Monday, 27 September 2010

LA Triathlon pre race

So this Thursday I'm off to California for my last race of the year. It's been a LONG season and I feel like I've raced everywhere this summer, so being in LA for my last outing seems fitting.

Excited about the race for a myriad of reasons:

  1. It's LA
  2. Gomez won it last year and is racing again this year
  3. My hero Greg Bennett will be there
  4. It's LA
  5. It's the last race of the season
  6. It's a point-to-point course
  7. It's a 2 lap run (which I prefer to 1 or 4 lap courses)
  8. It's a sea swim
  9. I'm off to Kona 2 days after the race
In terms of how I'm feeling and race performance pretty simply I'm just going to go as hard and fast as I can. Literally have no idea how I will fair, seeing as it is October and has been a long year, but I have gained lots of experience this season and will try and get some more racing the big guns who will be on the start line with me.

I'm feeling perky today (6 days before the race) but from experience I know that rarely means anything though I am relaxed and looking forward to just going out and seeing how things go. One thing I learned from my last big US Pro race was not to litter on the course (even if unintentionally) ... see here for my post race report from the NY tri last summer. As was with New York in 2009 this race will be similar in that it is a rare chance to go up against a literally fully stacked (Javier Gomez, Bevan Docherty, Greg Bennett, Matty Reed etc) field in a non drafting format and just go head to head. Experience wise there is nothing better, just bare knuckle racing, no tactics, no drafting, no ITU transition penalties :)

Will be a fun trip, especially with my little Kona jaunt added in at the end. Being able to support at Ironman World Champs will be awesome, hopefully I'll be the one racing one day.

Enjoy winter training, I'm off to find some sun!


ps. Will try and get another Mike + GB pic at the weekend

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Getting better...

Whether it be at a skill, sport or in health the process of improving is always satisfying.

Since the Vancouver Triathlon, now 2.5 weeks ago, things have been a little up and down in terms of health - picking up a minor Man cold that took a week or so to shake and just generally feeling the same "tired out" feeling I picked up in late August.

I have managed however to continue in training prep for LA, now in 10 days, and as of this time last week have started to feel pretty good again. I was out in Victoria training with "off to Kona" Nicole for 4 days and put myself through the paces more than I've done in recent weeks and definitely felt good for it. Sunday morning I felt so good I headed out for an hour and a half (of Nicole's 2.5hrs) run and just kept going until 1 hour 50, my longest run ever. Felt great during/after as well, though by Monday I could tell I had ran a wee bit further than normal.

Lots of steady work though with some generally harder stuff thrown in, nothing huge. At this stage of the year (first race was well over 7 months ago) there is so little you can do training wise anyway, it definitely becomes a war of attrition over fatigue and health. Last season I got to the first weekend in September and decided to call it quits, this year has been much bigger though and I'm still trying to battle on. LA will be fun for sure, really looking forward to it, definitely a well respected race and one of the few "point-to-point" races on the calendar. Then making the trip out to Kona after for Ironman World Champs which will be another amazing experience ... I think my "season round up" blog post in late October this year will be a big one!

To all those who have started winter training, hats off. To all those on a training break, enjoy. And to all those who, like me, still have racing to go ... you're crazy :)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Vancouver triathlon

Ah my favourite race of the year.

The past 2 years, 2008 (here) and 2009 (here), have both been cracking days and it has quickly become the most anticipated race on the calendar. This year did not disappoint, my first win as a senior in triathlon, woo.

Since my last race I've been down with fatigue issues (long long season this year) and even the day before the race I was feeling ill. Race morning and it was lashing with rain, biblical amounts of rain. Headed down to Stanley park around 6am to get set up and ready for race start at 7.

All the speed theory crew were there along with my room mate Gord, fellow UBC Mech Engineers Kelvin (biggest cheerer in the world) and Tetzel and of course my trusted assistant for the day Liz Akeroyd (best person to have along at your race for sure).

The tide was out in the bay so I had a good 100m of 30 cm deep water to get through before I could get going. This unfortunately meant there was a nice band of barnacles to run across before I set off (VERY sliced up feet/hands). Thankfully the water was so cold I quickly lost feeling in my extremities and suffered no in race pain on my cut up hands/feet.

2 lap swim, 20 second lead over the first 750m and held that until we were out, Derek was the fish behind me but luckily I had managed to put 2.10 and 4.30 into my 2 biggest chasers.

Bike was tough, just pouring rain the whole way, but I felt good, legs were firing well and I pushed on. Into T2 with a 90 second lead (4th fastest bike split).

The run was crazy. I have never felt so good in my life on a run. Legs were turning over well, the cold wasn't bothering me too much and I just continued striding out.

I knew guys were catching me and presumed I'd get caught, but once I was into the 2nd lap I knew I still had a good gap so pushed hard. At the 7.5km (small out and back) I saw the gap was holding and the race was mine for the taking. The last 2km I was sprinting, or at least it felt like a sprint.

Across the line in 1.59:56, 36:48 run split, 2nd fastest run of the day.

A memorable day for my first win as a senior, was awesome to have my friends there cheering me on as well.

It's been a long year and certainly my toughest as an athlete. I am now looking forward to my final race of the year in LA on October 3rd, maybe after that I can take some down town and chill out for a while ... maybe.

Keep training,