Thursday, December 2, 2010

Growing Up

I saw this photo today, and must say I agree. Question now, with graduation coming soon and a wide open future, now what? Guess I've got something to think about over Christmas

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Danny Macaskill Video

There is a new Danny Macaskill video out!

Haven't had a chance to watch more than the first minute, but it looks good!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

5K Run TT

Just a really quick update, the tri club had our final event last night in the Fall Classic Race Series. The 5k Run TT. The event was a huge success, with weather holding out for us we had a semi dry course to run on. We had our largest showing with 35 people out and most made it out to the social afterwards as well.

I've felt pretty terrible running lately, however, on Monday I ran a mile which Matt helped pace me and I managed to pull out a 5:15. Nothing exceptional but at least I know that I haven't completely lost my fitness post marathon which is how it feels.

Starting the 5k, we took it out way too fast running a 3:10 first km so I slowed it down to around around 3:35-40 for the remaining 4k.

In the end managed to hold it together for a finish time of 17:55! My first sub 18 minute 5k since starting triathlon and a new PB that has lasted since 2006. Considering how I've felt lately, there is no doubt that once I get my running legs back that this time will drop even more. I guess the hunt is for 17 now, lets hope it doesn't take another 4 years.

And I wasn't the only one. I think about 2/3 of the runners who had previous 5k times managed to PB. I guess I'm doing something right as coach...

Not much else to report. Hopefully I'll have something more exciting in the weeks to come!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Two important updates.

First, it is the month of Movember. A month where sporting a moustache is not only a thing of pride, but also trendy to do since it shows your support for prostate cancer!

I didn't really feel like starting up my own Movember page, and feel the pressure to compete with my friends, so instead you can donate to my friends page Tyler Porteous and mention in your comment that you think my moustache is better.

Secondly! In honour of Movember, my roommates and I are doing a push up challenge! I encourage all of you to take part as well. I have created a google spreadsheet here where you can update your numbers.

The rules, you need to do a minimum of 10 pushups in a row. Additionally they need to be quality pushups. We have a statistician on the team who is going to identify who was most consistent over the month as well!

To sign up you will need to ask permission for access to the spreadsheet. I will gladly grant that!

There are 3 great prizes for the winners! First prize is an autographed photo of me potentially with a personalized message at the end of Movember with all my moustache glory.

Second prize is the same, but a photo of Matt Reeve! And third, although her moustache is quite unimpressive, will be a signed photo of Kaley, our third roommate. But I don't think she's disappointed with the fact that she can't grow a moustache...

So there you have it. Keep yourself fit by doing pushups and adding them to the spreadsheet each night! Contest ends Nov 30th at midnight!

Day 6!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reality Check

I've had a pretty miserable week, with my thesis looming over my head, my inability to run thanks to my foot still hurting since the marathon, and some other issues I won't go into, it has been pretty easy for me to complain a lot lately.

Then this afternoon I got a reality check. This past weekend was Halloween, a weekend of fun, or at least what should have been. In Gastown (area of Vancouver) early Sunday morning there was a shooting where a crowd of people were shot at for no reason. 4 completely innocent individuals who were just enjoying their night out. One of these individuals is a friend of mine. Before I get to dramatic, I want to state that thankfully she was alright. I don't know the extent of the injury but it wasn't life threatening, but that doesn't diminish the fact that she was hit with a bullet and hospitalized.

This is someone who on Friday when being in lab was too stressful for me and I needed a break took two hours out of her afternoon to talk and then came over and enjoyed dinner with my roommates and I. Not 24 hours later, the shooting occurred.

I called her today asking if she wanted to come out with friends from school Tuesday night when she explained what had happened and that she wouldn't be able to make it. And then she asked how I was doing. I couldn't believe it. After everything that had happened in the previous 24 hours, she was still concerned for me and I realized that despite everything going on in my life right now, I'm really a very lucky person, for my family, my friends and for my health.

When she asked how I was, all considering, I had to admit things were going very well.

I finished today by doing my first run since the marathon. It hurt from being out of shape not running for three weeks, but my foot was better. And I couldn't say I've ever felt luckier to be running.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Victoria Marathon Complete


Race report to come, but fortunately someone got a good video of me finishing.

Funny... I don't remember being so skinny.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Learning to Run

I just read this on Brad Cunningham's blog. An elite runner from the Vancouver area. He is coming back after a year or so off of running.

The road back to feeling like a runner is 50 hours long.

The road back to feeling like a runner is 600km long.

The road back to feeling like a runner costs 46,000 calories.

It is not a long road, but it is one that requires patience, perseverance, and consistency.

And the road back to feeling like a runner just gets you to the start of the longer road to becoming a runner.

Next step.

I like this because I feel this is where I am at right now after the concussion and the ankle injury. I am finally able to run again and work on improving. I don't think I am running at the same level as Brad, therefore it won't quite take me that long. Yay for shortcuts!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Updates - SCUBA!

Not all to much new. Thesis is coming along well, I have more or less finished the intro and am making good progress on the methods and results.

In other news, my friend Mike Duncan is a certified scuba instructor and this past week he taught myself and 6 others how to scuba dive!

It sounds like a simple task but we had to read an entire book along with about 20 hours of class/pool time over the span of 5 days. It was all worth it though. Over the weekend we went to Whytecliff Park and Porteau Cove and did two dives at each site. The dives were in the range of 30-40 minutes each and went to a max depth of 60 feet.

I wasn't overly excited about scuba diving before this trip and signed up for the course more because it was available and at a reduced price than because I had a passion to try scuba diving but in the end I am really glad I did. There was so much to see, it was really cool. One thing I found funny. Fish act like cats. They might let you get up close to them but you get the impression you are just really pissing them off. I kept hoping that a fish would dart away and do something impressive but instead they just moved a few inches out of reach giving me a look of hatred.

Lingcod, we saw lots of these!

In other news I head to Ironman Canada this week and depending on how that goes I may have big news next week! And no, its not that I am going to register, thats just a terrible idea for me.

Training news, I did a pretty fantastic run last night. Hopefully that means things are coming back. Now just to find time for my long runs...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Year in 4 Minutes

I saw a video like the one below this morning and decided to throw one together. I simply took all my iPhotos from this year and without real editing put them to music. I like the idea and may in the future try and put together something a little smoother.

My Summer so far in 1600 photos!

This weekend, Scuba diving!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Active Weekend

No great weekend is accomplished without a little stupidity to make it fantastic! That describes my weekend pretty well.

Friday night was uneventful so lets skip straight to Saturday morning. Vancouver is a pleasant 26*C by 8AM and the apartment is easily 30+. Glad I'm sleeping with a down comforter! Mel was racing the Kits open water 3k swim race at 8:45 so after a quick breakfast we head down to the beach. I normally would have done this race, however, I wasn't sure if I would be around when the registration process was taking place and in the end it slipped by. Considering how much swimming I have done this month I am not overly upset by not competing. Mel raced well, the conditions were great, however from looking at the results I would say the course was a little long.

Mel about to start the swim

After socializing a little more after the race we headed back to Mel's because she had some chores to take care of (Med applications) so I made good use of this time and took nap #1 for the weekend. I've learned that when trying to nap, don't do it in a 35*C apartment in front of a window. When I woke up I was a little parched to say the least. Conveniently though Mel and I only had a long run on tap for the afternoon. After much persuasion (I don't like running in new places) I was convinced to run around Stanley Park instead of through the endowment lands at UBC. This turned out to be a great idea. Although there was very little shade and it was blistering hot outside, the seawall does offer water and bathrooms every mile.

We got back to Mel's around 6:30, got cleaned up quick and were out the door to meet friends for dinner. My friend Becky from McGill was visiting and flying out the next morning so we did what all smart endurance athletes do and drank heavily! Keeping in mind that I have barely been drinking all summer, Matt hasn't drank at all and Mel even less. We were a pretty lightweight group. After a good night and a new marathon goal set, we all stumbled home for what was sure to be a painful Sunday.

Although I'm a grown man with a lot to say, you would think I could hold my own against 100 pounds of persuasion, but apparently Mel has mind powers. About a week ago she mentioned the urge to ride a century ride (100miles/160.1km) at some point this summer. Since we have the scuba course next weekend (more on that later) and she leaves right after, this was our last weekend available before school starts up again.

Waking up joyfully hungover on a day with a humidex reaching 32*C I decided to ride my TT bike since I was too lazy to switch over the pedals. Immediately yesterdays run was felt in the legs. Not pain, just sluggish. We met up with a group totalling 8 at UBC and took off. Matt was sporting his brand new Argon 18 E112 and Winston had out the new P2. I wasn't the only one on a TT bike.

Bike Route
We ticked off the miles slowly and after only a few detours along the way managed to inch our way closer to 100 miles. Sure the legs go significantly more tired as we went, but on the plus side the hangover subsided with every pedal stroke! By 80 miles I could barely even remember I felt like vomit.

Just as we reached 80 miles we arrived in Steveston where we enjoyed some fantastic fish and chips at Pajo's! I had salmon, have never had a battered salmon before. It may have been the 6 hours of riding prior but it tasted FANTASTIC!

After a refreshing hour break we had the final hour back to home.

Upon arriving home I managed to take a quick nap on the couch on route to my bedroom to get changed. Roughly 45 minutes later (nap #2), I got up and made it to my room. Got changed and succumbed to my second nap of the night (nap 3#). This time being an hour long! Finally at 9 I got up for real, had a shower and proceeded to go directly back to bed.

Weekend total, 24k run, 162k bike 9 hours of training!

Considering how tired I was and I've done all this distance before, I can't imagine how tired Mel must have been since she also had a 3k ocean swim this weekend, missed a nap on Saturday and completed her longest bike ride! Hung over...

I'm impressed


Why did the cyclist ride to Steveston?

Just for the Halibut!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Training Like a Pro

Earlier this week Rachel Kiers (elite ironman athlete) asked if anyone wanted to go do intervals at Iona on Thursday morning. Since I have decided that intervals are pretty much the aspect of my training that is really lacking I decided to take her up on this offer. That and the fact that she is a nice person and makes good company to ride with!

The plan: Meet at 8:30, ride to Iona and start intervals

10X5minutes race pace / 2 minutes easy

2X20 minutes just lower than race pace / 10 minutes easy.

On paper this didn't seem like such a hard ride. Race pace is for 2 hours 30 minutes of riding. I can easily make it 50 with breaks.

We started and for the first few I was feeling pretty good but then as I started to tire, the race from the past weekend was still lingering.

To say the least I was drafting pretty hard most of the ride. For the 5 minutes on, Rachel was holding a steady 37-42kph depending on wind direction while I drafter my best! Impressive!

After the 2X20 minutes I split off from Rachel and did the last 10 minutes of the ride home realizing that I had just completed 85km of riding in 2:35. Not bad for a practice day when you consider that had rest intervals and some cruise riding to get out to Iona and on the way back.

What I learned today though was that I don't push myself hard enough. These raises in intensity nearly killed me. I got home, made a shake and sat on my couch. Next thing I know I've napped for 80 minutes. Oops. Glad I decided to work from home today!

It was a good ride and hopefully my legs will appreciate it in the long run. But one thing is for sure, if I plan on training seriously this winter I will need to get my act together and learn how to suffer in intervals.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sooke Race Report

It hasn't even been one year since I raced Sooke, however, I've complained about that race enough that it might as well have been 10. To put it lightly, Sooke didn't go well last year, and I spared nothing in describing my distaste.

My track record at Sooke has been less than stellar. My first year, I ended up skipping it due to injury. My IT band was really tight and I decided the marathon was too important to risk it.

Last year, After a great summer of performances, I had let my fitness somewhat diminish, got to Sooke and expected a great performance which just wasn't within my ability. Mix in a few bike technical difficulties (chain getting stuck, wheel falling off) and it wasn't the best day.

As a result, it was difficult to get pumped up for Sunday.

Driving over to Victoria and Sooke on Saturday the weather was miserable, dumping rain. Fit nicely with my feelings for the race, however, after a very relaxing ferry ride and a casual trip out to Sooke the weather and my mood started to change.

Mel and I stayed at Nick's place after going to Boston Pizza with Winston, Andrew and Derrick we settled in a Nick's for the night.

Sunday morning the sky had cleared. It was still cool but the roads were dry.

We got there plenty early and set up. Mel was racing the Olympic which started 90 minutes after my race, so she had plenty of time, even getting in a bike ride warmup.

I got down to the start line with a positive attitude, prepared to make this my best race of the summer. Goggles on, standing waist deep in water, its announced that there is 10 seconds until the start. I splash water in my face and SNAP! Goggles break right across the nose. The old man beside me was very concerned. I swear had I not stopped him he would have tried to find an official to delay the race. Instead, I tossed my goggles back over everyones head to the beach and dove into the water like an amateur.

Mass starts without goggles... Not too much fun. I ran into EVERYONE! This swim was very reminiscent of my first years in triathlon. Unable to swim straight, hitting weeds because I realize I'm all the way to the left on the shore. Good times. To sight I had to do this fancy head whip to get the water out of my eyes before I could open them! Looked good. Mel ran into one of her friends at the start line and announced that her boyfriend was approaching. At seeing my spastic movement in the water, no goggles or cap (took off my cap because it was falling off due to the goggles having been under it), Mel decided it was wise to point out the swimmer behind me as her better half.

I came out of the water in 32 minutes... Pretty slow. I figured I should have been able to swim around 29 in the lake since it is calm with no current. Oh well.

Onto the bike. I wasn't able to see too well out of my right eye. It kept watering which made the first lap fun. The bike went well. Not much to report. Got passed a few times, and passed a few people. Fairly uneventful. The only big thing that happened was Katya Meyers caught me with 1/2 a lap left and I decided to try and stick to her because I knew she would run well off the bike and it would be nice to have a pace bunny.

2:36:44 for the bike, not bad considering the course. It was really windy and hilly.

Came into transition about 10 seconds back, flew through transition having the fastest T2 of the day, AGAIN! and was out on the run course. My legs still felt pretty good. Katya took off. We went through 2k in 7:45 which is much faster than I normally run off the bike. I weighed my options and decided that if I tried to stick to her I would probably blow up and really not enjoy the second half of the race. So despite having a Model/Pro Triathlete to follow, this just wasn't tempting enough to keep me on her heels.

Katya Meyers, she's on an elephant

I ended up finishing with a 1:36:20 Half. My legs felt pretty good, I was simply lacking intensity training this year due to the ankle injury. Had I been able to put in more intensity it wouldn't have been so foreign pushing the pace.

Finished the day in 4:45:47. Good enough for 9th place overall. The overall winner was way ahead, however, the race for 3rd was tight. Between myself and 3rd was only 6 minutes for 6 spots. I am pretty confident that without the swim issues, I really could have been a contender for the podium. I would have been that much closer to the front and that much more motivated to push.

The others on the team had a great day as well. Winston had his fastest run split in a half iron finishing in 2nd for the 20-24 age group in a time of 5:04 and Andrew finished in 3rd in the age group having had his fastest swim.

Mel had a great race in the Olympic achieving her first sub 50minute 10k off the bike which considering the wind and hills on the run course is impressive. Her time of 48 would have been much closer to 45-46 on a flat course! Unfortunately because the age groups are split up 20-29 for the Olympic distance she finished in her favorite spot: 4th! Otherwise she would have won or come 2nd in the 20-24 category.

I don't have many details of Derricks race, however, I know he was quite pleased with having the 11th fastest bike split in the Olympic!

Winston getting his medal

Andrew and I atop the podium

The boys were so overjoyed with the days events that they broke out into an impromptu dance party!


Friday, August 6, 2010


The past couple of weeks, at work my focus has been on writing my thesis. Its lots of fun!

I find it really hard to get started so as a result its the job that keeps being pushed back. PHD Comics has had a funny string of stories lately which describe my life quite accurately.

I've learned not to make to do lists...

Maybe I'll clean behind the fridge... Again.

Matt offered to give me the third book from the Millennium Trilogy. Only catch is its on computer so I could only read it on my laptop. This would be a BAD idea.

I get this question from Mel almost every day. I don't mind it, keeps me somewhat accountable, but at the same time I wish I had more to report...

In other news. Biking is feeling GREAT! I've ridden a lot the past two weeks and done nearly no running or swimming. Sooke this weekend should be interesting. Hopefully fitness carries over from one sport to the next. There isn't as big of a group going over this weekend which is a little disappointing, however, hopefully that means that it will be more relaxing.

This is my last half of the year, also it went terribly last year, so I'm hoping to take something back.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I've mentioned this before many times, the Triple Crown! It finally arrived and did it ever meet expectations.

Quick recap. 175km of riding, climbing 3 mountains on the way! Don't be fooled by Grouse in the middle. It may be short but it still packed a punch.

In total we had 24 riders take off from UBC. Mostly from the UBC Tri Club, however, we had a few new guest take part in the ride as well!

Unfortunately the day was riddled with bad luck. Almost from the gun we encountered flats. Elliot Holtham got a flat requiring him to not only change tubes, but get a new wheel. Fortunately this was near his house so a small group of us waited for him while the majority of the group continued to Horseshoe Bay. This wasn't the best plan. It took nearly 15 minutes to get the wheel dealt with, 15 minutes which we made up all in the 30km ride to Horseshoe Bay. We were moving.

Getting to Horseshoe Bay we met up with the group and enjoyed our first rest stop.

Mel at first stop

The bad luck didn't stop with the flats, as Nathaniel who made the trip over from the Island in order to do the ride sat in bird poop!


Jump three weeks of forgetting to write this post!

Leaving Horseshoe bay and heading up to Cypress after a short regroup!
Mel riding along the highway

After a quick regroup at the base of Cypress and instead just went straight for it!

Leading the way

Jesse breaking away

We managed to get a group photo of everyone at the top. Unfortunately due to bathroom breaks we were missing Claire and Kory. Oops

Almost all of the group

Waiting for Flat at the base

Skip forward 50km to the top of Seymour. It was a hard ride up. A further few flats later and many bottles of water and in the end we had 14 people reach the summit!

Winstorm looking like he has the wind knocked out of him

Kim: "Mountains, where? I could do this all day"

All in all it was a really fun day. Legs were a little tired by the end but I think everyone who took part was definitely happy to have been involved and felt it was an achievement. The only downside to the day was the 8 flats we had between 24 people. Statistically that was far too high!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour de France Pool 2010 Results!

As the tour has now ended. I am left with a significant lack of sleep and a feeling of emptiness only the Vuelta can begin to alleviate. The Tour is filled with so much excitement and just like that it is over.

I am pleased to say that I don't think I had a single stage ruined by spoilers giving away the results! I guess that what you get from waking up at 5:30-6:00AM every morning to watch!

Onto the Pool!


Bragging Rights.

Spoils of Victory - The winner will also receive a soon to be prestigious (and highly sought after) custom "TdF Pool 2010 Winner" image to display on blogs or websites - if you don't have a blog you can print it and put it on your refrigerator. Your friends will all be jealous!

Since I am not very good at photoshop. It will be last years image with some shotty altering to say 2010!

Also, local prize. We will go to All you can eat Sushi at BC Sushi sometime and winner gets paid for by the rest of the attendees. If I am the only person who shows up with the winner, well then it could also be a romantic date.

Without further ado...

The Questions

1. Lance is getting old, he just announced his retirement will be official after this years Tour. Predict Lance Armstrong's final placing in this year's two individual TTs. Add the numbers together. What is the sum? (ex: finished 1st and 3rd = 4)
(1 point)

A. 2-5
B. 6-9
C. 10-14
D. 15-20
E. 20+

2. Will Lance end up ahead of Frank Schleck in the GC? (1 point)

A. Ahead
B. Behind

3. How many stages will Cavendish win? (1 point)

A. 0-1
B. 2-3
C. 4-5
D. +5

4. What will the winning individuals avg speed be in the Individual time trial Stage 19 in km/h?

(ITT Stage details are HERE)

Fabian Cancellara 51.2kph!

-Within 1 km/h = 5 points
-Within 2 km/h = 3 points
-Within 3 km/h = 2 points
-Within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by >4 km/h = deduct a point

5. Who will win the polka dot jersey for King of the Mountains? (1 point)
Anthony Charteau, who would have guessed?

6. How many riders will be banned, fired for suspicion, or otherwise ejected due to doping related issues? (1 point)

Only during the race are riders counted (July 4th to Finish in Paris)

A. 0-2
B. 2-4
C. 4-6
D. 6+

7. Which team will finish the tour with the most riders? (1 point)


8. What will the average speed bein km/h for Stage 17 finishing on the Col du Tourmalet.

Andy Schleck 34.4kph

-within 1 km/h = 5 points
-within 3 km/h = 3 points
-within 4 km/h = 1 point
-off by 4+ = deduct a point

9. What will the margin of victory be in the GC? (The margin in minutes and seconds between winner and runner-up.)
(1 point)

A. 0-1 minute
B. 1:01 - 2:10
C. 2:11 - 3:20
D. 3:21 - 4:30
E. 4:30 - 5:40
F. 5:41 +

10. Who will win the GC? (1 point)


11. Who will win the Green Jersey? (1 point)


12. Which OLN broadcaster will win the competition they have each year to predict winners? (1 point)

A. Paul Sherwen
B. Craig Hummer
C. Phil Ligget
D. Bob Roll

13. Will it rain during any of the TTs? There are 2... (1 point)


14. Who will end up being the team leader for Saxo Bank? (1 point)

A) Frank Schleck
B) Andy Schleck

15. What is the second longest stage of this year's tour? (1 point)

Stage 1 or day 2

16) Will Fabian Cancellara ride away from the competition again for a stage victory. (1 point)


17) Will Jens Voigt bring the pain? (1 point)

Can Vince lick his elbow?

18) How many useless full day escapes will Sylvain Chavanel from Quick Step be involved in?

... 0 This wasn't even an option. What a Tour for Chavanel!
A) 1
B) 2
C) 3
D) 4
E) 5+

How did you do?


Dave Stephens 15
Jared Penner 15
Winston Guo 13
Melanie van Soeren 11
Nick Gottfried 11
Matt Reeve 11
Barry Claman 9
Sherwood Plant 8
Lauren Sagadore 6

Since I and the others don't want to pay for Sushi for 2 people, the award will be shared! Half off All you can eat Sushi! I'll make a facebook event to organize.

Thanks for playing everyone and I hope you enjoyed the Tour.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Next Challenge

What have I gotten myself into?

This will be my 2nd attempt at a marathon, there are quite a few members of the Tri club doing this race, so it should be pretty fun.

I'm not even going to pretend that I don't have goals already set out, last time I didn't train enough, and tried to go for 3 hours. Well this time I guess I will need to get my act together.

Guess its time to start running again...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Surviving the Triple Crown

There is no doubt that the biggest challenge on Saturday is going to be the HEAT! With the forecast being for 28-30*C (humidex 33-35*C), while this isn't too scary for the rest of Canada, I know a lot of people in Vancouver are sweating figurative and literal bullets at the potential of a hot day in the saddle. When the thermometer passes 20*C that is usually considered "hot".

1) Heat: The first tip for surviving the Triple Crown battling the heat. Hydration will be key. We have 4 planned stops en route: Horseshoe Bay (36km), Cypress (60km), Seymour (111/139km). I would expect everyone to try and go through 2 bottles between each of these stations. If you are concerned that this is not enough, bring a 3rd bottle and keep it in the back pocket of your bike jersey. This will sound ridiculous, going through 11L of liquid in a day, but believe me, it won't be hard to get through it.

As a little pre-emptive strike, freezing your first bottles isn't a bad idea either.

2) Sun protection: The sun will be out and we will probably have a clear blue day. Sunscreen on your ears and face is a smart ideal. A tan looks great, but a big red nose isn't exactly sexy.

3) Nutrition. In addition to hydration, this is going to be a 180km ride. Burning a conservative 600 calories an hour, be prepared to be hungry. Everyone should have a plan for a minimum of 2000 calories to be consumed during the ride. It will be next to impossible to carry all of this, so bring money to buy food from a bakery or gas station. In addition to this, carb load. That isn't just for races. So starting today, you should be upping the carb intake to make sure all your fuelling needs are met.

4) Endurance: The last is more just common sense. This is going to be a really long ride, anyone thinking of hammering up the first climb is going to get taught a lesson come the end of the day. Pace yourself and don't be shy if you need to sit on someones wheel.

Triple Crown: Saturday July 10th 2010
Leave at 8AM from Team Office at UBC outside the SUB.