All posts by The Triathlon Guy

Keep Calm and Roll On

Yes, I know, very Cliché. But, some days, when you’re just having one of those days, you need to just push through the duff and keep smiling. Yesterday was the first day of camp here in Tucson. As I woke up to sunny skies and warm temperatures, I proceeded to down my favourite morning beverage – the ‘ambition enhancer’ known as coffee – and started pulling my bike apart to get out on the roads. As I put it on the stand, I noted what I thought was some goo on the front fork. As I went in for a closer inspection, I immediately had a rush of adrenaline push through my body.

“Oh Shit.”

Yeah, oh shit is right. Due to some incredible forces during loading/unloading of the bike during flight, the front fork was shattered through-and-through. After 8 years with this bike case, and what was going to be my last trip with it – a new Rüster Sports Armoured Hen House will be on it’s way to me, huge thanks to the lovely folks at RaceQuest Travel for setting it up – this is the first ever damage incurred. I’ve lent this bag to numerous people, and nobody has ever had damage to their bikes either. What a shame it had to go out on a bad note.

The PRsix all snuggled up in it’s home for the next few hours!

After the adrenaline started hit, and managing to avoid the “3 P’s of and Emergency” – Panic, Puke, & Pass Out – I immediately began to think of ways to repair the situation. The fork is toast, that’s for sure. I needed a new one. So I started conversation with United Airlines to attempt to remedy the cost part of the situation. That went far better than expected, and after a trip to the Tucson Airport, I had a damage report with instructions to replace the fork and bring the bill for reimbursement. I’m a little cautious with my applause, as I don’t have anything reimbursed yet, but I do have to give kudos to United for making it somewhat seamless, with very friendly and empathetic employees willing to help me the best they could.

The next conundrum? The bike isn’t rideable. So, I know Trisports.com is a Quintana Roo dealer, and figured a trip over to their Tucson Retail Store might bear some fruit. I had a plan A, Plan B, and Plan C in my mind as ways to remedy the situation. What I didn’t a for was the incredible generosity I would encounter, along with a Plan D that proved to be the best plan of all for the short term.

You see, Quintana Roo had a whole bunch of PRsix rental bikes at Ironman Arizona, whereafter they sent them to Trisports for storage and to be rented out by the anyone who needed a bike. Luckily for me, they had my exact bike sitting in the back, and generously offered to lend it to me for the duration of my camp, or until QR could send me a new fork. I mean, I was pretty much a stranger to these folks, but they’ve lent me an incredibly expensive über-bike, much to my elation.

I have to give a massive thanks to Susan and the folks at the Tucson Trisports store, they essentially saved my camp, and a few hours later I was back on the roads, dialling in the fit of the PRsix (which is incredibly easy thanks to a simple shim/spacer system for the integrated stem!) She rolls like a dream, stops on a dime, and even with some legit crosswinds, I wasn’t buffeted around too much on the carbon clincher Reynolds Strike aero wheels (standard on the PRsix models.)

First Ride in Tucson!!!

This situation is an example that just staying calm and thinking your issue through can come out with a timely result to the problem. Next time the shit hits the fan, just stop and think for a second. It can do you wonders.

It’s time for me to fold the laptop up and get out there for some more miles. It’s a sunny day in Tucson, and after running across a fellow juggling bowling pins on a unicycle last night, I feel like things are going to be a-okay. Have a safe one everyone, happy miles!

Nathan

Chocolate Covered Bacon, Miles of Beer Miles, PR’s and NEW BIKE DAY!

Inappropriate, I know, to neglect anything for 5 months. It’s been a while since I’ve punched the keys to this page, and that’s something I’m trying to keep on top of, especially now that the season is underway and things are getting serious (not to mention upping the ‘fun factor!’) So, in light of an entire childhood filled with ADHD, and an attention span that could rival a goldfish on a good day, I figured I’d get up to date on all the races (experience and something I learned from each) as well as the exciting happenings since September, but something that you could read over the course of a latte (extra hot I might add, there needs to be SOME substance in my updates!) I like to think this is the ‘long Cliff-Notes’ version of the last few months:

Continue reading Chocolate Covered Bacon, Miles of Beer Miles, PR’s and NEW BIKE DAY!

4 Races in 40 Hours: Track Cycling, XC Running, and Cyclocross

What a weekend of eye-opening experiences!! As I said in my last post, the offseason is a GREAT time to try new things that can increase your strength for the upcoming triathlon season. Doing things other than the usual swim, bike, and run can also be a big cup of mental refreshment through the fall/winter. This past weekend I tried a few new things that not only had my adrenaline flowing all weekend, but tested my cycling and running skills. Continue reading 4 Races in 40 Hours: Track Cycling, XC Running, and Cyclocross

Off-Season Update #1: Pinetree Classic XC Race, New Bike Day, and More!

An iron distance race takes a long time. Even at the top level, it’s still an 8+hr race. It’s a kind of pain and suffering that is much much deeper than the cardiovascular system; it breaks you down deep, right to the bone. That’s why the offseason is a great chance to work on much shorter, higher intensity (not to mention SUPER FUN) races such as cross-country running and cyclocross races. These short races really help work on your running and cycling technique, as well as your top-end speed and power in both disciplines. Nothing hurts more than breathing through your eyeballs for 5-8km XC trail running races! It’s a leg-burning, lung-bursting experience, that can be a lot of fun, and a great way to prepare for next year’s race season. Continue reading Off-Season Update #1: Pinetree Classic XC Race, New Bike Day, and More!

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……

Overcoming Setbacks – Challenge Atlantic City Race Report

My first foray into the iron distance racing of 2014 was at the inaugural Challenge Atlantic City held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 29th. It was sure to be a spectacular race, as all the Challenge Family races are, and I was really excited. Having a really solid spring of training, including a specific block leading in to the race, I was feeling really confident and strong. To add to the excitement, both Jenn and my dad surprised me by buying plane tickets to come watch the race (although I’m still pretty sure dad mostly came to rip it up at the casinos!) We all had separate flights, and although my connecting flight on wednesday evening was cancelled due to storms, I managed to catch a late morning flight on thursday, after a lot of standing in lines and only a few hours sleep.

Loosing up the days before the race with a run along the boardwalk

Continue reading Overcoming Setbacks – Challenge Atlantic City Race Report

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!