Monday, June 29, 2009

PTC Track Attack

Lots of inspiration can be drawn from the events that took place in the world of triathlon this past weekend.

The men's sprint finish of the Des Moines World Cup is one for the ages. Congrats to Mr. SQW for another big one.

I was even more inspired by LPC's Keith Henry, who completed his first ironman triathlon at Sunday's Ironman France. Keith approached me two years ago to help guide him along the wonderful journey of endurance sport. Keith could barely swim 500m two years ago, and with virtually zero athletic background prior to joning Team LPC, he is now an Ironman. It is amazing what a consistent, smart, baby-step progression, can accomplish over time. And it is only onwards and upwards for him, as he will be joined by other LPC'ers at Ironman Cozumel in November.

Lastly, Mike Hay Productions just released this inspirational uncensored video of a typical gong show track practice here at the PTC. Coach CT ran us threw a 12' warm-up jog, 10' of ultimate Frisbee, dynamic stretching, drills and strides. Then a main set of 5x1k as dec1-3 from 10k pace down to 5k pace. Hold 4 and 5. Then 4x200m at 800m pace. Then a 10' cool-down trot.

This video has it all, including a moon-shot by the Hewdog, and a Champion of the Universe Title by Ryan Smith. Fasten your seat belt, you are going to get dizzy watching this spectacular camera action:

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Sparring Partner

Annika bought me a jogging stroller as a first Father's Day present.  After consulting with Gary Belanger at the Running Factory (he is the Master Jedi of all things related to a running/walking lifestyle), it was discovered that the "The Ultimate High Performance Jogger" is the shaz.

Louisa and Electra are both very jealous, and I am officially the biggest tri-geek in Southern Guelph--sorry Mike Hay and Thomas Tank Lokody and David Prefontaine and ADM--you are worthy opponents--but I am always a half-step ahead. 

Annika and I went for our first run on Thursday and we were smiling the entire time.  Part of our run was off-road on the wood chip trails of Westminster.  It was sensory overload for her, and fortunately this baby jogger is equipped with "ultimate high performance" shocks and oversize wheels.  I will have to decide on a name for the baby jogger.  Thoughts are always welcome.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Electra VS Louisa

I, like many other tri-geeks, have nicknamed my bikes over the years.  My Louis Garneau TT 8.8 Carbon Pro is now referred to as "Louisa".  Louisa is a time-trial dream machine that I will be using for at least the next three years, in non-drafting triathlons.  It is equipped with a SRAM Red groupset, a Zipp Disc and 404 tubular wheelset, Vittoria Corsa Evo CX tubular tires, and even has a Cinqo Quarq powermeter that is paired with a Garmin 705.  It is certainly a bike that would make any tri-geek smile.  But Louisa now has some major competition, and might be dethrone Louisa from the pointiest point of tri-geekdom. 

Introducing Electra:
Frameset: Louis Garneau Sonix 6.4 Pro
Groupset: Dura-Ace DI2 7920
Wheelset: Zipp 303 Clinchers
Tires: Zipp Tangente
Pedals: Look Keo Carbon Fiber
Computer: Garmin 705

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Electra is the road steed that I will be using in ITU draft-legal triathlons and various bike crits and road races.  Why the nickname Electra?  Well that was the first name that came to mind after Lenard from the The Bicycle Shop kindly offered to strap on the revolutionary Electronic Dura-Ace Groupset (DI2 7970).  DI2 stands for "Digital Integrated Intelligence".  A fancy name for a very fancy piece of engineering.  After drooling for awhile, I took Electra for a spin and wow, it is remarkable how fast and precise the shifting is.  I have always been a big fan of mechanical dura-ace STI, but this takes shifting to another stratosphere.  Gone are the days of chain drop and/or rub.  I am not sure if it will make me faster, but it sure is a ridiculous fun, and--I am like a 4-year old boy playing with a Tonka truck for the first time.  Here is a link that talks more about DI2, and includes a video.  So how much does it cost?  Well, if you are asking that question, then this luxury item is not for you.  But if price is of no option, and you want the very best, then electronic dura-ace will surely make you feel like a kid permanently living in Toys R Us.

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Above is a pic of Lenard (owner of The Bicycle Shop) and I, about to escort Louisa and Elecctra to the Mazda 5.  A huge monster thanks to the crew at TBS for working hard in putting these bikes together.  I would have had no clue on how to put the dura-ace components on.  Now that they are on, it is amazing how low maintenance the DI2 groupset is.  No cables, and the batteries only need to be quickly recharged every 2000k of riding.

It's all about the ride!  And I have one more ride to talk about that just arrived this past weekend, that will surely make both Louisa and Electra very jealous, and  Annika very happy--but that is for the next post...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

It was a wonderful Father's Day! The morning kicked off with the Leamington Tomatoman Sprint Triathlon. I had a good race and was fortunate to break the hour mark in first place. The swim in the harbour went really well. I was a bit nervous how I would ride and run off the bike coming into the race. Scott Doel spent 4h doing his 3D wizardry and made lots of adjustments to my Louis Garneau TT8.8 --normally I would not get professionally fit before a race--but I didn't want to leave it for another week. The new position is more comfortable and I think I am now completely dialed in--it is the first time in my life I feel properly dialed in on a tri bike. My previous tri bike was an Argon Mercury, and before that was the Cervelo P3. I never felt comfortable on either bike because I needed a frame geometry with less reach. So the bike felt strong, but the run off the bike was a bit sluggish. All in all, a good race! It was lots of fun catching up with so many familiar faces, and it was a perfect morning for a triathlon. The Leamington Tri is always one of my favourites, and I was really happy that I participated this year. Congrats to Gervs, who pushed me hard--the boy is fit. Congrats to Travis who raced well--and just graduated high school with a 95% average! Congrats to the Warrior King Jim Cooke, who claimed another win in his age-group. Results here.

Then it was off to the cottage for a BIG family reunion. A contingent 30 strong congregated to the cottage. It was nice to be done a triathlon and back home with family by 11am--a productive morning and the rest of the day was all about maximizing family time. We all feasted, and I got schooled in an intense 2h game of soccer by my talented nephews 1/4 my age. It was ridiculous fun. By the time we (BJAM) arrived home in Guelph Sunday evening, we were all completely pooped and ready for a coma.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Abra Kadabra

I am trying to find a way to be in 7 places at the same time, and have found myself saying "Abra Kadabra" in the hope that this is becomes feasible.  But of course, hope is not a strategy, and one is now in place.

Originally I was on the start list for this Saturday's ITU Coteau-du-Lac Continental Cup Triathlon.  But then, to my delight, a spontaneous family reunion has presented itself.  It is rare for all of my family (who are mostly sprinkled all over Ontario and California) to get together.  Much of my family has yet to be introduced  to Annika.  When I received word that my Aunt and Uncle from LA were coming down to Windsor for a few days, an informal reunion was born.  So I am very much looking forward to this weekend!  And Annika will get to meet most of her relatives for the first time.  There are other ITU races to be raced so missing ITU Coteau-du-Lac is not a big deal.  ITU Kelowna in August, which also serves as the Canadian Elite Tri Champs, will be a priority race.  Having said all  this, I am still going to squeeze a race in this weekend.  It will only be a 15' drive to my old hometown race, the Leamington Tomatoman Triathlon.  I love this event and have been fortunate to win this race 5 times--I always seem to have a good race.  I have only raced once in the past 5 years (2006), so I look forward to supporting my roots and participating in this fast sprint distance triathlon.

tomatoman

Other races of interest this weekend include:

The Running Factory Moon in June 5k and 10k Run takes place Saturday night in Windsor.  I ordered a jogging stroller for Annika, and look forward to picking it up this weekend and also catching a glimpse of the running road race.

The completely sold-out Guelph Lake Triathlon Weekend also goes down this weekend!  It is a shame that I will be missing my hometown race, but I will be back  to defend Guelph Lake II in September. 

Team LPC will be all over the map this weekend, and several are competing in all of the above events.  And Susan Gaudreau will be tackling the 24 hours of Summer Soltice MTB race this weekend. 

I hope everyone races well and has a fantastic weekend.  But of course, hope is not a strategy--so go out there and kick ass.

And in final news, I look forward to a quick pit-stop at The Bicycle Shop.  2009 electronic Dura-Ace Di2 7970 is in the house and will be installed on my already pimped out Louis Garneau Sonix 6.4 dream machine.  I will have to show pics when the bike is complete.  But it will be cool to try this product out and strange to ride a bike sans cables.

I'm off to squeeze out every second of daylight these next few days, and look forward seeing family, and sleeping when I am dead in 100 years.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekend in Huntsville

It was a wonderful weekend in Huntsville.  I teamed up with Dave and Janet to form a relay (Team Sharratt) during the Sprint Triathlon on Saturday afternoon.  I swam, Dave biked, and Janet ran.  The swim was a lot of fun and I definitely went a lot harder then I originally planned.  I passed the chip to Dave and he rode really well--on his road bike without aerobars in order to more specifically prep for his upcoming ITU race this weekend.  For anyone who cares, I am pretty sure he averaged around 181779.14 watts (non-zeroed) over the 20k course.  Janet ran very well over what was a tough hilly 2 lap course.  We had a blast and Team Sharratt finished 6th out of 18 relays. 

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Team Sharratt pre-race.

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Janet crossing the finish line and out-leaning Dave.

The next morning was the Long Course Triathlon.  I love the course and the hills on the bike suit me well.  However, the past two years I have biked poorly on the course.  I was confident going in that I was going to take a big chunk of time off from last year.  However, history repeated itself, and I had another decent swim, sub-par bike, and ok run.  Mentally, I was not ready to ride out of my skin like I have in other races, and mentally I have treated this event like a hard training day instead of RACING.  That is mental issue that will not continue in my upcoming races.  I will live to fight another day.  And next time, I will toughen up and fight harder.

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I had an ok run but, minus the quick washroom break and finishing kick, I thought I should have been going faster than I was.  Brian was holding Annika before the finish (he raced well the previous day) and said that Annika wanted to race me to the finish line.  So Annika and I had lots of fun in the final 100m.

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Crossing the line with Annika was without question the highlight of the weekend and really put things into perspective of what really matters in this world.  Five years ago I would have been steamed that I had a less than ideal performance.  On this day, I was overcome with hyperbolic joy to see Annika near the finish.  Does that mean I have lost my killer instinct?  Haha--if you are my competition reading this, then in the immortal words of Wolfgang Dietrich: "we will see..."

I ended up 10th overall which was a bit of a disappointment--but I know the fitness will show in my upcoming races that I am specifically gearing up for.

Sean Bechtel had a great race--he has worked very hard and paid his dues over this course--so it was nice to see him get the win he deserved. 

LPC's Jane MacLeod won her age-group by 23 seconds.  Margaret had another solid result, and Dawn Van Vlack had an exceptional race and completed the longest open water swim of her life.

So what is next?  Find out in the next post...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Go Wings

The next two nights are big nights in front of the tube. I rarely watch tv these days but: TSN is broadcasting the Festival of Excellence this evening, and tomorrow will see the Stanley Cup remain in Hockey Town. Go Wings!

This weekend BJAM is heading to Huntsville for the annual Muskoka Triathlon. Dave, Janet, and I are taking part in a relay during the Sprint Triathlon. I am swimming, Dave biking, and Janet is hoping to break 19:59 for the mountainous 5k run. It will be an exciting race. Our goal is to beat Brian. I know he is going to try and wrap a rope around my foot during the swim, and bragging rights are up for grabs if Janet can cross the line before Brian. The next morning I am tackling the Long Course Triathlon.

Dawn Van Vlack, Margaret Wojtowicz, and Jane MacLeod will also be participating in the Long Course. Dawn was the overall winner of the Belle River Triathlon a couple of weeks ago, and Jane dominated her age-group at Triple-T.

A shout out to Phil Roberts and Phil Mansfield for a great showing at the 26th Annual Ancaster Old Mill 10k Run Race.

Click here to view upcoming events that will be represented by Team LPC athletes.

Below is a video of uber-biker Miroslav Tot "conservatively" riding down the Pinckney-Potawatomi Trail near Hell, Michigan.

video

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Magnificent Seven

A good week of training is done and done.  This is in remarkable contrast to last week, which involved slightly more than zero training, as I needed a big recovery week after my Triple-T experience.  Today we met at House of BJAM (BJAM is short for Breanne, James, Maverick, and Annika) for a 90k ride, with a 10k neg split run off the bike.  The ride had a main set of 30k of meat.  I stayed non-drafting during the 30k to prep for the upcoming Muskoka Long Course Triathlon next Sunday.  It was an awesome ride, with good company, and decent power numbers. 

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Pictured above are the Magnificent Seven--about to board the pain train, for a solid ride.  Left to right:  Adrian "I just bought a P3 equipped with NOS" Del Monte, David "I bonked yesterday for the first time in my life but have recovered and will smash you all today" Sharratt, Steve "I am a master navigator" Hewdog, Connor "what am I getting myself into by moving to Guelph and hanging around such tri-geeks " Hammond, Mike "I have a family of 4 and can still smash guys half my age with my 40 average cadence" Hay, Tyler "I am the Lord of all things Power" Lord, and James "I can't wait to roll thru this wkt so I can get home and smash back some burgers and wash them down with beer, all whilst playing with Anni and Mavie" Loaring.

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Tyler trying to talk Annika into joining us for the ride.
 
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Annika thinking about whether or not she should ride with the boys--but then realizing that she has to get ready for Lucas' 1st birthday party.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Team LPC Conquers Hell

In late breaking news: Team LPC just rode thru Hell and came out alive with only a few battle wounds. Hell, Michigan that is. Pics courtesy of Scotty "The Man" Schelter. I am really jealous that my "band of brothers" rode in Hell on such a lovely Saturday afternoon. Here I am stuck in my "think tank" geeking in front of the pc all day.

But rumble rumble tomorrow with a solid "Snowsill Set" bike planned. A few power smashers are meeting here for some fun at 9am tomorrow morning.

My road bike has arrived at The Bicycle Shop in Tecumseh and The Man is driving it back for me. I can't wait to see my new steed: Louis Garneau Sonix 6.4, equipped with Dura Ace grouppo and Zipp 404 Wheels. A huge thanks to Lenard and his champion crew for working hard in putting together this speed machine. Who says it isn't about the bike?

Yesterday I received the new Louis Garneau Diamond helmet, Tiger Shark Swim Suit, and I am loving their Carbon Tri HRS Cycling Shoes. Head-to-toe, Louis Garneau does it all!

So I didn't go to Hell today, but at least I received some awesome new toys! Annika has been getting all the toys lately, so I needed something to make me feel like a kid again :-)

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Coaching Philosophy

A wise paragraph from another excellent post from Alan Couzens blog:

The secret is, I don’t have a universal training philosophy other than to mirror the athlete’s needs. The only universality that exists in elite coaching is a universal ability of the best coaches in the world to ‘size up’ an athlete, determine their personal strengths and weaknesses and apply this information to selecting an appropriate training means and an appropriate event.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cup of Tea

Bre just passed this story over to me.  Will this be me in less than 2 years? 

Cup of Tea
 
One day my mother was out and
my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favourite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water.   After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.  My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up. Then she says, (as only a mother would know!:)  'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?