Sunday, June 29, 2008

North Bay Race Report

So on Saturday we made our way over to North Bay for the weekend to race in the triathlon. We were staying at my Aunt and Uncle's house but they were to not be home until around 10pm Saturday night so we had the house to ourselfs to have the biggest party North Bay has ever seen. Well not quite but I know my aunt will love reading that. So we stopped in at the house first and unloaded all our stuff. I got my bike ready and biked over to the race site as I knew the kids race would be starting shortly and I could all register then. Lea drove over and met me there. I got registered and we watch the kids race for a little bit then we headed back. My sister Molly was there by that time as she was staying with us also to watch me race the next day. We went to the grocery store to get some steaks for supper on the BBQ and picked up a movie. Wasn't too happy with the movie selection as I had no input what so turned out to be about some girl who gets pregnant and decides to keep it and give it up for adoption. Not exactly what I had in mind. So my aunt and uncle got home around 10pm and we visited with them for a bit and then finished the movie.
Race day:
I was up and eating my breakfast at 6am for a 9am start. I usually like to get up and eat three hours before the start. Again I biked over to the race site but I left way too early and was totally bored after I set everything up and warmed up for about an hour. Oh well it was relaxing. So on the swim start I didnt have a great start running into the water as I tripped and a few guys got ahead of me. As soon as I started to swim one guy cut me off really bad and after the race everyone said it looked like I punched him in the but really I think it was more of a gentle tap on the shoulder. The swim was good, I took the lead right away and kept throughout the swim. I didn't feel amazing in the was like I was kind of just going through the motions. I didn't have the feel of somebody right at my feet like in Muskoka. Transition was "ok" I didn't rush it and just made sure everything went nice and smooth. The bike was pretty good again. I'm really loving how far along my bike has come this year. I always used to think it was my weakest and now I just feel so strong. So there's a long big hill at the begining of the bike that just seems to keep going and going and as soon as you hit a little bit of a flat for a second its over and you're climbing again! I have no complaints really about the bike, I could see myself pulling away even more and I was really just enjoying myself. Then came the run again....definetely no where near as bad as in Muskoka but I think because of my foot I've been compensating for the pain and the last few days my left hamstring has been really tight and I could feel it wanted to just cramp right up the first couple km's on the run. I had a pretty big lead and wasn't in too much of a panik so I took the first half of the run pretty easy and once I got to the turn around it started to loosen up and I was able to pick up my speed. I for sure negative split the run by a couple of minutes at least. I was pretty windy today too and on the run I was wearing a visor and the blew it right off my head at one point and I turned around and picked it I ended up winning overall by about 5-6 minutes so I was happy with that for what I put into it and it was another great training race that I can only keep building on and getting stronger.
After the race we all went back to my aunt and uncles house for a fish fry with some fresh pickeral that they caught just this week up at the cottage. It was so good!!
Thank you to all the people who came and watched me race today, everyone from back home in Sudbury and all the family and friends in North Bay. It means a lot to have you guys come out and cheer me on.
I will post a bunch of pics soon because we got some good ones and I want to get them up as soon as they're downloaded!

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Friday, June 27, 2008

Well this week has been filled with plenty of ups and downs. Last weekend I got in some good hours of training and on Sunday I got to do a ride with Jack that was a lot of fun. Since I do most of my training on my own it's nice every once and a while to have some company. This week has been really good for training as well. I've had a bunch of clients cancel that opened up some extra time and Thursday's I'm supposed to be working in the pool all day but the pool was closed this week so I got an extra much needed day off. So again this week my hours have been up and I'm really feeling good in the water this week. My legs are starting to feel the effects of the extra training but that's good and I'm excited to race this weekend in North Bay. I've done this race a few times and always enjoyed it. Right out of the swim there's this really nice hill that just seems to keep going and going and has always given me trouble but with the way my cycling and and climbing is going I'm pumped.
Bad news though this week was a bunch of little punks who at 17 think they are invincible I guess find it funny to do damage to other peoples things and kicked my car a few times. I wonder if after being charged by the police and spending the night in jail did any good. At least I'm not the one having to pay for the damage or else I really wouldn't be a happy camper right now.
So it's exactly two weeks now before the big move into the new house. I'm starting to get really excited and want it to come now. We bought our paint last weekend because we are painting the down stairs cause we're not too sure about the colors that are down there right now... We've been picking up other little things to that makes it exciting and all that much more real like garden hoses and things like that. We've started packing and putting everything in boxes. We're not going to make the mistake again of trying to move everything loose and not in boxes like we did when we moved into the apartment. There's a few heavy things that I'm not looking forward to moving that will be lots of fun trying to get out of there. I'm think I'm going to have to start recruiting some helpers over the next two weeks to help me out...wink...wink.
So anyways I'm leaving tomorrow to go to North Bay and staying with my aunt and uncle which is always fun and I think my sister Molly is coming to watch the race so that will be nice. I will let you know after the race how it goes and will post some pics.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Friday, June 20, 2008


Yesterday Dr. Therriault was able to get me in for an X-Ray after work. It turned up negative for any kind of fracture in my foot but she said they don't always show on an X-Ray so I was told to take some medication for it for the next two weeks and if it's not better then I'll get a bone scan.
So this week I've been getting in a lot of running. I've done a run everyday since Muskoka even though I know the way I preformed on the run in the race had nothing to do with where my running is at I still felt like I need up my running for a couple weeks. Other than that my training has been going pretty normally. A couple good rides and three swims so far this week. I'm looking at having a big weekend for training. I want to get in about 4-5 hours each day. I really want to up my volume of training for the next couple weeks with a couple low key races in there as well that I'll just be training right through.
Other than that this week has been pretty quiet. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and took a look at some sheds for the new house and today going to look at some paint colors because there's only about 3 weeks to go before the move.
Hopefully after the weekend I'll be able to report on some good training and maybe some other exciting stuff. Just want to wish Lise, her husband Ken and Karren good luck with their first triathlon of the season for them in Guelph this weekend.

"Thank you to all the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Here's a couple pics from this past weekend. I didn't get that many good one's, hopefully my aunt got some that she can send me. There's one of me coming out of the water on the swim and one just coming in off the bike. The 3rd one is in Drew's trailer and I'm in the middle of wrestling with his daughter Lara. She puts up a good fight!

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Monday, June 16, 2008

Muskoka Race Report

So another race weekend in Muskoka has come and gone. This race has always been my favorite race of the year. It was the first race I ever did and I've done it every year since.
This year we went down with Drew, Josee and the kids and stayed in their trailer. It was really nice staying with them and the kids kept us going the whole time. The mosquito's were unreal though!!
First race as a Pro and first time doing the long coarse and I was pretty excited. The swim started out fast. After about 2oom I found myself in the lead but I new I had a couple guys right behind me because I could feel them on my feet. As we went around the first corner I couldn't see the next buoy right away so I headed in the direction I thought it was in but after taking a few strokes I looked over and could see two guys over to my side going the other way. I quickly sprinted to catch up not to fall behind as they were good swimmers as well. Again they let me go ahead of them and it became clear that they wanted me to do all the work and just drag off me. This stayed the same until about 400m left when they went by me so I jumped on their feet for a minute but I was determined to be first out of the water after I had done all the work up until not. So after about 30seconds and only about 300m to go I made my move and fought my way back in front and came out of the water about 10m ahead. Running up to transition I was really happy to see and hear I might add my aunt Bonnie and uncle Mark from North Bay. Out onto the bike I felt good, I got into a pretty comfortable pace. Wasn't too sure exactly how to pace myself as I'm used to a 40km bike and this was 55km. A couple of the other Pro guys went by me as I expected would happen. I don't usually drink much when I race and I've never taken a gel before but this time I knew would need something a little more so I had my first gel on the bike and finished a water bottle for the first time. People think I'm just crazy that I do this but I've always have cramping problems during training when I drink. It seemed to go down good and the rest of the bike was pretty uneventful. Coming off the bike I was sitting in 6th place. The first 500m on the run out of transition I felt pretty good and then all of a sudden I just hit a wall. I slowed right down almost to a shuffle and I just couldn't move. My foot just started hurting and my whole body just seemed to shut down. Between about the 3km to 7km mark I'm sure I must of asked myself a hundred times if I should just stop, not cause my foot anymore damage and I already felt like I was going backwards. Every aid station I was taking in anything and everything I could get my hands on. I think I had another 3 gels and I drank pepsi for the first also because I hate pepsi but at that point I didn't care. The last 5km I was able to pick it up a little bit but not enough to salvage anything I had already lost. After I finished I was great by my aunt who was so excited to see me and I think it helped to feel a little bit better about the situation. I wait at the finish for Drew to come in and he started telling me about his race and I could feel my body going down hill so I went and got some candy to try and get some sugar in me. It worked and I felt better for about 10-15minutes and then all of a sudden it hit me again. I ran to the washroom where I sat for about 20mintes with my head leaning agaist the side. I felt drunk! When I came out Drew made me go into the chage rooms and stand under a cold shower for a few minutes. Once I came out of there and sat down for a while I started to feel better.
Overall the race wasn't a total loss. I still had fun racing as a Pro for the first time and I know there will be many more to come. Congrates to Wolfgang Gumbel who I've known for many years for winning the race.
I still don't know what to do about this foot of mine. I want to train through it so bad but I just don't want to screw myself in the long run. Next for me will probably be a couple of low key races. North Bay in two weeks and then Timmins the week after.
I have a couple of pics from the race this weekend that I'll put up once I down load.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Leading up to Muskoka

So I've had a pretty quiet week trying to recover from the week in Vancouver and getting some work in. Training this week has been pretty low key nothing to drastic. I've been able to get in three swims in the lake since I've been back so I was pumped about that. It was the first time this year I can actually say I've done some decent swimming in the lake. Other than that just a couple short 30-40minute runs and two rides. I didn't want to do too much this week either because this weekend in Muskoka I'm doing the long coarse tri and it will be my longest race to date. It's a 2km swim, 55km bike and 15km run. It's also my first race as an "Elite" so I'll be racing with the Pro's and I don't want to blow up and embarrass myself.
There isn't too much to write about this week, like I said it was pretty low key and not that much excitement. I went riding at Delki on Wed. with Lise cause she wanted to try out her new QR bike and let me tell you it looks sweet!! Makes me even more upset that I never got my new bike.
Well that's all for now, hopefully I have a good race this weekend and I'll have lots to write about when I get back.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Race Day at Worlds

So I haven’t updated since the race mainly because I was pretty disappointed with everything that happened and I also was pretty busy with only one day in Vancouver after the race to enjoy.
I was not very happy with this years whole World Championships here in Vancouver. They seemed even more unorganized than ever! Triathlon Canada promised everyone the biggest opening ceremonies every since it was the 20th Anniversary of the Triathlon World Championships and when they were supposed to happen on Thursday it was raining so they just cancelled them. You would think that they would have a back up plan for a different venue in case of rain because this is Vancouver we’re talking about.
Then I was really worried about the swim since I got here because the water temperature got down to 11.3degrees but I knew being a swimmer I would just have to be tough because everyone was in the same boat come race day.
So come Saturday more I got up about 3 ½ hours before the start of my race and have my usual breakfast and went on to get my stuff ready for the race as I usually do. I was nervous like I usually am before any race but I knew I was ready. On the way over to the race I noticed it was windy out. Getting to the race I noticed the water was fairly rough but again I told myself I am a swimmer and this will only benefit me more. We were notified that the swim had been shortened to 1km instead of the usual 1.5km. This was kind of bad news because by shortening the swim means less time in the water and less time I can build up a lead. I overheard someone talking about the women’s race that had already started and were coming out of the water and they said that the top women where doing the 1km in just over 30minutes. In normal conditions the top women swimmers should be doing a 1km swim in under 15minutes so to be taking over 30minutes mean that the conditions were actually pretty bad. Again good news to me!
I set up my transition and did a few strides to warm up. We had to get our wet suits on about 30minutes before the start of the race because we had to walk about 1km to the start because we were swimming back to transition.
I had decided that I wasn’t going to do a warm up in the water like I usually do because of water temperature. I didn’t want to loose any more body heat then I had to. There was one more wave to go before mine and I see one of the officials telling some of the other guys in my wave to go up in the big tent and stay warm. I thought this was really wired as we were about to start in a couple of minutes so I went over and asked what was going on and he tells me that they have delayed the start of the race for an hour to see if the water will calm down at all. Inside the tent Lea went and got me a heating pad from the medic tent that I put down my bathing suit keep warm. After only about 15minutes the same official comes in the tent with an announcement. “Due to the water temperature and the rough conditions and not an adequate number of life guards in the water the swim has been cancelled and the race will now be a duathlon. At that point my heart just sunk. I had so many mixed feelings and I didn’t know what to think. How can they do this to me, they just took out my strongest part of the race. Should I even compete now, if I do is there even any point to try? I decided I came all this way and so many people believed in me that I had to get something out of this race. So we walked back to transition and took our wetsuits off and got ready to run. It was going to be a 3km run, 40km bike and 10km run.
The first 3km were blistering fast just as I thought they would be. I came back into transition in about mid pack, grabbed my bike and headed out. I passed a bunch of guys right away as soon as we got on the bike. I got into a good pace right away and my legs felt strong and fresh and I wasn’t feeling any effects from the first run. The first part of the bike had some quick rolling hills. There were a few technical turns that a few people bailed on. There was one big hill on each lap that was about 2km and good grade. In the weeks leading up to the race I had felt that my climbing was feeling good and I was right. Each lap on that hill I felt really strong and was just climbing past everyone in front of me. So coming into transition I didn't know where I was in the race but heading out onto the run I just couldn't seem to find my running legs. I tightened up right away and just never got into a rhythm. I started to think about the race and what I was going to take out of it. I had surprised myself with the bike and was really happy with that so I decided that since I have to race Muskoka Long Coarse next weekend for the first time and as a Elite for the first time that I would just finish the race and be happy with my position.
I've also been dealing with my first real injury for the past couple weeks that I've just been training through. The bone along the outside of my left foot has been giving me a lot of pain and I really don't want to make it any worse. I want to as much as possible just keep training and racing as long as I can or for as long as I can deal with the pain. I'm trying to limit what I do outside of my training not to make it any worse.
Another piece of interesting news I found out was when I was back at Becky's appartment where I was staying (big thank you Becky!!) I was searching som stuff on the net and I came accross that Triathlon Canada just announced that they have a new team call the President's Team that is made of up athletes that either medaled at Worlds last year in Germany of won Nationals and I'm going through the list and I seem my name!! And the funny thing is I didn't go to the National Team's Lunch on Friday before the race but I was told that they did a presentation for the new team and they called my name and all this stuff....would of been nice to have known.
Anyways Worlds wasa huge roller coaster this year. I didn't know what was going on from one minute to the next....a little disorganized I would say but I'm really happy with my bike and hopefully that can carry over to this weekend in the chase in Muskoka when I come out of the water in first!! All those big guys better watch out cause I'm coming for you!!!

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Friday, June 6, 2008

Great news...

Well they just officially announced that the water temperature is now 11.8C and that they have shortened the swim my 500m to make it only a 1000m swim. Great news for those of us who are swimmers...not! In the junior race yesterday a bunch of men and women dropped out and the fastest guys time for 750m was over 13minutes...and the fastest guys in that group should be just over 9minutes. So it shows how much the water temperature is affecting them. So I'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see how things go and I know everyone in the race is in the same position but for us swimmers who always want a longer swim it's not the best of news to get the day before you're supposed to race that they've shortened the swim.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lots of surprises in Vancouver

So I arrived yesterday in Vancouver after a pretty uneventful flight other than having to change planes in Toronto because of mechanical problems. It was a little bit on the cool side here when we landed but the sun was coming through at times. I swear our cab driver used to be a race car driver in his past life because what we were told should of been a 30minute drive turned in less than 15minutes...need I say more. I'm staying at Becky house, a friend who used to live in Sudbury that I swam with many years ago and is going to dentice school here at UBC. She has a beautiful apartment that's only about a 10minute bike ride from the race site. Once at the apartment I put my bike together, I must say I enjoy the putting together much more than the taking apart! I hoped on my bike and headed down to the race site with my swimming stuff. Once I started getting close to the race site I started to see more and more of the athletes that I will be competing against. This was when the nerves really started to kick in. It's always been a big issue for me seeing my other competitors even back when I used to swim. I can remember my coach having to hide the heat sheets from meet because I would spend an hour studying them memorizing everything to who was in the lanes beside me, who was in my heat, who was in the other heats and what everyones times were. It seemed though once I had that all memorized I would be calmed down and ready to go. Anyways so about 1km from the race start and finish is an out door 50m pool so I hoped in there and did my swim. After my swim I just headed back to the apartment and got some groceries for supper. Oh and by the way I'm pretty dissapointed with the outcome of the hockey game!
So today was a little less productive then I wanted it to be. I had planned on riding the bike course today but the weather was not co operating and it still hasn't stopped raining. So I biked down to the race site with my swim stuff and wet suit so I could swim in the ocean where the race will be. I decided to use the public washrooms along the beach to get out the rain for a bit instead of the usual famous deck change and as I walked in I could see I wasn't the only one using the washrooms to get out of the rain. There was a whole group of homeless people in there and they were having a jolly old time drinking Listerine. It was quite funny especially when they started talking to me about my race. Good times! So the swim didn't last long again. The water temperature is 13C!!! I'm pretty sure it wasn't this bad back home in Sudbury. It's going to make for an interesting start to the race.
After the swim I walked around the race expo a bit...nothing to exciting. Then once back home I decided to go for a little walk and I stopped in a bike store and it just so happens that they sell the kind of bike I ride (Blue) and I get talking to the guy who owns the store and he tells me that the guy who I deal with back in Ontario has been fired from Blue and that's why I havn't gotten my new bike, why I havn't been able to get ahold of anyone at the office in Ontario and wont likely be getting my money back. Great news to be getting from a complete stranger on the other side of the country.
Anyways I decided to blow a little steam off and went for a run tonight. The legs felt pretty good so I'm happy about that. Now it's just off to bed, trying to get as much rest as I can before the race. So I'll leave you with a little reading material incase you didn't see the article in the news paper yesterday.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...

Well today is the big day that I leave in a couple of hours for Vancouver for my big race. I'm really starting to get nervous now. I was all calm all day until tonight after I was all done packing and it like ok I guess it's time to do this!
So the past two days have had their ups and downs...yesterday I woke up after sleeping in a bit because I didn't have to be at work until 2pm and I was going to go for a ride and I notice cassette is loose...I'm in a panic because I dont' know what to do and I'm playing with it and the more I play with it the worse it gets! Thank god I got a hold of Mike Hay and he said to come right over and he fixed me all up. There was like an hour that I didn't know what I was going to do. So after that I went for ride and everything was awesome. Didn't do anything too crazy...just a little warm up then 4x2minutes hard with 2minutes easy between and then a couple hill repeats. Legs felt pretty good so decided to cool down and call it a day.
Today I had a couple clients this morning. Got a 30minute run in between 2 clients and then was down work at around noon. After work I jumped in the pool for a swim. Again nothing too hard...after a warm up just a few break outs and some fast 100's. It never seems to amaze me how fast the guys start ever triathlon. I think I've won just about ever swim in ever triathlon I've ever done yet in the first 50-100m there's always a whole bunch of people ahead of me. I don't understand it! I could just in a pool right now with no warm up and swim a :56 for 100FR yet I always have to pass people to get to the front of the swim in all the tri's. Wired!
So tonight I took my bike all apart and packed it up...thats always an adventure and a half but after a little pushing and shoving I think I got it all ready to go. I got the camera and videos camera all packed too so hopefully I'll be able to post some cool pictures of while in Vancouver and hopefully get some good shots while I'm racing. Well I better be getting some sleep now but before I got I just want to say thank you to a few people for helping me get to where I am today and helping me get to Vancouver.
I have to say a huge thank you to Matt at Shot Crete Plus for helping me out huge financially or else I wouldn't even be making this trip. I got in conection with Matt through a friend and he said he wanted to help me get to Vancouver and Matt I just want you to know I apreciate what you did for me so much!!
Another bog thank you to two awesome friends Jack and Drew. Jack for getting me into the sport just being there whenever I had a question or needed something. Trust me you've gotten me through some stressful times. Drew for always having a great story to tell me and always wanting to know what I've been up to! Also for some of the best meals I've ever had...I'm blaming you for those extra two pounds!
Everyone else also like Josee for my glasses, I never put them down and Brooks for some great running gear and shoes. And to everyone else who I havn't mentioned, so many of you have had such a huge influence on my life and helped me through all the tough times and been there to share all the good ones.
Last is my dad. I think recently I've been struggling a little more with it and I know it's shown and it's affected other people. I'm truly sorry. My dad was such a huge part of my life and I know I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for him. I probably never said thank you enough or at all when I had the chance but dad thank you for influencing me and helping me become who I am today.
Well bed time for this guy so I'll try and keep everyone up to date on how everything is going once I get settled in Vancouver. Oh and if you get the chance check out the Sudbury Star, they did a little interview with me today.

"Thank you to the people who said I couldn't, you have been what has defined me, never give up, and never back down".