Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another 5 Questions

These questions come courtesy of Holly, she actually sent me these questions a really long time ago, but they just got lost in my drafts, and filling them in seemed like the perfect thing to do while I wait for stuff in lab. 

Interview Questions:

1.) What injury do you fear most? Why?

Realistic injury? I'm really afraid of hyper-extending my knees. I've had this somewhat happen before and it was so painful that I actually blocked out the pain at first. Blinding pain, the type that blocks out all senses and you just go numb for a while until slowly it all floods back in with an excruciating throb. And when it happened to me it was really mild, sure I was limping for a few days, but not crippled, I could only imagine what it would feel like if you really cranked your knee back. I think where injuries are concerned there are lots that are much worse than this, but I can't imagine them, where as the hyper-extension I can put a face to, therefore fear. 

2.) If you could only do one sport for an entire summer, which would you choose? Why?

I would have to say biking. Its a tough call between swimming and biking. I love swimming in the outdoor pool on a sunny afternoon, however, if I had to do it for the whole summer I think I would get bored after a while. Whereas biking can be amazing, its much more social, and there is certainly a much bigger thrill associated with biking. 

3.) Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears? Why?

Britney Spears. Although she's a train wreck and kinda crazy, I feel Christina Aguilera is bitchy, and I don't think I would really like her in person.

4.) What is the best piece of advice you have been given since you started competing? Why?

One more workout will never win you a race, but it can lose you one. Motto I live by in training.

5.) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?

At the moment, probably Italy. Watching the Giro last summer I really liked the country side and decided that it was on my list of places to go. If I had the chance to visit one place, that would be it. I would need my bike with me though of course. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Awesome Run

Very quick update. 

Woke up today feeling really tired and flat, went in to school preparing for a swim in the morning but skipped and opted to go at lunch instead. Got a pretty solid 3.5k swim in despite how I was feeling in the morning which was pretty surprising. Got back to lab and was feeling flat and tired again but wanted to go for a run tonight.

I went out with my roommates garmin 305 thinking that I would be able to map out my run for distance. Well obviously what ended up happening is I raced the watch. After a few slow warmup km I was running solid 4min/km pace. A little faster than a typical Wednesday long run. Oh well, I decided to keep it up and see how it went. 

I ended up finishing the 13km in 55 minutes average pace 4:13. Not bad for a somewhat hilly run. What really pleased me was my heart rate zones, other than a few hill spurts I was keeping it nice and controlled in the 155 zone. 

Have a look. (Click sheet to Enlarge)

Running this season I feel is going to be my strength. I'm feeling much stronger than last year and am really going to be able to go on the hunt off the bike!

What A Weekend! UBCTC Cottage Weekend Recap

This past weekend marked the first of what I hope is many UBCTC cottage weekends. Claire Askew graciously offered up her cottage on Saturna Island so we all piled up and made our way to the ferry on Friday afternoon. On Friday 8 of us were heading over, Matt Andrew and Lauren came over on Saturday morning because exams held them up.

Friday was a spectacular day, weather was amazing and we rode out quite casually to the shuttle across the George Massey Tunnel and then to the ferry. Once on the ferry we had some time to relax and plan out the events for the weekend.

View From the Ferry Looking Back At Vancouver

Group chilling out on the first ferry.

Arriving at the transfer stop (Mayne Island), we were supposed to hop right onto the second smaller ferry to head to Saturna, however, there was a suspicious "Marine Rescue" which delayed the ferry nearly 2.5 hours. Obviously we didn't know there was going to be such a delay, I guess the details of the rescue were Need to Know basis so we had to just patiently wait.  
Waiting for the ferry to Saturna. Look at how optimistic we still are!

We decided to go check out the water, it was beautiful watching the sunset!

Unfortunately after the sunset, it got really cold. Most everyone was still in their bike spandex so this wasn't exactly ideal. 

Finally at around 10:30PM the ferry came and we boarded on and made it to Saturna Island. Here a the group had the fun of riding 50 feet in front of the car (for light) along a twisty non lit island road. Little did they know they would have to climb an epic hill to get there.  Upon our return Sunday, I checked and the hill had a sign saying that the incline was 15%. YIKES!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to another great day. It was a little overcast at first but by noon it had cleared right up. This was perfect because we had planned on running in the morning and then enjoying the outdoors after that.

The day started off with a large breakfast where we put Nutella on pretty much everything we could think of. It was awesome. And to digest a few of us went for a walk around the bay. 

Claire gazing into the deep blue of the water

Vince thinking intently of a workout for our team run.

The run workout we decided on a was an awesome 1k trail loop. Lots of ups and downs and always winding. There were also two bridges, Exhibit A:
Bridge we had to run over

Running on the trails was tough, I was running at roughly the same effort as last week (3:30/km) but my times were coming in around 3:50-4:00. Lots of fun though. When we got back from the run, the last trio of UBCTC members had arrived. We finished off the run with a nice dip in the ocean for a nice little ice bath. Jared went first...
After seeing Jareds face, people weren't too motivated to go in.

But then he gave us the thumbs up so we knew it was good to go!

I jumped into the ocean (rough temp 8*C) but didn't stay in for nearly as long as Jared, I was straight in and out. 

Following a huge lunch 10 of us, (legaly) piled in to Claires Volkswagen and headed out for a hike on Brown Ridge. It wasn't far, only a few km. 

You can't see me but I'm actually on all their lap

At the beginning of the hike Nathaniel Matt and I were complaining (As we usually do), that the hike was lame and not hard enough. Like come on, we were just walking up a dirt road. Then we started complaining that everyone was walking too fast and we got left behind. But first we captured these sweet action shots. 

You can see people already pulling away in the lead

The rest of the group eventually pulled away from Matt, Nathaniel and I when we decided we need to start breaking logs to create walking sticks. As a result we just had to pull up the rear.

Found a walking stick suitable for my needs

With some teamwork, Matt helped me jump on it


Blazing sunshine as we reached the top

We are pretty gangster

Beautiful view from the top

The hill was really cool, very steep, probably 50* and there were very few trees. 

Although we were messing around, if someone fell, they would probably roll all the way to the bottom

There were feral goats all over the mountain so we were walking along their path.

Then we spotted some sweet goats so we stopped for a bit.

There were honestly hundreds of them

Then I got artistic with the camera, despite the fact you can't see his face, Nathaniel has never looked so good.

After the hike we relaxed at the cottage, I attempted to play guitar (badly) and then before dinner we went out beer in hand to watch the end of the sunset.

Claires cottage would be just behind that tree across the bay.

People were nagging me about dragging them out, however I think it was well worth it. 

After the sunset and another feast (we had many of these), we settled down for a riveting game of Cranium. The game itself wasn't necessarily noteworthy (other than the fact my team won), but this one creative cat question sure did stand out. Winston incredibly whipped up this garden gnome in seconds. 

The next morning we went for a LONG run. Some went for 24km others (me) went for 15.5. It was so nice out and really enjoyable. 

Unfortunately really small but this gives you an idea of what we were running along

Reaching the East Point of the island and goofing around

While we were running a few people decided to go for a kayak instead, and they lucked out and saw a whole bunch of sea lions frolicking around. I'm pretty jealous. 

Pre or Post sea lion adventure.

While we were running, a third group prepared lunch, which was probably the largest feast of all! We had so much food left that we just kept eating. We were going to need this since we were riding home and weren't going to get any food on the ferry. 

Finally after two awesome days at the cottage we got dressed up in our biking duds and hit the road once more. 

Andrew, Lauren, and Winston who is sporting his California Casual bike jersey.

Group piled in the shuttle

All in all an awesome weekend! Thanks a lot Claire!

Friday, April 24, 2009

UBCTC Cottage Weekend

This weekend to celebrate the end of exams the UBCTC is heading to Saturna Island where Claire has a cottage for some good times. 

The plan is to bike to the ferry tomorrow afternoon, do some running/riding Saturday and Sunday and then head back Sunday afternoon. I think there is potential I will do my first 20k run of the season :S

It should be a really fun weekend, I'm not sure the exact number of people that are going, but it should be in and around 10!

I'll have a full recap ready for Monday with lots of photos.

Have a good weekend everyone, and congrats to everyone who is finishing up their semester!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Completely Triathlon Unrelated

Completely unrelated to triathlons, but I thought this was really funny. I've felt this way once or twice.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Have Some Fast Friends

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I've got some FAST friends!

I'm feeling pressure from all sides of the sport. I wrote the times of the UBCTC members who raced in the Sun Run on Sunday. There were a few other non team members who I compete against as well who posted lightning fast times such as Yue-Ching Cheng who ran a blistering 34:31 and Jonathan Kisilosky with a time of 36:54. Both these two really seem to have picked up their game this season leaving me in the dust. And don't even get me started on Facundo, thats a whole other story. What all this tells me though, is that I've gotta get my act together.

Its not only on the run though. Derek is swimming like a monster these days. I think a conservative estimate is a 5 minute lead he'll have out of the water, which finally brings me to the Bike. For this I haven't had any races yet, however, if my Victoria training weekend was any indication, Nick is going to serve me up there pretty good.

With all this in mind, I've decided to really amp up my training. Time to quit with the laziness and get going. 

On both Monday and Tuesday, as well as tomorrow, I will, and have gone swimming with Derek in the mornings and I really think these training workouts will make huge improvements. Swimming with someone faster prevents me from being lazy. In order to simply make the set, I've got to kill myself the whole time. Tuesday we did a killer hard set:

6x100 Alt 1 Free/1 Kick 20 SR 

16x50 4x (Swim/Build/Kick/Fast) @ :60 

3x (100 Pace (1500) @ 30 SR 
100 Kick @ 2:00 
4x50 Pace 
(1500) @ :45

Broken 200 @ 10SR per 50 

200 ezzzzz

Keep in mind that the 4X50 at the end on 45 seconds. Well 45 seconds is my race pace so I was killing myself to get in and get some rest. All in all was an amazing workout. I complimented this workout by drinking nearly a full 2L chocolate milk and was still hungry all day.

Having had a successful swim workout, tonight's mission was for a run.

My new target time is to get down around 35 minutes/10km by the end of the summer, so I decided to do a track workout trying to hold 35 minute pace (3:30/km). The workout was: 

warm up
4X400 w/30 rest
3X800 w/45 rest
1200 w/ 60 rest 
1600 w/ 60 rest
cool down.

My legs were still feeling it from the Sun Run, especially as I got tired, so in order to prevent risking injury I cut the workout short halfway through the 1600 when my hamstring started to twitch. Other than cutting it short though, I managed to run everything on pace or fast which was great.

Race season, here I come!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sun Run 2009

Try and find me. Hint: I'm wearing blue

What a successful day! The UBC Tri Club had a pretty strong showing with ~15 athletes running and we are aiming for the team title. 

Weather was almost perfect for the race. was around 12*C and overcast. Couldn't have asked for anything better.

My pre Sun Run was pretty much the same as last year. Head downtown real early, then hang out in the lobby of a hotel using their bathroom and taking advantage of the heat to pass the time until go time. 

I wasn't feeling so hot before the race. All along I was going at it with a pretty casual attitude. Having done a hard TT effort on Friday along with an abs/legs workout at the gym, followed by a decent ride Saturday I wasn't hoping for anything too spectacular. To go along with this laid back attitude, I justified it alright to have half a pizza for dinner Saturday night instead of my typical pasta dinner. 

Prior to the race my stomach wasn't feeling so hot. Normally before races I'm quite nervous which gets my stomach going and I'll spare you the rest of the details. However, pre-race I was too relaxed and as a result my stomach was a bit upset during the warm up and start of the run. 

Fortunately I was seeded this year, and didn't have to contend with the 55 000 people, and was nicely placed in the first 250.

Check the photo on top, try and see if you can find me. I'll give you a hint. I'm in blue. Also in that photo you can see Facundo, Kevin and Barry. 

Gun went off and there I went. I kept it really controlled the whole race. I wasn't wearing a watch (which is new for me in running races) and so I was just trying to push my limits without going too far. 

Coming up to the finish I had no idea how fast I had gone. I knew I was below 40 minutes, but by how much, who knows. Finally about 150 meters away from the finish line I was able to see the clock tick passed 37:20. Oh MAN! If only I had been wearing a watch and known I was going so fast. If you look at the right hand panel of my blog you'll see my 10k PB is 37:27. I ended up crossing the line in 37:47 (176/55 858). For sure I could have skimmed 20 seconds from the race somewhere. Oh well. For an un-tapered, non nutrition controlled race I think I did quite well. 

Others from the team. Sorry if I forgot anyone:

Facundo Chernikoff: 34:24
Barry Claman: 36:46
Kevin Donak: 36:59
Derek Westra-Luney: 37:11
Amy Kirkham: 38:57
Matt Reeve: 39:05
Winston Guo: 40:37
Andrew Wight: 40:41
Thomas Fritz: 41:47
Claire Askew: 41:53
Jared Penner: 41:55
Nynne Warring: 44:18
Nathaniel Janzen: 45:28

Such speedy friends!

Hopefully we can win the team title. For that they take the top 10 times and add them up.

Running, and doing well has motivated me to want to do some more running races. I've looked up a few in the Vancouver area, so stay tuned. I may be running a few more this summer. 

Oh and in case you couldn't find me in that photo above...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Biking Week

This past week of training has been really good. Weather has cooperated splendidly and I've been able to get out on my bike a whole bunch and start getting in some good base mileage. 

Since last Friday I've ridden 350km. Not all too hard intensity, but enough effort to really put a nice sting in my legs. 

Yesterday and todays rides specifically went really well. Both rides included a trip out to Iona, yesterday I did a solid TT effort and today we met up with a group so for the first half we just sucked into the draft but then people decided to start racing and so I moved up the ranks and sprinted off the front. Was good fun, and legs felt great. 

This probably wasn't the best idea because now my legs are a little toast and tomorrow morning is the Sun Run. However, I'm not too concerned mainly because I don't really care about my result at the Sun Run. I just want to get out there and have fun with my friends. We have a big showing from the UBCTC out there and we will be going for the team title. Anything below 40 minutes and I will be happy. We'll see if thats possible or not after this week of riding.

Anyways. I should get to sleep now. Race is in 9 hours. 


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Long Weekend Training In Victoria

Over the Easter long weekend, I packed up my bag and took the ferry over to Victoria to meet Nick for a good weekend of training. 

I would be there from Friday noonish until Monday afternoon. Plenty of time for lots of great training. We focused mainly on swimming and biking swimming at the commonwealth pool and biking around the Victoria-Saanich area. The commonwealth pool is incredible! Not only was the pool very nice (a little cold for my liking), but they had a mini water park. check out these photos. 

We tried to go on the water slide but when we went it was closed.
Weekend Training Numbers:

50k ride followed by a 20 minute run off the bike. 

3.3km Swim
80km Ride with some TT efforts. 

3.4km Swim
30 minute Spin Bike, 30 minute treadmill run.

60km AMAZING ride.
1.1km swim (Nick's goggles broke so we called it a day).

The swims felt pretty good, however, many of the rides I just felt sluggish and heavy. I blame this on a few things.
  • First I just got a new bike fit last week (blog post about that to come) and therefore I'm still adjusting.
  • Traveling and living away from home puts stress on the body. 
  • Early season and I'm just a wimp.

I don't look very happy for some reason...

The weather other than Sunday held out pretty well and we had a great time. Our routine was pretty repetitive but awesome.

  1. Wake up
  2. Eat as much as you can, typical breakfast for example: (two bowls of cereal, banana, avocado, bagel)
  3. Go for a swim
  4. Eat as much as you can (similar to above but more lunch foods this time).
  5. Ride
  6. Eat as much as you can (Again, similar but dinners this time).
  7. Go to the gym do 45 minutes stretching.
  8. Play some Halo
  9. Sleep
  10. Repeat
My favorite Ride was the Monday morning one. Nick showed me this small windy road. Its barely wide enough for a big car and is always going up or down left and right. Never can you see much more than 150 meters ahead of you. On top of that the pavement was perfect and your riding through rich green forest. Simply amazing, I will certainly be going back to that road in the future. 

A hard clime with a faulty cassette. 
All in all it was a pretty fantastic weekend and Nick was a great host. I hope to return the favor in the form of a mini training camp over the July long weekend or something like that here in Vancouver.

Returning from Victoria, my roommate Rob and I decided to go to the driving range down our street. It has been a while since I've played any golf but enjoy it all the same. I was a little rusty to say the least at the start but by the end was hitting some pretty solid shots. Its funny though. Despite a full weekend of training. I have no stiffness from that, however, the 60 golf balls I hit at the range have my entire side in stitches. 

All in all a good weekend. Monday night I was in bed by 10 (real early for me) and asleep by 10:15. Was FANTASTIC! 

Tuesday night I went for a quick 50k ride with some friends around Stanley Park. The weather has been great this week. Hopefully I'll be able to get out some more before it changes its mind.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Long Weekend

No time for a long post, but this weekend I'm headed over to Victoria to do a mini little training camp with my friend Nick, the weekend will be filled with lots of riding and then swims and runs to top it off.

I'm pretty pumped for it. First of all because I think training with Nick is going to be sweet. Secondly, because I've never really been around Victoria. I've been there a few times now for the Marathon and random races but have never gotten a good view. Nothing like you get from riding around the city.

Anyways. seeing as its late and I need to catch the ferry in the morning, I'm going to head to sleep. Hopefully I'll have a detailed recount of the weekend when I get back!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Storm the Wall Final Report

After a week of hard racing, 1 relay team and the individual race, totaling 7 climbs of the wall, I'm upset to see the week come to an end.

Storm the wall week is by far my favorite week at UBC. Weather permitting it can be fantastic!

Getting to the final had a few bumps. For the semifinal on Wednesday it was snowing and raining at around 2*C. It was brutal. I was second to the wall but knew I had to conserve my energy to get over so I wasn't too stressed about not being in first. 

After a few missed attempts due to the wet wall I made it over winning my heat and advancing to the final. 

The final was intense. The weather was perfect. Nice and sunny and hot. I actually remember feeling heat on my back during the bike. Couldn't have asked for a better day. I've described the competition, so without further ado, here is my video masterpiece which hopefully gives you an appreciation of the whole race.

Special thanks to Derek's girlfriend Carolyn for filming this for me!

I'm in the Orange, second lane on the left, then it goes: some guy, Matt, Nathaniel, Derek.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Matt and Nathaniel Storm the Wall Videos

This week I tried my luck as a film maker producing this short youtube video's.

Considering I needed to run along and try and film everything I think I did a pretty good job.

These videos are of two members of the UBCTC, Matt Reeve and Nathaniel Janzen. They both has pretty solid races. But nothing compared to todays.

Later this weekend I will have a full production video of our STORM THE WALL FINAL that took place today.

But no spoilers...


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Storm the Wall Round 1 Wrap Up

The first round of storm the wall is now passed and it went quite successfully. I wasn't too sure how my tail bone would hold up since all I had done was swim since injuring it, however, in the end it proved not to be a concern. 

I started the swim and decided not to kill myself and just keep an eye on the rest of the field. The first round doesn't count for anything, you just need to make it over the wall and your good to go. 

The run was uneventful and so was the bike. Finishing up the bike I was nearly a lap ahead of second place and thats when a minor blip in my race happened.

As I was dismounting from my bike (I'm standing on one pedal, right leg swung around the back wheel ready to dismount), I notice my cleat that I'm standing on isn't in anymore. I'm pretty much balancing on a death trap at this point. I decided I had two options, slow down (I was going ~25kph) and risk the shoe slipping sending me flying. Or I could jump off the bike while going way too fast and risk falling as well.

I decided I would rather jump off and fall when I'm expecting it rather than be surprised. Sure enough I'm going too fast and wipe out. HOW EMBARRASSING! All the while that I'm falling, I'm not thinking of how this is going to hurt. I'm just embarrassed at the fact that I fell in front of a whole group of people.

Fortunately I rolled nicely. Well enough to come out unscathed and to have someone sarcastically clap for me. And I was off on the second run.

In reviewing shoes after the race I discovered my cleats were really worn out. Check it out...

There is an old and new cleat, identical originally. Oops, let that be a lesson to people to replace their clears more than once every few years.

Reaching the wall I was tired but feeling good. Tony, a friend from school was my wall guy and he was perfect. First jump solid connection at the elbow and I got right over.

Finishing the race in 15:00.

I was quite pleased with this. A big improvement on last years time. That was until Derek raced moments later. He posted a 14:08. CRAZY FAST!
Derek Pre Race Intimidation

I don't have any photos of my race because I had no photographer, however, here are some photos of friends from UBCTC during their races.

Taking off after the swim, only about 2 minutes ahead of second place

Matt Reeve Hitting the wall during his Ironman preliminary round
Nathaniel Doing the 1km leg of storm the wall