Monday, June 18, 2012

Chinook Triathlon Festival, Ye Haw

Second race of the year the Chinook Triathlon Festival.

I had original sighed up to do the Half at this event but after being sick for a week I decided to do the Olympic distance and was glad that I did as I still felt like crap race day.

Swim 37:11
-Felt brutal first it was cold watching the people coming out of the water looking for their feet wondering if they still had them was a good indicator and yup it was cold
- It took me a while to get into a rhythm, breathing issues even with the decongestant caused me to not be as fluid
- I did not really get taken out in the swim but I might how dunked a few people and if they are reading I am sorry

- It was good hit the bathroom, got on the bike and gone, I do need to work on getting my socks on with wet feet

Bike 1:57:41 (this includes T1 and T2) 1:47:36 (Actual time on the bike)
- I felt ok I was not feeling great but I was not feeling like crap either it was more of a bla I am sick ride
- HR was crazy high nothing I could do to get it down but I never felt like I was over exerting
- Knowing that it was uphill to the turn around and downhill on the way back I pushed a little harder to the turn around knowing that I would be fine for the ride back
- Oh I did have my computer so that was good
- I was also surprised that traffic was handled so well this was a concern before but Mike and the gang did an amazing job

- Got in got out

Run 45:32
- Again more of a Bla run
- Course not good for a chair soooo glad my Brother and Dad road with me (Big curbs, sharp turns, big down hill with sharp turn, gravel, shale and a big uphill) But I did see a deer and it was pretty.
- New thing did happen I had some cramping in my triceps, not a big fan and not sure why but it was quick

- Ok day over all, they did not have medals they had cowboy hats way cooler I totally rock mine even if the wife does not think so.

Huge thanks to Mike and his team at Chinook they really made me welcome and accommodated in areas that I needed
Oh and some other reasons to race this event, I will be back next year
1) Pre race dinner
2) Very organized, great location and super safe
3) Cowboy hat
4) Post race food was fantastic not pizza and lots of it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oliver Half 2012 Race Report

First race of the year and first since Ironman Canada I was convinced to do this race by one of the race directors (Sarah) while I was at IMC last year she said it would fit my race style very well (Flat), Now I had looked at this race and the run section had some issues that I was not sure about(Off road pathway) but she said it would not be that bad so I signed up.

My dad (Head support) and I drove up on the Friday it was a good 10+ hours so I got some much needed sleep in.

We arrived in Oliver after checking in at the Pine Bluff motel(just outside of Oliver) I pick up the race package and check out the course We headed down to the swim course to check it out and go for a little swim, the lake looked nice and it was not bad temperature wise, we both got suited up (first time for my Dad) and did a little OW practise all was good.

After the swim I did the long roll/run to T1 its about 600m away and found what could be my first issue that being having to go over and through ares the wheelchair could not do well. We then went over to the run course and it was not looking good the entrance to the pathway was not passable by wheelchair and the path was narrow in areas and really not good for a racing chair, oh and the foot bridge with the steps would also be a problem, made some notes to bring up at the race meeting for the next day.

Decided to look at the whole bike course the next day and headed for a nice dinner then off to bed.

Saturday we drove the bike course I am feeling really good about it, one real climb the rest mostly flattish and rolling, We hit the lake so Dad can go for another swim (and he does after a search for goggles that are not lost). We then check in my bike and racing chair after a quick test ride all seems good and really to go, I head off to the hall where the race meeting will take place while my dad goes for a ride around the course.

I had time so I took a closer look at the run course, and the closer look just told me that it was not doable I formated a plan to present to the RD (Joe) and my argument for why it would not work as is and how I think it should be adapted.

Race meeting was good Joe mentioned that I would be on course so that people are aware of me and that I would be taking a few different routes.

After the meeting I meet with Joe (a very busy and stressed out Joe) I told him my concerns with the course (Swim to T1 and Run) I presented my ideas to adapt the issues and he was ok with it all(This was either due to lack of sleep or I like to think actually cared to make the course adaptive for me) This was huge as I find its either "No" or its "No" sometimes its a look of confusion then a look of "No" but this time Joe totally agreed and was very supportive other RD's could learn from him. Note I have raced with Joe and Sarah at outback events before and they have truly been very accommodating I asked for more then I would normally altering the course so that is was safer for me and others.

After we headed back to the motel, had some leftovers got my liquid nutrition together then off to bed.

Up early had some raisin toast(From the Bakery in Golden.. Soooo Good) headed on down to transition, got all my stuff organized and ready to go then down to the swim start.

Swim 48min in the water
- Got in the water did a little warm up to get my heart going and get more relaxed
- After a little delay the race was started, I started in the water as I can't run so I just start going, soon I am getting a little beat up, an elbow to the goggles a little grabbing and such it calms down around 200m in I am able to find my own space and start jumping on feet to see if I can get a little draft
- I could tell I was falling to the back of the pack but that is not unusual at this point and just stayed relaxed.
- At the 800mish turn I go and check my time so I look at my wrist and it seems that my new 910xt is missing F**K is a word that I used along with others, so angry I just kept going nothing I could do, I kept thinking what am I going to do on the bike as its also my bike computer, I figure I will just go without.
- I keep swimming and swimming it feels like forever
- I get close see my dad and give him the signal that I am coming in, he has rounded up someone to help get me out, strip my wetsuit and get some help through the grass up the hill(I was ejected at this point, just got back in the chair) and onto the road.

T1 9:30
- After a long push to T1 I get on the bike and go this transition takes longer due to the distance but overall it was good

Bike 4:37
- With no computer I had no concept of speed, time, HR things that I like to know so I was a little lost
- Started out strong I did not go full out as its 93km and needed to save something for the whole race
- First lap I get passed I pass others, at the first climb I get passed a lot more but feel strong and my energy is good, big down hill was good accept for what seemed to be a person in a truck talking to a racer that I needed to pass.
- Second lap I started to feel slower and could tell my energy level was going down, second time on the hill was harder and I could tell my arms were starting to get tired, this is also were mentally I get hit by this time I am the only one on the course well at least it feels like it I dont see anyone and figure I am DFL but that is how it goes.
- Last lap (12km to go) I get passed wow I am now DFL so I guess I was not before, at this point I don't really have a sense of time I figure I have missed the bike cutoff for a 3 time (and reevaluating this whole long course thing) T2 7:17
- I pull in figuring I am going to get pulled and find out I have made the cutoff, holly F**K I am happy and I really need to pee so I take care of that.

Run/push 1:44
- This was great I see people again, I am no longer DFL I am tearing pass people it feels good
- One hard hill to do twice but otherwise great
- Got to the finish and had my Dad slow me down as it finishes on a downhill and with no runout I would not be able to stop

Finish 7:27:14
Crossed the line, got a handshake from Joe (everyone did nice touch) finally got a half officially done!!!

Post Race
- Great after race meal burger and salads
- Won my category so I got a bottle of wine and a standing ovation so awesome, I am unusually humble but I earned it today Post race thoughts It was a great race I had wanted to go under 7 hours but will take 7:27 still a big improvement from my last few races, heck I finished

Next race is the Chinook Half

Thursday, September 1, 2011

IMC my impossible

The Thanks
The kids (Best supporters ever and my inspiration)
Wife(Kid wrangler and mover shaker)
Dad and Brother (Best transition team without them my race would not be what it is)
Tri It Multisport Calgary (Best tri store around, Iron Elvis lives)
Alberta Paraplegic fund (helping out with equipment needed to even attempt)
Rest of my family, friends, Spanish Villa group, volunteers and supporters
Steve Fleck (doesn't know it yet but is going to hook me up with a nineteen wetsuit and shirt)

Pre Race
Had a great sleep, felt great got to T1 setup talk to some pro's (Jordan) wished them luck

Swim - 1:26:45
I had planed to start for left as I heard that would be the best place to not get beat up but its so shallow and since I don't walk I decided on just left of the buoy line deep enough that everyone had to swim about 4 people back. I was fine until I hear a guy say "No broken noses" and thought WFT never thought of that and we are off.
First 400m a little rough but much better then I thought it would be I swam the buoy line the whole way out got bunched at the front of the buoy but after the buoy was open, I got elbowed, dunked and grabbed but felt it was ok, if someone was overly aggressive or zigzagging I just stopped for a sec and let them be. Turns felt fine and stayed to the right of the buoy line on the way back.
Super pumped for the swim I kept thinking I would be 1:30 - 1:40 and really figured it would be 1:40 so at 1:26ish happy and surprised

Bike - Offical DNF - or just under 11hours
Was out on the bike in 1:35ish and felt great I was aiming for over 25km average out to the bottom of Richter Pass, I was passing people and being passed hit McLean Creek felt good, my plan to get water at McLean Creek was to not happen as they were out, got through the top of McLean Creek unscathed by the tacks but saw a lot of victims tore done to Ok Falls and on my way to Richter Pass.

Just pass Ok Falls by shoulders started to feel crappy something I had not felt before so stretched a bit and kept on going.

I hit the bottom of Richter Pass at over 25km average and felt good shoulders sore, again no water, now as I was climbing it just did not feel right I just did not seem to have the power to climb I was loosing time fast and being passed a lot, I just kept going lots of support from everyone even when I got passed by sister Madonna Buder she called my name and wished me luck.

At the top of Richter I knew that I was going to miss the cut off my average speed was destroyed and now I just wanted to see by how much I would miss it.

Great going down, rollers no big deal just got through them hit the section after the rollers and again could not find the power to put down.

Must have gotten a second wind on the out and back felt good speed was up, hit the special needs, at this point I am the last person they find my bag I switch out my camelbak and keep going at this point they are closing aid stations as I keep going but I have been able to get some water and I am fine for nutrition so I keep going, I am told by the great support crew that I have a few hours to the cut off and they will keep supporting me till then.

I turn right after the out and back towards yellow lake and I start the long climb to the top, again the power just does not seem to there my shoulders are angry and my speed is not so good.

I hit the penalty tent at yellow lake at 5:30 I meet up with the official and given two options go back with them(recommended) or continue unsupported I choose to continue.

As I am climbing I keep thinking if I see that van again I am getting a ride back I am no longer having fun, I am sore and keep thinking this was just to much to soon at times I am doing 3km/hr and stopping every 1km to rest, I finally hit the very top and cruise down to transition and arrive to meet my family my boys are waiting and run with me into transition at 7:30.

Post Bike
Everything feels fine accept for my shoulders it was strange mentally I felt fine the rest of my physically felt fine but my shoulders were just done something I had not thought as I had not had an issue with them like this before.

Post Race thoughts
-Swim great
-Bike an hour longer then I wanted to be I figured I would be at worst 10hours on the bike not 11
-Not sure why my shoulders gave out so fast, could be from the swim, I think it could also be from pushing around Penticton for a week before the race more then I would at home.
-So much support from everyone
-Two guys from ST I met stood out not sure why but they offered words of encouragement, Steve and Nick thanks for you kind words

I am still decompressing and not sure what I will do next, I have a lot of support from people to try again next year but I am not sure, the bike may not be doable within the time cutoff, I might focus on some halves and sprints but I keep having this feeling of unfinished business.

I have to give huge props to David Lee, he became the first wheelchair athlete to finish IMC within the time cutoffs. He was a paralympian in Beijing for handcyling a personal trainer and devoted a month of training in Penticton to finish the race.

I heard a quote from Jordan and it has been eating away at me

"Chase your dreams, don't believe anything is impossible, only believe in the possible" -Jordan Rapp

IMC is my impossible but also a dream I hope mentally and physically it can become my possible one day

Kelowna National Championships

Had a great race person best for swim, bike and run and that added up to a PB for the whole race.

750m swim - 15:52
20km Bike - 48:55
5km Run - 19:08

Total - 1:29:33

Under 1:30 WooHoo I wanted to go under 1:30 and I did so I was pumped

I finished 3rd behind two great guys racing with the Canadian National team, one guy crushed me by 15min the other only 6min I lost it on the bike.

This result motivated me to seriously consider moving to the short distance and make a run at the national team

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two amazing upcoming weeks

Sunday 21st 2011 Canadian National Triathlon championships, I plan to own it.

Sunday 28th Ironman Canada I have been dreaming out this for years and look forward to taking in the whole experience, nervous about it and at times feel under prepared but I suspect that is normal, regardless my kids will see me do the biggest race and event of my life and will be cheering me on all the way and that will get me across the finish line!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lake Chaparral Triathlon

This was the third year I have done this event and its one of my favorites

This year sticking with the sprint distance as that is the official para distance.

Swim - Got in a good warm up swam well out in 17:57

Bike - This is a tougher bike course due to a steep hill and with the handcycle climbing is tough. They also altered the course this year to make sure that it was a full 20km, unfortunately the extension went onto a road that is not in very good shape super bumpy, started to get spasms and thought that if I have to do this section too many times I would pull out. finished the bike in 55:59(this includes t1 and t2)

Run / Push - Got a good start, I worry a bit about the pathways and passing people but no issues this time. Ended up with a 21:12 run time

Overall 1:35:08 great time for me getting faster every race ended up 79th out of 177 finishers felt great to not finish last or near the end.

Swim Swim Swim

Decided to do a last minute 3km swim race with Xterra at an event in Canmore at quarry lake. Event Link

Figured this would be a good test event for IMC to see if I can swim 3km as I have focused mostly on the bike.

Started off well took me about 500m to get in my grove which tells me that I need to make sure that I get in a good warm up to get my heart rate up so that I can settle in faster into my swim.

Swam the 6 laps coming back was the toughest the high winds kept pushing me to the right and I have a tendency to move that direction also so off course a bit.

Ended up doing the 3km in 1hour 15min supper happy about it was hoping for an 1hour and 30min.

I am on track for my swim at IMC so that is great just have to figure out how to bike and the day will be in the bag.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lake Chestermere Triathlon

Quick race update.

One week after the Desert Half I decided to do a sprint distance event this would be the first Lake Chestermere Triathlon

I decided to do the sprint distance as this is the official distance for para triathlon and the last time I did a tri a week after a half it was rough to I figure this would be a good event

- Good seemed long but was out in under 20min, got my goggles knocked off but was in the mix and needed more experience in a group.

- Was quick my team and I are starting to really get it together

- Overall the course was flat "YEA" one small uphill and a head wind but I felt fast I was passed 'expected' but I also did some passing something that I am doing more often so happy about that.

- Quick

- First hydration system is better when the tube is clean first few drinks where gross
The run is on a pathway started out nice but the middle was twisty and undulating this makes it tough to get a rhythm and maintain a good push on the chair, one steep hill in the middle made is tough also so not great but got it done.

Finish 1:40 49/90 overall and 8/11 for age group

This was the first local race that I was not last or close to last I was right in the middle felt so great, I hope to get my time down to the 1:30's. I would also like to place in the top half of my age group and top 20 over all.

This was a fun race put on by MultisportsCanada I have been doing their local races for the last 3 years and they always put on a great event... Oh their best event is the Lake Chaparral tri tough course but best post race meal at any event I have done worth it just for the post race food

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

DNF Happens to the best and now me

Osoyoos Desert Half Iron race report

So what do you do when you want a challenge and want to try part of the Ironman Canada course you sign up for the hardest half Ironman 70.3 you can in Canada.

Well that is the Osoyoos Desert Half Iron

The only reason I deiced on this course was that it was a great chance to do a dress rehearsal for IMC my 'A' race for this year.

It really started the week before I use Infinit and have gotten use to it but being scattered brained I waited until I was out to re-order I also wanted to change my formula so I did that and sent an email for some more information, well I got in contact with Darcy he was a huge help and spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone to get my formula dialed in (oh I found out he is the president after my order was placed how often do you get the head of the company help you out)

I spent the week getting ready doing a few last rides and hitting my favorite tri store Tri It Multisport for clothing and nutrition and my new sweet Zoot tri bag those guys are the best.

I left Friday morning with my Dad one of my two man support crew we did the long drive up to Osoyoos hitting the Bike Barn in Penticton, then into Osoyoos got some dinner and relaxed, my Brother then showed up at 3am he is my second man in the support crew.

Got up Saturday and we all drove the bike course my brother kept saying it would not be a problem but in my head I new the bike cutoff was going to be tough very tough and I later found out that my Dad was thinking the same as me.

My Dad and brother went for a ride out to Oliver, I went for a ride on the run course to check it out and get the arms spinning a bit, good ride and got a chance to see the run and figure out some things that might be an issue with the racing chair.

We all went to the pre race meeting and I got a chance to meet Joe the RD, the head medic and the head official. We had a chance to talk about some concerns with the transitions, access and some support such as having my brother follow me on the bike and run. They were all very helpful and supportive and really wanted to make this a success for me. We got my equipment to transition and set up then off for a quick bite and off to bed.

Got up on race day and felt good headed to transition to find out that our plan to the swim had to change, but that was the only issue and took care of it.

- Got in the water and felt good talk with a guy at the start found out later his name was Nathan (oh he won the day) really great guy. The horn goes off and so do I now usually I just wait for the group to go by and I hang in the back but this time I decided to get in the mix not sure I enjoyed getting beat up but needed the experience, I fell back a bit but I felt strong and was going straight. I finished the first loop it felt fast the second loop was tougher but still felt good. Last year at the Calgary 70.3 I did the swim in 1:15 this time I was hoping for a 1 hour swim well this time I pulled out a 45min swim!!! I came in so fast that my support crew was caught off guard I felt great.

- We thought it would be around 10-12 min but we hit it in 8min this was great considering I have to be lifted out of the water pushed across the beach, change and get on the bike so far so good.

- At this point we figure I will have 5 hours to do the bike this would put me past the official cutoff time but close enough that I would not be so far off it and would be able to continue on the run.
- The climb from the start to the top of Richter's is about 14km I just found a good gear and pushed up by the time I got to the top my average speed was 9km/hr, I go over the top and expect to tear down the back side well not much of a tear down with the head wind I could not get over 70km/hr slow for me, but I am feeling good and hope I can make up some time.
- I then hit the 7 rollers on the way to the turn around they crushed me I actually hit my highest max speed going down them. The issue with the handcycle is that its momentum drops quickly and since you cant stand or get over the cranks all power comes from spinning or just grinding up so its near impossible to power over any of the rollers as they are to long and get to steep at 7%-11% my average speed was going up but not enough but the head wind was coming down.
- I hit the halfway point at 3hours, 30min later then I wanted but I was still feeling good I could feel some fatigue but it was ok, I got back onto the highway and thought 'hey that feels like a head wind impossible mother nature wouldn't mess with me like that' well she can and did looking at some streamers on a line and sure enough it was a strong headwind, oh well just another challenge.
- Back to the rollers and knowing how fast I came down them I knew they would be tough going back I pushed up and over them, at around 50km in I had a feel sorry for myself moment but told myself to suck it up and I did, I hit the last aid station got some fluid gave a thanks to them for sticking around and off I went.
- The climb up the back side of Richter's felt better and faster so that was good, but then my brother got a call saying that I had missed the cutoff time and they where going to pick me up!! so every time I saw a van I thought my day was done I could see the top and really did not want to be picked up. Just as we are about to crest the top I hear my brother swearing then I see the van and I think how could they stop me a the top, I climb 4000feet and don't get a chance to tear back down to finish the bike!! I get closer they just wanted to make sure I was ok and if I needed anything super cool so I crest the top and start heading down into the head wind of course so no top speed but all good.
- Now due to my time I know I have missed the cutoff I also know that I can do the run in an hour and half but seeing the time I wont even have that so I just enjoy the rest of the ride down, and think back to what I have just done, I also expected to have all the road opened up again to traffic but no all intersections are still controlled so I slow down and thank them for sticking it out I get a police escort back to transition and I am done the bike.


Well that was it missed it by about 30min, still I got lots of support from everyone and Joe was there to see me in great guy.

I headed out to the finish to see some other racers in and grab some food, and got a chance to see what my finish will look like next year.

Hit the awards after talk to lots of great people and met up with Nathan who approach me at the start.

This was the biggest challenge I have done yet and learned a lot about myself and what I need to focus on more leading up to IMC.

Hard race but amazing support, organization and racers make this a must do race I will come back a crush this course... well maybe not crush just beat it up a little.

Monday, June 20, 2011

KOS Triathlon

My boys both did it, this last weekend both my boys Jack and Zach did the first Elbow Valley KOS race.

It was a very cold day and the water was like ice Jack got in and did the swim Zach walked up to the water and turned around so funny he's not dumb.

Jack did the bike and rocked the run, Zach did half the bike and walked the run he was not really having fun at this point so I was just trying to keep him going and happy he finished and said he never wanted to to a triathlon again, little did he know that I already have him signed up for another in August but he thinks he might do it.