Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Tomorrow is Canada Day and I can't believe July is already here. With things being so busy time just seems to fly by....
This past weekend started off with a Yard Sale at our house. We got rid of most of the bigger stuff that we didn't want to have to bring back into the house and the little things that are left over Lea is bringing over to her friends house this Saturday and putting it in her yard sale. After that we headed over to one of the house of one of the parents on the swim team who lives on the lake for an end of the year party. We had a lot of fun and I got to go tubing for the first time in a while but while I was doing it I realized it probably wasn't the best idea the day before I had to race and it's true as my arms and shoulders were pretty sore the next day. After that we headed over to North Bay to stay with my uncle and aunt for the night.
Sunday morning I headed over to the race site nice and early as it's a small transition and it fills up fast. There was already a ton of people there and I didn't get the best position for my bike but then again it wasn't the worst. I went for a little run to get warmed up and then got my wetsuit on and heading down to the lake. The way the swim is the sun is right in your eye and while I was warming up I couldn't see the first marker at all. I felt alright in the warm up just a bit sore from the tubing. The gun went off and right away Len and I took off and he jumped on my feet. By this point the sun had gone up enough that I could see and I got into a good pace. I went around the first marker and he was still just hanging on my feet so I decided to slow down and let him lead so I wasn't doing all the work. So I slow down and he doesn't move...I slow down again and he doesn't move...by this point I'm at like a cool down pace after a hard practice so I turn over on my back and start doing back stroke....still wouldn't go around me. The rest of the swim went like this and right before the shore I sprinted in to get a few meters lead going into transition. Out onto the bike I could tell right away that my legs just weren't fresh at all and when Len went by me I had nothing to respond. I decided to just keep going and keep hard pace and just get ready for the run since after two races having horrible runs I wanted that one to be better. Getting back to transition Len had a couple minute lead but right out of transition my legs felt like they were turning over good. I felt much better than I had in the first couple km's but still not quite there. At the turn around though I pushed it a little more and really started to think about my technique and it seemed to work as I negative split the run and over I was with that part of the race.
Tomorrow I'm at Science North all day with the radio station and then I'm going to be running a 5km road race in Lively in the evening. This weekend is the big tear down of the garage and the building of the new one and it's sure to keep us busy and working hard all weekend.
Training has been going good...yesterday I did a easy 30minute spin on the trainer, swim at LU with 10x100 @1:20 holding under 1:10 and then a 8km run with a few pick ups. Today was a swim at the Y with 8x200 and then tonight it's cycling practice which always is a killer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So I haven't posted since my ITU race because since I've been back it seems like there is a never ending list of things that need to be done. The race went pretty good though. The swim start was pretty brutal with people on top of other people and a big group of guys got out to the front and I had to play catch up once I found some open water. I came out on the first lap with four guys still in front of me and I picked another couple off right away on the second lap and then with the leader right in front of me I just settled in and stayed there for the rest of the swim. It was good to know that I was able to make up so much ground on them and if I had a clean start of been way out in front. I had a really good transition and got on my bike in the same place as I came out of the water. On the bike we were a group of about a dozen for the first couple laps until one of the chase groups caught up to us. It was my first race ever drafting so I really wanted to pay attention and learn how things worked. I was really happy though with my bike as I stayed right with the lead group the whole bike. Onto the run though I just wasn't feeling it again for the second weekend. I don't know what's going on there as I had a great run in London just two days before and then Sunday after the race I went for a little 5km easy run and I'm sure I was running twice as fast as I was the day before. There were lots of positives though that I was able to take away from the race and overall I was happy.
I just picked up my new Kayano 15's and new orthotics from Bioped. My orthotics are a new technology and I'm kind of testing them out for BioPed and so far I really like them. The support I get from them is really amazing and just after two days of wearing them I can feel a difference in how my legs feel.
On Saturday this weekend we are having a Yard Sale at our house to try and get ride of all our old stuff. Once we have that it will be time to start taking down the garage and building our new shed.
Sunday I'll be in North Bay for a triathlon and a little visit with friends and family there. Last night we headed out to Skead for a swim and a BBQ with Sig. It was so nice to jump in the lake after such a hot day. I did a run yesterday right in the middle of the day and I'm pretty sure the last two km's were done in total survival mode.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Race Day

Race day is here for the ITU Pan American Cup in Couteau-du-lac, Quebec. Yesterday I rode the bike course and it's six laps of 6.6km. It's pretty flat but has a couple of corners that are probably going to be interested if we get in a big pack. The run is four laps of 2.5km, again pretty flat out and back. The swim is in an in closed area off the big river with two laps of 750m. There's a couple of fast swimmers in the group so the plan is just to stick with them, have a clean transition and make sure I'm in that lead pack on the bike. Now I'm just going to pack my bag and finish getting ready then it will be time to head over to the race site.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In London

Monday night Lea and I had a few tri people over at our house for a Pot Luck after an open water swim. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good.
Tuesday morning I had an appointment with one of my sponsors Robin at BioPed foot care for some new orthotics and shoes. We decided to try a new orthotic that is kind of a new technique when it comes to making orthotics. Robin is really excited about finding out how I like them. I'm also looking forward to my new Asics Kayano 15's that should be in soon.
After that it was time to do a quick pack and get in a 45minute bike before the trip to London. We got into London kind of late Tuesday night around 10:30 since we left after work and made a couple stops. This morning I went for a swim at the London Aquatics Center and their debit machine wasn't working so I got to swim for free! After my swim I had to hurry and eat a power bar and a bowl of cereal and it was off to Lea's appointment. She had her appointment today at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic for her ankle. After two and a half years of trying different things to fix it we were really hoping to get some good news. The doc looked at everything and after seeing how many things it prevents her from doing and how long this have been going on he agreed to do the surgery. So then we figured it would be a long wait and it turns out we were wrong and she is coming back to London to have it done on July 14th!! I'm really happy for her because after this she will not only be able to do the simple little things but also everything else that she wants to do.
After that it was a quick lunch at Cora's and then some running around in the afternoon. Tonight we had some steak on the BBQ from Costco and it was really good! I'm going for a run in a little bit once I've digested some of my food. I also got a new pair of Zoot racing flats that I may try out tonight and if everything goes good I'm probably going to race in them this weekend. The big race is coming quick and tomorrow we leave tomorrow for Quebec. It's going to be another 7 hour drive that I'm not really looking forward to...we found a really cheat hotel though for $65/night so I can't really complain about that! Saturday I race at 3:30pm so hopefully I'll get another post up before the race about how I'm feeling.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Muskoka Sprint

This is going to be a really fast race report and I'll give a better one after I get back from the ITU race this weekend.
The swim and the bike went really good but I had some major problems as soon as I got on the run. Hopefully it they wont happen again this weekend and I'll have a better finish to my race.
Here's a couple of pictures from the weekend.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A little story to think about

At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:'
When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.
'Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to theplate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over..The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team'
That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said, every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Small change in plans...

This week there's been a bit of a change in the plans for the next couple of weeks. Originally I was told by race organizers that the ITU race in Couteau-du-Lac was cancelled so I was going to race the long course in Muskoka then go San Francisco in Jule. Now this week I find out it's not cancelled anymore so I'm signed up and now I'm only doing the sprint in Muskoka. The race in the Couteau-du-Lac is the next Saturday so not even recovery time if I was doing to do the long course on Sunday.
I went in the lake this week and it was actually warmer than I thought it would be. I've had to swim races in water colder so...I just went in quick as I just wanted to try it out and it was getting dark so this weekend I'm going to head back and get a workout in with the wetsuit before my first race. I though with all these cold nights we've been having that it would of taken longer this year for the lakes to warm up.
So just a quick update today... I think we're going to the Relay for life tonight for a little big and then tomorrow after a massage in the afternoon its a dinner and movie date with Jesse and Sarah.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Great weekend with great friends

Now that it's been a few days since I've had my new truck it's been great having it! It's already come in handy a few times. This weekend was a little on the cold side but it was still a lot of fun. Friday night Lea and I went out for supper to Mr. Prime Rib with Drew and the kids. We had a really good supper and it was nice to spend some time with them.
Saturday morning Lea and I both had to work until 1pm but after that we decided to get a few more quotes on sheds. After that we went to Home Depot to see there sheds that they already had built and you just buy the kit and build it yourself. After some thinking we decided it was the best way to go and we bought a new shed that we are picking up tomorrow after work. We're going to tear down the garage and replace it with the new shed.
Sunday after coaching we headed out to Skead to spend the afternoon with Sig. I got meet the new people who bought my old house that I grew up in and see all the work they've done to the property to get ready to build. It looks really good and in a way it felt good to see that and how beautiful it looked looking out over the lake. After that we went for a ride to look for some cedar trees that we could transplant and bring home with us. We found a bunch on an old road up to an abandoned diamond and gold mine. We had a really nice supper together back at Sig's house and then it was time to head home. We planted the trees when we got home and then it was off to bed.
Today I did a 1.5 hour bike with two hard intervals. After that it was over to the pool for a 1.5 hour swim with some hard 100's going 1:02. The speed is good and I'm glad I'm feeling it in the water. This week is another big week for me getting ready for my first race of season next weekend in Muskoka. Last week was a big run focus week and this week I hope to build on that with some speed work in the run and some big bike rides. I also want to be swimming under a minute for 100's in practice before next weekend. I'm looking forward to the pain!