Tuesday, July 2, 2013

North Bay and Firecracker Race Reports

This past weekend I headed over to North Bay on Saturday morning for some coaching at the kids races of the North Bay triathlon weekend.  I had 8 kids from the team make the short trip over and they all did amazing like always!  After about 6 hours of being there I headed over to Josh's house who is a boy from North Bay I coach and who was racing in the adult race the next day.  Josh had just put some new pedals on his bike so for after some good pasta and chicken we headed on the bike for a little trip up the famous Lee's Rd.  After that it was a hot tub, a couple games of pool and then off to bed for an easy morning. 
Josh had a great race and finished 2nd overall among the individuals and I say that because there was also teams and I was participating as a team.  I was of course doing the swim, Charles Dumas from the Sudbury Cycling Club was the biker and Eric Leishman who just ran a 15:40 5km last night at the Firecracker was our runner.  We had a great race with all of us setting individual course records and the overall course record and finishing about 20minutes before anyone else and there were a couple things that prevented us from being even faster!  This looks good as the three of us will be teaming up again for the Beaton along with our secret weapon in the canoe who I've recruited from out of town who is a very fast paddler and this time our goal is to not hold anything back and set another overall course record but this time one that will not be beat!  Should be fun!
After I was done my part of the race on Sunday I quickly got on my bike and still headed out on the course as I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to bike the beautiful and challenging bike course North Bay has to offer!  Probably not the best idea since I was racing a 5km run the next day but I just couldn't pass it up.
On Monday the family headed into Lively for the annual Canada Day Firecracker Run.  First up was Hudson in the 1km!  He finished in a very quick time of just over 9minutes with a big smile on his face.  Then it was my turn...I really didn't know what to expect from my first 5km race after starting to train again.  I knew I would love to be back under 20minutes and I knew from my 3km on the track a couple weeks back it might be doable but this is a fairly challenging run course compared to running on the track!  I started out really strong and felt pretty good and I settled in right behind this one girl who was running really good.  Now I don't run with a watch but I've done enough of these I could tell we were running at a good pace and I started to get excited we might break 20min.  Everything was going good that is until I hit about 1km to go and things really started to hurt and I lost focus for a second and she was gone and there was no running back up to her.  I lost a lot of time in that final km and I felt like I had missed my chance of getting my goal by as I approached the finished I was surprised to see I was going to make it once I saw the clock and finished in 19:47 and 12th overall out of 93 runners.  The girl I was running with finished in 19:18 so it was a little frustrating to know I was on pace for that until that last km but it will come with more time.
Next up this weekend is I'm heading to Milton for Nationals off road triathlon.  Never done one before but I borrowed a bike from my new team mate Charles and as you can see from the picture Hudson say daddy is going to be #1 this weekend!  We'll see about that though...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Short update

This past week has been very rewarding to say the least.  I've already finished a couple of contracting jobs and have a couple more lined up.  I've always liked working with my hands and building things and that's exactly what I've been doing.  It's been a big change but I couldn't be happier.  Here's a picture of a bathroom I did last week.

On the training side of things I haven't done as much as I would have liked over the past week or so with all the changes but that's to be expected and I'm hoping things will get back to normal on that side of things.  However I am going to North Bay this weekend and will be coaching the kids on Saturday and then racing on Sunday morning.

Also got some great news the other day...Aron who is one of the boys I coach has been selected by Triathlon Ontario to the next stage of qualification for the Canada Summer Games this summer.  Aron started out with just over 20 other guys in Ontario who were trying for one of the 4 spots on the team and that list has now been shortlisted down to only 8.  These are the top 16-19 year olds in the province and Aron is only 16 and just to be named to this list is a huge accomplishment!  Aron will have a huge month ahead of him as he tried to get one of the 4 spots available.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A few updates

It's been a bit of a stressful week with my last day of work being tomorrow.  The good thing is I have a few carpentry jobs lined up over the next couple weeks so I'm going to go with that for now.  If you need anything built though please let me know!!

This past weekend was a busy one with lots of racing happening all over the place!  Devin was down south, Aron was in Winnipeg, Josh was in North Bay.  Everyone had great races but I'd just like to highlight Aron who was racing the first Jr National race of the season and finished 13th!  He had a great race and coming 13th in the country for 16-19 year olds and only being 16 is amazing.  Unfortunately he was just outside of the cut off of the top 8 to make it to the Canada Summer Games but it's nothing to hang your head about.
Myself and a couple others were racing in a swim meet over the weekend at the long course championships and I managed to win the 1500.  Still not a stellar time but I'll take it!
On Tuesday a bunch of us raced in the first Twilight Track meet of the season and I'm really happy with my race as my run has been the one of the three I've been doing the least of trying not to bring back any old injuries until I can get some more of the weight off but I came 4th in the race and I beat my goal time going in by 22 seconds so I was a happy camper!

I know you can't actually see me in the picture but I haven't found any other pictures yet of the race.  You can see about half my head to the right of the girl in the pink socks and I'm running in 5th place at this point and Jordano is in 2nd.

This weekend a bunch of us are off to Leamington for a triathlon however I'm only coaching this weekend and not racing.  Hudson will be doing his second ever triathlon so that will be exciting!  Here's a picture of Hudson the other night all ready to race and giving his best intimidating face :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Espanola Duathlon and Tomorrow is a new day!

This past weekend we took the short drive over to Espanola for their annual duathlon.  Last year at this race it was a combination of rain and snow and it was very cold!  This year they were calling for rain however it held off for the entire race and the temperature was much better.
On the men's side Devin took the overall win and on the women's side Emmah and Lea went 1-2.  Spencer also won his age group which is great as he gears up for his first race in the Ontario Youth series.
This weekend is another busy weekend with Aron racing in Winnipeg in the first race of the Jr National Series that is also the qualifier for the Canada Summer Games.  Devin is in Binbrook, Josh is racing a 10km in North Bay and Jordano, Connor and myself are in a swim meet here at LU. 

Yesterday was a tough day as I went to ask my boss exactly what day my contract is done in mid August and he informed me that the date had been changed and it is now the end of next week.  That was some pretty tough news to take however today is a new day and I look forward to the new opportunities that lay ahead.  I'm very grateful of the good friends I have who have been so positive and have stepped up in helping us get through this bump in the road.

We've started swimming in lake so that's been fun to get out of the rectangle pool we've been confined to all winter!  Lots of fun was had by all :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Woodstock Race Recap

This past weekend myself and fours others from the team travelled down to Woodstock for our first race of the season.  We arrived Saturday and went over parts of the course like normal and then headed back to the hotel.  Saturday also happened to be my birthday so I was treated to a very nice dinner at East Side's and a few gifts.  I am very thankful for these great friends as my family was unable to be there this weekend and it made for a great birthday! 
Sunday morning I got to the race site much earlier than I normally do and was one of the very first people there and usually I tend to get there a little bit later as I don't like to wait around and let my mind wonder with everything going on so I got my stuff in transition, got all checked in and then headed back to the truck and had about a 45min nap.  Once I got up pretty much everyone was there and getting ready for their own race so it was perfect timing to start warming up and head down to the start. 
I was only racing the Swim/Bike event as I'm really trying to take my progression back slow to prevent any injuries which I've delt with in the past with three previous stress fractures so I decided to hold off on doing the full tri until the next one.  So started lining up on start line and looked to my left and to my right and right noticed three guys who were going to make the swim interesting to say the least!  There were 3 guys who have swam 16:48, 16:08 and 15:52 in the 1500 in a pool recently so I knew we were in for a FAST swim!!  I knew I wasn't in good enough shape to swim with these guys but I said to myself that I might as well try and go for it and see if I can maybe get on the back of their feet and hold on for dear life.  As soon as we started I could see to my left a few feet over 2 guys going together so I gave it hell and got over to them and actually got behind Derek Quick (15:52).  I figured the other guy just got in behind me and was staying there but after we went around the first turn I noticed that we had opened up a gap.  I really can't tell you how excited I was to be swimming with Derek and that we had opened up this lead and I could tell he was trying to drop me as well as he was going from one side to another and each time I would try and pass he would cut me off so I just sat in on his feet and waited until we got to the shore and I had a good exit of the water and we both crossed the timing mats at the exact same time in 8:50 for the 750m. 
Out onto the bike I was still pushing hard knowing I didn't have to run afterward but I don't really think it mattered as it seemed like I really only have the one speed and I don't think it would have mattered it I was running afterwards or not.  On the way out it seemed like we were moving quite fast and I was pretty happy with it but as soon as I made the turn around it hit me like a pill of bricks!  The wind...I should have known!  The way back seemed like I was barely moving and the constant rolling hills with no real flat sections made it seem that much worse.  Regardless I finished the bike in 34:39 and that included a fairly long run from the timing mats at transition to the mount line and then back after the bike so overall I'm happy with it after almost 3 years off from any training or racing.

Last week I was very fortunate to attend the United Way's GenNext Volunteer Awards as I was receiving an award for the work I've been doing within the sporting community here in Sudbury.  It was truly an honor to receive this award and a big thank you to those who support me and to Lisa and Corrine for the nomination.

Up next is the Espanola Duathlon this Saturday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Swim Meet Report

That swim meet kicked my butt!  I have an all new appreciation for swimming long course.  I'm pretty sure that was the first time I've swam a LC meet since before going to University so like 9-10 years ago.  All the swim meets I've done since then have all been short course and it was never all that bad going from a 20m pool at the Y to a 25m pool but going from a 20m pool to a 50m pool sure makes a big difference and it didn't take long for me to figure that out!
On the Friday night I had the 1500fr and things didn't start out well when I had 3.5 hours between my warm up and my race and well the warm up was pretty much useless but I really wanted to swim well so I didn't let that affect me mentally.  I went out really hard and probably too hard as I was leading some pretty fast guys from the start until about 500m and then things started to go south from there.  I just couldn't hold that pace an unfortunately these guys could and I think I ended up 4th or 5th with a 18:10 which is about a 17:40 short course time if you were to convert it so it's not horrible but it for sure leaves room for improvement!
That race pretty much did my arms in for the rest of the weekend and non of my races were much of anything after that point with probably my next best swim a 1:07 in the 100fly and even then...

Here is a picture of Hudson from some pictures we had done a couple weeks ago from Westmount Photography.  We really loved the expressions in his face on these!

There won't be too much happening this week other than getting ready for our friends from Germany who will be arriving on Friday for two weeks and staying with us. 
Thursday I will be receiving my award from the GenNext Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Way in the sports category so we'll probably do a little dinner and then the awards presentation is happening at Cambrian College. 
On Sunday was the Sudbury Rock Run here in Sudbury and Lea did a great job organizing it again this year and we had several people from the team running in the 5km and Devin ran the 1/2 marathon in 1:15 and considering it was below 0C and snowing and very windy that's a really strong time.  Jordano was in Ottawa competing in a duathlon and was 2nd overall and Isabella was at the same swim meet as I was and got another Provincial time so our team had a very good weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

So I decided there was one or two races this year I wanted to do but I would need my Elite card in order to participate in these races so on Monday this week I sent in my application.  I heard back today that my application was successful so for the 2013 season after a couple years off I will be competing again as an Elite.  This doesn't change anything from my earlier post of about my goals and objectives for this year as my main focus is still just on having fun, enjoying the sport and seeing where it takes me.  I may even play the role of domestique for a couple of the boys I coach and help set them up where they need to be coming off the bike.

Since we moved into our new house only 2 weeks before Christmas we really didn't know what to expect as far as what's under the snow so just now within the past day or two almost all the snow is gone around our place and it's been really exciting getting to see everything and start to work at getting things cleaned up and start exploring our property even though I did do a bit of that through the snow this winter.  I've learned that there is a little lake at the back of our property and it is full of pickerel so I'm really excited to find it and do some fishing there and maybe bring the canoe in.

Training has been going pretty good as well as of late.  Swimming is feeling fairly strong and I'm excited for the swim meet that is coming up in a week and a half!  The biggest surprise has been my cycling though with how strong I've been and a couple people mentioning that they've noticed as well.  All good things so just need to keep working away and hopefully it will all fall into place.

I have to say a huge Thank You to Cast Construction Inc. for their generous donation of $500 towards the Northern Ontario Triathlon Squad.  We've started sending out some sponsorship letter to some businesses around town in hopes of raising some money that will help the athletes on the team who are working very hard and will be putting in a lot of travel this year getting to races all over the World!
This Saturday we're having a team yard sale to also try and raise a bit of money for the team.  Sunday I have to go over to our old house because when we moved the ground was frozen so I couldn't take the play house I built Hudson so I'm going back on Sunday to take it apart and bring it over to the new house and I'll have to find a new home for it.  If anyone wants to help please come on over because this thing is a beast!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finally retired x3

Well Lea retired 3 pairs of my pants yesterday and not because they were worn out or anything like that but because I can now pull them on and off without undoing them.  So that meant it was time to start seeing what other pairs of pants in my closet fit that I haven't worn in a very long time!  It feels good to fitting back into a size 32 again.

This past weekend we had a few members of the NOTS come to town to join in on some training.  The weather wasn't great but we still managed and did a ride outside on Sunday at the track.  It was nice to get outside and off the trainer.  I got a new road bike back in the fall and only got to ride it a couple of times before winter so other than the week I was in Florida and riding it's got very little use yet outside.  It's probably the last bike I'll ever be allowed to buy and  it's a good thing I didn't pay anywhere near full price for it!
Training has been going fairly well.  Again it's been mostly little short workouts whenever I can get them in but so it's been working and they've been fairly consistent and it feels good to push 230 watts again on the bike for a sustained amount of time so no complaining here as on wards and upwards we go.
I have to say congratulations to Devin who is one of the guys I coach who this past weekend ran at the Toronto Young St. 10km and ran a best time of 32:19 for 20th overall and beat some of the elite runners.  This is a very fast time and his hard work is paying off big time already and we are very early into the season.  You can find Devin's race report on his blog and the link to that is just on the right hand side of mine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring - I hope!

Stepping foot outside this morning sure felt like today was the first day of Spring.  Last night we got a big rain fall that helped with the melt of the snow and this morning the warm air and sun shine was sure a nice change from the cold we've been having as of late.
This past weekend was a Family Fun Day at the Caruso Club and we knew the photographer, Rob from Westmount Photography who had done my pictures when I was competing and who has done all of Hudson's pictures was going to be there doing a free family picture so we got there early to avoid waiting in line.  We were in luck as he was just finishing setting up and we were able to go first.  Again the picture turned out amazing and I can't say enough about Rob and the pictures he takes!
I really didn't get much training done this past weekend other than a little bike ride and that's alright as my knee had been giving me a funny little pain so the rest was good and I was still busy spending a couple hours each day cutting, hauling and splitting wood.  We were lucky that about two weeks ago hydro had come down our road and cut down a bunch of trees along the hydro lines so I didn't have to go back too far into the push but it was still enough work getting at least a 12-15 cords of wood from where they fell to piled in the wood shed.
This weekend NOTS(Northern Ontario Triathlon Squad) is having a mini training camp with Aron coming from the Sault and Josh from North Bay for the weekend to join up with those already here in Sudbury.  It's sure to be a fun weekend with everyone putting in some quality training with race season just around the corner.  These guys have been training hard all winter and are in incredible shape so it's going to be a task just trying to keep up with them.   

Friday, April 12, 2013

New start, new goals, new perspective on life!

It's been a couple of years since I've posted anything on here and a lot of things have changed since then.  There have been many highs but also some lows but this blog will take a new focus as I am on a different journey in life than I was a couple years back. 
There have been highs of raising my son who will be 3 years old this August and watching him grow into a young boy as he is already riding a 2 wheel bike, did his first triathlon last summer, loves to sing and play with his puppy and brings a smile to my face everyday.
I am the head coach of the Northern Ontario Triathlon Squad and coach about 20 youth and young adults daily and watching their success is always inspirational.  Some have been racing all over North America , competing on the Jr. National circuit and there is a couple who will be competing at this years World Championships in London, England and one who has qualified for the U23 Elite World Duathlon Championships.  I have a real passion for working with these guys and seeing them achieve their goals gives me great satisfaction.  I will continue to update often about how they are doing and what's up next for these guys and girls.
I took a big step back from any training and racing these past couple years and both physically and mentally I think I suffered from it.  Physically I went from 155lbs when I was racing to 220lbs if not a bit more at my heaviest.  I never really thought this was possible for me but it happened.  I stopped all forms of training that I was doing and really wasn't getting much physical activity at all but continued to eat as if I was training full time.  Around Christmas time this year I decided it was time to do something about it and slowly I started getting back into training yet this time with a different approach.  I wasn't going to sacrifice any time with my son or anything else.  If I was going to train it was going to be on my time and it wasn't going to affect anyone else.  Same sort of idea went with the weight.  I was going to go on any kind of diet first because I don't believe in diets and second because I love my food and wasn't going to make those around me change what they are eating just for me.  So I still eat white pasta or bread and if Hudson wants to go to McDonalds then we go to McDonalds.  Since Christmas I've lost 30lbs but more on the way!
Mentally the break in training and racing really gave my mind a chance to think about other things and feelings and emotions I had pushed aside while I was training came started to come back.  I had some pretty dark days and finally went to talk to someone was diagnosed with some pretty serious depression and had to fight off thoughts I ultimately would of regret and would no have been fair to my family and friends.  Today though I like to think I am in a different place mentally and even though it will always be a struggle I have learnt ways to deal with it and appreciate the good things I have in my life.

With that being said I will be getting back to some racing this summer and I really excited about it.  This time its going to be fun no matter the place I finish and the time I get.  I'm looking forward to updating this blog on a fairly regular basis as I know some friends and family used to appreciate it and liked to follow along so I will make a honest effort in trying to do that with all kinds of updates not just how my training and racing is going like what used to be the focus in the past.