Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Been a While!

Wow it has got to be at least a month since my last post.

Here is an update on what is going on with my training/life right now. My new job is fantastic! I work with great people and being a "banker" is a pretty entertaining profession right now. I just nailed a presentation on the economic forecasts of the main economies HSBC invests in, and I love the people I work with.

On the training front, it has been an enjoyable challenge to adapt to my new "adult" lifestyle. Seriously, I have a new respect for the average 30-49 y/o (I don't include those over 50 cause I think they have a little more flexibility in their work schedule) triathletes. Last year I had 6 classes while writing a thesis and training & working full time, but I was still able to get away from class for an hour or two to join a group at the pool or track.

Now that I am part of a large corporation, there is no wiggle room at all during the day. I get an hour lunch, but with no showers available at work it would just be a waste of time to try and get anything remotely productive done. And when I get home from work I am friggin exhausted. I don't want to sound like I never knew that before, because I did.

The biggest difference from last year when I was training and working full time was this. When I was working as a bartender with later hours, I was able to give all of myself to my daily training, and drag my tired and sore body to work and slug it out. Now it's the opposite. I give the best and strongest part of my day to work, and slog out a workout after.

That being said, I have been enjoying my training lately. I am hitting both the PIH Tuesday night workout as well as the Lifesport Saturday workout, in order to get two solid interval sessions per week. I am also doing some unstructured runs a few days a week as well.

I am going to the pool at least two days a week and am really enjoying it. Sure it's pretty hard to get motivated to go, but I am having fun doing 2km sets with a little hard interval sesh in the middle. I still do all my drills and pickups, and try to get 500-750m of intervals before some kicks and pulls. I feel that 500-750m is perfect for me right now. It really gets the heart up, and allows me to hit some pretty solid lap times. I know I would not be able to keep that pace for any longer, but it allows me to feel good about myself, which makes me keep wanting to come back!

I have even been getting out on the bike! The last few times out I have been challenged by riders that I just run into, which has made for some pretty fun riding!

All in all, I am working out right now because I love working out! I am trying to get back into shape, but not putting so much pressure on myself. Last year I knew that I would probably only have one year to try and excel seriously as a triathlete before my career began, and I felt pressured to excel as fast as I could. Now I am relaxing more and enjoying the improvements when they come.

Wow that was a long post. Hopefully that is enough for a few weeks.

Happy training!


Sunday, January 31, 2010


Well there were a few small setbacks this week.

First, I got home Thursday night after work and noticed that my right shin was completely numb. I started to freak out a bit, and promptly got on Google to see what it could be. Turns out a pinched nerve in my lower back is the most likely culprit.

It also said that it can happen from doing things like sit ups and pull ups. Well on Tuesday I was doing a different set of sit-ups that usual (which I will obviously never do again ha), so I think that is what happened.

Anyway, in classic obsessed triathlete fashion, I wanted to make sure that my leg was ok and there was still circulation going to it. So I ran 13km around Victoria, and then headed to the pool for a couple kms. The leg was fine, other than not being able to feel it. I reasoned that if there was a lack of circulation, it would give out under the workload of running. But I actually ran pretty good, so maybe no feeling in your legs is a good thing for performance!

The next morning the numbness had subsided somewhat, but as soon as I started walking around it was back. Friday at work was not good for it. It was number than ever and I was pretty worried.

I took Friday off working out just to be safe and give my back a rest. After a light swim on Sat, today it feels much better!

Not to bitch too much here, but Commonwealth pool has been getting on my nerves quite a bit lately. It's a great place to train when your on a team, but for drop in laps it is ridiculous! I hate how they come out with a weekly schedule saying that certain pools are open for length swimming all day, and then when you get there, they have a freaking swim meet on! You know they have planned those meets months in advance, but they are rarely on the shedule.

I got there today to find that there was not ONE lane available for public swimming, even though the sched said there was an entire pool available. I ended up switching pools twice, in both cases just making a lane for myself without any lane ropes. I even had to battle a 40 yo lady for space, as she was just floating on her back all over the pool. A little spray to the face on my flipturn did the trick (I'm really not that much of an ass, I swear). I'm just annoyed that they can't get that stupid sched right, so that I don't waste 50 mins of my life driving out there and back.

On a lighter note, the pounds that I put on while traveling are coming off, so I feel a little more like an athlete. I am definitely on a running focus these days, so I can get back in the VIRS ASAP (acronyms anyone?), as well as get ready to be on the HSBC TC 10k team!

Happy training!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I finally got internet again at my house! Woo!

I have been using my iPhone to update for the last while, so naturally there has been no motivation to update the ol' blog.

Things are definitely getting better on the workout front. I am not making leaps and bounds, since my new job is pretty consuming, but I am getting there slowly.
I am running about 3-4 times a week, swimming 2 times a week, and biking 1 or 2 times.

The swimming has been hard. I enjoy it enough when I am there, but driving out to Commonwealth has been an issue lately after work. It is just soooo much easier to go for a run or even go lift weights at the rec centre 3 minutes from my place.

Speaking of weights, I am really enjoying my core work lately. It is entertaining how sore I am after ha!

I did my first TNW in a while (thanks to work letting me go early), and I saw some huge gains. I was a little disappointed in the practice however. Without Shane there, there was nobody at the front to hold the pack in check on the recovery sections, to ensure that we actually get our heart rates down. The lead group is an amazing pack of guys, but the competitive spirit diminished the workout a bit too much for me.

I started with the lead guys, but after two intervals of barely slowing below a tempo run on the recovery sections ( we were supposed to do a recovery jog), I decided to run my own workout. It was so funny seeing the lead group on the course. I saw them right before the recovery interval finished before the next hard section, and most of them didn't even change speeds into the fast section! They were just going as fast as they could the whole course.

Meanwhile I was having an amazing workout on my own, even though I would get passed on the recovery sections by 40 y/o ladies (no disrespect ladies) that have 45min 10k times, before I would blow by them on the actual intervals. I think I was one of maybe three people who lowered their times on the last 4 loops. I have to admit though, there have been some amazing PIH improvements. Jogging with the ladies allowed me to see some of the real risers in the group. And don't get me started on Jeff Hunt, who is really seeing his hard work pay off.

I think it could have just been this workout, since most PIH TNWs have walking sections, where everyone is pretty much forced to slow down. I will give it another go next week probably, to see if it's different. Right now though, my Sat morning crew is looking pretty good, where we all work together to push ourselves, and hold back on the recoveries so that we can all start together. Getting the hr down between hard efforts is so crucial for improvement.

I will definitely post more now that I got the net back!

Happy training.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Some consistency

This past week has seen me get back to some sort of a routine. Since I finally landed a job at a bank a few weeks ago, I have been able to put some priority back into training rather than being unemployed. Of course, the holiday season always is disruptive to training, with old friends and family in town and wanting to get together for drinks and food. Therefore Jan 1st saw the start of my life returning to normal.

Since I received a gym pass for my birthday, I have been able to get in the gym quite a bit lately. It is really nice to be able to work on my core and upper body, which lacked in strength last year. I am now working out at least once a day, and eating well again.

My runs and rides have been going pretty good. I am still a long way from being in shape, but it is coming along. The biggest thing that is holding me back right now is my inability to recover from high heart rates. This was evident in my last run with Nick, where my heart rate could just not recover from the hills at cedar hill. I was still in the 180s on the flats between hills. As I told Nick, it's not so much that I am tired, but one can only run for so long with a 180 HR, whether they are in shape or not. The entire run had an average of 173, only 33 beats higher than Nick!

For obvious reasons, I am not participating in the pioneer 8k this week. I don't want to sound too full of myself, but I just wouldn't be able to deal with such a poor result compared to last year. It sucks, because I LOVE that race, and racing really
helps you get in shape, but I'm just not ready, and mentally no good can come from it. I might volunteer at it though.

Swimming is starting slowly, but I am enjoying doing a lot of paddle work. I did a few sets of 100s and had a chuckle, since I was THAT slow.

That's all for now

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some data

Well I finally got a new battery for my HR monitor to see how my heart is doing compared to my legs. The data was pretty shocking! I've used it on 2 runs and 1 ride so far, and I've realized how out of shape my heart is compared to my legs. The two runs that I have used it on were with Nick Best (32 min 10k cross country this year). He invites me out for his second run of he day, which is usually just a slow tempo for him. I wad amazed to see that my heart rate never dropped below 175, even on downhills. To have a HR of 175 in the summer would mean a pretty painful interval effort that couldn't be sustained for longer than 5 minutes. On one uphill I even hit the 190s!

The crazy thing is that for such a high HR, I don't feel that bad. I can carry on a conversation with nick ( although it's easier for him) and my legs don't burn at all. I have also noticed that my HR never recovers, which I guess is why I die in the middle of workouts these days. The same thing happens on the bike. I usually have a higher HR when running compared to biking, but now it's the same. Just increasing my cadence to 110 will get my HR up to 160, something I could rarely do this summer if I tried my hardest.

What this basically tells me is that when you decrease your training, your heart is the first to go. I'm sure a lot of people already knew that, but I really thought my legs would be holding my comeback in check, not my heart.
Tonight was a beautiful twilight run with nick in the snow. Something just felt peaceful about tonights run. I've been going through intervews and cuts for jobs lately so it's nice to get out and clear my head.
A dopo,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rocky Road

This is the first time I have ever been out of shape, in the sense that I am not physically where I am mentally. Mentally I think I should be able to lead the two groups that I run with (when there aren't Kenyans or Pros), but physically it is a different story.

I finally understand why professional athletes don't come back from injury by re-joining their teammates right away. In most pro sports, the guy will workout by himself for a few weeks before joining the group. This is mentally really important I think. I wanted to re-join both the Lifesport and PIH groups right when I got back from AUS. I underestimated how out of shape I was (after all, I felt pretty good running in AUS), and it has been mentally hard for me.

I'm not trying to say that I have it hard or anything, but it is mentally tough to not be able to finish a hard workout because of nausea, or feel good for 1km and then exponentially fall apart after that. The last PIH workout saw me feel great for 4/12 450m reps, before imploding with nausea and dragging some serious ass. I felt like I was some loser that went out way to hard beyond his abiliy.

Mentally, it's pretty discouraging to see all of your peers ahead of you, when you have stumbled a bit. This discouragement has made me less "excited" to head out and workout in general. After all, most athletes like to go and workout because they are good at it, and it's fun to do something your good at.

This is why other pro athletes don't join their teams after injuries. They take really small steps and enjoy the progress.

The problem is, I am on the fence of whether I should take the slow route, or just suck it up and get the crap kicked out of me for a month or so and get in shape faster.

That being said, I had a fun bike ride today in the frozen world we call Canada. One of these days I'll get in the pool, but I will definitely be swimming by myself for a bit!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Getting my sh*t together

Well I have been home for two weeks already! I am finally getting used to the ridiculous weather that we have here on the west coast. I think it was amazing timing that I came home and had 12 days straight of rain.

I can't believe how much you get used to the sun when you are out of this climate. I never realized how depressing it is here when you don't even know the sun exists for a week.

Training wise, I am building in to it slowly. I am starting at a basic running 2 days a week, although it could be less due to a sore groin and more to do with the rain. My bike is getting put together one piece at a time. I am picking up my trainer today so I hope to hop on some indoor workouts soon. Swimming is not happening. I might jump in on a few Lifesport swims, but I can't even justify paying for swimming when I am currently unemployed.

Regarding jobs, I have applied at a LOT of jobs lately. It's pretty strange applying for real jobs. Just the fact that you "pound the pavement" electronically these days is pretty strange. The stupidest thing is that you put so much work into a resume and cover letter, and then after you upload these, the company takes you to a separate web page and basically makes you fill in forms that ask all of the same questions. It's pretty clear that they just use the questionnaire answers to find candidates.

Anyhow I am still taking it easy triathlon wise. I really do plan to have a great year next year. I just think that having a solid background like a good job and nice weekly routine are key ingredients for a good training program. I have neither right now, so I have to be patient.

Good luck at the Seattle Marathon this weekend peeps!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My New Favourite Run

Well folks I have not run that much in the last two months. I haven't swam too much either. My first ride in two months was today, when I rode a rented bike for 1.5 km to the beach. It was actually pretty scary. The front wheel didn't even look like it was connected to the bike. I would guess the bike age at at least 15 years old.

But one thing has changed.... I can't stop thinking about triathlon. I miss it. I miss the training with the Lifesport group. I miss running with the PIH. I miss the pain.

Anywase, I had the best two runs of my life in Noosa. I have been to Noosa before and ran in the national park, but I took a different trail this time that went along the ocean. It was amazing!!! Although challenging, it took you along the ocean from sea level to jagged cliffs every 400m. On the first day, I was running at full speed when I saw something on the trail in front of me. It didn't look like a dog, and the closer I got I realized that it was a Koala on the trail. It was so amazing. For all the people that have been to Aus, you know how hard it is to spot a koala in the wild. I have only seen one before this. Anyhow, I followed him along the trail for at least 200m. He was in no hurrey, stopping every 5m and taking a look around. At one point I was only 6 inches from him. Finally he found the tree he was looking for and we parted ways. Amazing!!!!

Anywase I have so many plans for the upcoming season. Core needs work for sure! Also endurance. I realize that the strongest I was at biking was coming off the trainer sessions with Lifesport at the pool. I need to start that again!

Before I go I want to say good luck to Sam at Clearwater!
Ciao for now!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I've had a lot of time to think about my tri season this year, that had as many firsts and pbs as dissapointments. After the worlds I kind of just put off thinking about the season. However, I have had ample time to look back on the season that was, and see what I did well and didn't.

First off, my training was waaay better this year. A lot more intense, and my training partners were incredible (ironman and olympic champs).

However I think I went against one of the main principles in endurance sport training, the cycle.

At the beginning of the year before I joined Lifesport, I was doing tons of low intensity mileage. Half Marathons, long bike rides, and longer swims. Even at the beginning of my Lifesport training, we were in base mode. After that the training started to get more into build mode, where we did good trainer sessions in hard gears and spin ups. Finally, we started to get into racing mode, with great elk lake runs and time trials on the bike.

At this stage, I was on top of the world. I was crushing my last year's times. 6 minutes faster on a sprint was pretty good! Mentally, I was obsessed with the goals I put forward this year. It was a good time. I had 4 really good races, winning my age group and coming in the top 3 OA in all the races. That's when I lost site of the bigger cycle.

This was still early in the season. May and June were a long way to go from September. My coach even warned me not to go too hard in April, because the guy that is still impoving in May is dangerous in August.

The rest of the season there was no base training. All intense training, that brought me to the best shape of my life. The only problem was I completely lost my endurance. I didn't think it was that big of a deal for Olympic distance racing, but it was. I could compete in the pool on 100s and 200s, but would get killed in open water swimming or 500s in the pool. Running was fine, since I had the biggest base to go off of from winter, but biking was the same. In fact, the second best 1500m time of the year was in May, after Nationals.

All summer I didn't do the long endurance stuff that makes you able to compete for longer. I didn't do a bike ride longer than 2.5 hrs, and didn't do swimming intervals longer than 600m at a time. All of this caught up to me at the end of the season, where I would feel ok at the beginning of the swim, bike, and run, but die out later.

It's amazing how much you learn every year in this sport. Here I thought that my training couldn't get any better, but I was neglecting one of the most important rules of triathlon, building the year around two cycles.

I tried to make it one cycle, and paid the consequences. At least I had a good performance at Nationals, due to my first real taper of the year. I am pretty happy that I had a good performance there, since Worlds as we know was a pretty crazy triathlon.

Next year I have to be not as greedy. I cannot try and be in tip top shape for every triathlon I compete in, which is hard, because I am so competitive. I have to be patient at the behginning of the year, which I never am. So much to look forward to next year!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The pics from castle hill

These are the pics from Castle hill, that I took with Jasmine when we drove up it before. Pretty cool rock.