Tag Archives: Team Ossenbrink

Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico Race Recap: Riding the Pain Train in Paradise

Climbing Mt Lemmon in Tucson, AZ. Photo Courtesy of Jesse Vondracek, shot with a GoPro Hero3.

After a 3 week early season training camp in Tucson, Arizona, I made it home for a few days before I had to fly out for the first race of the season at Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico. After having some health issues last summer and fall, I was unsure as to how an early season camp Continue reading Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico Race Recap: Riding the Pain Train in Paradise

Challenge San Gil Race Report: Running out of Real Estate

IMG_8680
The San Gil Golf Club makes a perfect venue for a world-class event!

One of the things I love about triathlon is the challenge of racing my guts out for 4 hours over three different sports. A bit of a sucker for punishment, I prefer to race those courses that are made even more difficult due to their terrain or location (such as Wildflower.) Continue reading Challenge San Gil Race Report: Running out of Real Estate

Wildflower Race Recap: When in Doubt, Ride it Out!

Wildflower holds a special place in my heart. When I first started triathlon, I got really into the documentary ‘What it Takes,’ featuring some incredible professional triathletes, including legendary Canadians Peter Reid, Lori Bowden, and Heather Fuhr. I would watch that documentary before every race (even my sister remembers this,) and would frequently watch it while on the trainer. Continue reading Wildflower Race Recap: When in Doubt, Ride it Out!

A little overdone: Challenge Penticton Race Recap

Just STOKED to survive last month’s Ironman Canada

Last month, on July 26th, I raced in my only 2015 iron distance race, at Ironman Canada. It’s a day that I care not to remember, leaving me with a new pain threshold for cold weather; after suffering through hypothermia on the bike, I somehow managed to soldier on and finish the race, 6th overall and top Canadian. When people ask me what it was like out there, I simply tell them this: imagine it’s 8C out, pouring rain harder than you’ve ever seen it (and it rains A LOT in Vancouver,) you’re driving on the highway, sitting on the roof of your car, and you’re naked. Very, very naked. And you’re driving fast. Continue reading A little overdone: Challenge Penticton Race Recap

Challenge San Gil Race Recap: Banking Heartbeats at 6500ft

Altitude.

High in the sky. Far above my normal. You’re my mistress. People don’t see you, but I know you’re there. Every time I think about you, my heart beats a little faster. Even when I don’t, my subconscious knows, and up my heart rate climbs. When I push a little too hard, my breathe, you take it away. Away from me. You keep it for yourself. You’re a selfish mistress. You have no emotions. You take all my heart beats away without a second thought. No thoughts. Just the constant quiet reminder of your existence. No one around me realizes you’re there. Sneaking through my day, you dodge all your familiar faces, and come after mine. Continue reading Challenge San Gil Race Recap: Banking Heartbeats at 6500ft

Challenge Penticton Race Recap

In 2013 I didn’t have a great day at Challenge Penticton. In fact, due to seemingly endless mechanical issues, I didn’t even make it to the finish line (the details HERE.)  I vowed to come back in 2014 to get across the finish line, and that I achieved! Unfortunately, getting to the finish line didn’t quite pan out how I had hoped…..

Kids race medals
Handing out medals for the Fun Run 5k and Kids Race, in usual fine form, with Jeff and Karen.

Continue reading Challenge Penticton Race Recap

It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense: Subaru Vancouver Half Ironman Race Report

Everyone makes decisions in life. Everything from where they want to live and what career they want to work, down to what they want for breakfast and which underwear will feel best with their favourite trousers. Last tuesday, only 9 days removed from Challenge Atlantic City (a full Iron distance event: 3.8km (2.4mile) swim, 180km (112mile) bike, and a full 42.2km (26.2mile) marathon,) and only 5 days out from the Subaru Vancouver Half Ironman Triathlon, my coach and I made the mutual decision that I was so well recovered from the Atlantic City experience that I should race the Subaru Vancouver Half Ironman Triathlon.

It seemed like a great idea at the time. Seriously, what could go wrong? Continue reading It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense: Subaru Vancouver Half Ironman Race Report

Taking The Upsides of the Upsets……

I personally like to take the positive spin on things, something that at least a few people can second. Hence, I’m taking the bonus out of the upsets at Challenge Atlantic City two weeks ago: the best part of a dismal performance during the marathon, where my avg HR over the second half floated just below and above 130BPM (that’s low, for those who don’t follow their HR,) is an exceptionally quick recovery. That, and eating my weight in burgers and bacon the proceeding 24hrs post-race, has my legs feeling peppy and spunky only 1 week post-race.  After discussions with coach Björn, we’ve decided to add another race into the calendar before Challenge Penticton, one that has been a favourite of mine since my inception into triathlon, and now that I live in Dunbar, is quite literally IN MY BACKYARD: The Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon. Continue reading Taking The Upsides of the Upsets……

Racing my way to fitness: no three ways about it!

In 2010, my third year of triathlon, I went down to Lake San Antonio to race the legendary Wildflower Triathlon (olympic distance). I had a great race, and it was one of the most exciting race venues I’ve attended. After a good stint of training in Tucson this February, I decided that perhaps this year was the year to go back and take on the half iron distance race at Wildflower. With race day creeping up fairly quickly (May 3rd,) I decided to make March a solid month of local short distance races, to try and ‘race my way to fitness’ as they call it. Some fairly short, it was a painful three weeks of racing, with some eye opening experience and some positive take-home messages, I came out the other end with an idea where I need to focus my energy to perform the best I can in May.

New Bike

Continue reading Racing my way to fitness: no three ways about it!

Racing My Way To Fitness: No Three Ways About It

In 2010, my third year of triathlon, I went down to Lake San Antonio to race the legendary Wildflower Triathlon (olympic distance). I had a great race, and it was one of the most exciting race venues I’ve attended. After a good stint of training in Tucson this February, I decided that perhaps this year was the year to go back and take on the half iron distance race at Wildflower. With race day creeping up fairly quickly (May 3rd,) I decided to make March a solid month of local short distance races, to try and ‘race my way to fitness’ as they call it. Some fairly short, it was a painful three weeks of racing, with some eye opening experience and some positive take-home messages, I came out the other end with an idea where I need to focus my energy to perform the best I can in May.

The Quintana Roo CD0.1 and Gray Cycling wheels ready for race #1!!

Race number one also happened to be my first Olympic distance triathlon I ever raced in, the UBC Triathlon. As I now live about 10 minutes from the race start, it was an easy decision to race. Along with the close location, there also happened to be some friends racing in the front-end of the field, which made it a much more exciting day (Jeff Symonds, Nathan Champness, Chris Young, and Brendan Naef.) I showed up to the race start only one week removed from the first big training camp of the year (three weeks in Tucson,) still holding on to some deep-set fatigue, and nary 3 speed sessions since October. I knew the race wouldn’t be pretty, but it would give me a good day to shake out the cobwebs.

Photo credit Björn Ossenbrink. Swim start.
Photo Credit Björn Ossenbrink. Sunny-weather training is made quite apparent.
Photo credit Björn Ossenbrink.

I started the swim (1500m TT style start, 10 seconds apart,) just behind Symonds, knowing that he would most likely shake-and-bake from the gun and it would be a matter of trying to ride back to him. This race is done in a long course pool, so I decided to wear my Champion System one-piece race suit, so I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to get a top on or anything messy like that. Sure enough, Jeff was off like a rocket. Halfway through the swim, another swimmer made her way from a few competitors back to me, and I managed to snag a free ride the second half of the swim. Coming out of the pool for the long 400m transition run, I came to my new Quintana Roo and was ready for some action.

Unfortunately, my legs just didn’t seem to show up on the day. I couldn’t push much wattage, and the fatigue kept me stuck in 3rd gear the whole ride. I didn’t lose too much time on the bike, pulling in a sub 1hr ride, but Jeff put another 45 seconds into me, and Champness came from God-knows-where and punched a big lead into me. When he came by, I was sure he was turning 60RPM, and he just smashed through the bike in 56 minutes. One of the thoughts in the front of my mind the whole time was “boy, are my toes ever toasty!” A trick I use for cold weather racing is to wear toe covers on my cycling shoes, and put hand warmers (Lil’ Hotties, Hot Paws, etc,) under the toe covers. Works like a charm!

Photo Credit Björn Ossenbrink. Keed your aerobars warm when it’s cold!
Heading out on the bike. Photo Credit Björn Ossenbrink.

Onto the run, I ran as fast as I could turn my legs over, but as most people who haven’t done speed work know, you just can’t pull a fast run out of nowhere. I brought myself very close to Champness, but halfway through I just hit a plateau, and couldn’t catch him.

Brought my game face. Photo credits Björn Ossenbrink.

In the end, I came third overall, behind Symonds and Champness. Close behind were Chris Young (4th,) and Brendan Naef (5th.) Considering my previous few months of training, with almost zero speed (and not much running,) I was pretty happy with my efforts. The local university news published a great little piece about the race, which I was honoured to be included in. You can read it HERE.

Cool guys on the podium.

The weekend after UBC Triathlon, I did the St Patrick’s Day 5k in Stanley Park, a fantastic local race that puts on quite the show, and attracts a bloody fast field. I hit my top gear right from the start, and although it seemed the whole field was running away form me, I was able to stay strong and slowly reel back a large number of competitors. Halfway through the race, I remember a guy in front of me wearing incredibly short (and tight) green booty shorts, and all I could think was “no matter what, you can’t lose to this guy.” I managed to run just under 17 minutes, that put me in 46th overall. It was a far cry from my 2011 performance of 15:58, but this was a new course, and I was lacking any speed work. The race pretty much shattered my calves (which were still suffering from the previous weekend,) and I was hurting for quite a few days post-race.

Where’s Waldo? Photo Credits Robert Shaer.
A little blurry, but you can still see the suffering!
Photo Credit Robert Shaer

Finally, this past weekend, I competed in the Modo Spring Run-off 8k, once again in Stanley Park. This race circumvented the park via the seawall, and although not quite the same size in participants, it was a really well run race, and the weather couldn’t have been better. I went in to this race with already sore calves and legs, and after about 3km, the legs just started to shut down. It’s a crappy feeling, but I just kept going as best I could. I mean, the sun was shining, and I was breathing, so in reality, everything was going to be okay. We can’t always be ‘ON,’ and have to take the bad days in stride. I ran my slowest 8k that I can remember, finishing out in 28th spot, in just over 29 minutes.

A slow race for me, but just the right speed to enjoy the sunny weather.

After some early season volume, the focus now will be gaining back some top-end power and speed leading in to the Wildflower Triathlon. It sounds like I may have the company of some teammates racing, which will make it an even more exciting and fun experience. In just over a week, Jenn and I leave for Tucson yet again, to spend 12 days training hard in the sun. It’ll be a shorter than usual trip, but with the focus on intensity, it’ll be a burner for sure.

On a side note, Quintana Roo is about to unveil a BRAND NEW BIKE tomorrow, and I’m dying to find out what it’ll be. I’ll be looking forward to trying it out, so stay tuned to see what rolls out!!!

The wait is killing me! The new Quintana Roo super bike to unveil soon!

I hope the early season is shaping up nicely for everyone, have a fun weekend ahead, and stay safe!

Nathan

Time to get serious.