Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boulder Triathlon Club Running Race at 5400 feet

Our race prep wasn’t exactly what I would refer to ideal, however, this wasn’t really an important race so that didn’t really matter.

To demonstrate how relaxed it was, we drank beers the night before, stayed up late and were late to wake. I woke up about 20 minutes before we got in the car and only 50 minutes before race start. Some people like my brother may think this is ideal, however, I’m usually up hours before a race.

Weather was amazing for the race. It wasn’t the sunniest, however, it was probably 10*C, I’m happy with that. Starting off the race, Will and I didn’t know which race we were going to do, 10k or 10 mile. We decided to go with it and see how we felt (in retrospect probably a bad idea).

The gun or loud shout as it was went off and we started up at a staggering jog. It was really strange. Since this wasn’t a real race and everyone was doing different distances people were pretty relaxed. After 1mile Will and I were in the lead and people around us were all talking.

Almost immediately I could feel the altitude, but it wasn’t anything like I expected. I was expecting to feel really winded with led in my feet. This wasn’t the case at all, however, the air simply felt different. You could tell when you breathed hard that it was lighter. When running hard at sea level I can feel the resistance of the air traveling through your windpipe, and during this race it felt like it was just slipping by. It was similar to really cold air sometimes or helium. Helium probably being the more accurate description, and the cold sensation was probably due to the lowered atmospheric pressure therefore more evaporation from my lungs.

Will and I settled into a pretty easy pace with the leaders (unable to take off because we didn’t really know where we were going) who eventually upped their pace to a harder run (I think our first mile was something like 8 minutes [slow]). Once we picked up the pace this is when the elevation really hit me. I noticed I was perfectly comfortable running at 4:30/km pace, but everytime I tried to up my speed it felt like I was at the finishing kick of an 800 meter.

At ~ 5km there was an aid station and this is where the 10km/10mile route split. I was struggling a bit at this time and when Will turned around to ask me which way I sputtered something along the lines of 10k. Then we did something funny (I would never normally take water during a 10k) but the aid station was at the split point and we decided to take 20-30 seconds just chilling at the water station drinking a full cup and then I took a gel which I never intended to eat and continued on our way. During this little rest a runner also doing the 10k passed us and Will took off after him. I was thinking I would be more conservative and bridge the gap over the next 1-2 km.

Either they picked up the pace or I just had nothing left. I kept bridging up to the mystery runner, but only once began to close the gap on Will but he started to pull it away again. The mystery runner and I traded off second and third and he eventually ended up beating me in the last mile, I remember trying to pick up the pace for my typical 1 mile kick into the finish and I made it about 300 meters before I had to slow right down. Will commented saying he felt the same thing.

All in all it was a fun time. Despite the slow start and lengthy aid station and a slight slow down due to getting lost Will won the 10k in 41:11 and I finished third a distant 42:42.

Kelly and Angela also ran the 10k, Kelly breaking 1 hour for the first time ever. I’m not sure exactly what their times were because the times were never really posted.

The race was followed up with a trip to a Mexican restaurant where we saw this sweet car,

 then we walked along 16th avenue Mall in Boulder. In the Volcom store I saw an awesome hat, but they all agreed I shouldn’t buy it. Too bad, I think it could have worked with my shirt (I’m kdding)

Here I also saw Barack Obama!

And checked out a bike shop where I tried out the Felt DA TT bike. It was pretty nice, unfortunately I didn’t leave the shop, I was just up on a trainer, I’ll have to find one in Vancouver to try out. That was unfortunately the only bike I tried.

We returned to Kellys where her mom made us some awesome Chicken with all the fixings and we watched the Oscars. All in all I wasn’t too surprised with an of the results of the night.

We concluded the night with some drinking games and cards mixed in with some billiards and music. 

 All in all, a good time. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boulder Day 1

Day 1 in Boulder

Last night was pretty relaxed, we went to a bar called Mountain Sun. The food was alright, the beer was really good (It’s stout month so they had a whole bunch of fancy unheard of types) but the service was terrible. We had to wait a really long time to be seated (so long that we actually went next door for a round and nachos before being seated. We pretty much just hung out there and then got to bed fairly early in preparation for a big day. 

Waking up we made a feast of eggs and toast to the tunes of I’m on a boat and promontory mixed in with a little of anything else we could find on my computer. After a leisurely morning we headed out to Target to look around before starting a hike. Kelly and Will tried to get me to buy this shirt

but I decided that I couldn’t. Instead Will and I both made a pretty sweet purchase. It will be a little hard to explain where we got them, but I thought that for 9$ it was a pretty good find.

I also got a pair of boxers with Bikes on them, but I figure you guys don’t need to see a photo of me in those, not yet at least.

Check out Will, he's pretty badass!

After this we went on a hike to Chautaqua Park. The hike wasn’t exceptionally rigorous, however, it was pretty icy at parts and a lot of fun.

This is how far we made it before someone started complaining (It was me),

 and this is how far we made it before Kelly stopped laughing at my and Wills jokes, and when she denied Will a kiss (they're dating). We were parked at that car just down the way.

Notable moments during the trip:


The Views

The Jokes

Will Dribbling Pee on his shoes (PHOTO DOCUMENTATION)

The Peeps:

A video which very well depicts our hike 

The hike was fun, the weather was fantastic and as you can see I started off in just my vest and a t-shirt. I actually made it all the way up dressed just like that, it was only when we stopped to take photos that I got cold. Roughly 3 hours later and a whole slew of photos later we made it back to the car. The rest of the night was spent making dinner, eating cake and watching the movie “Get Smart”. I’m not usually one for Steve Carel’s movies, but I found this one to be quite funny. We also sampled a local beer, Left Hand (we got a variety pack) and it was really good, I especially liked their Milk Beer, apparently it has lactose in it so some people may not like it, but it had a really great flavor.

For dinner we made a pasta dish that was made for me by a friend last week. It was really simple and good. What you do is;

Cook broccoli, coli flour, and cherry tomatoes in the oven with Olive Oil and Vinaigrette.

Boil Pasta

Then once everything is cooked, add prosciutto cheese and spinach and your ready to go. It wasn’t as good tonight as last week, but still filled me up.

Now, its almost bed time, and we are waking up early to do the race in the morning. During the hike I wasn’t really noticing the altitude, maybe I won’t during the run either. Keeping my fingers crossed. 


I’m taking a week off from work and taking a trip down to the states to visit some old friends. My trip starts in Boulder Colorado at Kelly’s where we are having a little mini reunion. Kelly and Will both were on the McGill Triathlon Club with me a few years ago, and along with the two of them, a friend of theirs who I’ve met a few times, Angela will be joining us. I will be in Boulder until Tuesday at which point I’m taking a small prop plane to Casper Wyoming to visit probably my oldest friend, Mike Mahoney. Its well past due that I visit him, he has been to Montreal to visit me twice over the past few years, and I’ve never been to see him. It will be nice to see where he lives now. Staying in Casper until Friday, I’ll return to Denver to fly home.

A fairly simple trip, as far as activities, there is not much planned. There is a beer festival in Boulder which apparently has a gazillion types of beer, so I’m sure we will be hitting that up. Other than that, I’m sure there will be a lot of baking and movie watching and just hanging out.

As I previously mentioned, I will hopefully check out some bikes as well. Will wanted to look around for wheels, and in the process I plan on testing out a few TT bikes.

When I mention I’m going to Boulder, it seems coincidental that I’m not going for triathlon purposes. So to make sure to round things off without completely slacking all week, Kelly signed us up for a running race taking place this Sunday. The Boulder Triathlon Club is putting on a series of races, I think there is a 10k, 10mile, half marathon, among other distances. Once this was suggested the smack talk between Will and I started up, however, before any bets could be made, Kelly decided to sign me up for the 10 mile instead of 10k. Her defense being that I’m training for distance and this is a better race for me. She’s probably right, but it would have been fun going head to head against Will.

One thing to take note, this will only be my second day in Boulder, at 5400 feet elevation, non acclimatized. I’ve never been to elevation let alone raced there, so it will be interesting to see how hard that hits me. I’ve been promised to shock. Kelly says she ofter walks up the stairs and gets winded when coming home and another friend who easily runs 4min/km said she had trouble just continually running at first.

Should be a good time, expect a funny race report from this one. I opted against bringing my running flats for this though, its still too early in the season to really kill myself, and I didn’t want the added pressure of having to race hard. This way I can still try and push myself but enjoy it a little more. That being said, I’m still going to try and beat Will on my 10k split.

After the race, we will just be hanging out.

In Wyoming I’m not sure what the plan is, Casper isn’t very big, and there isn’t all too much nearby, if I had more time I would want to go to Yellowstone, but I think that its too far to a day trip. Another year I guess.

Anyways, I think tats it for now. More updates and hopefully lots of photo’s to follow.

I’ve taken a bunch from the plane already but the sun is directly outside my window so I’m not sure how good they will be

Friday, February 20, 2009

CIS Swimming Championship 2009

Last night I went to watch the CIS swimming championship at UBC and WOW! If you are in the Vnacouver area and want to see some fantastic swimming, I highly recommend making a stop by the UBC pool tonight (Friday) or Saturday night to catch the finals. 

Just some highlights from last night. 

New Canadian Record in 
Men 200 Free: 1:43:31
Women 200 Free: 1:56:11
Men 100 Breaststoke: 59:34
Womans 100 Breastroke 1:05:16
Mens 4X100 Free 3:15:42
Women 4X100 Free: 3:38:74

Big Props to a friend of mine Tara who finished second in the 400IM was an awesome race!

Bike Test Rides

Wednesday morning I went to Speed Theory to try out some TT bikes, I had stopped by on Saturday morning and checked out the Argon 18 E114 and the Orbea Ordu. Wednesday was going to be my first time trying them outside. 

This week we had some fantastic weather in Vancouver, it was clear blue sky and 7-9*C every day and Wednesday was no exception to this. The first bike I tried out was the Orbea, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I found that even on a small frame I wasn't getting far off the frame and the drop (even though lowered as much as possible) didn't feel like much. I felt like THIS, instead of what I feel could be like THIS. On top of that, I felt really cramped on the frame, as though it was too short front to back for me, I kept hitting my knee's on the arm rest. Oh well. I may try this one out again in a different size. The aerobars could be stretched out a bit and saddle moved back a slight bit.

The next bike I tried out was the Argon 18 E114, this bike was much more comfortable, I immediately felt much more comfortable on it. My big complaint with this bike is the cockpit.

As you can see, the handles on the sides are straight out, and this just didn't fit right in my hands. The aerobars felt really good though. My roommate made the comment though that how often will I be on the arm rest which is true, ideally I will be in the aero position for most races.

One option here, the E114 has this whole fancy one piece aerobars/fork. Where as if you go down one model to the E112, you can customize the fork and aerobars. If it comes down to it, this will probably be my decision.

But after riding both bikes, I'm far from convinced. I'm really hoping that this week I can try out a few more to get a better perspective. I am currently in the airport on my way to Boulder Colorado, also known as Triathlon Capital USA to visit some McGill friends. I brought a bike kit with me along with my shoes and pedals so that when we check out some bike shops I could try out a few frames not available in Vancouver. Bikes I'm hoping to try out would be a Felt/Scott/Trek/Ridley/Kuota to name a few. 

Anyways, the hunt is on for a tri bike. I've got plenty of time to get one, so I'm really going to do my homework before making my purchase. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Solid Weekend

This was just a big week, I have been really busy because I had a committee meeting at school last Friday. What's a committee meeting? Its pretty much an evaluation of my worth as a grad student at which point I get feedback and hopefully some help with my direction. My meeting went really well, almost too well actually, my prof and the collaborators are excited about my results and have now set somewhat over ambitious goals for my completion. Oh well, better this than them being upset that I've gotten no where (closer to reality).

Once that was done with, I pretty much went on cruise control and relaxed for the weekend (I've had deadlines pretty much every week since mid January). Went to the gym Friday night, did some core work then followed this up by going out with some friends. For the second week in a row made it to the Saturday morning ride. Making it to the ride is no great feat, getting myself out of bed slightly hung over is HUGE for me because I am definitely not a morning person. 

Last week (my first ride outside of 09) I guessed the conditions perfectly and was dressed well for the temperature. Unfortunately this week it was a little warmer so I decided to shed a few layers, this was a big mistake. We had a few new riders out with the club and as a result I was puttering at 22kph for much of the ride, never getting my heart rate up and never really warming up. It was so bad that I actually ended up calling it quits early and headed home to warm up. The nice day wasn't lost though. A friend from school rides and a few hours after getting back from my morning ride, he asked if I wanted to go out for a loop of Stanley Park, so for the second time in one day I dressed up and headed out around the park. The second time I was much better dressed and it was a much more comfortable ride. 

Between the two rides I did something very dangerous. I went in to Speed Theory on 4th, and check out bikes. Now I've done that a few times already this year, however, this was the first time I actually got onto one. I sat on the Argon 18 E114, and although it was already set up for someone else, it felt good. I can only imagine what it would feel like if it was sized for me.
The other bike I looked at but haven't tried out is the Orbea Ordu. I am actually going by tomorrow morning to test that baby outside for a quick ride. 

The danger in this little visit is that up until now I was just window shopping, now I've tested them out. Its only a matter of time before I spend a huge heap of money on a bike. But I'm going to be very slow in all this and see what I can find. I don't want to rush into this. There are still a few other shops and bike brands to take a look at. If anyone has any suggestions for good bike shops in Vancouver with TT bikes, let me know.

The rest of Saturday was pretty relaxing, nothing overly exciting, just ended up going over to a friends and watching a movie and having an easy night.

Sunday Morning I woke up to the most glorious day we have had in Vancouver so far this year. And what was better is that I had swim practice outside. Getting there I remember standing on deck and thinking how nice and warm the sun was on my skin, bare chested in February, a stark contrast to the swim a few weeks ago. After the swim I was going to go to the gym and do another core workout, however, two of my teammates came up with the idea of going out to coffee and walk on the beach instead. This sounded like a fantastic idea and so I did. The beach was a little chilly with the wind but I was in a great mood all day simply because the weather. My friend Claire who was also at swimming said that she even had a tanline from the swim. I couldn't tell if I had gotten one since I have a speedo tan year round. Thomas was pleased with the weather as well, he had just gotten back from a month in Ottawa where the average temperature was -15*C.

I was in such a good mood that I actually gave money to a bum in passing, something I never do.

I follow this walk by a quick stint in lab and then topped the weekend off by heading to a friends in North Van for dinner. A fantastic pasta meal that I just inhaled plate after plate of. I didn't realize how hungry I was until I looked back at how much I had. 

The one downside to this weekend is I never actually got a run in, the weather was so good but things just kept coming up. I got one on Monday and will do another at tomorrows practice, but I would have preferred a long run on the weekend. 

Finally just on a side note, todays swim practice was AWESOME! I felt so strong. The pool was empty being reading week and all, and so I had a whole lane to myself. This is sometimes pretty hard because you have no one to push you, but today that wasn't so much of an issue. The main set was 5X200 with 20 seconds rest, then we take 100 easy, and try and do 5X200 with 30 seconds rest, however, we want the 200's do be 10 seconds faster. 

I wasn't actually able to go 10 seconds faster, however, I managed to do 8/10 of the 200's under 3 minutes, and the two that weren't were more mental slips rather than physical. All in all a great practice. Tonight I got home and was just beat, hard days in lab yesterday and today, mixed with a solid practice amounted to exhaustion, something I haven't had in a while, guess that shows I'm working hard.

On that note, I'm heading off to do some stretches and head to bed. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5 Questions

In my daily scouring of the blog world (refuse to call it the blogosphere) I came across THIS blog and saw a post I found quite interesting. The idea is someone who has glanced through your blog to get an idea of the type of person you are asks 5 questions for you to answer, so its like a mini interview. I left a comment and here they are.

1. What has been your biggest challenge during training, and how have you overcome it?

My biggest challenge so far in training has been consistency and flexibility. Very rarely have I actually had muscle injuries, it is always some sort of complication of lack of flexibility resulting in knee pain, ITB issues, hamstrings, etc. For example right now I am fearful of getting on my bike because of my IT band, worried that the piercing pain will come back. The reason I listed consistency in my challenges is because more often than not, these injuries are the result of inconsistent training regimes, I will not train for two weeks in one sport and then all of a sudden go all out. Net result, my parts get super tight. Also the consistency in the amount I stretch, I have a really bad habit of stretching as a consequence of injury as opposed to in prevention. Overcoming this in the 2009 season I am trying to focus on stretching at least a little bet everyday, even if that just means 5 minutes at my desk at school.

2. Why have you made triathlons your sport of choice? 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am quite a competitive person. Before entering the world of triathlon, I raced track and field and cross country. There are two problems I encountered with the running world, the first being I kept getting injured. I don't know if its just my physiology, but I wasn't able to handle the mileage, shin splints were a painful memory from high school flaring up each fall with cross country and then again in the spring with indoor track season. 
The second reason I left track was because I wasn't particularly good at it. I was good compared to high school track team kids, however, when I raced in the Quebec Federation I got whooped. I remember one day racing provincials, finishing 4th in the 800m, respectable enough right? Well I ran a 2:08 and Josh Wolfe ran 1:52 if memory serves correctly. 16 seconds, thats over 100 meters behind. I realized that I was a good runner, but not matter what would never be great. When I hit CEGEP (transition school between high school and university in quebec) scheduling conflicts prevented me from being able to run track. Abbott (my CEGEP) did have a swim team though, and it was really well organized so all levels could race, being a beginner swimmer, this offered a challenge and a way out of the running injuries. Two years of that and I decided to combine my two sports, swimming and running with my first triathlon. After that first one I loved it and was hooked. Ask anyone who knew me back then, you couldn't get me to shut up about it. I loved swimming and I loved running, the second I got on a bike, I enjoyed that even more. 
What I loved most was that it offered a great way to avoid injuries because whenever my legs hurt, I simply stay off them for a few days and do a swim focus. Also, since I've gotten pretty good at swimming and always had that background in running, I find that I excel in triathlons to a much higher level than I would have in either sport individually. 

3. What is one trait that you most admire in another person? 

I admire motivation, and dedication, no matter how hard I train, I feel like I could still be doing more but would have to sacrifice my current lifestyle. My biggest load week last year was only in the range of 15-18 hours. I have friends these days who have been doing that all winter. I'm constantly impressed at the amount of time and dedication they can put in despite their crazy busy schedules. Two people I'm really excited to see race in the spring are Facundo Chernikoff and Nick Gottfried. Both of them have put in huge training mileage over the winter and I think we will see huge improvements over last year. 

4. You seem to love silly pictures. What is your current favorite? 

I have lots of favorite photos that I've seen online, however, I don't think any beat this one that was taken by a friend of mine just yesterday outside my building at school. This may not be the funniest photo online, however, since its something that I was able to see in person it makes me laugh every time. Check it out, tell me if you can spot the problem.

The best part I think is the fact that clearly the parking lot wasn't full, the lane on the right still has open spots. 

5. What do you like best about being Canadian / from Vancouver? 
Wow, huge question, where do I even begin. About being Canadian, well there is all the cheesy stuff like when I travel people like me for being Canadian and there is an inbred pride that goes along with that. But a more down to earth response would be because its a big country (geographically) but still small world. Just to give an example, I was talking with a friend from St John's Newfoundland, and I only knew one other person from there, sure enough, they went to high school together. So here we are in Vancouer 6000km away and have a mutual friend. In Canada I find that you get that small world effect all the time. This is especially evident in the Triathlon World. I dare say you could name any triathlete in Canada that I couldn't find 2 degree's of separation from. Every race I go to I meet people I know or have heard about. 
And to answer the second question, I'm not actually from Vancouver, I was born in Ottawa ON, and grew up in Moncton NB and Montreal QC. So instead of saying what I like about being from any of those, I will describe what I like about being in Vancouver now. And it can be summarized in one word; Environment. Its amazing for all my sport passions, I swim outside all winter long, I can bike and run in the most amazing settings you've ever seen, and it never gets TOO cold. How can I complain about that.

Anyways, this post has been long enough.

I'm finishing the last part of the cycling study right now, will post the results probably sometime tomorrow.

Oh, and this questionnaire, if you want me to ask 5 question for you, simply post a comment and over the next few days I'll check out your blog and come up with 5.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Mission

One of the biggest problems I have with swimming is consistency. To try and solve this, I have decided to swim an average of at least 1km a day between now and the Shawnigan Half Iron. This really isn't that much, it just means I can't take weeks off at a time. 

I'm going to start this count from February 1st, So far I'm 9km in and we are the 10th, today's practice will bump me over the count.

Keep checking in, and criticize me if I start to slip. I'll update my numbers much more regularly. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mid Cycling Study

I'm sitting in the lab waiting for my second test of the day. The first one this morning was HARD! Turns out that 282 Watts is well beyond my comfort zone and within minutes I was already hurting. How long did I last, 5-8 minutes maybe. I'm definitely not looking forward to doing this again in 15 minutes but oh well. Its all psychological, physically I feel fine right now, I just have to make myself hurt. 

I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Outdoor ride of 2009

Yesterday I woke up tired and satisfied with simply staying in bed ALL day. Deciding this wasn't the best plan I dragged myself out of bed in time to make it to my first outdoor ride with the UBCTC of 09.

The ride planned to Saturday was an easy out and back to Iona with some TT efforts once we got there. The sun sadly wasn't out, but the weather was decent enough provided you dressed accordingly which I did.

I rode cautiously because of my leg, I can still feel the tightness where I did in September, however, I'm hoping that the new stretches I got from physio may help with this.

I followed the ride with a solid core workout. I can tell already from the two days that I'm leaning the balance for some of the exercises which is making them a lot easier. Lets just hope I don't get the 48 hour set in of stiffness. I'm feeling a little tight today but otherwise alright.

Warning: Boring paragraph with pace times.

This morning (Sunday), was started off with the typical swim at the pool, surprisingly there were very few people there. Normally the Sunday swims are fairly big (20-25 people), today only 5 others in the pool. Must be midterms. As a result of this I got a whole lane to myself which I think is what led to the slow pace I was going the entire practice. Not too pleased with my effort 6:45 for 400 "Hard" (I normally go 6:00ish) I decided to really push it on the last set which was 4X100. I was looking over my training log from last summer and I did a similar set 5X100 which I went 1:22-1:18 for the 5. Today I wanted to match that. I started off well, 1:21, but then slipped to 24 and 25, but finished strong with 1:19 which I was satisfied with.

Sorry that was a really boring paragraph, I normally try and skip that type, but I felt like mentioning the 100's at the end.

The afternoon was spent hanging out with friends at lunch and then coming home and preparing for an easy run. My roommate got a Garmin 305 and said I could try it out. Off I went. It was fun running with my pace time. I discovered that my ideal cruising pace is in and around 4:40-45 with a heart rate in and around 155-165. Check out the graphs!

I did a short surge for km 9, which you can see matches with the heart rate spike. (Speed is blue, heart rate is red). You can click on the photo to enlarge. I'm not all too sure why my speed was jumping all over the place at the beginning there, and I definitely didn't spike up to 25km/h, but overall its pretty accurate. 

It was nice having my pace times there, I am seriously considering getting one myself. They are on sale right now at Cosco for 219$.

What I liked is you can also get all the splits. See!

It also overlays a map with where you ran. Pretty cool I think.

This is a toy I'm definitely going to use once or twice more for sure.

Thats pretty much it for today. I am doing day 2 of that cycling test tomorrow morning so wish me luck!

Awesome Dog

When I get a dog, I think I know what one of the first tricks I will teach it is. 

A friend saw this video and thought of me!

I feel like someone should take a photo of that dog and photoshop it into this one

PS, that cat is pretty awesome as well

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Big Training Day

Definitely my most challenging day of 2009 so far (5k TT a distant second). The day started off with my cycling maximum effort test, since I've already described that I'll simply summarize and say it was hard.

This was followed up with some casual lab time, and then once I had gotten enough of a "day" done I escaped to go swimming. Nothing particularly exciting about this, just a solid 1 hour swim, we did a kick set, it hurt so bad after this mornings workout. I rushed out of the pool and skipped my favorite part of the workout, social hot tubbing it afterwards, oh well. I had to meet Choppy because he was finishing my workout plan. Last time we went over legs and today we finished it off with a good list of core exercises to do. I'll describe this gym workout in more detail another time because that could be a post all of its own. 

I left this workout where we discussed Chops newest business move, he recently bought into the franchise Survival Bootcamp and now is the owner of a piece of the franchise (I don't think this is how it is described but you get the point). So thats really exciting for him.

Coming home I was famished, food was a necessity and was quickly devoured. I recovered for a few hours and then joked with my roommate for a while about how he needs to get a powertap for his bike. 

Deciding to follow my workout plan to a T, I finished the day off with an easy run. The purpose of this was twofold, first, allowing me to keep true to my half marathon training, and second to flush out my legs from this mornings cycling test.

All in all was a good day, I'm feeling pretty good right now, I think I managed nutrition pretty well for a day like today.

Here it is:

Cycling Test 30 minutes
Swim 1 hour
Gym 45 minutes
Run 45 minutes

2009, I've begun.

Cycling Study

Its been a fairly busy past couple of days. The most exciting event being the cycling study I took part in this morning. The study is being put on by Dr. Mike Koehle at UBC. Today's evaluation was simply a maximum effort test. How it works, after a 10 minute warm up the test begins at 0 Watts. That part is fairly simple, but then it picks up by 1 Watt every 2 seconds. The idea is to keep pedaling seated until you can no longer pedal 60 rpm. At that point the test is over.

I was a little nervous coming it to the test for two reasons, first, the test required "Elite" cyclist.  I didn't think I fit into this bracket, however, upon getting there today I learned that in reality that was just to discourage Joe Schmoe
from signing up. At this point I was more confident in my ability to perform well in the test. The only thing that was still looming over my head was the fact that my legs felt a little dead from last nights killer run workout (I know, making excuses before the test even takes place). Last night we did 5.5km of hill intervals, definitely not the ideal workout prior to a cycling power test. Our coach is kind of a jerk and just doesn't listen to people. Someone should really put him in his place.

With the test underway, I felt pretty good and was talking with Mike until I reached about 220 Watts at which point I was still feeling alright but decided to be cautious and stop talking because the pain would surely hit me pretty hard soon.

With Mikes encouragement (I wasn't allowed to see the computer or time) I kept pushing through and when I estimated was about 300 watts it got real hard, I managed to get my bike jersey off because it was hot in that little room. I finally cracked and I mean cracked HARD at 378 Watts. I'm fairly pleased with this. I've charted this on a graph below, my breaking point is signified by the lightning bolt!
As you can see, my maximum power output is roughly the same as that held by a professional cyclist during a 75 minute time trial (Note, my graph says 6-7 hours, in reality this should be at TT, this was a mistake but I decided not to redo the graph). However my maximum average is somewhere in the 200-250 Watt range for a TT, which was roughly what Floyd Landis held as an average for the 3 weeks of the Tour.

All this to say I have a little bit of work to do. My max power is 6Watts/kg, and my sustainable power is in the range of 3.5-4. This season I would really like to bring this up higher to maybe 4.5, that would be epic.

The next days of the study involve going at 75% (282.5 Watts) for as long as I can hold it. Apparently that is usually 15-40 minutes. I fear this workout because after todays workout, I realized that I am pretty comfortable and then BAM hit a wall. This 75% may still be in my comfortish zone, meaning that I could be one of the fortunate ones who gets to hurt for 40+ minutes. YAY!

Oh, and my legs felt good, no excuses needed from last night.

I will have all the heart rate data to go along with this after all the testing is done. Also I did a similar test to this a few years ago, it will be interesting to see how I compare to a mid June (when I did this last) test.

I'm out for a run in the rain, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bike Commuting On The Bus

I very much like the Vancouver Transit System because all buses can accommodate bikes allowing you to take the bus home on those days with really crappy weather. I was going to describe these racks but instead I came across this great instructional video posted on bikesnobnyc earlier today.

Hope you enjoy.

A real post will be up later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guest Post

I wrote a guest post for a Triathlon blog out on the east coast. 

I probably will do so again in the future giving them a west coast perspective. 

Live Multi Sport, you can check them out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Something funny in the blog world

For any of you who know me, you'll know I love statistics. As a result I've got the site stat tracker going on for this site. My typical site activity is in the range of 15-50 hits a day depending on if I am frequently posting or leaving a trail on other blogs. However today something funny happened. My stats were around 40 hits when I left for my run at 5 and when I got back at 6 were up to 82. I didn't know what was up, and the strangest thing, is that normally when I get a lot of hits like that its the result of posting on someone else's blog and then people linked that way. Today that wasn't the case at all, and when I look at the IP addresses they come from all over the world. Check it out.

I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone in any of the following places. But take a look, Vincent's Ramblings is apparently international!

- Scarborough,Tobago,Trinidad And Tobago
- Madison Heights, Michigan, United States
- Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
- New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
- Oslo, Norway
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
- Córdoba, Cordoba, Argentina
- Orem, Utah, United States
- Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
- Toluca, Mexico, Mexico
- Sampaloc, Rizal, Philippines
- Londrina, Parana, Brazil
- Malang, Jawa Timur, Indonesia
- Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela
- Tokyo, Japan

Had anyone else noticed this on their blog? When I look
at the incoming link it tells me address undefined 404,
so who knows.

Anyways, interesting nonetheless.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sticky Wet Snow

It's 9:25 in the morning, my phone alarm has been going off for 25 minutes already and can be found muffled by one or two of my pillows on my bed. I normally am not this tired in the morning, however, forgetting to turn off the heat in my room, I was baking at 3 in the morning leading to a semi disturbed sleep. 

Finally rolling out of bed, I sit on the edge, dehydrated, debating with myself whether to go to practice or simply fall back to sleep. No, I had to go, otherwise I would waste away the day. My feet hit the ground, I feel the soreness from my massage in my right quad from last night. This thought doesn't linger long though, once I'm committed to going, I need to be quick otherwise I won't catch the bus. Rushing to get some food; a bowl of cereal and glass of juice later and I'm ready to go just in time for the 9:40 bus. Good thing I was rushed and hadn't looked outside, had I seen the weather that awaited me I surely would have rolled over and stayed in bed. 

Large white wet snowflakes falling down, just enough wind to give them a slight angle so that they can sneak under my hood. Do I have time to get my umbrella? Can't risk it, bus should be here any minute. 

Running around my house to the front yard I look up the street and the 25 is turning onto Dunbar from King Edward. Getting my umbrella would have cost me this bus. I quickly cross the road muttering, "what am I doing going out in this.". 

I get to UBC a few minutes before practice, just enough time to run into the locker room and get changed. Doing so I run into a few teammates and we all mutter about the weather. How if its snowing in Vancouver, how come we aren't in Whistler taking advantage of it. 

Quickly I get changed and prepare to head outside. As I approach the door, my hand reaches the bar to release the lock and I hesitate to push, do I really want to go outside in 0*C weather to get wet and cold? I'm still sheltered by the indoors, I can still turn back. 

No! No turning back, I open the door and the cold wind and snow hit me immediately, however, now I'm dressed for training, no longer wearing my big winter coat and long pants. I notice goose-bumps immediately appearing on my arms and legs. As I do the short dash to catch up to the others, I see Ivan our coach is back from his winter vacation down south, this weather must be a shock to his system, its going to be a long hour for him. As I approach my teammates, my toes are already going numb from having to step through puddles, the sleep that was in my eyes not 30 minutes ago is surely gone my now, scared away by the fowl wind.

As I am running out the door taking long strides to try and maximize my efficiency there is just one thing going through my mind.

"Why am running through the snow barefoot only wearing a speedo?"

The perk of swimming outdoors all winter long is you don't linger on deck before a workout starts, once you're present, you're in the water. Diving in, my red toes shriek with the shock of the sudden change in temperature, and with that, I'm on my way to a solid sunday morning swim workout. 

During the swim, while doing social kick sets, we take turns pausing the conversation to dip our heads underwater to melt the snow that is sticking to our hair. I couldn't help but glance to the side every once in a while and witness pedestrians walking by the pool and pausing as they watched the crazy swimmers outside in the snow while our coach stands on deck dressed for winter. I can't help but think what we must look like. 

But I guess thats what it means to be a Canadian training for triathlons in February.