ITU Pan American Cup Monroe, Race Morning

Sitting here on race morning, looking outside the windows at the weather, I’m feeling this pit in the bottom of my stomach.



Being from the Lower Mainland, you would think this doesn’t phase me. Maybe it doesn’t, maybe it does. I just finished watching last weekend’s ITU World Championship Series Kitzbuhel, and THAT was rain. Kind of puts the rain here into perspective, as it most definitely isn’t raining THAT hard! It brings back a concept that someone told me, when I first started triathlon, that if it’s raining on race day, it’s not JUST raining on me, it’s raining on EVERYONE! So everyone is gonna get wet, and affected by the rain. Some deal with it well (think Alistair Brownlee in Kitzbuhel, blazing away from the field in the pouring rain,) some not so well (memories of ITU Pan Am Cup Kelowna last year, for myself!)

After watching some videos and listening to some music to get myself amped up about the race, and to ignore the fact that I’ll be getting wet, I decided to jump over to the faithful Weather Network, to see what the weather might hold in store for us later (our race doesn’t start until 2:45pm, which is generally the norm for ITU Elite Men’s races. A fellow I talked to yesterday said he’s started a race as late as 4:30pm!!!!)

Holy JUMPIN’ JEEBUS!!! What do I see, but something that put’s a smile on my face, and brightens my day (literally!!)

Approx. weather at race start!!! WOOHOO!!!!

So perhaps the weather just might cooperate after-all:)

Looking at the ITU website’s start list, and seeing the competition at the race briefing yesterday, it’s going to be a FAST field! With some of Canada’s top athletes, like Andrew Russel and Andrew McCartney, as well as some high ranked ITU elites (Hunter Kemper,) there will be some devastation on the course today for sure.

The goal for today? Try and keep my loss in the swim minimal, and keep within a certain percentage of the overall leader (try not to get lapped!lol) Realistically? With the 44 dude field, I’d like to finish top 20. We’ll see how it goes, as I pulled my right shin/calf muscle running on knobby grass two days ago, while jogging an easy 30 minutes (really, who pulls their shin muscle? What’s with that?!?!?) It really depends how it holds together on the run, as to how well the race goes. With a two loop swim, 8 loop bike (5km loops, that gives me only a small margin of error in the swim, as I can’t get lapped on the bike!!) and a 4 loop run (an absolutely beautiful run course, it’s a 10,830m course, on a perfectly paved course around a man-made lake (you can actually watch the ENTIRE RUN COURSE from transition, such a spectator friendly course.)

Time to get everything together, and get ready to head down to transition to watch the start of the Elite Women’s race (including Vancouverite and fellow Lifesport athlete Martina Wan.)

Best of luck out there to everyone today (including Elliot Holtham, a friend of mine with a TON of talent, competing in his first ITU Pan AM cup.) Happy racing, and happy training!!!

Monroe, Here WE Come!!

6 days away from the next big race, and I’m starting to feel the nerves a little. My next excursion to the triathlon battleground is down in Monroe, Washington, for the ITU Pan American cup next Saturday. I’ll be traveling down with Elliot Holtham (another elite competing,) and I’m getting REALLY excited! My last big ITU race was a bit of a bust, (or a huge learning experience, glass half-full 😉 haha,) so I’m hoping this race will be a bit of a different experience. The field looks a lot smaller than Kelowna was last year, but still has some amazing athletes, many of whom can swim like a fish!! This seems to be my downfall, although my swimming has been improving lately (with careful guidance from Coach Bjoern.) Fingers crossed for a wetsuit swim this time ’round!!

This should be a good week, the focus is on this race. Hopefully the weather hangs in there for us, it would be great to have a nice sunny, hot day to race on!!

I hope everyone can get out and enjoy the sun this week, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there!!! Hope it’s a great one!

Happy Training 🙂

Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon

The only thing better than racing on a beautiful spring morning, is pulling off a win at that same race. That’s exactly what I was able to do out there in Shawnigan Lake at the Olympic distance triathlon, and what a day it was!

Lifesport was able to hook me up with a homestay, the two most fantastic hosts I could imagine, Al and Anne Brunet. They lived directly across the lake from the transition area (no, seriously, he had binoculars so we could check from his porch who was over at transition,) in a gorgeous house with a huge basement suite, where I was staying (the whole thing ALL to myself!) They were so inviting and generous, the best place to stay in Shawnigan Lake;) I arrived two days before the race, and got myself all nice and comfortable.

So race morning went smoothly, as we had a late race start (8:30am) I was in NO rush to get up at any ridiculous time (which is the usual, around 3:30-4am in some cases,) so I arrived well rested with lots of time to spare. After drinking down a bottle full of Eload and Fly (carbohydrate drink,) and my warm-up run, it was time to get in the water. My new Nineteen Frequency SL wetsuit is outstanding! I’ve been using a Frequency from 2008, and when I got the 2011 model, I thought it was the same thing.


Exiting the water in the Nineteen Frequency

As soon as I put it on, I realized there were some MAJOR advances in the technology. The neoprene was is far more flexible, and much thinner through the shoulders and arms. I have much better feel for the water, and almost no restriction through the shoulders. Although my swimming hasn’t been too great lately, it helped me out of the water in third place, just back from the leader. After a quick T1 (something I always work to improve on,) I got out on the bike in first place.

Hammering away at on the bike

Then I never looked back. Cruising on my Jamis Xenith T2 time trial bike, I hammered away at the two loops for the olympic course. Posting the fastest bike split by almost three and a half minutes, (helped, in part, by the advanced aerodynamics of the T2,) it was into transition and out on the run course.

On my way to a strong finish!

With a huge lead on the rest of the race, it felt like I was racing the clock, to see how fast I could run. The run course is a beautiful trail through the woods, but the downside is you can only see a short distance ahead and behind you, making for a bit of a lonely run (if nobody is within about 30 seconds of you.) It felt like a bit of a time trial, just me and my thoughts.

Solid start to the race season

After finishing the race with a good hard kick, and some finish-line socializing (which I must admit, I’m quite a fan of!! Blah blah blah, that’s me, haha!) I thought it might be fun to go run the back half of the Half-Ironman course and cheer on the other athletes. I ran almost to the turn-around before I came across Rachel McBride, who had a fairly substantial lead on the rest of the field (who also just recently came third overall in the PRO race at 70.3 Boise, only her SECOND HALF EVER!!!)

It was a great day for me, a win is always a great way to start a season, and I was really excited that the rest of the Lifesport Crew had some great races as well (Elliot Holtham slammed a second place overall, his first half-ironman ever!) Great work to everyone who was out there racing, and thanks to Coach Bjoern for all his support in the lead-up to the race, and during the race.

Next triathlon on the list? The first big ITU race of the year, ITU Pan American Cup Monroe, in Washington State on June 25th. Should be a good day, as long as I can keep it together in the swim ;P

‘Till next time, happy training!!

Jericho Beach Swimming!!!

Last sunday was an AWESOME day out at Jericho Beach with the Lifesport Crew and Coach Bjoern!!! A solid hill repeat session of running, followed by the first ocean swim of the year in my new Nineteen Frequency SL wetsuit. Wicked suit, very thin through the shoulders, so NO restrictions. Coach floated around on his new blow-up kayak, making sure we swam hard enough, haha!

Me, Amy, Rachel, Andrew, Coach Bjoern (and yes, he DID wear the toque on the kayak,lol) Stephanie, Anita, and Elliot post-swim. It’s a pose-off!!

Then hit up only the GREATEST RESTAURANT EVER, the Naam!!!!! The greatest place around, all vegetarian/vegan food, the whole gang had some good eats. 

Get’s me ready for the next session;)

Thanks for the awesome training guys, SO much FUN in the sun at Jericho Beach!!! LOVED IT!!!