Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday Morning Lights and The Stag

It has been an eventful three weeks since I last posted. Friday marked the end of a solid three weeks of training. We had on the menu another 1500m TT. It seems to be a PTC ritual to swim a hard 1500m or 2000m at the end of our 3 week mesocycle when fatigue levels are at their highest point--an event that I will now refer so as "Friday Morning Lights"--a time when you have to HTFU despite wanting to sit in the jacuzzi. Coach CT is a wise grasshopper and there is in fact method to his madness. I toughed out a 17:31 (new practice PB) despite being quite tired. Add in 3x300 in 3:27 on 4:15 after the 1500, and you have a solid 2400m main set and a quality 4500m swim workout. Done and done and in the bank. I am really pleased with my swimming at this point in the year. Each month seems to get faster and the 'harder yards' have yet to begin.

The weather has been fantastic the past couple of weeks--and we have had a few good bikes and runs. It has been a real challenge trying to train like an elite athlete--while working like an age-grouper with too much overtime and not enough sleep. But don't for a second think that I am complaining. Achieving balance is a wonderful on-going process of life. I am truly enjoying: growing LPC by coaching several champions and spending countless hours learning new ways to build upon my coaching philosophy and methodology, helping my big sis as a consultant for Loaring Physio, being a race director for the Loaring Triathlon (which will soon surpass the $100 000 barrier in raising funds for the Elena Loaring Memorial Fund for breast cancer research), and of course, helping organize the upcoming wedding with my beautiful fiancee. To be truthful--Bre takes the huge bulk of the credit, as does Brian and Janet, for their incredible wedding organizing efforts. Bre even put together this wonderful website. She is such a sweetheart--I am one lucky chap :-)
So I certainly have a lot of projects on the go and this is an extremely exciting time in my life. Long gone are the days of 'living the dream' and worrying about little else then sleeping/eating/training/racing. Although I can't train (and recover) as much as I have in the past--I still believe that this will be my best year of triathlon racing. The season will get to a late start but the fitness is slowly building and I hope to be race worthy by the middle of June. Although stress levels are a wee high at times, and time management skills are constantly being tested--I can't stop smiling and look forward to each day. Less than five weeks before my wedding. Wow!

Saturday was a VERY special day. A day that will never be forgotten. A full day of bonding with all of my 'Band of Brothers'. Saturday was my stag. My numero uno, Miro Tot, and the rest of my incredible groomsman helped put together a magical day. It is rare for all of us to get together with our busy schedules. But this past Super Saturday--we jammed in a month of activity and a decade of memories. Six of us started the day at 7am and headed to Michigan to ride the beautiful Potowatomi Trail.
Then we went Rock Climbing in Ann Arbour. It was my first time rock climbing and I had such a blast.
We were pretty tired by the time we got back to Windsor--but Red Bull gives you wings and in a flash it was off to a feast of celebration with thirty of my closest male friends. What a day/evening.

A monster thanks to all who joined for a part of this wonderful weekend. Stay tuned for my next post that will be introduce the key members of my Band of Brothers--the Groomsmen.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Spirit of the Marathon

Friday, April 11, 2008

On The Press

To be seen on the roads beginning May 20th...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Full Speed Ahead

This is a busy time for me--every hour of every day is full speed ahead--I have A LOT on my plate these days and I am enjoying every minute of the organized chaos. I am home from a great week in Florida. It is nice to come home to wonderful weather. It was nice to get some sun--I no longer look like Casper the friendly ghost--mission accomplished. It was a great feeling to once again ride outdoors. The new Cannondale SystemSix Steed is very fast and responsive. It is the best road bike that I have every ridden. Now only if I can get my hands on their new time trial bike :-)

The week of training in Florida was all nice and ez Z1/Z2 effort:

Swim=5500m (3 short open water swims and 1 short pool swim at the NTC).

Allow me to digress: This week of ez swimming was a big contrast from the previous big week of swimming which culminated with a 5000m practice of suffering that included 3600m of quality, including a 17:37 'tempo' 1500m followed by 5x300m on 4:00 holding sub 3:30's. If you can recall the previous post where I mentioned that we have implemented a challenge theme in swim prac. Well I thought the challenge was to swim a solid 1500m time for practice at the end of a week of training (Saturday's are our day off so fatigue is usually pretty high come Friday). But CoachCT was sneaky and set a goal for us to swim 5x300 at under our 1500 pace. (I thought we would be warming down after the 1500m tempo). It was no easy task and I realized after the first 100m of the first 300m that I had no arms (I never have any legs when swimming) and would have to dig deep. HTFU James! I did, and made the challenge. Chocolate earned :-)

Bike=320k (5 rides mostly all ez with a few k of pace--over the rolling terrain of Clermont). I rode with my GPS and mapped out some excellent routes for next year's LPC Triathlon Camp.

Run= 68k (5 runs including 1 run over the beautiful 10mile Orange Grove Loop (my favourite run loop on Earth) and a couple golf course runs around the beautiful Orange Lake Country Club Resort.

I had the chance to train with several friends and LPC athletes. The camaraderie was excellent and everyone was in high spirits all week long.

I also used the week to firm up a hundred details regarding next year's LPC camp. The camp will likely take place March 15-22 of 2009. More about this in another post and stay tuned for some pics.

In others news--the racing season is underway and so is the nicer weather. LPC athletes performed very well at the Around the Bay 30k Run and the Running Factory 10mile and 5k Runs. John, Dawn, Lisa, Jim, Rob, Kathy, Ralph, and Jane, all ran very well. Champions.

Despite a hard week of base training, LPC's Keith Henry took part in the Clermont Triathlon at the end of the camp. This was going to be Keith's first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon. His first triathlon was the super-sprint at the 2006 Loaring Triathlon. In the last year, Keith has been able progressively build up his swim mileage from 700m to consistently swimming 2500m+ 3 times per week. Much of this mileage has been working on his technique and performing video analysis. It has been just awesome to observe how much his swim stroke (and times) have improved over the past year. Keith had his best ever swim and bike performance in this race. Champion.

Rob 'Base' Tranter took 4th in the 800m at the US Master Track and Field Indoor Champs. The Tranterminator has a bit of speed in him! Champion.

And in late breaking news--my soon to be bro-in-law has once again made history. David 'Pre' Sharratt has just been awarded Male Athlete of the Year at Conestoga College. Dave won the OCAA Provincial Cross Country Champs back in November. That is an incredible accomplishment for a tri-geek and has only be done once before (by a Mr. Simon Whitfield). Dave's Gold Medal marked the first time that Conestoga College won an OCAA championship in any sport (male and female). Champion.
As for myself and others--this is a time for training consistently well, and we are all enjoying the process to properly prep for the upcoming races. Over the next 2 month's, LPC athletes will assemble at the Boston Marathon, Flying Pigs Marathon, Mississauga Marathon, St Croix 70.3 Triathlon, and the ITU World Triathlon Championships, and several other local and regional events. We are all Champions :-)