Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 has started off strong

On my way home from La Paz starting with a sweaty van ride with nine people, two on the floor in the back.

Though it was a 50hr trip to get here from Maui with an overnight in LA and red eye to Buenos Aires the Maui camp was well worth it. I was very happy I took two weeks to do some speed work in the heat to prep for the early season race.

The swim was in a river with a heavy current so it made for some interesting tactics trying to make the turns and swimming back upstream was challenging. I felt strong as usual from 500m on and was in 4th at that point. Closing out the last 750 I moved up into third and then cruised through transition and headed out on the bike and began to push hard to challenge the splintered groups behind.

Having not done the race before and having three different course maps shown we didn't know where the bike went to. As it turned out we rode to a dead turn 180 on a narrow two lane road. This meant that the groups would most likely come together. So backed off the pace and looked to others to do some work but within three of nine laps we were a big group.

Around the fourth lap Tyler Butterfield (eventual winner) bridged up to two Argentine riders and had a small gap of 15sec. I put a small effort in to keep it close but being a marked man everyone was happy for me to do the work to chase. So not wanting to waste my legs I eased up and again looked to the others to help.

Being a chess game right now for Olympic points the guys I am racing were in my pack. If I had a good run I felt I could beat the guys I needed to. So though I knew I didn't want to give Butterfield too much time as he can ride hard and run strong I didn't mind losing points to him so long as I beat the other guys I needed to. I also thought that I could run him down if he didn't get to large a gap.

With everyone watching each other in the last two laps we lost an additional 45sec on the first 30 they had initially earned for a total of 1:15 down coming off the bike.

I pushed hard the final meters of the bike to get in first and out of transition first. I then punched the first climb on the run and opened a gap to the rest of the group with only a Brazilian hanging on. I held the fast pace through the first 1500m and gapped the Brazilian and put myself solo off the front chasing down the front three.

I felt strong on the uphills, relaxed on the downhills and smooth on the flats. I kept the pace high and hard through 5k (2 laps) and chopped almost 40sec from Butterfield's lead and caught both Argentines. I then focused on a solid third lap to see if I could whittle away the 35sec or so to Butterfield. At this time Butterfield was doing the same and pushing harder this lap and I didn't gain anymore time. The 35-40C heat was taking a toll and I wanted to make sure I was strong through the final lap so I dialed the intensity back after not pulling anymore time back. 35 seconds was just too much to try and get back in this heat unless he completely fell apart. Being a strong athlete and from Bermuda, this was unlikely.

Relaxed and smooth I ran through to a mile to go and then focused on maintaining the 20sec gap to teammate Kyle Jones behind in third. I pushed the last rise and my legs were a little rubbery on the final 400m downhill to the finish but I was happy to come across in 2nd and feeling solid in the heat and having worked thoroughly hard. Myself and Kyle got the job done of earning max Olympic points with USA not gaining many. So this was another big check mark in the olympic qualifying process done. Well worth the long trip.

Additionally, I had the fasted run time by almost 20seconds so another good swim run performance in the books.

It is now back to a nine week block of training before heading to the next series of races starting the end of March.
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Post race ice cream for the Canadian team and adoptee Jason Wilson from Barbados.

Season opener a success

Very happy with today, obviously getting the win would have been better but we are in a chess game right now and I think we played it all right. We had to watch the Americans and I didn't want to burn any matches chasing Butterfield down and risk having Huerta beat me. Butterfield isn't a concern and I new if I stayed with the other contenders on the run I could have a strong run and beat them.

My prep for this was great, Lance and I decided to go to Maui for a two week prep camp and I think it paid off. I felt strong swim bike run and solid on the hot temperatures. This time of year it is hard to get the speed going on the run as it is so early, but I think Lance and I did a great job. It was a late long last season but a I feel fresh and strong. So it is time to dial back a notch and get ready for the next series of races starting the end of March.

It was a good day for the Canadian men and Olympic qualifying. We are staying on track and Kyle and I are doing what's needed.

I am looking forward to the next block and taking my level up a notch from my best last year and putting myself in podium contention.

Thanks to Joel Filliol and TriCan for there support in getting us here in good condition and well prepared.

Thanks also to coach Lance Watson and open water swim coach Ron Jacks and my new wicked bike from Blue Comp Cycle, nutrition and hydration in the heat from PowerBar and quick shoes from Adidas Frontrunners WestShore. Still on the path!


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Race of 2012

After a very long trip from Maui to Buenos Aires and then up to La Paz, Argentina, I am ready to roll for the first race of the season.

Interesting conditions with a heavy current river swim and close to 40C temperatures. A late start at 4:45pm is also interesting. The weather is similar to the conditions in Tiszauvaros last summer so I am looking forward to a strong race.

I am very glad I spent a couple weeks in Maui preparing for these tough conditions. There's been a few sunburns around so my base coat has helped me avoid that.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

First Race of 2012

After a very long trip from Maui to Buenos Aires and then up to La Paz, Argentina, I am ready to roll for the first race of the season.

Interesting conditions with a heavy current river swim and close to 40C temperatures. A late start at 4:45pm is also interesting. The weather is similar to the conditions in Tiszauvaros last summer so I am looking forward to a strong race.

I am very glad I spent a couple weeks in Maui preparing for these tough conditions. There's been a few sunburns around so my base coat has helped me avoid that.
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back in Maui

After being in Maui for a holiday in November I am back for business. Maui is such a great island for a holiday but I like it even more for training. It only took a couple of runs, one on the red dirt in the cane fields and one at my favourite 800m grass track at Baldwin Park to feel right at home. The first ride up the volcano and over to the winery on the far side also put a smile on my face. Staying with my friend Aaron and having Carolyn with me makes it all the more homey.

It is only a short 12 day camp to get some heat and speed in before my first race Jan 15 in Argentina. Though short it has still been a great decision to come back to prep. Good for the heart, body and soul, ahh what the warm sun can do!

Writing from the floor in the back of the van on the way home from swim practice in Kihei with Patrick. Morning 6k swim done, another 90min enjoyable ride to come! (Made more enjoyable by the new Axino SL and cycling kit care of Blue Comp Cycle) cheers!
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