Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Worlds, Newtons and Bears!

Since my last post a lot has happened. I'll just give a brief detail of all thats gone on. First I mentioned my roommate from my undergrad at McGill was in town for the weekend. This was James first time to Vancouver, and I think he enjoyed it a lot. Also in town were a few MTC'ers Miranda, Jacques and Catherine who were racing in the Age group world champs on Saturday.

Saturday morning came VERY early. Seeing as how James was in town for such a short while, we decided to make the most of it. I gathered up all the friends from the LSI that I could and looked for a place to go. Rob (my vancouver roommate) mentioned they he and some of his friends were going to be a Chivana's so we decided to bring the party there.

At this point I lost track of time and before I knew it I was getting to bed at about 2:20AM and we were getting up at around 5:40 in order to go cheer Miranda on at her start for 7AM at English Bay.

Needless the say the morning came quickly but I was shockingly awake. Race conditions were not ideal, everyones fears were revealed, it was cold, windy and the water was choppy as ever. They shortened the swim for the first few heats and then conditions got to bad that they even turned it into a duathlon.

I won't go into race details, but Miranda's race all considered went fairly well in my opinion despite having trouble with her pedal the entire bike.

It was nice being in the race atmosphere. There was a exhibition tent were I met the founder of Newton Running shoes. These are a pair of shoes that I've wanted for a while but never bought because you need to buy them online and I didn't want to buy shoes I had never worn before.

Saturday afternoon James and I wanted to go for a run, however, immediately upon returning to the house we passed out hard for 2.5 hours. This was a much needed sleep. Once rejuvenated and refueled James and I went on a good long run down to the Spanish Banks.  I'm really impressed with his fitness. Its great to see him getting back into running, he seems to be enjoying it a lot as well. I didn't wear my new shoes because I wasn't sure how my feet would feel in them, and I wanted something easier as my first run in them.

Sunday was again a relaxed day, we headed down to English Bay to watch the elites races. I won't explain them because that can be found on the internet, but WOW, very impressive, it was really motivational to see how fast they go and how they race. The weather cooperated a little more Sunday, and the swim was still cold but calm. A result was that a lot of the athletes were having trouble with their zippers on the wetsuits, and I am adding this photo simply because I really like it and think its great sportmanship. 

OK blogspot doesn't want to upload my photo, so if you can't see it just click HERE.

Javier Gomez is incredible. Aside from Simon, he is for sure my favorite triathlete. An unfortunate day for Kirsten Sweetland who I was really gunning for, turns out early last week she developed a stress fracture in her food and as a result had an upsetting race and now isn't going to the olympics. Somewhat hearbreaking considering how well all of her training was going. Coverage of the races can be found at the ITU triathlon website.

Now back to the running shoes (I obviously added in the elite recap after writing my post and that explains this awkward transition)

The idea behind Newtons is that they encourage forefoot running which is more efficient and results in less joint impact, instead you are taking the impact on your muscles which are supposed to spring back. I tried them out for the first time on Monday night. Now I made one minor mistake. I didn't read on the website prior to my run, Monday I had scheduled a long run, decided I would do an out and back double loop so if I wasn't feeling good with the new shoes at any point I could always turn back. Well the shoes felt fantastic, I really could feel the encouragement of forefoot running and it made me fell much more effortless. The only thing was I could really feel it in my calfs which doesn't surprise me seeing as how that is where I get tired first during races. Well, I went out and did a 13k run and awoke on Tuesday barely able to walk. It felt like I had done 5000 calf raises. Now this was all muscular and not joint related, and upon investigation I realized that the website for the shoes warn you of this and that you should ease into them with short 2-5k runs at first OOOPS! But now being the second day I felt stiff in the morning and much better come this afternoon. Hopefully I'll be able to go for a run tomorrow as well. 

Originally I had planned a bike run combo tonight, however, with the tight calfs I decided a run was out of the question. Instead I went on a long ride with the expectations of going up Seymore (first time of the year). I got all the way out to Deep Cove and was about to do the climb, but realizing how late it was (8:30PM) decided this wasn't the best idea, not due to visibility, it was still quite clear, but I figured dusk wasn't the best time to be out on a mountain with Bears etc being regular sightings. I had already seen a raccoon and for those of you who don't know, raccoons and I don't get along too well (I had an accident with one on my bike a few month back). So instead I just headed home and rode somewhat higher intensity to make up for the lack of a climb. Its alright though, I'm going to be doing an EPIC ride on the weekend. Kevin Facundo and I are going on a 156k ride with over 4000m elevation. I'll have the exact number after the weekend from Kevin with his altimeter. 

Anyways thats all for now. Not all too much training this week, mainly run focused. I put in nearly 50k and am feeling quite strong for Victoria next week, hopefully I can pull my time down to a 1:35 or below. 

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