Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Onto the next one....

Update time. This past month has been a bit crazy. I wanted to get some early racing in so what better place to head then the Gulf of Mexico. My first race of 2012 kicked off at the Texas 70.3 In Galveston. WTC has some amazing athletes and this race had a stacked field so I was a bit nervous. This off season I really focused on quality workouts in all 3 sports. I was able to get away for a couple weeks for training camps, but most of my training was on the streets running, on the trainer at my gym or at the pool. Leading up to the race I was putting up solid numbers in training so I knew I had it in me to put up a good race. I was staying in Houston, which kept me away from the race set and allowed me to relax and think about what I had to do. The race had close to 50 of the best males in the sport including Lance Armstrong. The gun went off and we were off. I tried to stick in the front group but fell off (still work to be done in the water), but was able to come out of the water with Ironman Champion Josef Major and a few other great athletes, this made for a great bike, where I listened to my body and focused on watts and nutrition, which gained back 5 spots. Off the bike I was feeling ok, and it was hot! I got into a good rhythm and the first 7km loop I was right on 3:55 per k pace. I wanted to be smart and not blow up. I lost a bit on the 2nd lap and came strong on the 3rd lap taking a couple spots back. I finished 24th overall with a time of 4:19. A few weeks later I was back in Houston. This time on my way to New Orleans 70.3...which I found out was a 5 hour car ride lol. I was given a room at the Oshner Hospital and am very thankful of their hospitality. New Orleans is a different place and, I will for sure go back with Shannon to get a better look at things. I was there to race so wasn't that into going to canal street...although I did have a beignat (french donut). There was a lot of talk that the swim would be canceled due to gale winds, and when we got to the pro meeting it was confirmed that we would be doing a 2 mile run 52 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run....giddy up;) The run went out hard and I stuck my pacing first mile 5:18 and second mile 5:25. I felt good into the bike, where other pro's took it out a bit hard and I was able to work my way up through the field and was 4 minutes off the lead pack onto the run. This run felt good. I was feeling strong and stuck to the pace...again I lost a bit in the middle of the run but came out with a 1:24 off the bike...need to get it down!!! Again I took 21st overall out of 35.. So tomorrow I am off to St.Croix. I am super excited to race there. Usually it is the first race of the season and the heat kicks my ass. This year I am excited and confident that I have some heat races under my belt and the legs are working. I want to thank Nineteen Wetsuits, Saucony, Eload, Wheels of Oakville, Rudy Project, ISM Saddles, Sable Water Optics, Torhan Hydration system for there on going support.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let the 2012 Season Begin!

I know it has been a while since I have last posted a blog but I have been training and getting ready to race!

I have had a great build up for this season with a training camps in Arizona and Clermont. I have gotten the mileage in on the bike to get my legs into working order for my upcoming race in Texas. I have also been working a lot on swimming and running.

I recently jumped into the Chilly Half Marathon that was sponsored by Eload, which I am teamed up with for the 2012 season and the chilly stood up too its name. It was a cold and windy day but I was feeling good and knew my Saucony/Eload teammate Krista would help push the pace. We started out pretty easy and I was able to settle into a comfortable pace next to Krista. I was having a bit of foot pain but was feeling really good so kept on the pace. At 6km Krista pushed on and I was by myself. I felt good and held 3:43/k ...pretty much the whole way lol. At 13km we turned back into the wind and I didn't know at the time but around 15km I had a group of 6 guys sitting on me. (I found that out as I went into the finishing shoot and they blew past me lol, I had nothing left) All good though, I was excited to pull them and hold my pace strong. Have to give a major thanks to Kelly from, amazing race series!!

So the first race of the season is April 1st in Galveston Texas. I'm not going to lie, starting next to Lance Armstrong will be pretty cool but am focused and ready to put the work the training fitness I have gained over the past winter! Lots of racing this year and watch out for the new racing team. New uniforms, fast athletes, hungry to race!


XTERRA WETSUITS: Love everything about their wetsuit. From the flexibility to the buoyancy, makes me fast!
SABLE WATER OPTICS: Honestly the best goggles around. Leak Proof, Fog Proof and very durable!!

WHEELS OF OAKVILLE: The best bike shop around. Les and his staff is honest and knowledgable in everything about bikes. Say you know me and get a great discount!
QUARQ: Been with Quarq a few years now and they stand by their product and the power is best!
RUDY PROJECT: Awesome glasses, helmets and kits making me fast and looking good

SAUCONY: Know your strong! Their are the best shoes around!! Love the clothing line they have and the new colours for 2012
ELOAD: The nutrition is like no other. Sits well in your stomach, sodium content is amazing for racing and the gels taste great!!

Thanks to everyone again for standing behind me for the 2012 season!! More updates to come!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year Means New Goals!

2012 is just around the corner and as I sit down to write this blog I am planning out my 2012 race schedule.

I have been working with Toronto Olympic Club for some time now to improve my run and it has really paid off. Saucony has a lot to do with it but I have a great group I run with and can always count on them to be out. It has lead me to a new PB in the Half 1:16 and as of yesterday another Golden Snowman from the Boxing Day 10 Miler.

Luckily, we avoided the snow this year but the wind came out to play. I was feeling good leading into the race and cut out drinking during Christmas dinner, so I meant business! Another special guest was going to be racing and it was Kyle. He was looking fit and it looked like he was going to have a good day too.

The gun went off and I was nipping on the heels of kyle...for 1 mile.... then he was gone haha. My goal was 57 min and pretty sure his was under 50 min..big difference. My issue is always the same when doing running races, I am always stuck out in no mans land between the super elite and the age group!! This race was no different.

As we hit mile 3-5 it was a solid wind in the face, but I was feeling strong and kept pushing, at the 5mile mark I hit 29min and new I was going to have to work it a bit harder to get anywhere close to that 57. After getting up the first hill my legs were feeling it and Chedoke felt awesome...honestly that is a mountain!! haha. After getting my legs under me I was able to get to the finish in 59:34, not bad for the conditions. Side note, Kyle won the Boxing day 10 miler in a time of 50:28.

Next on tap is Miami Half marathon then a great season of racing. Maybe even a little trip to AZ in January to start getting those bike legs back!

Have a great New Years everyone, I will be with my family (Shannon and Hayden) bringing in the new year!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

No, I haven't been in hiding

Since Rev3 Cedar Point, I decreased my mileage, spent time with my family and really focused on my run. If you look at all the results in the WTC 70.3 Events, if you aren't running a sub 1:15 off the bike you aren't getting on the podium. Shannon and I talked about plans for next season and after giving a shot at Ironman, we both agree, I suck at them. I just don't get them and to be honest suck at holding back and not going full throttle. At least I can admit that, lol. So next season is all about speed. I know most people will say a 70.3 race is still long but in training for Ironman this is a walk in the park and training will be similar to an Olympic distance event.

I joined Toronto Olympic Club out of Toronto about a month ago and haven't looked back. Paul and Kevin have amazing coaching skills, and great work ethic. Every workout has a purpose, which I always believe in and there are some really fast runners out there. This is exactly what I need to get faster. So far, the workouts have been tough but focusing on speed and technique has really improved my running.

My first test of speed was at the 10km Trek or Treat. My goal was take the first 3km pretty hard around 10min then settle it in. After 3km I was feeling great and no one was around. Saucony was the main sponsor, so it was nice to take a win with them there

This takes me to last weekend. I wan't supposed to race, but I had the itch. For most people reading this you are probably similar to me and have the need to race and go fast! On the Saturday I signed up for the Road 2 Hope Half Marathon. I haven't done a half marathon in a while so I had no expectations. My plan was to go sub 1:18 and help Larry get a Sub 1:18, which he did!! 1:17:51. 10 km into the run I was feeling great and was sitting at 35:10, so I figured I would keep the pace up. At 10 miles I was rocking at 57:20 and working the numbers in my head I was on a 1:15 pace. With 3km left I turned into a serious head wind and, really had to work but managed to push through and hit a 1:16:55. Not bad for going in with no expectations;)

Tomorrow is Raid the Hammer with Sean and Jen, and I am super pumped to run and get dirty!! It has been a long time since I have done one of these so hopefully I still have a bit of navigational skills in me!!

Other then that life is good, big race coming up is Boxing Day 10 Miler, and Miami Half Marathon!! Thanks to all my sponsors Saucony, Xterra, Rudy Project, Wheels!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cedar Point

I arrived in Ohio on the Friday and was snuggled in at the Knights Inn. I was feeling good and excited to race especially after a crash in Lake Placid I wanted to show that I could do Ironmans.

I was training prior to the race with Sean and was feeling good, no pain, except a burning in my neck, which I shook off because that's what we do. I got out on my bike on the Friday and Saturday and again had a little burning in my neck but felt great! I have to thank Wheels of Oakville for hooking up my newly acquired P4 with Disc and it is fast!! Saturday came and went and I was ready to race Sunday morning.

I knew a lot of the guys were fast swimming so I was either going to get on some feet in the front pack or be in no mans land with the slower guys behind me and me somewhere in the middle. After 500m of dolphin diving in my Xterra Vendetta I was off swimming. My stroke felt good and within 1500m I feel off the front pack and as predicted was sitting in between the fast and slow pack. I was ok with that, and really focused on lengthening my stroke and staying focused on the task at hand! I came out of the water in exactly 60 minutes, not bad but was ready to bike.

Got on my P4 and was off! I settled in real quickly to 230 watts and got some gels and water into me. Around 10km the burning started again in my neck and really started to hurt, like really hurt. I figured I would survive, I was with a group of guys and wasn't giving up my position! Around 120km I was in pain, and finally sat up from my aero position. The last 60km was gruelling I had a ton of thoughts going through my head and mostly was around if I was going to pull out. I kept saying to myself I can do this what is a little pain in the neck and every time I tried to move my neck I told myself it is over.

So here it is. I rolled into transition with a surprisingly fast bike split of 5:10 and called it a day. I knew what I was feeling and after getting x-rays and talking with my sports doctors they all agreed I did the right thing and could have caused some serious problems with my neck.

So the issue:

I have always had neck discomfort and as most people know when I run I usually need a big 'back crack' after because I am in discomfort. I attached an x-ray that shows my c-spin, which shows a 'stacked spin'. What this does is causing 26lbs of pressure straight down on my spin. After I crashed in Placid my neck muscles weakened and I could support my neck. Your neck should look like a fan and as you can see my neck does not do that. So it's all about fixing my neck in the off season and regroup after a disappointing DNF.

Thanks to my sponsors: Saucony, Wheels of Oakville, Xterra Wetsuits, Cera Sport, Sable Water Optics

It's been a great year and next year will be a bit different. I'm hanging up my Ironman belt and will be focusing on half ironmans, my family and my golf game;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lake Placid

So after Rev 3 Full Ironman Last year and learning Ironman is a whole different ball game I ramped up my training and really focused on the long runs and long bikes to get ready for the 9-10 hours it takes to do a race. Training up to the race went amazing really was injury free for the most part and I was feeling good.

When we got to Lake Placid it was hot. We stayed at a high end (....ok It was called the Sherwood Motor in Lodge) haha it was a log cabin about 8 miles away with no A/C. If you can handle the heat and don't mind using appliances from the 1932 Olympics then this is your place. But in all honesty it was good to be outside the downtown area, which can always get a bit hectic.

As we sat in the pro meeting Greg Welch announced a no wetsuit race because the water was above 76.1 degrees. Thank god I brought my WTC Legal Race Skin from Xterra or it would have been a long day out there.

As we waited in the water for the gun to go off I was with a group of guys that I usually come out of the water with in most 70.3 races so was ready get my draft on. Gun went off and the lead back took off pretty quick and I settled into a group of 8 swimmers. I will never say this again but they were actually going a bit slow so I pulled out in front and gave a little 400m push. Came through the first lap in 31 minutes. I a bit slower then my wetsuit 29 min swim and after the 2nd lap and transition I was 1:04 swim. Not my best swim of the day but was super excited to get on my bike.

Cervelo P3 was dialed in and Wheels of Oakville had supped it up ready to go fast. I was running a zipp disc with a tubular HED3C front. FAST I was had my rudy project shades and helmet..making me look like I knew what I was doing! First lap was great I avg 250 watts and stuck with my buddy matt hit the 1st lap at 2:33 right on pace then it happened! A guy in front of me dropped a bottle out of his special needs bag and as I was grabbing mine I tried to avoid it and wiped hard. My bag went flying, I went flying but bike was ok!!

After I made sure my body was ok, I quickly grabbed all my bottles and food got back on the bike and got back to work all bloody and covered in road rash...can't say I was too impressed at that point but hey, shit happens. At that point I lost a bit of time (about 10min )to Matt and lost my little pace group. Boo.. haha

2nd lap was ok. I slowed down the pace a bit not to let the adrenalin take over and focused on nutrition. I worked a lot with Cera Sport and a carb paced powder to take in close to 250-300 calories per hour. The weather was around 35-38 degrees so my goal was to intake close to 1 litre per hour of water and also have a few snacks along the way.

Onto the run. I'll be the first to admit I was nervous. I blew up a year ago with bad nutrition and pushing the pace so the goal was simple...don't walk!! and run. I got off the bike and legs were feeling awesome. I started out and the first 10 miles flew by. I kept saying to myself I feel good, again 15 miles I kept saying I feel good, by 20 miles I was getting nervous but of course felt ok. So when I got to the last 6 miles I decided to stay save walk aid stations and hammer in between the runs like a 6 x 1mile hammer fest. When I got to the finish line I knew I could have gone harder but I learned a lot from this race and didn't blow up. Gotta thank Saucony for a great pair of racing shoes. The fast twitch are insane!!

After a tough day at the office I finished 11 out of 30 pros and had a time of 10:08.

However I learned a ton out there and am ready to do what I am capable of doing! I held back a bit but now am confident that I can race an Ironman. That is why in 4 weeks I am heading to Ohio to race the Rev 3 Full and Give'r!!

Thanks for all the support and will be going hard in Ohio. Thanks to my support crew Shannon, Hayden love you both. Bob, Karen, Randy and Jen for keeping me going through training and racing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

2 weeks to Placid and Peterborough was HOT!!

Today was the 2011 Peterborough Half Ironman. It has been a couple years since I did this half ironman and I threw down a 4:13 last time so was excited to race but 40 degree heat made it difficult. The Swim was a 2 laps and I felt really good in the water. I finished the first lap and it said 15 min? I have been coming out of the water in around 27-29 min so knew this swim was long. Also Jen Amaral who is a very talented swimmer came out in 29 min..she is a 26 min swimmer. Into transition I was feeling pretty good and quickly went to work on the bike.

Today was a day for nutrition. I usually intake around 800 calories on the bike for a 70.3 but today I decided to up it to 1200 with the heat. Man was it hot! I quickly made my way through the field and was told I was sitting 3rd overall. The guys in front of me were flying. At the turn around I was right on a 2:15 bike split but when we hit the turn around I got smacked in the face with a head wind. I decided to be smart, knowing I had to run in 40 degree heat. I avg 270 watts into the wind and really focused on nutrition and staying hydrated. With about 20km left I was caught by 2 guys and we paced each other back into T2. I got off the bike in 2:24 and legs were feeling ok.

Into the run I knew it was going to be a long day. The heat was crazy and need to give a shout out to the top 3 because they fought hard and put up a great result. I got passed and was sitting 4th overall and was feeling the heat. I knew this was just a training race so when I got passed I slowed the pace to my Ironman pace and felt good. I didn't see anyone else for the race and cruised into the finish. I can honestly say the heat was the hottest I have ever raced in and to all the athletes who competed today great work, it was tough and if you finished job well done.

It's all about being smart right now. Turning the engine off for a couple weeks and get fully recovered. After a great race in Welland and a solid training effort today I am tired and going to be ready for Placid.....Goal for next 2 weeks is to not eat too much lol.