the month, Lewis and Kimberly for our killer ride a few Sundays ago, Dad for trailing out with me at least twice a week on some random session and Robbie for that killer run a few weeks back.


Already in December...should be a good month!


November in pictures:


Mountain biking in the dark, Pitfichie forest

Stopped at a junction near Knockburn, 3 degrees, out riding with dad


More mtbing, getting dark this time, beautiful view over towards Alford, very windy!

Lewis Murchie ascending the Cairn O Mount

View of the sunset

Feugh Waterfalls, Banchory, Scotland


River Dee sunset, Durris, Scotland

View over Alford from the top of Pitfichie forest

A CRAZY big sheep


Lewis Murchie, Myself and Kimberly Preston

Kimberly, Myself and Lewis after the ride

Out mtbing with Robbie Simpson

Pete Patterson looking mean in the dark, mtbing at night, woo

Dad getting ready to head out on the Cervelo's

Myself and Robbie Simpson after a mornings training

Annnnd finally, the most christmasy truck you will ever see!