Releasing the Stable Back into the Wild!

It’s that time of year again!!!! Time to ‘release’ my trusty steed, the ‘White Lightening’ that’s helped me to not only some fantastic bike splits, but has brought me hours of extreme satisfaction on the roads. It’s a funny thing, riding is; I feel like I almost enjoy riding (and training in general) more than I do the racing! Don’t get me wrong, the racing aspect is one that helps direct my focus on particular dates, and keeps me pushing towards certain goals. But sometimes I feel like I race to justify dedicating so much of my time to training. Nothing makes me more excited to get out of bed than the prospect of getting out in the sun to ride or run for hours, or hit the pool for a hard swim set. You need to have goals, of course, but I think I almost enjoy the process more than the outcome (the training more than the racing.) I’m sure I’m not the only one. There are many who think along the same lines; that is, how can we spend more of our lives swimming, biking, and running, with no particular goals in the schedule to justify it all?

Anyways, I digress. I have my 2012 P3C up for sale. A 54cm, Ultegra equipped machine of a bike! It’s nestled between two Fulcrum Racing T wheels (brand new,) with a lighter-than-air (almost) Easton Attack aero-bar set-up, with dura-ace bar end shifters and SRAM aerodynamic brake levers. A 172.5mm Gossamer crank (almost new,) with standard chainrings helps you throw the bike up hills like a champ. And for your seating pleasure, a new Fizik Arione saddle to park your tookus (it’s a word, google it!)

If you’d like to see the Craigslist ad (or maybe share it with a friend who’s looking for a bike,) check it out HERE!

The bike’s from Speed Theory Vancouver!

I’m asking for $3050, price is negotiable. This would make a SWEET rig for 2013, whether you’re racing an Ironman or short course. It was bought brand-spankin new from the always awesome folks at Speed Theory Vancouver, in March this year.

Happy training, enjoy the RAIN!

Nathan

Easton Attacks: one-piece, SUPER light!
Fizik Arione Saddle

How awesome the bike looks at full speed!

Filling all the ‘spare time’…

Fall and winter usually means just a ‘little’ more time on my hands, once the race season has finally ended. No more logging 20+hrs a week (and a lot of time that’s JUST on the bike!) No more endlessly wishing there was 25 hours in each day, trying to find time to do even the most BASIC of tasks outside of training, sleeping, and shovelling vast amounts of food in my mouth (just to keep me going.) You know what I’m talking about. The off-season and pre-season training is always a lot lower volume, so there seem to be a few more ‘spare hours’ through the day. Not that I don’t love them, but I seem to be able to get myself into mischief if left to my own devices. Sooooooooo…….I usually try to fill the void with creating new kitchen masterpieces (or disasters; it’s usually a black & white affair, either things work great or they fall flatter than a poorly made Yorkshire Pudding!) or READING. I’m sure there will be more posting to come shortly about my culinary adventures; I’ve not done much blogging about my creations, but I’ve found blogging is a good distractor in keeping me out of trouble when I have a few minutes too many to spare. So stay tuned to see the outcomes of my baking and cooking (both good and bad!)


Now, onto the reading part of my time-consumption: on my recent hunting trip, I needed something to keep me entertained for the 18 hours of driving to get there and back. Instead of my usual podcast selections (which I ALSO had with me,) I decided to try out an audio book. I had it on good measure that “The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at all Costs,” by Tyler Hamilton, was a great read (or listen, in this case.) It was quite the eye opener, it goes pretty into depth about doping in pro cycling. Fantastic. 
Unfortunately, I’ve finished with it, and need something else to ‘get my read on!’ So, if anyone can suggest some good reads, post them up! Doesn’t have to be sport related, although it’s never a bad thing đŸ˜‰ For those who haven’t read “The Secret Race,” it’s a great book, and I suggest it as an off-season read!

I recently saw an awesome bike video, looks like a fun way to ride. So I leave you with this:

Happy training everyone,
Nathan

Off-season Traditions

Everyone has traditions. Whether it’s certain family get-togethers, summertime camping, or holiday activities, everyone has them. They bring with them a barrage of memories, mostly great ones, although not always!! I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. We used to go fishing, at the same place, at the same time, for 3 weeks, every summer (although my parents still do, I haven’t been in a few years as it falls smack-dab in the middle of race season.) My first hunting trip with my dad was when I was 13; freshly started high-school, I was off for some great northern exploits with a rather large hunting group (consisting of a bunch of fire fighters, it managed to get damn rowdy at times; once the Appletons Estate Jamaican Rum came out at night, it was like a comedy show!) I’ve been hunting every fall with my dad (and now with my mum too,) and it seems to have become another tradition for me. I love everything about it: the little trail-mix baggies (homemade by mum of course, a big mix of whatever she deems good enough for us;) the fall colours on the trees after the first good overnight freeze; the evening hot-tub/bathing sessions (which include the rule that you can’t get out until you’ve found a satellite in the evening sky, which isn’t difficult when there’s no light pollution to steal the show;) sitting around the wood burning stove dad made out of a propane cylinder (to heat our tent that we live in,) eating mum’s great pre-made home cooked meals, sipping away at a cold beer (which may seem counter-intuitive up there in the cold, but is there EVER a time when a cold beer doesn’t fit the bill?) When I start to think about this new(ish) tradition of mine, I can’t help but think about all the finer details that make it so great! This year I brought up a box full of different single-serve craft brews to test out; I discovered a few beers that I like (but a whole bunch that I don’t!!)

‘Discovering’ some new brews
It just so happens that the hunting season starts right at the end of race season, so it’s a PERFECT time to escape from civilization (yes, I do mean that in every sense of the word; there isn’t ANY reception anywhere even CLOSE to where we hunt, rendering our cell phones as nothing more than a flashy paper weight, to prevent our reading material from flying away,) and give myself the mental and physical break I need to recharge from a long season of training and racing. I’m almost 3 weeks into the ‘off-season’ break, and friday looks like it’ll be the re-start of training! FINALLY!!! I tell you, going that long without training, I’m feeling pretty antsy and chomping at the bit. But it’s a healthy (and necessary) break from the rigours of training. I feel my energy levels are ridiculous (even WITHOUT a sip of coffee, I always feel ready to go!) I’m able to run up a few flights of stairs without my legs screaming at me with fatigue. A few of the many signs I’m ready to start going again. It’ll be back to the basics, building up slowly and steadily to make a solid foundation for 2013. 
It’s time to ‘Chop wood, carry water’; put in the hard work through the winter that’ll payoff in the summer. 
‘Chop wood’ in the most literal sense of the word!!
As unsuccessful as out hunt was in filling the freezers, it was successful in the sense that it filled me to the brim with a new eagerness to start the long-haul to the 2013 season. It isn’t going to be easy, but nothing worth it’s weight in beans ever was! Should be a fun fall/winter, sounds like there might be some fun ‘new’ training adventures on the agenda!
Happy training!
Nathan

On the other side of the fence…..

Just over a week since my last race (LeadmanTri Epic 250,) the offseason is in full swing. Er, let me try that again: the offseason has come to a dead halt. Yes, that’s right, there is pretty much NOTHING happening right now! For someone like me (for those of you who know me,) this seems like a most impossible of tasks; waking up everyday with no real schedule, outside of actually GETTING OUT of bed, and eating? As a typical type ‘A,’ you’d think “no way!” But it’s true, I swear. Other than a few swims with Team Ossenbrink (which I relish, and count down the time ’till I’m there,) I’m just filling my time with ALL those things that just never seem to get done during the season (you know, the things that you need done but say ” ah, I’ll get around to it in the offseason!”)

It’s tough, but (surprise surprise) I’m actually enjoying it. It’s giving me a physical (and mental) break, allowing me to recover in all aspects, and makes me eager to get back at it when I ramp it back up again. This is the first season I haven’t raced until the end of October, and I think the early break will allow me to go into next season fresher and stronger, earlier. Some people might think taking a break is counter productive, but it’s not. A lot of the worlds most elite follow a ‘complete rest’ cycle, here’s a great read.

Lots of people ask me, “so, you’re really not doing ANYTHING?!?”

Correct.

But I’m really not. I’m getting stuff done, and enjoying it as well! For instance, today was the inaugural Surrey International Music Marathon, with multiple bands playing along the course (my pipe and being one of them, at the 12.5km & 33km mark.,) and I was there bagpiping and cheering like mad! I tell you, it’s amazing being in a race and having friends and strangers alike scream your name out and cheer you on; it’s BLOODY fun to be part of the cheer section though!!! It was an absolute blast, and I encourage everyone to get out and cheer their friends and family members on, if they’re going out to race! The best part was there were so many friends of mine racing:

– My New Balance Vancouver Teammate Drew Nicholson crushes the Marathon, with a PB setting 2:36 marathon;
– another New balance teammate, Chris Barth, held it together for a solid 2nd in the marathon;
– Nicole Kolstad (who is becoming quite the triathlete this year, new to biking and running,) ran her first ever and pulled in a 3:41 full marathon;
– Team Ossenbrink Teammate Andrew Powell pulled out a deadly half and made second overall;
– Jordan Back, Jenn Turner, Kevin Lunnie, the list of friends who had stellar races goes on and on!!! (jeez I hope I didn’t forget anyone, my apologies if I did! Memory of a goldfish doesn’t serve me well.)

Bam-Bam stick cheering!

It was great to be out there to support all my awesome friends, in a hometown race (one of the few in my hometown, and the only one in the district I grew up in, Whalley.) Loud bagpipes, and the even louder ‘Bam-Bam’ sticks (yellow sticks in the photo,) are the best ways to be heard! Glad I could share the amazing weather with everyone, and give some cheer back to those who always cheer for me.

Time to pack for the annual hunting trip with the folks, and fill the freezer with some more food! I’ll be falling off the face of the earth for a while, but I’ll be back soon enough, eager to get going!

I hope y’all are having a great fall, happy training everyone!!!

Nathan