Tuesday, 31 August 2010

ITU and Ironman

I think my lack in blogging can be attributed to the immensely hectic nature of the past few weeks, scrap that, past few months.

My definition of "being at home" is when you finally unpack. Not unpack your suitcase however, usually if I'm in once place for a week or so I'll empty my suitcase and get organsied, but unpack your toiletries bag. This is something I'll never unpack unless I am firmly "at home". A hotel, friends house, rental apartment, the toiletries bag stays either in the bathroom (packed) or in the bedroom I'm staying in.

So when I got home last night after yet another long day's worth of travel and could finally (for the first time since probably June 10th) unpack my toiletries bag it felt very symbolic. I am now home.

In case anyone is checking in for the first time I'll summarise the past few months quickly. May held the seasons first big races but at the same time my last month at university and the completion of my dissertation. June was full of racing with a great week down in London at the Windsor triathlon, back home for a few days before heading out to the alps (altitude training). 5 weeks in the alps including 3 races, Annecy International triathlon, Les Carroz bike race and the Thonon round of the French open water cup series. August has been the busiest of them all, my first win as a senior athlete at the Nokia Thames open water swim, racing in the biggest elite field ever at the London triathlon (with a total of 15,000 athletes and 55,000 spectators), flying out to Canada, moving into my new apt, 10 days in Whistler with the family, 3 days in Kelowna racing ITU, back to Vancouver for 1 day, 5 days at Ironman Canada as support and now finally back in Vancouver.

I'm tired just writing it down.

That said it's been the best summer of my life, hands down. When I started out with all this "elite" athlete junk I guess what I really wanted from it was some really good memories, so that one day I could sit back, beer in hand, and know I really gave it a good shot. I think this part is on its way to being completed already. Feels good.

Anyway the past few weeks...

2 weekends ago I was up in Kelowna racing the ITU Pan Am Cup race that I did last year. Long story short I called it a day early towards the end of the bike. Zero in the tank but started out with a cracking swim exiting with the lead pack + Mr Whitfield himself, was pleased with this but annoyed I couldn't get into the "race gear" I needed on the bike. Regardless however it was a great weekend with my family and at least they got to see me do some racing.

In reflection it looks as if I'm just a little tired out, I guess as can be expected. So an easy week followed. Last Wednesday I returned to Vancouver so I could then head up to Penticton for Ironman Canada the following day. For those who didn't see the post last year, click here to see my reflections on last years Ironman Canada...I had a good time!

It is an amazing event. I am 100% hooked on the atmosphere, spectacle and in general insanity of the race. If I said it once I said it one hundred times, I have almost endless respect for the guys who go out there and race Ironman. Not just the professionals but every single age grouper from the 9 hour finishers right down to the guy who ran across the line on Sunday night in 16 hours 59 minutes and 56 seconds (the cut off being 17 hours).

It is one of the few, if only, events in the world where the respect I hold for the elite athletes competing is JUST as much as the respect I hold for each and every amateur. They are all incredible. None more than my friend Nicole who raced in her first Ironman, killed it, 3.35 marathon at the end and won her age group...a Kona qualifier first time out, what a performance.

Equally impressive performances though from my other friends Cam Mackay and Rob Herron, awesome race too guys. Can't say it enough, you guys are beasts.

Happy to say I'll be on the start line in 2013.

Gotta give a shout out to the two Geoff's at the Bike Barn in Penticon though, thanks for keeping up with my blog and racing, you were both too generous with your compliments. Hopefully see you both soon,

Keep training, racing and exploring...its good for your health :)


Thursday, 12 August 2010


Finally I can put together a half decent blog post after the last few weeks. It's difficult when you are from place to place, in between races, often in airports to sit down and think over things from the past few days and get it all down.

Things really kicked off around July 24th in the Alps with my first race in a succession of 4 over 16 days, most definitely the most hectic little stint of racing I've ever put in, so had a few concerns as to whether I'd get through them all without any major problems. Firstly I hoped I'd still be fresh for the 4th race but at the same time I hoped I'd just get through without any incidents/illnesses setting in.

Everything went by without a hitch though and I put together a really good string of results that I'm definitely pleased with. The first half of the season was slow moving and took me a while to get the "sharp" feeling that I found in July. This probably has something to do with finishing university and writing my thesis which took a lot of my energy, though training was still going well. I did however struggle with some calf issues that, in all honesty, had been around for a while.

Being out in Chamonix though, working with the Chamonix Clinic, was a huge turning point. Naturally my fitness and strength improved by being at altitude and working in crazy terrain but the physiological support I received from Neil was immense. I am now feeling 10 times more solid on my feet and generally stable, especially while running.

My run split at London was still slow but it felt good and by the end of the run I actually felt pretty perky. The goal now is to hopefully build on that over the next 2 months, maybe getting faster too.

Now I'm back in Canada, into my new place in Vancouver and already back up to Whistler to have some family time before my next race. Have enjoyed a few days off/travel days since London on Sunday and getting back into training today. Already been to the pool and met up with all the Whistler triathlon guys again, even met a swim coach in the pool from the Aberdeen swim team in Washington, US. Small world!

Steady 50minute run this afternoon and a hike with Mum, Dad and sister. Beautiful British Columbia eh :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

London triathlon

Will be able to do a much bigger post in a few days, currently sitting on an airport computer with a broken 'i' button and 3 minutes left on my internet connection. Flying to Vancouver today where i'll be for much of the remaining season, had a cracking race yesterday at the London triathlon as well, such a huge event I was really pleased to have a solid race and more importantly to actually feel like progress was made on my run (finished 48th). After months and months of run struggles to finally have a positive 10km under my belt feels great. Got to go! Time to check in :)

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Fun fun fun,

4 days into my enjoyable taper week, 6 days of it, before the London triathlon this Sunday. Feeling good, will be a fun race, a big race and hopefully a good race.

Awesome course too, fast single loop swim course and a bike course that takes you all the way into central London to Westminster.

BIG POST will follow the race, promise.

Until then I'm enjoying some of the nice comments and press from the race last weekend, some links below :)

Sunday, 1 August 2010


It continues...

Yesterday was my last day at altitude, coming down from Chamonix and heading to London via Geneva. Here in London for 10 days before I fly back out to Canada for the rest of the year.

Last weekend was my first of a busy 15 day schedule with 4 races packed in. After landing in London yesterday afternoon this morning was race 3, the Nokia Thames Open Water Swim. 3.8km from the famous Hampton Court Palace to (also the famous) Richmond upon Thames. Pretty cool course but as it was the Thames I was (and still am) worried about picking up some kind of stomach bug from the water. So lots of Coke to kill the Ecoli and whatever else is floating around in there.

So the race...I knew there was a point to this.

It was pretty cool as I had been given race number 1, first time ever, so wanted to take it out hard, even if I didn't win, just to show I had somehow earned the number. Had a cracking start, straight out in front. Was kicking pretty hard and given I had a gap I just kept kicking...and kept kicking...and kicking.

Didn't look back as I was convinced someone was gonna fly past at any minute and just kept pushing. Put in a big surge at around 3km which was tough but it paid off. Won by over 2 minutes setting a new course record of 42 minutes, managed to beat Richard Stannard again as well, twice in a season...with another show down next weekend.

Really enjoying racing right now, finding some good form which is fun and looking forward to next weekend.