Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Race Report: Woodstock tri!


After a few years off the short stuff I jumped into the Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Wasaga Beach Olympic distance race last September to get ready for Hawaii. That was a very rude reminder how much speed based triathlon racing hurts! Apparently I forgot all about that because this past Sunday I raced the Woodstock triathlon as part of the Recharge with Milk triathlon series.

The first thing I absolutely loved about the race was how chilled out it was. Everybody was really social. The conservation area was small and tightly spaced so everyone had to gather around and share laughs. The Hero Burger food and Recharge with Chocolate Milk booths were hopping and the expo was jammed packed with great deals. It reminded of racing when I first started! I loved the vibe instantly.  Add onto that Steve Fleck's very personable announcing, complete commitment to give updates to the days real event (Ryder Hesjedal's Giro winning Time Trial!), perfect racing weather, and well, we had a great formula for success here!

My goals were modest but firm. I wanted to swim well, bike hard, then run under 30 minutes for 7.5KMs finishing under 1:30 total.

I started in the first wave with pro, under 39 men, and elite age groupers and boy, I was SHOCKED how fast these kids were to start the swim! HOLY! I thought I did great work this winter getting my swim up to speed but WOW!! Instantly gapped. I rounded my swim in just over 11 minutes and by the looks of quality swimmer times either the swim was a tad long, or a current kept us at bay on the way back to shore. I came out of the water about 9th with some work to do.

As the bike started the sensations were odd. I am used to flying and flying I was not. Getting over on my gear proved difficult but I smiled and enjoyed the pain. Embracing the power of lactic acid I did everything to try and get to the front but only got to 5th coming off the bike. Generally I was pleased. My heart rate told me I was racing hard, about 95% of threshold the whole way. I can't really ask for more. I just need more threshold bike work and maybe, just maybe less wine-:)

Out onto the run I was prepared to feel serious pain. First the legs felt great, then they felt like they were on fire, then they felt great again. It was on/off. I loved it though! The run course was hard packed gravel pathway and was really inviting to almost get lost in what you were doing vs. those darn road out and backs so many races have. A beautiful winding pathway provided plenty of distraction from the pain chamber I was in. Slowly but surely I was reeling in 4th place when I took a wrong turn in the loop. I went left not right. Getting turned around I lost about 45 seconds all told and ran a bit angry for 800 meters. Then my legs asked me what the hell I was doing as I really locked up!

I was then passed by a 26 year old kid; ah, man. I learned his name is Art Hare and the dude can run. I was talking to myself to stay with him but then I laughed at this thought:

  • Dude, you're 41. 

The final few km's I kept my pace steady and prayed the suffering would end! As I turned the corner to finish I had to laugh, 1:30:20 finish time and just over 30 minutes for my run. Losing my bearings cost me but that's racing. I shrugged it off. I was having to much fun! 

As I shrugged it off the kid (like Art at 26 is a kid? To 41 it is!) was all sportsman talking to the race director John Salt telling him I misfired a corner. John took that really seriously and asked his race course lead to come talk to me. We shared our thoughts all in the name of continous improvement for next year. I will tell you this, no other race series I have raced takes that opportunity to listen to the athlete. I was very impressed. the Multisport Canada team really have taken their series up a level. I am impressed. 

Thanks to John Salt, his team, Steve Fleck for great announcing, all the sponsors of the event, my personal sponsors or Endurosport, New Balance Toronto, CerveloIFG, and Rudy Project.

Last, a really big shout out to Eon Dornellas.  It was great to catch up my friend and glad you are doing amazing!!!!

Next up is Binbrook as part of the same triathlon series June 9th.

Train safe friends and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Humpty Dumpty & race season plans....

Friends and family, thanks for checking in!

So first things first; humpty dumpty is pieced back together!! Well at least good enough to give 2012 a crack. I am still stiff in my back at times, but the work Dr. Barbara Brown at the Balance Health Care Center has been doing is nothing short of remarkable.  Dr. Brown focuses on an innovative technique called Matrix Repatterning, an innovative technique that I am 100% bought into both in theory, and now in practice. A little word on what it is:

  • Matrix Repatterning™ is a process of detecting and releasing significant tension patterns within the tissues of the body. These patterns are created primarily by forceful injuries to our body structure, like car accidents or big falls, or from scar tissue resulting from surgery or injury. Due to the network of connective support tissue throughout the body, one area of strain can transmit strain to multiple sites. These sites, under this stress, can then manifest symptoms such as repetitive irritation of joints, chronic muscle tension, dysfunction of organs and simply local tenderness on the surface of the body structure. Simply put, the body is in a state of imbalance. Practitioners of this technique seek to find and release the primary sources of strain, thus releasing all the compensatory changes and allowing the body to return to normal.
After three visits with Barb I feel really amazing. Really freed up. If we take the theory behind her practice, add in the bike crashes and the rugby collisions, and the vicious contusion to my tail bone in rugby it really does add up to why my lower disc is a problem. She really freed up some areas and I am grateful.  

I also wish to thank Dr. Scott Howitt at Sports Performance Centers. Dr. Scott and I met in Kona in 2003 and I have trusted his advice and services ever since. He has a mind for fixing sport pain and a way with the acupuncture that really calms my intensity.  He is also a nutritionist and marathon runner so, he gets it.

Second, given the new found freedom to move; well I've been training! The past 18 days I have been able to get in a good block of training. My running will come as I build the long runs but pretty pleased to report yesterday's 25KM run was easier than the Monday before 25KM run! I did these runs on a Monday with the long weekend and various work commitments etc. They will probably move back to either Thursday nights or Sunday afternoons in my next block.

I am in a recovery week from today, Tuesday, thru to Sunday where I get my first hit out of the tri season racing John Salt's Multisport Canada Woodstock Ontario triathlon. It is a short and sweet 750M swim; 30K bike; 7.5K run triathlon.  Perfect to test the fitness and get the season started. 

From there my race consists of racing Multisport Canada's Binbrook triathlon June 9th, and then their Welland Half Ironman June 24th. From there Meredith and I will hit Lake Placid NY for a 4.5 day tear the door of the hinges tri camp. And finally, my last triathlon before Ironman Canada on August 26th will be the Toronto Triathlon Festival Olympic distance race July 22. 

It feels great to get things heading back in the right direction.

Hopefully next blog I can bring you all up to speed on some of the community events I am getting involved with alongside the bike team. 

Till next time, thanks for checking in and stay safe out there!!