Unexpected 8km Road Race Performance

Today was the Steveston Ice Breaker 8km road race, and oddly, I was toeing the start line. I say oddly, because in the 6 days leading up to the race, I’ve done 20 hours of training! I was surprised I could even walk properly after yesterday’s 4 hours of INTENSE training, let alone make a sad attempt to run an 8k race.

Amazingly, sad it was not.

I couldn’t believe how relaxed and comfortable I felt., right from the get-go. I didnt push hard off the blocks, I just immediately fell into a rhythm, and ran with a small pack. At the start, a bunch of people took off like mad-men (as is the usual,) but slowly we filtered past them through to the half-way mark. At the 4km turn-around, another runner made a surge and picked up the pace, so I stayed with him, and we dropped the rest of the group. I just sat on his heels for the next 2km’s, and figured out his running tactics. He would constantly surge, and then fade back to a slower pace. So at the 6km mark, I surged up beside him, which would make him surge ahead (he was a young, but very tall fella’,) and I would fall into his draft right away, forcing him to pick-up the pace, yet let him do the work (not that you get much of a draft, and we had a tail wind on the way back anyways.) I did this a bunch of times. At about the 1km to go, I gave it a really solid surge (I could hear he was starting to labor; I was feeling fresh,) and ran up beside him, holding the hard pace. As I could feel him backing off a bit, I backed off with him for about 2 or 3 seconds, and then put in a hard surge. Pushing hard, I could see he was starting to fade away.

“Awesome,” I thought, “I got him!”

Then, what I didnt anticipate, (and I’ve learned this is why a lot of the top Elite ITU sprinters are pretty tall guys,) was at about the 100m to go mark, a friend of mine yelled out, “HE’S COMING!!!”

I looked over my left shoulder to see what the commotion was all about, and that’s when I saw him, making an EPIC sprint for the finish. I thought, “awe shit,” and poured it all on, giving it everything I had.

Too late. He already had the jump on me, and I couldnt match his pace. 50m’s to go, and I all I could do was watch him go by. He ended up 1 second ahead of me. My friend said if I had started to kick about 20m sooner, he wouldn’t have caught me.

Pre-race with my buddies Cristina and Jeff

:01 second. Crap.

Oh well. Good for a 11th overall, 2nd in my age group, and a new 8km personal best time (27:02, :25 seconds faster than my best time.) I’m super pumped about that, I was amazed I could even walk well today, let alone PB, after yesterday’s hard 4hrs of training, and the 20hrs of training this week!! I could’ve pushed harder, but I wanted to work on race form, tactics, and I was told not to go out and kill myself (coaches orders,) I had a 3 hour ride to do still, and this was purely a test. The best part of the race today was getting to see all my friends out on a sunny sunday morning, everyone had a great time!

I packed it all in!

The weather for the ride today was EASILY the most beautiful this year!! Cold as all hell, but clear blue skies:) On my way home, I made a stop in at my favorite meat shop, North Surrey Quality Meats. All free-range, grain fed meats (except for their non-medicated, grass fed ground beef, leanest I’ve ever seen,) easily the cleanest and leanest meats around! I figured, after a hard day of racing and 3 hours on the bike, I earned something delicious. I felt like a delivery cyclist, I packed everything in my back pouches.

Displaying the goodies:)

I picked up some tasty treats for dinner (spicy marinated chicken breast, and some small bits of lamb,) as well as a few frozen meats (ground Bison: 4x leaner than chicken; chicken sausage, and some coconut curry chicken breasts.) They were 25% off, how could I NOT get it?!? What can I say, I’m a sucker for a deal (you know, the guy who buys stuff he doesn’t need, just ’cause it’s on sale. lol) Also grabbed a bit of whipped cream for my homemade Crispy Crunch Ice Cream Cake 😀

Now it’s time for bed, back to work tomorrow. Sounds like sun for the next few days, GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY!!!

The big pains to make the gains

After a very solid recovery week, and closing in on the end of a full week of training, it seems the two week training camp was ages ago. But amazingly, I can already feel the effects of twelve days of full time training.

That’s just over 46 hours of training, including just over 150km’s of running.

Being a run focus, there were a few days of double runs.

All being new to me, and this block being, by FAR, the largest block I’ve ever done, (most of the training was at a high intensity, with all the running being either tempo, intervals, or track work,) it was pretty brutal for me. About 8-9 days in I started to crack mentally, and by the last day or two, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. It was odd, you would go for a nap, and your whole body feels like it’s sleeping, but your mind stays awake. Yet you wake up feeling oddly refreshed. Strange.

This week being a full week of training, it’s surprising to find out I am racing the Steveston IceBreaker 8k road race this sunday morning. Pretty much a “D” race, with absolutely no rest before, it will be a sufferfest like no other. But I am sure it will be a great time, I’ll be there to have fun and get in some solid training at the same time (FUN always being number 1!!!) I just have my fingers crossed for some dry weather, especially since there’s a 3 hour bike ride post race for moi 🙁


Some more VERY exciting news (mostly for me!haha) is I have booked a training block in April for Las Vegas!!!! It will be a big bike and run block, with focus on the bike. The thing I’m most looking forward to? SUN, HEAT, DRY WEATHER! Getting away from the cold, wet BC weather, and into the nice Vegas sun (average that time of year is a low of 14C, highs upwards of 30C) will be the real treat. Lucky for me, I’ll be staying in a condo owned by the lovely Barb McPhee (thanks Barb!) located about 10km SW of the infamous Vegas Strip (ironically, my parents are there right now, celebrating their 30th Anniversary. Hope they win some money!) This will be my first solo training camp, but there are a few guys who might join me for a few days, which would definitely make it a bit more interesting. Not sure if anyone’s seen the show ‘Pawn Stars,’ but I do intend on stopping by their shop to check out all the odds and ends they have (maybe try and pawn something?lol) Will be a good time.

Hopefully everyone is getting lots of early season training done, best of luck out there (and good luck with the weather!)

Personal Camp-Week One

After today’s ride outside, my first week of training camp will be done! Monday morning was the start of a run focus training block, and I jumped into it right away with two that day. It’s amazing how great you can feel for the second run of the day after a good solid nap.


That’s been one of the staples in my diet the last week, having a nap every day! Especially on days where I’ve had 3 workouts, NONE being recovery. The first time I’ve done some major running like this, especially with friday’s double run and a swim day, which included a rather painful 80min Fartlek run in the late morning, coupled with a hard track workout out at UBC in the evening with some of Bjoern’s athletes and other Lifesport athletes. Bjoern made sure we ran hard, and I was surprised that I could even walk, let alone put out some decent splits on the track. This seems to be the week of self-discovery, I’ve learned I can push myself harder and further than I thought!

The biggest smile crossed my face this camp when I found out it was going to be sunny today, as today is one of my long ride days. It is absolutely beautiful out, and I am super excited to finally jump on the bike and ride in the sun. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to the fact that riding indoors on the trainer is SOOOOOO boring, and very monotonous! Especially when you have to do it almost every day. Living in BC, and not somewhere that is warm year-’round (see- Arizona, Texas,) we have our fair share of ugly days. And probably a bunch of others’ shares as well. One thing I was thinking about as I hammered out a hard brick run yesterday, was electrolyte use while on the trainer. I mean, I know a lot of people only use water while on the trainer, but think of how much you sweat! That accounts for electrolyte loss (more for some than others,) and water alone doesn’t replenish that. So after a 90+min hard workout on the trainer, that’s a substantial loss. I’ve been keeping on top of that (especially when I have the brick run after, don’t want to go in to that depleted,) using some E-Load heat endurance formula (gives you some calories to help out near the end too!)

Just food for thought.

Time to get outside and absorb a solid dosage of Vitamin D! My favourite way to take it:)

Enjoy the sun people, looks like LOTS AND LOTS of snow starting wednesday!