Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday Hill Repeats

Forgot to bring the camera!

We had great weather for the weekly hill repeats at Edworthy Park-- we even went early for a warmup ride along the river, to Prince's Island and back.

I managed to do the hill 6 times, with runs of 7 and 10 minutes in between. I had time to go farther, but it was hot, windy, and I'd run out of water... that sounds really lame now, but oh well.

When we got there, we saw my buddy Steve, who was training for his ride to conquer cancer! Awesome! I tried to recruit him to ride up Highwood Pass before it opens on June 15th... looks like we might have as many as 6 doing the ride so far.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting Used to New Goggles

After taking a rest day Monday, it was back to the pool on Tuesday. Since I had such a great race on Sunday, I decided to go to the deep end. The workout there was 2500m-- not too long.

What killed me were the sprint sets - 4x50m descending on 1:10. That is, do 50m, and whatever time you have left under 1:10 is your rest. Oh, and you have to swim faster each time. It actually felt great, I was able to build gradually, and was going pretty all out by number four. The next set though, was 5x250m at 1500m race pace, and I just couldn't pull it together. I was drained for the first two, sloppy and sluggish. By the third and fourth ones, it was starting to come together, but it still felt relatively sloppy. Oh well.

I started off a little behind, too- trying to adjust the new goggles. They are awesome for visibility: sighting is easier, and I don't have to take them off to see the clock. But for something that suctions to my face that well, it's odd that they leak slightly. After some playing around, I figure I need to just not press them onto my face.

As usual, after the swim, it was onto the deck for abs/pushups with the team. Good times. It's actually getting a little easier, I think. I've decided to do yoga every morning-- I'm on day 4, I think.

Tonight, the hill at Edworthy. I'll bring the camera.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Try This Tri Results

Wow. Pretty good!
Full Overall Results Here
and Age Group Results Here
Overall Rank:  18  
Age Group Rank: 5/21 (Men 20-29)
Swim Rank: 12
Swim Time: 8:45
Swim Pace min/100m: 1:45
Bike Rank: 18
Bike Time: 30:10
Run Rank: 65
Run Time: 14:26
Run Pace min/km 4:15
Total Time: 53:20

I Love to Race!

... but I dislike getting up before 6 to get a decent spot in transition.

Yesterday's race (Foothills Try This Tri) was great. Both Nicole and I raced, and our heats were far enough apart that we got to watch each other, and the course is probably the best I've seen for spectators. Competitors do four laps on the bike, and three on the run, so all you have to do is walk across the street from the pool, then walk about 100 yards to see the run turnaround, then walk back across to the finish line.

The forecast called for sun/clouds in the morning, and possible thundershowers in the afternoon, so we had our fingers crossed. It turned out to be a very nice day, but at 7am, it was bloody cold (standing around in shorts). Once we grabbed a spot in transition, we stood in line for our numbers and timing chips, then went inside for the safety talk and orientation. So glad it was inside!

We watched the first wave of brave souls climb into the pool, then went to set up our transition areas. (My bike is the white and blue one, N's is the grey and baby-blue one. In this picture, I don't have my running shoes out yet- they were keeping my feet warm! Note the shiny new white bike shoes...)

Nicole was the first to race.. and she ROCKED! She swam very strong for a PR in the pool, and was so fast in T1 (first transition, where you grab your bike/ helmet/ shoes/ sunglasses/ race number) that we missed seeing her leave.

She was also very strong on the bike, passing drifters, yelling at them to get out of the way... (please stay to the right if you're slow!) On the run, which has always been her toughest event, she kept pushing, and had a great sprint to the finish, passing a few people at the line!

I took some pics, but then the camera battery died... Here's a link to my photos.

After congratulations and hugs at the finish line, I went to change and get ready for my race. I was a little nervous! Standing in line, waiting to get into the water, I kept playing with my googles, trying to get them to fit. Here's a piece of advice for my fellow racers; never try out new goggles at a race. The new googs were great, I could see much better-- except out of my left eye, which was a little waterlogged. I'm sure I'll get them adjusted properly for my next swim.

Anyway, my swim was good-- it's always tough to get into a rythm when you're fighting with three other swimmers who can't seem to swim consistently, and who first want to pass, then can't keep up the pace, so they stop at the wall... pacing, people! But I was happy with my time, definitely a PR in competition, an 8:45!

I always feel a little disoriented when getting out of the pool- I seem to get a little tunnel vision, but I was prepared for it, and had mentally practiced my transition. My only complaint about this race is that the transition area is very gravelly-- the parking lot really needs to be re-paved, which is no fault of the race organizers. Anyway, I got clear of transition fairly quickly, jogged my bike out to the road, and took off. I felt really strong and fast on the bike, but don't know if I could keep up that pace in an Oly race. I guess that's a good thing though, because that would mean I didn't go hard enough...

The run felt good, and I was grateful for Coach Tony's insistence on running off the bike so much in training. By the second lap, the legs loosened up, and it felt really good. I was fighting a bit of a stitch in my side most of the race though, so I felt I could have gone a little faster otherwise, but overall I'm very happy with my results! The official times aren't posted, so I don't know my bike and run splits or rankings, but:

500m swim (8:45)
16 km bike
3 km run


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fast Taper

Yeah, yeah. I know I've been terrible at updating. And I've actually had a lot to write about! I'll catch up, though.

This weekend is the first race of the year! Try This Tri is on Sunday, and I'm ready. The UCTC spring session started two weeks ago, and it's been tough, but great. My training this week has been pretty good, too (even if it's been out of town).

Tonight was about 1 km in the pool- warmup, 500m hard, then a cooldown working on stroke and sighting. The 500m was great-- I had to ask the lifeguard what the actual length of the pool was, to make sure it's actually 25m. It was that fast. For me, 8:38 is blazing!

I was really anxious to get a swim in this week, and tried to go on Monday, but wasn't able to because they were taking the roof off... apparently they do it every spring, and I happen to be in town for the exact day it happens. Sigh. Oh well. Monday was a bust.

But I did get out for an after-dark run on Sunday- that was crazy. As in, halfway through the run, I was thinking I was crazy. I'm not really staying in a residential area this time, and running on the freeway or in the ditch was not a good idea. 25 minutes was enough for me.

Tuesday was better - I decided to search for a park to run in. "Sycamore Trails" sounded like a good bet... except there aren't really any trails there. So, I found a nice residential area, with SIDEWALKS to run on, and lots of hills. Well, really about two hills that I hit from several angles. Roughly 50 minutes of interval-y hill attacks. It felt great. I got back to the car and decided to walk a block or two, and noticed a bike path (first one I've seen here-- big difference from Calgary!!). Decided to follow it, and found a GREAT park, complete with a pool! Unfortunately, this one doesn't open until Saturday. Just can't win. I'll head back there tomorrow for some easy laps around the park.

Not sure what I'll be able to do on Friday, but Saturday I'll probably do an easy ride and or run, just to stay loose and make sure the bike is working right. More about the bike later.