Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thanks for checking in and a happy new year to you all. I hope we all got through the Christmas festivus season filled to rim with great food, family, and fine wine!! I for one weighed myself this morning, December 29th, to 167.8lbs. Christmas eve I was on target at 165; time to drink some water-:) This said, it was great to share Christmas with Meredith, mum-in-law June and then have a special visit from Joanne, Doug and the kids Sarah and Bryan and little treat Chester the 8 month old Golden Recliner (ah hum, Retriever)! Gatsby and he loved every minute of their visit together too!!
Onto sports related news...I have taken the autumn season to reflect on what turning 40 means to me as an athlete. I haven't yet wrapped my head around what turning 40 means per se, but I have come to terms with that number as being just that athletically, a number. As little as 5 years ago 40 meant washed up, slow, uncompetitive. One only needs to look at Michael Jordan to see what 40 does to high end sport skills and I would argue, same with Lance. Lets face it, his comeback at 38 wasn't exactly successful in the world of Lance sporting success though 3rd in Le Tour is pretty freaking special all the same! This said, look at Dave Scott who went 2nd and 4th in his 40's at the Hawaii Ironman and this year Macca won at 37; the oldest winner of Hawaii. 40 is just a number but a milestone number all the same and it does in reality mean deminishing returns on speed in my sport.
So my reflection lands on this:
- do what you love
- stay fit and healthy
- don't take it too seriously
- but seriously enough to be in the mix to win!
- I don't love swimming so me and the pool are retired
- I do love lakes so I won't sell my wetsuit just yet
- I love running so train hard and race Around the Bay
- My Cervelo and I are bonded for life; get out and ride
- PR at Around the Bay March 29th and shoot for sub 2:10 and hope for 2:05
- Top 5 National Time Trial in Burlington
- Win, or help team win, National Road race championship July 3rd
- Top 5 on the GC for Green Mountain Stage race Labor day weekend
- Late fall marathon for sub 3:10 to qualify for NYC Marathon 2012.
My Ironman career, for now, is over.
Time to update my photo on the banner of this blog!
thanks for checking in!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
- "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - W. Gretzky. So why is this quote important? Meredith and I took a shot at our, but mostly mine, west coast dream. I spent sometime out there sifting through career leads, researching real estate, pondering if I could live our lives there and us both be more happy than we are east. We took our shot and we didn't miss; we just decided to stay with the home team because home is where the heart is.
- When I look back on 2010 and the business I accomplished I find so many points in time where quitting was easy because options were available. I didn't and in so doing supported hundreds with dignity and class to transition out of old and into new. I am proud of that, because looking out for #1 is easy; standing tall and supporting others is not. I also was reaffirmed what is good about people. During times of stress stand tall, do what's right, and in time good will come back to you.
- Be thankful for what you have because tomorrow you might not have it. Whether it is a job, material possession, health, financial; whatever it is, you best embrace it because tomorrow it could be gone. I saw that a lot this year. Some in the passing of life, some in my own loss of job, the bike crash taught a few VERY big lessons...the point is, I try my best to live by "life is what you make it..." but at times it's easy to forget our individual control on that and get caught up in what we can't control and in turn, let that bring us down. Don't let that happen, you can't control it so F - it. The past is done, the future hasn't happened; today is the present (GIFT!)
- To be everything you can be you need more than you. Meaning, you need a supporting cast to pull the best out of yourself. As I reflect, I have to say that Meredith's grounded outlook, realistic view, and way of pulling me out of negative into positive is what made 2010 possible. My support crew is small and she is the captain of that tight ship. We sailed ferocious seas together this year and some storms still brew; at times we even chase winds we shouldn't, and through those storms in 2010 Captain Birchall-Spencer has steadied the course and grounded my being. I've come on deck to calmer seas as the year comes to a close and as I look back to the waves we conquered, I give one great big giant kiss to our safe port.
- Last but not least, if all else fails and you just need to exhale a good bottle of California Cabernet or Okanagan Chardannay makes life a lot more tolerable-:)
- Take your shots;
- Stay true to your values;
- Live for today;
- The bigger the storm the greater the reward
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thank you for your E-mail and interest in Ironman.
We announced the launch of the Ironman Access Program earlier this week and due to an overwhelmingly large amount of athlete feedback we made the decision to rescind the program.
Ben Fertic, President and CEO of World Triathlon Corporation, released an official statement about the Ironman Access program and it is currently available for viewing on ironman.com, as well as Facebook. Please see below:
We always appreciate feedback, recommendations and suggestions from all athletes and we take everything into consideration while planning future initiatives. Your opinions are welcomed and I will share your concerns internally with my colleges.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and we hope to see you at an Ironman event soon!
Please let me know if you have additional questions. Have a great weekend!
Athlete Services Coordinator
Ironman World Headquarters|2701 North Rocky Point Drive
Suite 1250 |Tampa, FL 33607
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
September 12th I decided to throw my hat into the Provincial Time Trail (TT) championships for the 30-39 age division. This meant a few things:
- I would have to change the position on my Cervelo P3 to make it legal with the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) rules. These caveman of the UCI have put major restrictions on equipment and fit so as not to provide, what they believe, is an unfair advantage to lesser countries/athletes financial means. Recently what this has meant is that master athletes or triathletes like myself could have equipment deemed illegal for UCI races but perfectly legal for triathlon and in fact we would have to spend MORE money to make things legal. For me, this mean buying a $70 stem to bring the bars closer to my body, cutting my aero bars by 3 cms to bring them closer to my body, and then moving my seat back 5cms to make the fit legal. Consequence is the fit is far tighter and more uncomfortable then the triathlon position I have been riding for 10 years.
- I was going to hurt, A LOT, for about 50 minutes.
I was hoping to get a spot on the podium for our team sponsors as a special thanks for all their support this year. I arrived far too early but had some groove tunes to keep me occupied, warmed up for an hour on the trainer, got the bike dialed in with a Zipp 808 front and disc wheel on the back, strapped on my aero helmet and hit the start. Funny story:
There was a rider that was a bit of a character (will remain nameless). At start they were calling my number for bike check so I went to front of line and got my bike checked to ensure the fit I did was legal, then walked through. 5 minutes later said guy came through and I realized I had just totally budded in front of him for bike check. So I said, "Oh crap dude, I just totally budded you for bike check. Sorry, I thought they were calling me forward there mate.." To which he replied, "Well, you should be" and then turned his back to me. I said nothing (hard for me I know!) internalizing my revenge out on the course.
So I hit the start line and reminded myself this is 38km's of suffering for about 50 minutes. I need to breath controlled, suffer like a dog, but not blow up before the end! My start was smooth and I instantly found a groove and felt pretty good. We had a headwind on the way out and coming to the turnaround my diaphram started to cramp, I eased up and breathed deeply to let the cramp subsided for a few hundred meters before the turn; smoothly took corner, sucked back a gel and some water then flew with the now tailwind. I was catching my guy up front slowly but surely but still was unsure how my ride was. I know I was suffering badly and that this pain was only temporary!
I caught my minute man (same guy as funny story above) and when I caught him with 5kms to go and REALLY hammered by him and dropping him, he drafted me and then 2 minutes later he was cutting the apex of a corner beside me. This goes on for another 4kms while I do everything to stay legal and eventually he has more oomph at end and rolls forward to finish just ahead of me. It ends up he was parked beside me so I walk by and give him a little thumbs up and he says NOTHING. Wow, I thought; taking this all a little seriously aren't we? Where's the fun dude!
I was really spent and my hip flexors were a mess thanks to the UCI legal position but overall I felt "OK" with my ride. Not stellar, but not too bad.
I came 4th, the dreaded 4th, by a whopping 0.13 seconds! OUCH! Average speed was 43.1km/hr
Last stop on the 2010 cycling season is the Blue Mountains Centurion.
Thanks for checking in!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It is true, I have a race report to tell you about!! Civic holiday weekend for Ontario the Endurosport PFR Powerwatts team drove to the Catskills in upstate NY for a 3 day bike race.
First, the Catskills themselves were quite possibly some of the best roads I have raced on period. Smooth, undulating valley roads with gorgous trees abound. Once the organizers take you out of the valley though all hell breaks lose! 5 to 7km climbs that are like step ladders; steep then a flat respite, steep again. When I say steep, stage 2 had a 2 mile climb averaging 14% but the majority was actually 20 to 23% gradient. My power meter had my clocking a whopping 5MPH on the climb they call Devil's Kitchen. Click here for a link to the pros riding up this sucker, and notice Floyd Landis at about 1:30 into video, dropped by the leading half dozen!
Friday was a 4km prologue with average grade of 4%. Again, this was about staying steady because the climb had sections of 14% then some flats, then some kicks of 8%, then a flat then a big ring uphill sprint to finish. I was hoping for about a 7:45 time knowing a really good athlete did it in 7 flat last year. I clocked 7:53 and given I haven't raced anything in 7 weeks and had 3 weeks completely off of any activity on the front end of those 7weeks from my crash, I was actually quite happy. I was 14th in the Senior 3 men's field so I set a goal for two things:
- win a stage
- get into the top 10
Stage 1 - 80kms; 2 mountains; descending and flat finish
This stage had a hard first mountain top climb that covered 5kms with the steepest section at the top. I bridged to the front group with 3kms to go and sat about 8th wheel suffering like a wounded dog. Holding on, toping 350+watts I was praying the top was coming soon. With 1km to go the elastic got longer and then snapped. I was dropped for about 20 seconds from the leaders. As we crested there was some flat where I could open up my diesel engine for legs and try to bridge. I picked up riders one by one and we formed a group but it was unorganized and we didn't have enough fire power to get across. Ironically it was the knarly descending that I was dropping this group and 3 of us got a pretty good gap by the valley roads and gave it a go ourselves but the pack behind was getting larger as riders tagged on from behind. 3 riders against 15 is hard to beat. Eventually we gave up the ghost and I went to the back of the pack. I was now thinking of trying to grab a few seconds out of this the second group on the road as the leading group was putting time into us every pedal stroke. What was 20 seconds was now 1:45 and by the finish was a whopping 2:40! OUCH!
I attacked 5 of 6 times to try and gain 10 or 20 seconds but eventually stopped as the group was getting a little pissed off with me and a young buck from Peterbourgh James Bent who was really working well with me. We rolled across together a group of 15 or so 2:40 behind the winner.
Derek Hardinge from Lapdogs Cycle (Duke's cycle team and home to my great friend Lorne Anderson) had an amazing ride, getting in the early break and scooping all the King of the Mountain (KOM) points along the way. Even better, when he was caught he stayed on that group and kept his top 10 spot moving to 6th overall 10 seconds from the leader. Great ride for Derek and representing Canada at the front of this very competitive group.
Stage 2: EPIC 85km
This route was really amazing! We had a KOM right away and Derek scooped the top points. I tried to bridge thinking the top might be a place for a break but the peleton reeled me in with 300m to go. It was at that point I told myself the stage strategy for me has changed; sit in and do NOTHING until Devil's Kitchen. If I can stay with the front group I knew the finish chute really well and would attack on a riser about 4km from the finish. IF i was with the front group they might let me go because I had no threat to the overall podium after losing the 2:40 on stage 1.
We rolled through the valley and the break that eventually did form got 1:30 before we hit the climb. We turned right to start a 3km riser before the wall of pavement kicked to 23% from the word GO! It was at this turn the 20 year old yellow jersey leader crashed washing out on some sand. Everyone sat up and being the oldest guy there, and right behind the yellow jersey when he fell, I assured the group a steady pace is appropriate. I crossed the yellow line and looked back, he was still down. I went back to the front and said, "game on, he's down for awhile". From there a group of 3 went off the front. I bridged wanting to gain a few hundred metres lead before the wall. We hit the wall, I punched it a bit and promised myself to take it at my own pace.
The leaders came by on left and I stayed with them for 1km. Then the elastic got long and riders were passing me. I was dying, literally riding 5MPH doing everything I could to keep them in sight. When I saw the line that said 2KM to go for KOM I almost threw up....2 more KM's of this? WTF? This is not real! Then Gary from Ziggy's fell off the mountain to my left. He was in the race ahead (40+) that we caught. He was ok, stopped by the trees. GEEZUS, this is nuts! Then I saw what I thought was the top! NOPE, it was a hairpin turn to the right and more climbing!!! At this point I got angry and really started to speed up to 7MPH! Funny because it was here I caught a few riders I recognized from yesterday's break.
Finally it levelled off but there was still some rollers before we hit the top and the KOM. My diesel got rolling and I was flying by riders blown to pieces along the crest. I fought and fought to catch a group of 5 ahead. A few deep breaths, missed a few pulls in the group to get my act together and sucked back 1 more gel. I then went to the front and asked the stronger guys to help but I would do most the work. Our job? WE MUST GET THE FRONT GROUP BEFORE THIS DESCENT IS OVER!
It was an epic chase and as we turned left onto the main road about 4.5KM from the finish there was the front group! I couldn't believe it, my plan came back to me and I was ready. I went to the back of my group which had now grown to 8 and let them pull me to the front group and it was there I was going to attack.
We caught them right at the base of a roller and I WENT AS HARD AS I COULD. 750watts on my powertap later, I was redlined, turning squares over the top then opened up the diesel one more time. I gave everything I had and couldn't believe I was going to win the QUEEN STAGE! I looked back, they were coming! ONE MORE DIG and I WIN!
ARMS UP I CROSS THE LINE.....ah, one problem...that group I attacked? Yeah, they weren't the leaders!!!!!! There were 5 guys 40 seconds ahead of me that took 1 thru 5 on the stage. Yes, that's right, I raised my arms in shame for 6th. LOL! Classic cycling error and one the boys will rib me for at year end party time!
RESULTS FOUND HERE: I moved to 11th of the final general classification; Derek kept his 6th spot and his KOM Jersey. James from Peterborough came in 14th overall and for a 20 year old did a great ride too!
I highly recommend this race to all racers, it is so well organized and the roads are just amazing!
Onward to Green Mountain Stage Race labor day weekend!!!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
First, from 1999 to now cycling technology and investment in the sport has EXPLODED. From fringe sport to the cusp of mainstream in North America cycling technology has evolved so rapidy it rivals Apple! Who benefits? ALL OF US, from your kids to the high end investment banker dropping $15K on a carbon bling-bling; we all benefit from great bikes for superior performance and most importantly, TONNES OF FUN!
Second, as a fan of the sport since my teens watching LeMond I cannot recall a rider most tactically astute. From the 1999 tour where he ensured he was up front before the crash on the Passage De - something or other, to last year where he hopped a curb to be up front before the cross winds came and gapped the field, LA always knew where to be.
Third, 80+ VO2 max is other world numbers; but like Jordan in basketball genetics alone do not make a champion. LA is a rare breed of athlete one part genetic, one part talent, one part commitment, one part unrivaled cunning capacity to close the deal when it matters most. Brazil, England, Argentina...where are their closers on the pitch?
Fourth, controversial yes but lets not forget some of the scenes where he was beyond a winner and a graceful champion. Letting Pantani win on Ventoux; not attacking Ullrich when he crashed; bonking on the Jaune Plane in 2001; dropped in 2003 multiple times to dig deep and win; domestique to Tyler in the Dauphine, to Levi in the Giro and TOC, and loyal as loyal can be to those who stand by him: Oakley, Nike, Trek, Steve Hed, Bruyneel to name a few.
Fifth, Livestrong - what else needs to be said there.
Sixth, as a fan boy was he fun to watch race! Cunning; skillfull; dominate; one part gracious, one part arrogant. It was all so much fun to watch!
I hope his swan song this year is remember as much for luck finally catching up with him AND HOW HE REACTED to it by staying in the race, supporting his teammates & sponsors, and how he graced the race by getting in a break and paying his respects, as he is for 7 wins.
Last, the questions always gets asked; "was or is he doped?"
Honestly, I don't much care.
LA is a champion and philanthropist...and just came in 5th for today's stage. Not bad old man, not bad!
Friday, July 9, 2010
- did a threshold bike test last night; result = 4.3 watts/kg.
Once i get to race weight of 160 lbs or 72.7kgs in 3 to 4 weeks and hold same wattage I know I can hold at that race weight, this test will improve to 4.47 to 4.52 watts/kg and with that I will be ready for the late season cycling push to compete at Green Mountain Stage Race.
So yes, I'M BACK ON TRACK!
Physio is done and I can start easy running again; maybe just maybe a fall marathon too!
For now though......I RIDE-:)
Thanks for checking in!
Monday, June 28, 2010
- TODAY I felt my leg as a normal leg and that felt good!
- TOMORROW I have another ART appointment at SPC and hopefully that provides as much lift in the fix as the last session did!
- CANADA DAY (July 1 for all my American friends) I hope to start riding lightly
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Circa midnight - after a few! I know my babe and pretty sure she is saying, "I KNOW!" Probably positioned after someone said, "you're loaded!" or "YOU'RE HOT!"
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Riding out to Mt Lemmon; straight ahead boys!
The world's worst wine ended our camp. I am particularly fond of the distributor Grateful Palate but frankly this stuff is piss, truly awful, but a good laugh all the same. A nice bottle of Coppola hides behind...
Another great camp is in the books. 800+kms of really hard riding in the books; many sessions were on the rivet. Some high quality miles just in time for the season to start on Good Friday.