Monday, December 7, 2009

Interesting Post

I've begun reading this blog by Dave Moulton:

a month ago, and I must admit that I agree with almost everything he says.

I've commented to friends how I find it sad that kids "can't" play outside anymore alone because its dangerous. I played outside all the time as a kid disappearing into the woods for hours to build forts or just wondering around with my friends.

Read through the post, and try and answer the question at the end.

Question: What are you doing to make your life better? Not necessarily more prosperous, or easier, but a better quality of life

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boys Weekend

As promised, I bring you photo documentation and the story of my trip to Victoria last week! The mission of the weekend. Celebrate Pat's bachelor party and catch some fish. I was picked up Friday afternoon and we headed for the ferry hoping to make the 5pm. Unfortunately traffic had other plans, arriving us at the ferry at 4:50, too late to get on. Oh well, we had an hour to entertain ourselves. This made for a good introduction to everyone who was going. Myself, Erich and Pat I already knew. Dan and Nate were new to me and we got to know each other over a bottle of Fireball. What I learnt over this weekend. Fireball isn't very good.

Dan and Nate with fireball!

Getting on the 6pm wasn't such a big deal and it was actually one of the fastest trips over to the island I've ever done. The girl behind Pat and I thought we were really entertaining.

Pat and I on the ferry

We decided that this was going to be a classy weekend, and as such, Erich decided that the entire time he was away, he was going to be wearing a suit (unless fishing). Taking the ferry as the start of the weekend he suited up.

He needed a little help with his tie

Arriving at the other side Derek picked us up and brought us all to the hotel as we prepared to go out to dinner. Oh, and one rule of the weekend. To participate you needed to have a mustache and join Pat's Movember team. Sure I didn't have one in the photo above, but I made short work of that once I was at the hotel.

Friday night was more or less uneventful after the ferry and dinner because we were waking up REALLY early to get out to Sooke to go fishing. We had to be on the boats by 7:30 so were up by 6.

For Erich, Pat and I this wasn't too hard. However, Dan and Nate who were a little more liberal with their servings of fireball and cocktails at the restaurant found the morning a little harder.

Waking up to go fishing, we had no idea what the weather was going to be, forecast all week were terrible and kept changing. So it came as a great surprise when we woke up and looked out and saw this!

7:30 AM

And with a little photo manipulation and posing, you saw this!

7:30 AM on the Pacific!
And this!

Few morning beverages to kickstart the day

We started fishing and the first 40 minutes were pretty slow and cold. We were a little tired and grumpy, I wasn't too sure what to expect. however, shortly after that we had our first success. We were using down riggers and trolling so we rotated who got to reel in when a fish was caught on one of the 3 lines. I got pretty lucky and managed to snag some awesome ones.

My first catch of the day: Before 9AM

Notice Mustache out in full

We had two boats out, My boat had all the non hung over guys. As a result we caught all the fish. The other boat. Didn't have so much luck.

Vince, Roger, Pat, Erich
(believe it or not, they all had mustaches... WEAK!)

And I'm not even going to explain this next photo, all I will say, is I decided to fight the fish as close to nature as I was willing to be, and was rewarded with my biggest fish of the day.

This guy is so dirty

As part of BC fishing law, we had to purchase a 1 day license and were only allowed 2 salmon each. By the end of the 5 hour fishing trip we were throwing fish back hoping that our 10th would be the biggest. In all between the 5 of us on the boat we caught probably close to 15 fish and threw a bunch of the smaller ones back.

We had a pretty successful haul. The other boat. Not so much, they only caught 3 fish...

Pat showing off his catch
Since we caught more than was allowed, and the other boat didn't catch enough it worked out well because we could share. Here is my boats catch. My big catches were the 4th and 5th down coming in around 9-10 pounds!

Hey Dad, Jealous?

I thought I was being so clever by holding the fish closer to the camera to make them look bigger. I think it worked

The dirty work.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on what perspective you take, my camera ran out of batteries and I was able to take no more photos than this. Thankfully there wasn't too much else photo worthy.

We followed fishing with a fantastic lunch. I'll have to get the name of the restaurant and spread the word. And then back for an afternoon of recuperation. Dan is studying to become a chef and cooked up one of the fish exceptionally well along with some vegetables and risotto. It really was fantastic. Then we hit up a night on the town.

All in all a great weekend and hopefully we do another like it in the years to come.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sad day in lab

Today was a sad day in lab. As the semester is approaching to a close, many changes are taking place.

The lab numbers are going from 4 grad students, 3 post doc's, 3 technicians and 2 undergrads, down to 1 post doc and 1 technician and a bunch of grad students. The result of which being that today was one of my best friend, Paul's last day.

The celebration of his last day was somewhat anti climactic, however, we went out for a friends birthday and had a good time nonetheless.

My main fear is that without the everyday exposure, my connection to Paul will fade which would be unfortunate because he has been a great friend over the 2.5 years I've been in BC. Hopefully this post will catch his attention and prevent that from happening.

I decided to write this post to congratulate him on moving on from the lab and wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do in the future.

See you soon Paul!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tri BC Gala

This past week a group of the UBCTC and I went to the Annual Tri BC Fundraising Gala at the Stanley Park Rowing Club.

I wasn't too sure what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. All together we had 10 of us from the club, who get along really well and had a good time.

The atmosphere of the Gala wasn't as much "Party" as it was "Socialize and Mingle", nevertheless it was a good time and it was nice seeing some people I raced against in the summer and haven't seen since.

Paul Regensburg and Meyrick Jones

Meyrick encouraged us to come out and I'm glad he did. There was a great talk by Triathlon Coach and Commentator Paul Regensburg. He told a great story about the 2000 olympics and how he announced for CBC Simon Whitfields win.

A few things that would have been a nice addition for future years would be recognition for the racers over the year. I personally have never been to the Tri Quebec Gala, however, I know that they give out awards for the Age group Athletes of the year in each age group along with club awards etc. I think this is a big motivator to get more people out, whereas here in BC although there is a provincial race series. There is never any mention of it.

I personally have been 2X BC long course champ but other than an e-mail haven't had it mentioned anywhere.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents on how to improve Tri BC and the Gala.

Winston and I dressed somewhat similarly

Following the Gala, the group of us went over to Matt's place for a few more drinks and games.

All round it was a pretty fantastic Thursday night if I may say so myself and hopefully we can have a lot more team outings like this in the future.

Can anyone say Fondu?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fantastic Weekend!

Teaser Post

This past weekend I was in Victoria for a friends Bachelors party. It was a blast, dinners, fishing, a few beverages, late night adventures!

Pictures to follow.

Oh, and I have a new favorite song.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Half Marathon Photos

Photos are up, and thanks to Winston and SI Photography I got a few.

The start line ones make me laugh because I went out way too fast.

And who knows why my time was 1:26:27, clearly the clock says otherwise.

Oh well.

And who knows why my time was 1:26:27, clearly the clock says otherwise.

Oh well.

Since UBC REC goes with the cheapest timing system around, my ankle was all cut up by the timer, I had to take it off and perform a classic move at the finish line.

Wet, tired and cold.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wet, Windy and Cold Half Marathon

I had been debating for a while as to whether I would run the half marathon this past weekend for a while. With my mom in town, and she hasn't seen me race since 2006, I decided to enter and see what I could do.

Weather predictions didn't bode well for the race. As would be expected for the fall classic, the forecast was calling for rain. As luck would have it Thursday-Saturday were next to perfect days and then come Saturday night the sky opened up and the rain started.

Waking up Sunday morning at 6AM I took a quick peak at the weather network and this is what I saw

Now I realize that says Nov 16th, but today and yesterday have had the same weather

It was about 4*C and raining pretty steady for Vancouver. Fortunately though the entire course was always sloped in some direction and the result being I never found the puddles too hard to avoid. Don't get me wrong I was soaked, but at least my feet were never squishing around in my shoes.

I dressed pretty well for the race which made the rain and cold not an issue. The hardest obstacle yesterday was the wind. Being a smaller half marathon than the Victoria half (1000 people vs 5500), I found myself running alone a lot and out along Marine drive the wind really picked up. It would have been smart for me to put in the extra effort to keep right behind people for this section but heinsight is 20/20 right.

All in all I had a good race. Slower than victoria 1:26:29 but considering the conditions I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I could have done a little better with the pacing, I have been running a lot of mile/5k runs lately and when the gun went off, I shot out like a bat out of hell. I ran my first km pulling back at 3:26 pace and was in first place for nearly 800m. Oops, I probably paid for that a little. Live and learn.

I had a lot of trouble seeing the km markers, some of them were hidden in the bushes so I only have a few of my splits.

1km - 3:26
3km - 11:11 (7:44 2k)
8km - 32:01 (20:50 5k)
9km - 36:07 (4:06 k)
10km - 40:19 (4:12 k)
12km - 48:50 (8:30 2k)
18km - 1:14:23 (25:27 6k)
21.1km - 1:26:29 (12:06 -3.1km)

Average pace 4:06 YUCK!

To see how the rest of the UBCTC did check here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Whole lot of Nothing

Not all too much going on these days. Still training as per usual, swimming and running are actually feeling really good. Biking... well I haven't done much of that. I've more been focused on work these past couple weeks. I'm putting in a lot of hours but not really getting anywhere with it.

Warning, not triathlon related.

However I have hope for this next experiment, and boy is it a doozie. I've tried this method before (and the chemist I work with swear by it), however, I never got great results. Turns out I was rushing it. Normally when I run a column it takes 1-2 hours to prepare and about 8 hours to run. Makes for a long day but you can fit it all in.

This new column, takes 2-3 days to prepare and then on top of that will take about 18-24 hours to run. And the kicker, I can't leave it running alone, I need to check on it every 3-4 hours.

Fortunately, we got rid of the old ratty couch in the Triathlon club office and have replaced it with a remarkably comfortable futon. And last night, I gave that futon a test run. Its only about a 5 minute bike to the lab so I went to sleep there and woke up at 2AM and 6AM to come check on the column. Good times.

I know this isn't triathlon related, but figured I would share what I do with the rest of my life.

Does the life of a grad student sound like fun? The nice thing is I've got lots of waiting time to read and do my own thing. Last night I challenged Tony (who was also having a long night) to a race and see who could eat a full Cantaloupe first. I WON!

I'll probably have another post up soon, since I've got too much time to know what to do with.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

5k Run TT Results

On a dark cold rainy night, 26 UBC Triathlon Club members set out to do the 5k run time trial. Using the Acadia loop that we ran last year we set up the same course, 5.5 laps to make a total of 5k. Or so we thought. Last year we mapped out the run based on GPS data from Kevin's Garmin 305. Assuming this was accurate, we used the same route this year. In our easy lap warmup, Winston confirmed that a lap was 900m and so we ran an extra 500 after 5 laps to make it an even 5.0k

With little warmup because people didn't want to get all wet and cold we started. Barry led out and was quickly gone out of sight, and I followed with Matt on my heels and a chasing group of 3-4 about 30-40m back. Lap 1 was fast but felt good finishing the first km in 3:20. I decided this was too fast so eased up a bit, probably a little too much because km #2 was in around 3:45, YIKES slow!

After that my pace times get a little fuzzy because the laps aren't set up for easy math. All I know is that I ran my first lap in 2:59 and ran through the finish line with 1 lap to go at 14:57. I thought I had it. I really wanted to break 18 minutes! This wasn't all I had to think about either. Matt had been hawking behind me the whole run. I waved him passed to try and share he load after 2k but he misunderstood my signal. In his defense, it was a little vague. After seeing Matt kick hard in the mile race, I knew I needed to break him early. So with 1k to go I really started picking it up and surging. I pushed hard on the uphill and the elastic snapped and Matt was 10 meters back instead of the 2-3 he had been. Now the fun part, I'm lapping some of the people running and I can't decipher their feet from Matt's. Its he right behind me? Or still 10-15m back? I just keep pushing trying not to think about. I round the last corner, cross the line and hit my watch!

18:08, NOOO!

So close.

I felt really good running though. Last week I described how I felt like I could have kept going, but that I just couldn't go any faster. Last night being just a little slower, felt great. Hopefully I can carry that in my race in a few weeks.

I was really pumped with this finish, but oh so close. Then Matt finished about 9 seconds back and Winston finished about 30 seconds back. Winston informed us that the route was 5.1km. Not sure how confident I am in this, but then two other runners with GPS watches, Kim and Kory both said the course was long. When we averaged out all 3 GPS it gives us a distance of 5.13km.

Now what do I do. Do I scale this down by 130m and give myself a time of 17:39 for the books? Or do I just suck it up and it doesn't count as a new Personal Best.

I'll leave that to you to decide. Leave a comment as to whether you think this is a new PB or not?

Also, I didn't get a photo of myself at this run, however, we did snap this funny one of Nathaniel which gives you an idea of the conditions.

Tuque, long sleeves, goofy smile.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

5k Run Time Trial

Running a 5k Run Time trial tonight. Last year on this course in January I ran a 19:01. That shouldn't be too hard to beat tonight. I hope to be able to go somewhere closer to 18 minutes since I am in better running shape these days. My best 5k so far this season is 18:20 which was the opening 5k of the White Rock 10k and thats on top of running with tired legs. Hopefully I can match that, despite the fact that White Rock was a net downhill.

From last weeks results, it would appear I have some good competition to push me through it and to pace off tonight. Lets hope I get more of a kick this time.

Wish me luck

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mile Recap

Well, I'm not going to lie. I've got mixed emotions about the mile race on Wednesday night. The race went very well for the team. We had 29 athletes out at practice which is HUGE for us and the biggest showing for the race series to date.

My time for the mile was 5:13. Pretty good. Before starting I was telling people I wanted 5:00 but figured that this week that was unrealistic and that anything under 5:20 would satisfy me.

We started out pretty fast, first lap in 69 seconds. Probably too fast, but oh well. I settled in and let a few people pass me thinking that they would blow up, running my second lap and crossing the halfway mark in 2:31 (82 second lap YIKES). My next lap didn't go any better running it in 83 seconds. Meanwhile lots of teammates are passing me.

I managed to close it down and run my last lap in 79 seconds, but I just had nothing in me with respect to a kick. I didn't feel like I was dying, in fact I felt I could have run a few more laps, but I just couldn't go any faster.

Now the reason I say mixed emotions, I'm pleased with my time, however, not really with my placing on the team. I finished 6th on the day where as if we had run that a year ago I would have finished 2-3rd. Now I am in better shape than I was in a year ago, however, everyone else has improved it would appear significantly more than I have. Now don't get me wrong. I'm pumped everyone is running so well, but a little bummed that I am not seeing the same shift up.

Oh well, I won't dwell on it too much. I haven't been training for speed at all. I do half marathon and half irons. So speedwork isn't exactly my focus. This weeks race is a 5k run TT and hopefully the longer distance suits me better.

On a more positive spin, we had a bike race this past Saturday, a flat 10k TT out at Iona and there I finished in 3rd with a pace of just under 39kph which is pretty good for me. I rocked out a skinsuit and my full TT bike and wheels.

Me in an Ontario Skinsuit. Made me go faster because wearing Ontario BURNED! I really wish it were Quebec

Thats all for now, I know a lot of people were wondering how the mile went.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Free diver trying to go for the world record.

No air, no fins.

Freediving World Record - 88m without fins from william trubridge on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mile Showdown

The Mile. Amongst the most grueling physical activities ever designed by man. On Wednesday October 21st, 2009 the UBCTC will be running a Mile on the UBC Track.

There is much speculation as to how it will unfold. Will it be a predictive victory, or will a dark horse prevail?

Already the taunting has begun. No matter how much is said, it will all be decided out on the field.

To commemorate this awesome of evenings, a social gathering will be had at the Gallery after the event where stories can be told to describe the pure athleticism that was seen that night.

To elevate the excitement around the mile, I present to you the Miracle Mile, run not 20 kilometers from where we will be running 55 years ago.

I have already mentioned many times that I would try and run a fast mile. Each time I've declared this, I've either been sick or had work issues which have prevented me from even stepping up to the line.

Tomorrow that all changes. I don't know if I will be able to run sub 5 tomorrow. At this point I think thats a little too ambitions. But one thing is certain and that is that it will hurt.

Monday, October 19, 2009

RVM Half Marathon Photos

As promised, here are some photos from the half last week! Not the best best but some pretty good. Turns out I needed a longer shirt...

My face in the second photo is what running a PB looks like. PAIN!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Victoria Half Marathon

This was pretty much a perfect weekend! Although many people have heard that a ferry caught fire or something on Friday morning, my commute over to the island really wasn't too bad. Only the shocking line and anxiety of getting on the boat was a result, and even that wasn't too much trouble because we left early enough that we could catch the next boat.

So Winston and I departed for the island with hopes of two new PB's! A few other UBC Triathlon team members were running as well, Melanie Van Soren and Kelsey Foote ran the half marathon with Winston and I, and Ceilidh Curtis ran the full marathon with his sister.

Winston and I stayed in the hostel which proved to be a pretty sweet lodging, I got to sleep at 10:15 and was good to go come my 5:30 alarm the next morning.

Had my standard bagels and gatoraide breakfast and at ten to seven we were out the door walking/jogging the 8 blocks to the race start for 7:30.

My main concern coming into this race was going to be my fitness. Having been sick I knew that I wouldn't be able to go out as hard as I normally would and wasn't sure how my lungs would hold out.

Conditions for the race were perfect, roughly 5-8*C when the race started and about 12-13 when the race ended. I remember thinking once at about 6-7k that my wrist were cold but after that I never thought about it again.

Deciding that the best game plan would be to start off conservative, I wanted to run my first 10k in around 39 (rather than my previous plan of 37:30ish).

1) 3:49 - 3:49
2) 3:52 - 7:41
3) 4:00 - 11:42
4) 3:46 - 15:28
5) 4:00 - 19:29
6) 4:09 - 23:38
7) 4:08 - 27:47
8) 3:58 - 31:46
9) 4:02 - 35:48
10) 3:58 - 39:46

I ended up going a little slower than expected but sub 40 was still fine. I knew I was well in control and could hold this pace. The first few km were really hard because still being a little sick I had a really stuffed nose and throat and it took about 8-9k to clear up. Water stations were REALLY important for me to clear my throat and mouth. Km 5/6/7 were all kinda hilly in the park and are the explanation for the slow pace.

Once I saw that things were going well I decided I just wanted to try and hold 4 minute pace. This was going well until about 12k when I had a really bad aid station. Marathon walkers could start early to ensure finishing at a reasonable hour, and as a result right about this time is when I was catching up to them. Right before an aid station a woman jumped in front of me because she needed my powergel that I already had my hand stretched out for. This made me have to stop to get another one (I really needed to fuel up because I wouldn't have a chance again until 17k). This only really caused me about 2-3 seconds which shouldn't be a big deal, however, I lost the group I was running with and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to get back into a rhythm once its been broken. Even though I was working harder, I was losing ground.

11) 4:05 - 43:52
12) 4:04 - 47:56
13) 4:08 - 52:05
14) 4:00 - 56:05
15) 3:59 - 1:00:05
16) 4:05 - 1:04:10
17) 4:04 - 1:08:15
18) 4:05 - 1:12:20

My goal continued to be run 4 minute pace and as you can see I hover between 5-20 seconds over pace. Then all of a sudden km 19 was slight downhill and wow, a 3:46km. This brought me back into contention for sub 4 minute pace and when I realized I had a little zip in my legs I decided that 4 minute pace (1:24:24) was no longer my goal, but I wanted to run sub 1:24:00. The last mile was definitely the hardest one of the race, rolling little hills and lots of turns. I had to fight really hard to go sub 1:24. Hitting the flags at 100m I could see the clock ticking past 43,44,45 seconds so I just gave'r and managed to go under the flag in a gun time of 1:23:59! SUCCESS!

19) 3:46 - 1:16:06
20) 3:48 - 1:19:54
21.1) 4:03 - 1:23:57 (1.1km)

Last Mile in 5:58
Last 800 2:58
Last 400 1:25

My final chip time was 1:23:57. I'm super pleased with this especially since I was so unsure about my fitness. The only kicker, I placed 6th in my age group, 4th and 5th were the two runners ahead of me and only by seconds. Oh well.

After this successful day I decided that I wanted to put in another hard month and see what I could do at the fall classic in November. The season never ends!

Thanks for reading.

Oh! and this is a PB, by 6 minutes!

Two other PB's on the day, Winston beat his two year record by 19 seconds and Melanie beat her time by 8 minutes I believe. So great day.

Photos to come.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ironman Hawaii Live NOW

Check out the ironman online now!

Andy Potts 150 meters in already has the group stretched out. But question of the day, how many Pro Men will be chicked by Chrissy Wellington?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sean and Heather's Wedding!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was just in Calgary/Canmore for my cousin Sean's wedding. As the day approached everyone was a little nervous about the potential for the weather. Forecast for the day was for snow!

Sure enough when Saturday rolled around and I looked out my window at 9AM there were big fluffy snowflakes coming down outside. But to be honest, snow is much better than rain in my opinion.

We arrived at the wedding and they had a nice heated gazebo set up on the first tee box of Silvertip Golf Course. Now it was amazing, everything was covered in a few inches of snow because the golf course was 200-300 meters higher in elevation than Canmore center where no snow was sticking. It was hard to believe that there was a large group of people who went golfing just the day before.

The entire wedding was a great success and the snow only added to the atmosphere making their wedding photos pretty spectacular.

I've stolen these next two photos off the photographer's blog who from the looks of it did a great job!

Can you believe these photos were taken the same day? The second photo is of the golf course!

Just wanted to say thanks for having me and congratulations Sean and Heather, and hope your having a great time in Hawaii!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Altitude Training In Alberta

This past weekend I was in Calgary and Canmore for my cousin Sean's wedding, I'll detail all that in a future post dedicated completely to the wedding. For now I'll describe the days leading up.

The weather in Calgary was pretty good for my arrival Wednesday morning. Clear skies and I was welcomed to the airport by my parents, brother, cousins, Aunt and Uncle and even some family friends who all showed up on different flights within 15 minutes of one another. Wow, its almost like we planned it that way.

Wednesday was pretty low key. I spent most of the day complaining about how my nose was dry from the dry air and then we went for a tour of Calgary given to us by my parents friends daughter. It was a very good tour. We saw the ski jumping venue for the 88 olympics.

If you had really good eyes you would see people preparing to jump

Next we saw the Saddledome where the Flames play. It was pretty cool, you could see where the stampede is held as well, but I didn't include that photo.

Calgary Flames walking to their car outside the Saddledome

After staying in Calgary for a day, Thursday morning we went to Canmore to check in to our hotel where we stayed until Sunday.

Leaving desolate Calgary and approaching the mountains, not a bad view.

After checking in to the hotel, we decided to drive further into the Rockies and check out Banff and Lake Louise.

Arriving at the gates to Banff National Park

Heading towards Lake Louise

We got pretty lucky with the weather. It wasn't the best conditions for photos because there were still some clouds in the sky, however, I won't complain. A lot of people went up to Lake Louise on the Friday and Saturday and couldn't see anything.

Just outside the Chateau Lake Louise. (Left to Right) Myself, Amanda (Luke's girlfriend) and Luke

We then walked the north side of the lake, and here you get a nice appreciation for just how blue/green the water really is. And believe me, these photos don't give it justice.

Mom and Dad

Incredible blue water

After all the excitement of Thursday, Friday rolled around and I decided that with the half marathon just over a week away that I should go for a run. Lesley (my cousin), Amanda and I went for a good 80 minute run around Canmore. There are a lot of nice little trails that kept the run nice and easy. I've never run with a camera, but decided this time I would.

Lesley and I

And since I had my camera, I couldn't resist taking an action shot of myself. That stupid grin on my face is because I couldn't keep a straight face when posing for photos.

Pretty nice setting for a run

Today only 4 days out of the half marathon I'm still pretty sick. Between the wedding and work I just never got ahead of this cold. Hopefully I can get myself back into health before Sunday but there is no doubt in my mind that my fitness has taken a beating. I no longer really have any expectations for this half marathon. A PB is all I ask. But you never know. 3 days of altitude training, that should help right? With that I will probably sign up for the Fall Classic in November. That way finishing off my season well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

This is pretty much what I do when I'm sick, draw in my coloring book, play with my toys, lay with my teddy bears and act sick in bed.

Well, if the title of this blog post doesn't tell you enough, I'm kinda sick. To quote my mom, I've been "Burning the candle at both ends". Unfortunately, unlike the photo, my mom lives on the other side of the country, so I had no one to complain to. Fortunately I'll be seeing her on Wednesday.

Work has had me really busy lately, and I've also picked up a few extra responsibilities. Just over a week ago, the UBCTC club president stepped down because his course load was too heavy and wouldn't allow him to dedicate enough time to the club.

We hung in limbo over if we would hold another election or simply promote a current club exec. My role on the executive was somewhat undefined, I was run coach, however, also played a role simply as consultant, for which I brought up the McGill Triathlon Club probably far too often.

It took about 2-3 days before Andrew suggested to the rest of the exec that I should take over. Before I could come up with a rebuttal for this, I was already voted in. I didn't really want the responsibility, however, I must admit, I enjoy being in the position. I find that I am working hard at it and hopefully doing a good job. The only downside I can see is that sometimes I push unimportant things like sleep aside for a few hours while I get things done. Last week after having a few 12AM nights in lab followed by 6:30AM wake up calls, led to a tired Vincent and I got sick.

Tri Club out at Iona, man we will look good when all dressed alike!

All of this to say my half marathon training has taken a hit. The only real exercise I have done over the past week has been the group ride that the triathlon team did on Saturday. We had a group ride followed by a beginner cycling clinic at 11, and midway through the ride I realized I wouldn't be back in time to lead the clinic. With that Matt and I had to put a pretty strong effort for a 2 person TT to get back to campus. Killing ourselves we got back by 10:58! SUCCESS! As a result, I've had no voice since. Oh well.

Today, Monday, I'm on the mend and hopefully in two days I will be all better. Lab has settled down and I should be able to get some nice early nights before I leave for Calgary for a few days. More on that later!

On a finishing note, Saturday was a beautiful day and we had as I said our first group ride, followed by a cycling clinic and the UBCTC welcome back BBQ. Everything in my mind was a HUGE success. To read more details about the day click here to read Winston's report.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fast Mile

I mentioned in an earlier post, my first of the new year that one of my goals for this season was going to be to run a fast mile. I still want to do that.

Now that the UBC track is finished, it offers the perfect location for my mile attempts.

I don't really have a reference for my potential time, so instead of guessing at a whim, I'm going to use the McMillan Running Calculator to come up with a similarly arbitrary estimate of my potential. Warning, website has loud annoying music.

Using my 10k PB of 37:30 it estimates I could run a mile in 5:12. This sounds slow. Especially since at practice I've run them in 5:30. I find that the McMillan calculator for me shows the short stuff as being too slow, however my 5/10k times are dead on, and the marathon/half times are too fast. For example if I use my 800m PB, it gives me a mile time of 4:42, and my 400PR a time of 4:32. I guess this means I have speed but I just don't train enough.

That being said. My original goal that I set in January was to run a 4:30 mile as my A objective, however, before getting there I am setting my preliminary goal as simply breaking 5 minutes.

Last week I pushed at the end of practice to a controlled 5:42. Tomorrow will be my first attempt where I am actually pushing the limits. I doubt I will be near 5 simply because my training hasn't been focused on this, however, I shouldn't be too far.

Maybe I'll get lucky and have some pace bunnies for the first laps.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sooke Race Report

I decided to wait before writing this report and for that I'm glad I did. After the race I was very disappointed with the outcome, however, now a week later I feel as though I have a different perspective of how things went. Believe me, had I written this report fresh, it would have a very different feel.

It was a typical race weekend, the only difference being not nearly as many people involved. Sooke was a small race and many of the regulars decided to skip it because they were either competing elsewhere or had already finished their season.

I stayed at Dereks place once again, thanks for that, and woke up race morning as rested and ready to go as ever.

From Dereks we had a short trip to T2 where we dropped off our shoes and then hopped on the bus to Camp Barnard where the swim start is.

After a nervous bathroom wait where there was 1 bathroom for the 100 athletes, Derek suggested wondering the camp and finding others. Sure enough we found port-o-potties that had clearly never been used. It was funny how relaxed race morning can be when you don't have any of the usual stresses.

Derek and I quickly got to the water just in time for the last announcers words and waited for the canon to go off.

Check out this photo, do I look prepared (bottom right)?

I didn't feel good in the water, I felt as though I was being passed by everyone and that I just wasn't giving it 100%. My right knee started getting stiff in the fleshy part behind the joint but that settled out after about 1000m. I exited the swim with a descent time just under 29 minutes. Fairly comparable to my other swims this year. I can't really complain seeing as how much swimming I've been doing.

I've never seen myself in my goggles, now I know why people make fun of them

After a quick transition I was off and on my bike. Right away I was feeling great. Pushing hard and catching up to a lot of people. I was told coming out of transition by some friends and spectators that I was in 10th, turns out truth was 11th. Quickly in the first 5 minutes of the bike I had caught myself up to 7th and after 15km was in 6th. Things were going my way. That is, until disaster struck on the bike. I was riding in the big ring starting to slow down. I reached up to shift down to the small ring just as the guy in front of me swerves a little to the left. His derailer cable snapped and he was investigating it. His swerve wasn't anywhere near me, but it was sudden enough for me to shove my shifter down and brace my hands on the handle bars. In doing so my chain fell off over the small ring. No big deal, shift up keep pedaling and everything will be fine. Well no such luck today. The road in Sooke is rough to say the least, and I'm assuming I hit a bump which threw my chain up between the small ring and my frame. When I pedaled I just cranked the chain further up wedging and twisting it. Chain was instantly locked. Got off the bike and first thought it was my rear wheel from the bump. Opened the quick release, no luck. Loosened it again and thats when I noticed my chain. I tried as best I could to get the chain out but it was in there good. In the end it cost me about 3-4 minutes to fix. I had to jump on my left pedal in reverse to get the chain out putting a nice little scratch down the side of my frame. Great.

After this is all dealt with I flip the quick release back and get on my way. Instantly my gears are shifting all funny. Awesome, but no matter. I just keep pushing, trying to control myself from going 150% for the next 10 minutes and blowing up. I went from 6th to 20th in those minutes.

After a descent next 30km I am coming down a steep hill and one of the volunteers waves an ambulance bus in front of me. I'm conveniently going 65-70km/h and have to slam on the brakes. The ambulance didn't have its lights on or anything, it was just commuting. As I slowed I got to about 20km/h before my breaks put my rear wheel into a skid. Once this happened, I guess my rear quick release wasn't tightened enough in my haste because my rear wheel slipped right out. Thankfully I wasn't going very fast and managed to get my foot on the ground before the wheel did any damage to my bike or fell out. It was just dangling in the chain. This could have been terrible. Thankfully it wasn't. The worst that happened was I had to get off my bike losing all the momentum of the hill (which was a lot) and put the wheel back in while swearing under my breath of how stupid I am.

All in all this was a physically great bike, I felt strong and fast. However, with the issues unfortunately it didn't go quite as planned. And on a separate note, I don't know if I will do this race again for the simple fact of the quality of the road. It was terrible. Sure it was a beautifully scenic course, but when you think your bike is breaking under you the whole time because of the violent vibrations, you just can't enjoy it. Road quality, gets an F. The rest of the race an A though.

Probably about 5 minutes before bike disaster #1

I like this photo

Nicks girlfriend Hannah out on the bike course

My lovely ride over to the island, Claire. I don't think I was that happy on the bike

Ceilidh out on the bike course

Hey looks its the bumble bee, this guy makes me laugh

I ended up getting off the bike in 14th and started the run. Sadly this is where the race ended for me. Getting out of transition I was only about 1:45 behind Derek. Not bad considering, I should have been really pleased with this. But after the first km was slow (around 4:20 instead of my hopeful 4:00) I tried to push it a little faster and only came up with a 4:15 for km 2. These are decent speeds but I just didn't have the mental toughness to deal with it anymore and I gave up. I didn't actually stop running but I slowed down drastically. I think my 3rd km was on 5:20. Things I've learned from this race;
  1. 19km is a long way to run home when you really just want to quit.
  2. Running slowly in racing flats hurt
  3. Running slowly in general hurts, your really not smooth and there is a lot more hammering.
I ended up finishing the race averaging 5:05 min/km on the run. My slowest run pace EVER in any race. I wasn't a happy camper. People were passing me going at a very easy pace, 4:40-4:50, but I just didn't care. I let them go. I don't think I've ever done this before and hopefully never will again.

Now for the reflection. It has been a long season, and I wasn't in as good of shape for Sooke as I was for races like the New Balance or Vancouver half. Despite this I was demanding of myself the same quality performance. I managed to pull that out of the swim/bike, however, when I got to the run I think it was just a little too much. I wanted to run 4:00 min/km but even without any mental breakdowns that was probably beyond my limits. So when I couldn't pull it out I started blaming the race for my lack of fitness. Saying that all this had happened and no one would blame me for quitting (which they haven't but should). I've come to accept that I quit, however, am no longer as disappointed with the outcome of the run. Next time I just need to re-evaluate my form and create goals that are not exceeding my potential of the day.

In the end it was a long race (longest I've ever done by 1 minute), but it was a beautiful day and I got to spend it with a bunch of my friends, so I'm no longer complaining. And on the plus side I am now much more motivated for my half marathon in 3 weeks to finish my season on a strong note.

A new friend Eric Suess who may be joining UBCTC

Derek very quickly making a 2 minute gap much, much bigger

Claire finishing up the run

Me with the look of pleasure all over my face

Enjoying the scenery out on the run course

Podium shot. Can't say I'm too disappointed with this one, Derek and I 1/2 and Eric in 3rd!