Two Awesome Videos to get you out the door.
Friday, January 1, 2010
I started off 2009 with a three week training camp in Maui. The camp was an unbelievable experience. I got the chance to train with Simon Whitfield, Jordan Rapp, Andrew McCartney, Kyle Jones, Sarah Groff and Lauren Groves. Not only did I get to train with them but also got a chance to see how they live. What they do, how they eat and what not. Definitely the highlight of the trip was climbing up the Haleakala volcano. Unreal. 10,000+ feet of climbing straight up. The biggest thing I took from the camp though was raising my expectation for what I need to do to get to the highest level. I was really hoping that would have received Tri Can funding for the year, but unfortunately that did not happen. I narrowly missed the cut and seeing as it was my last year as an U23 in order to gain any support in the future I was told I needed to Podium at 2 World Cups in a year . Definitely not an impossible task, but at that point in my career it was not going to happen.
In the next couple of month I kept the training going and won a couple of local road races: the Starting Block 10k and the Lakeside 5k. The starting block 10k is an interesting race because the back road that it is raced on isn't snowplowed. (see pic above). I got on TV for being in the race, I am not sure if it was because I won the race or because I was crazy dude that ran in shorts. In March my coach, Kevin Cutjar, and I sat down to figure out a plan for the year given the situation. Simply put, we decided the focus should be to become the fastest triathlete possible and do the race that I wanted to. I mentioned that I was interested in trying a half Ironman and Kevin agreed. We would work towards Oliver and see how I liked the Long distance racing. After a tough week of strep throat that led into my brother wedding I was ready to go. I love triathlon and have had some amazing memories, but Mike and Josies's wedding was by far the best day of my life. Just Awesome.
In April I ran as part of the Bike Barn Corporate team at the Ski 2 Sea relay in Kelowna. For those of you who don't know what the Ski2Sea is, it is a team relay consisting of six legs: a downhill ski, a cross country ski, a mountain bike, a road bike, a run and a 2 person canoe. The event has a great atmosphere and the team aspect is a great change of pace from the individual mentality of most endurance sports. Our team came 3rd overall but won the corporate division, so a great day all round.
The first problem with racing a half Ironman was that I had never actually run a half marathon before. I raced the BMO Vancouver half marathon to see what I am getting into. I remember telling my grandparents before the race, wow 21.1k seems like a massive amount of running. I can't even imagine what that is going to be like after I have already swam 1.9k and biked 90k. The morning of I was stoked. There's something about being in a race with 5600 other people that just gets you amped. I had no clue what to expect and just ran with some guys that seemed to be going at a good pace. I ended up 5th in 1:09:52 and was stoked for some more long races. Unfortunately the next weekend a crash on the bike caused a strained oblique which forced me to miss almost 4 weeks of running and swimming. It wasn't until two days before the Oliver Half I thought I might feel well enough to race.
I am glad I did the race was awesome. It was everything I loved about triathlon and endurance sports. I ended up third and I was hooked. I could barely walk but I was hooked. When the next race. The race also was the first round of competing against my arch nemesis "Team Big Deal". "Team Big Deal" is a group of friends which most notably includes Tom Evans.
I took what I learned from Oliver and got ready for Long Course Nationals in Osoyoos. The race was a huge improvement over Oliver and I ended up second behind Tom, and posted a course record run split. I still was quite a ways off beating Tom but to quote the movie 300, "And a man who fancies himself a god feels a very human chill crawl up his spine."
The race set me up for a personal favourite race of mine the Peach Classic Olympic Distance race. I wasn't expecting much as I had felt pretty awful but you have to defend your backyard. When the gun went off I had the energy and I rolled with it. I ended up leading the race off the bike and cruising in for the win over a field that included Ironman Champs Jordan Rapp, and Jason Shortis. I think Jordan was having an off day and I look forward to racing him at full strength over a half or a possibly a full some time down the road. (The pic is Jordan and I in Maui)
The next race up was the Lake Stevens 70.3. Lake Stevens is located about 30 minutes north of Seattle. It was my first Ironman branded 70.3. I was shooting for a top 5 and hopefully qualify for The World Champs in Clearwater. The plan was to ride solid and then run my way into that top 5. The bike went better than I thought and I headed out on the run with a group of three guys in second place. I held my position and took second. A podium at my first 70.3 and a spot at the World Champs made it an unbelievable day.
In October I entered the BMO Okanagan Half Marathon. The race was a huge success. I ran a similar time to what I had run in Vancouver in May, but I was able to do it in sub zero temperatures and front running the entire race. Being able to stay focused and push myself for the entire race was huge. It gave me a lot of confidence heading into the last two races of the year.
late in October I traveled to Austin for the Longhorn 70.3. Going into the race I knew it was going to be tough as the field was stacked. I made a few tactical mistakes but posted the third fastest run of the day to finish 8th. Although it didn't go as well as I had hoped it gave me both the insight into what I need to do in order to win at the highest level, and the confidence that I can compete and eventually win at that level. I will definitely back at this race.
Only one race left, the Grand Finale, the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Clearwater Beach Florida. I'll call this one a learning experience. I raced as well as I possibly could have and ended up 33rd. I learned a lot and am confident that I can comeback much stronger next year. That's probably the shortest race recap I have ever given, but anything else would just sound like excuses . Next year I will be fitter and more importantly smarter so the goal is a top ten.
In closing I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who believes in me and has supported me over the past year. Peach City Runners, Adidas Kristi Richards Supporting the Dream Legacy Fund PacificSport. Will, Chris and Lisa at the Bike Barn for keeping me employed among countless other things. Matt for making my bike is both race tuned and looking good. Kim From Cannondale for giving me an awesome deal on my ride of choice, The Cannondale Slice. Brian from Podium imports for getting me connected with Reynolds Wheels. The Element and SDV66 combination is the fastest wheel set I have ever ridden.
That's it for 2009, 2010 has officially begun.