Monday, September 28, 2009

John's IM Canada report

As I crossed the finish line at Ironman for a second time one year later, I realized how different my experience was this year vs. last. My finish line this year was not about realizing that I was truly capable of giving 100%. It was about reminding myself that as a person I was capable of playing a bigger game in life.

A friend who inspires me sent me a message early this spring and he said it best:

“Racing at Ironman isn't about facing limits or boundaries as I had once thought; but rather about simply going on, taking the next step, and never giving up in the present. It's not about winning. For all its imagery, Ironman is about simply about choosing life. Choosing what will define us, and what our story will be”.

Happily, this year at Ironman Canada I did not need medical treatment. Despite training for only 12 weeks I had improved my time since last year by 2hr and 15mins.

Ironman is a long day… A 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run. Throughout the race I was never alone! I had my list, the list of people that inspire me through their actions and accomplishments. Some of these people on my list were at the race, cheering me on. Just making eye contact with them sent electricity through my muscles and allowed me to push harder and go faster. Some of the people on my list were at home and when I needed them they were called upon in my mind.

One young girl, whom I had never met, (n’or do I know her name) inspired me beyond belief on the run. The sun was going down and people were walking and running at a snails pace. It was a very hot day and a forest fire had brought in a good amount of smoke. During the run I was negotiating with my mind on when I’d run and walk and I was losing the negotiation. I pulled up to an aid station and waited until I heard a young girl offer “Pepsi”, as I looked over to her I immediately noticed this young girl was in a wheelchair. She had a huge smile on her face and was enthusiastically handing out the best beverage on the course. This young girl not only inspired me, but she reminded me of a lifeline of strong women whom I am connected to. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring at the same time. In short, I never walked again for the rest of the race. The last 100 meters of the course I passed four people because I ran harder and faster. Looking at a picture of me crossing the finish line makes me laugh. I finished my race so strong because I was so inspired!

Completing Ironman Canada 2009 with a better time than the year prior was my goal. I look at goals as finish lines; in life we are all running our own race. The finish line at Ironman represents a race that I was running that started 12 weeks earlier.

What I learned crossing this finish line was:

Everyone is capable of playing a bigger game in life. Anything is possible if you surround yourself with people that inspire you, encourage you and hold you accountable towards your finish line.

Melissa's road race

Congrats to Kevin and Kyle who completed Melissa's 22 Km run on the weekend.

Kyle was 6th overall and 3in Age group with a time of 1:30.
Kevin was 64 overall and 12 in Age group with a time of 1:44.

Nice job guys!!!

For those of you who have never done this me (like me) I hear that it is an amazing race, but it does fill up fast.

Next year's race will take place on September 25, 2010. Online registration will be available in February 2010.Exact date to be advised.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Autism Run 10 Km

Congrats to Kyle who took 1st place at the Autism 10 Km run this past weekend.

Nice job for a guy still recoverying from IMC.
Next race is Melissa's

Brian Ricker's Road to IronMan

Road to Ironman:
My Race – My story
I had a great race day I finished within 17 hours (13:55) healthy and loved every minute of the race. I had a great support group – thank-you Lorna and Steve – who went to every corner of the race course to encourage me along.
Swim – 1:16
Bike – 7:04
Run – 5:14
Truly, IMC was one of the most memorable days of my life however it was the year leading up to that special day in August I will always remember. I have met some of the most wonderful people (athletes) and have some great memories that will last a lifetime. Swim classes, Saturday morning bike rides, lake swims and race days.
In the spring of 2008, inspired by Dave& Darryl Tainsh and Mike Gorman to take on the Ironman challenge – thanks guys I am very thankful for your motivation.
August 2008, I drove from Kelowna to Penticton to watch and cheer on Mike and Dave at IMC. The day was one of the most inspirational and emotional events I had ever seen, watching athletes push their bodies to the highest limits. That night, while driving back to Kelowna, I decided to drive back to Penticton the next morning and register for IMC 2009. After the 2 hour wait in line and hearing all the stories of the different Triathlons, I didn’t even know the difference between a Sprint distance, Olympic distance and Half Ironman I still hadn’t figured out the distance of an Ironman. Before leaving Penticton I was introduced by Dave to Todd Malcolm, a triathlon coach, I didn’t think I needed one of those however hiring a coach was one of the most important pieces to me successfully completing IMC.
My background:
- Never swam 25 meters
- Never ran further than 10km’s
- Never road more than 5km’s (mountain bike)
What was I thinking!?
Well, I hired a coach (Todd Malcolm) started swimming 3 days a week, trained on a trainer during the fall and winter at Talisman and ran indoors and outdoors throughout the winter.
After meeting with Todd, I give him a lot of credit, and reviewing my lack of experience in triathlon racing we put together a plan. I would run a ½ Marathon, ½ Ironman and ultimately IMC.

What was Todd thinking!?

I made great progress in the pool continued 3 days a week up to race day. In April, I bought a road bike and started with these classes called brick classes every Saturday morning. In June, I ran HSBC Half Marathon – 1:50 and in July I raced in my first triathlon GWN – 6:04.
Training to the next level;

Well, after completing GWN, I realized it was time to step it up a notch. I had to improve my swimming, increase the length of my bike rides and run further than two hours.
I accomplished a lot of firsts in the two months leading to IMC:
In August I ran 25 km’s followed by 30km’s the next weekend. Increased my cycling from 3 hour rides to 6 hours and continued with long lake swims.

I had trained to the best of my ability all year, however I doubted myself days leading up to IMC – could I swim 3.8 km’s, could I ride 180km’s and could I run a marathon more importantly could I put it all together.
WOW what an overall experience! I hope to see you all on the pool deck, brick class or riding those long rides in the spring.

Thanks Todd and all those others for supporting me and believing in me along the way.

Your welcome Brian, you did an amazing job!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Great white North and Wasa open for registration

Note that 2 very popular races. GWN and Wasa are now open for registration.

They will fill.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Myron's ITU world Championship race report

Unfortunately, my triathlon race ended after a wicked crash left me with a smashed bike and broken collarbone. A disappointing end to the season.After the aquathlon race on Wednesday, I started feeling gross with a dry cough and constricted chest. I saw the team doctor and found out I had bronchitis. I was feeling pretty bad about this, but was hoping a couple of days of rest would get me feeling good enough to race. When I woke up this morning for the race, I was still not 100% and had to fight off the negative thoughts. My hope was that the excitement of the race would get the adrenalin going and my training would kick in to allow me to have a good race. As recommended by the team coach, I had shaved down my whole body to feel extra speedy for the race - just like the pros. The transition area was huge, but well organized. We found out this morning that the temperature of the water was 20 degrees, so the race became wetsuit legal. I did a good run and swim warm up, but still felt a bit sluggish. We lined up for the start at 8:47, with about 150 men in my age group leaving in that wave. I was calm and ready to see what the day would bring. When the horn went off, I hit the water running and made it to first buoy towards the front of the pack. I tried to find a good person to draft off, but couldn't seem to find the right fit. The group spread out fairly quickly and I focused on keeping a long stroke and a positive attitude. I finished the 1500 m swim in about 21 mins - not my best swim, but good enough to keep me competitive. I think I was about 20th or so out of the water.My transition went well and I managed to do the running bike mount without mishap. I quickly settled into a 40 km / hour pace and 100 rpm cadence. About 5 mins in, I started feeling really strong and picked up the pace, passing several riders. By this point we were mixed in with the other waves of racers on a two lap course and the riding was fairly congested. It was frustrating to see big groups of pelotons forming, in total disregard of the drafting rules. I tried to work my way past these pelotons as quickly as possible, staying to the outside to avoid problems. By this time, I was flying: 43-45 km / hour pace and moving my way up the ranks. I was on track to go under 1 hour on the bike leg, which would have been a great ride for me.Unfortunately, about 18 km into the ride, disaster struck. At a section where the road narrowed, a rider in front of me swerved to avoid a pylon, and two riders crashed right in front of me. I swerved to try to avoid them, hit a barrier and went flying shoulder first onto the road. There was a pile up of about 5 riders. I jumped up, pulled my bike out of the pile and tried to hop back on but the front handlebars were completely bent and the bike was not rideable. I then noticed a searing pain in my right shoulder. I first thought I had broken or dislocated my shoulder, but it became obvious that I had broken my collarbone. I got whisked off the course to the medical tent and spent the afternoon at the hospital getting x-rays, etc. There were at least 6 other racers there from several different bike crashes that had happened. Of course, I am bitterly disappointed. Despite feeling lousy from bronchitis, I was having a good race and feel like I could have placed well. I know that there many positives from this whole experience: (i) this goal motivated me all year and I got in the best shape I have been in during the last 20 years; (ii) I had a great season and achieved personal best times in the half marathon, half ironman and olympic triathlon distance races by huge margins; (iii) I had an amazing holiday with my family in Australia; (iv) I got to experience representing Canada at the World Championships; and (v) my body hair will grow back (I hope). Nonetheless, this was not the result I wanted and it will be a long flight home. I guess I get a forced rest from training for the next couple of weeks to let the collarbone heal. After that, it will be back to the drawing board to map out my plan for conquering Ironman France in June, 2010.


Monday, September 07, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Kyle's IronMan Canada Race Report

IMC 2009 race report
Going into the race I truly felt ready and strong. Felt confident and relaxed before the race and had a great week with my family before the race. Lots of beach time and Finn started swimming with his life jacket (25 years earlier then his father!).
The swim started great. I was relaxed, got my breathing under control and hooked on a steady draft for 25 min. A little rough at the turns but overall quite smooth. Finished in my goal time of 1:10.
Had a great transition and got out of there in 3 min- Goal #2 met.
Played my usual game of catchup on the bike and was steadily moving up the field. Staying in low zone 2, I was approaching 40 km/h average and was surprised to see you on the side of the road getting your flat taken care of. Nutrition was on track and was drinking over 2 bottles/hour of fluids. Climbed great up Richters and made lots of movement in my age group. The rollers were much easier then last year and I pushed hard through the out and back at Keremeos after realizing I was in the top 30 in my age group. It started getting hotter on the way to Yellow and I found this climb tougher then previous attempts. Stuck within the same group of riders until the end and punched it to the top trying to move further up my age group standings. Finished the ride hard into town for a time of 5:16. Goal #3 met.
Transition was quick in 2 minutes but I was feeling a little lightheaded and hot.
I left transition at 6h:30 total race time and paced a 3:25 marathon to get a sub 10 hour time. I started feeling rough at 2 km mark but was able to hold a 4:30 min/km pace for 7 km. Then the heat started to win. I was feeling worse and worse despite drinking more and more, eating more and more and slowing the pace. I dumped sponge after sponge and tons of water on me but couldn't cool down. By half way I had slowed to a 5:30 min/km pace with a time of 1:50 at the turn around. The second half got worse and I was forced to walk many stations and my pace continued to slow despite a heart rate in low zone 2. Finished with my family cheering at the 41 km mark in 3h:57. Fell asleep on the grass after dousing myself with tons of water- managed to stay out of the med tent this year.
I gave everything I had in a very tough year that saw lots of people quit including many pros. I suffered more then I ever had before finishing in 10:31 (45 min faster then last year) Ended up 30 min slower then my goal for the run and 20 min out of Kona spot. Despite this, I learned alot about "racing" an Ironman and was proud of my preparation.
Have since read a bunch of articles on heat acclimatization and am working on a plan. So if you see someone running around town in a parka, tuque and 4 pairs of sweat pants next week... Say "Hi" - It's me getting ready for the next 35 degree race I run.
Congrats to everyone who raced- I am so proud of our team! A sincere thank you to everyone who cheered and didn't get a response from me--- I apologize, I was in a bad place.
Thanks for the year Todd, anticlimactic end to an amazing journey.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Brian looking strong on the bike

Kevin working the run at IMC

Jackie is a little bit happy to be done! :)

Kyle on run at IMC

Kelly on Bike at IMC

Phoenix riding up Richter's Pass

Phoenix's IMC race report

Alright here goes my IMC 2009 Race Report
Pardon my poor grammer but it wasn't meant to be an english essay :-)

Going into the race this past weekend I had hoped to have a really good swim, hammer the bike and hold on for the run. I knew it was going to be hot, but thought I had factored in for the heat.
The swim was a gong show, I arrived prepared: I’d had a hard time eating any oatmeal at 5 in the morning so I just stuck with my Boost and sipped on some Carbo Pro. When the race started I positioned myself some what right of center, I hoped to be aggressive and find feet. The first bouy felt like the worse kickboxing match ever! People were just swimming all over the place, whacking each other etc, but I felt like I was working my technique and just trying to find faster feet. At one point some guy grabbed my waist and actually pulled me backwards! I know ridiculous, I was so flabbergasted, yet knew anger wouldn’t serve me well, so I just vowed to get back to horizontal and start swimming my butt off again.
As is probably pretty normal, I would find feet, then discover they weren’t fast enough then repeat. Coming around the house boat (rather sail boat this time) I was starting to deal with breathing problems similar to the ones I had at the 70.3. It feels like my throat gets covered in a film of phlegm so I can’t really get a good breathe in or out, and although I ignore it for as long as possible in time it wears me down and I can’t get any oxygen, I have to stop cough several times and then carry on. I’m wondering if I am dealing with allergies or something, because I was relentless in my diet by not taking in any dairy or bananas for weeks prior to the race, which has worked in the past. Any way after the second turn I think I got off course, I was starting to feel lonely and un-abused…when I finally looked up long enough to do more than just keep the orange buoy in sight I realized I was in fact swimming alone, and almost down the center of the course. Dang, it’s a love hate thing, you want to just swim but if you are alone you lose the draft advantage.
I came out of the swim, and was a little pissed at my time, for the effort it wasn’t what I wanted, although nearly 7 minutes faster than last year, so a small triumph.
In transition I ripped through no volunteers to help me because I came out in such a cluster…I was fine with that. Off on the bike. I was hoping for good things on this course as I have worked hard on my bike this year. The first 40 kms were ridiculous. I looked at my computer it was 1:15 it was great, then the climb out started. I don’t know why but I haven’t felt as strong on climbs this year as last, and part of me wanted to make the climbs easy so as to avoid the power drainage, however I was getting passed on the hills, and then having to pass the same people again on the flats. I found the bike course incredibly crowded and damn near impossible to stay out of peoples draft zones. Ricker’s came and went without any issue, however after that I found myself starting to look for the out and back, not because I needed the nutrition at special needs, but almost because I needed to get grounded again, I wasn’t in the moment like I had been the first 90 kms of the bike. At the special needs I missed my turn and just about took a spectator out, then by clip has moved and I couldn’t unclip, I almost fell off my bike trying to stop so a kid could run my special needs bag up to me. After that although I was happy to finish the out and back I was starting to fade. I knew I had lost a lot of my water from my aero drink but I think it was more than I thought. I had water bottles in special needs that I had never used before with my carbo pro in them, and unfortunately I had never used them before and they turned out to be horrific! I couldn’t get the liquid out of them without considerable effort, my aero bottle was just about falling off and I thought I was better off leaving the nutrition in bottles than risk losing it in the aero drink. Either way I was dying up yellow lake, I was so thankful to see some spectators and hear some music, I had dreaded yellow lake since the out and back, with no real reason too, as I wasn’t scared of the hill….just needed to get the bike portion over with. As you know yellow lake is the tough hill because of the timing of where it comes on the course. After that I just enjoyed descending; however with 25 kms or so to go I caught a head wind which I didn’t have the energy to fight. I knew my bike split goal was slipping away from me, but the tank was running empty.
Once back into transition I took my time, getting everything….even got the volunteer to fix my race belt, which was cinched really tight against my waist because apparently the last one to use it was my 6 year old….note to self get her, her own race belt.
I headed out onto the run…and it was immediately noticeable to me that it wasn’t going to be the consistent effort that I needed to keep up with last years time, at first I thought I would still do better because my bike and swim time was faster, but my strategy to walk only aid stations wasn’t working. The smoke from the bike portion might have played a factor but I didn't personally find the smoke from the fire that difficult. (until the following day). I was making it about a half mile and then walking for a couple of minutes and then going again. Any excuse…like a minor hill and I was happy to walk it. I took in water, and either chicken broth or pepsi at every aid, I even drank my carbo pro that I was carrying. I realize now that my nutrition called for four gels and I never took those in. I remember thinking to myself on the run course “I haven’t peed yet, that’s peculiar”, as normally I just run and pee. (turns out this is a sign of the dehydration I was experiencing but totally unaware of). My stomach held up well with the help of the Imodium I took (two doses) even when the runners around me were violently retching…oh the joys of ironman. Anyway, on the run back in I think I just started to work more on auto pilot…my friend auto pilot. Then this New Yorker started to talk to me, and was so red neck in the things he was saying, I actually slowed down so he could get ahead of me, but anyway the Skaha Lake gave me a beautiful sun set.
I had struggled not seeing my family this year, knowing they are at the race somewhere and not seeing them was killing me, I finally ran into them with a kilometer to go, and it was a relief, a little late but awesome, my daughter just about exploded with glee which was so amazing to me. I crossed the finish line….slower than last year which was hugely disappointing. I had hoped that if nothing else I could avoid the medical tent this year as that was the worse part of last years race. Albeit that was not to be my fate. The catcher walked me through the shoot, and then over to the photos, at first I felt good…thankful to be stopped actually, but then it hit. I knew what was coming so I told the catcher that I wasn’t feeling good and had fainted last year. She informed the medical tent…it’s all a blur after that really. I tried to go to the bathroom, but started coming in and out so thought it best to go into the tent. They tried to triage me, and make me sit, some guy kept telling me to keep my eyes open, apparently after I tossed the Gatorade they figured I was belligerent enough to be given a bed…jeeezzz what does a girl have to do around here to pass out in peace?
Anyway I was in and out of it for three hours. Poor David was told repeatedly that I was not in the tent when he came looking, I couldn’t dial his cell phone number despite the lovely volunteer having fetched it for me from my dry clothes bag. At midnight they told me if I couldn’t get up I had to go to the hospital. I was feeling better by then, after a saline drip some IV gravol and a snooze. They said they had never seen such a lack of veins (thank you! at least I win the award for most dehydrated). The lady who poked me had four guys watching what she was doing and I’m not kidding that they cheered when she found a vein. Lol Anyway, it was a hard day. I think I would have done better (at least David would have been much less stressed) had the medical part not happened. I am started to feel a little betrayed by my body…I gave it chicken stock for god sakes…warm chicken stock too…it was gross.
The next day the worse damage was the sheer lack of skin, chafing from the wetsuit and bike shorts, are the things that hurt the most, legs remarkably are fine. (probably because I didn't work them as hard on the run?)
It will be back to the drawing board after this. I plan on taking several months off and not doing anything remotely resembling swimming, biking, or running. :)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

IronMan Canada 2009

Ironman Canada has come and gone. Just like that. A year of training for many is over and now they are wondering what to do next. I have been wondering that exact question. What is next? I have some ideas.....

Anyhow, back to IMC. The weather was quite warm, in the 30's. The swim was good for the No Limits crew with very little issues beside the odd kick to the body and the occasional swim over.
The bike was hot and windy, especially on the 2nd half of the course. This was a challenge for many riders. Especially for a Tri coach who flatted and then rode too hard and ran out of gas at the top of Yellow lake.
The run was hot and smokey from the nearby forest fires, but actually most people did not find this was a problem. The heat did force some slower run times.

Here are the results:
Kyle finished in 10:31 and 23 in Age group. He raced hard and pushed very strong to get through the run.
Rob, finished in 10:54 and was very happy to cross the finish line. He was please with his Swim and bike and knows he can run faster (next time).
Kevin finished in 11:06 and was happy to be back at IMC as it has been 10 years since he last raced.
Kelly and Tara both pulled off great runs in the heat to finish at 12:27. Nice work Ladies.
Rookie Jackie had a great day. Steady swim, good bike and solid run to finish in 12:36. Nice job for a rookie Jackie!!
Dawn finished in 12:55 and was very pleased with her result. She may have been even happier with finding out how much she enjoyed training for long course. :)
Phoenix was back for IMC #2 in a row. She was determine to PR no matter what. Phoenix had a great swim, the bike was good for most and then slowed a bit near the special needs and yellow lake. Nutrition / heat played a role in a tough marathon finsihing in 13:54. That was a very tough finsih Phoenix!
Rookie Brian was ready for the day. At least that is what everyone was telling him. It is hard to believe this until you actually cross the finish line. Eh Brian. Well he did cross the finish line and held his head high with a great finish of 13:55.
Rose was excited to be back at IMC as she know that she may never do this race again. Good swim, really good bike and then struggled a bit on the run. Lesson learned Oranges and Pepsi do not mix. :) or :( . Rose once again finished IMC in the exact same time as last time 14:26. Very consistent Rose. :)
John was also back for his 2nd attempt since last year. Last year he had a very tough day but he showed his true strength and finished in 16:45. This year was different! He finished very strong in 14:29!
Coach Todd had a good swim and then was having a good bike then flatted a tubular. After a 20 min change (with the sag wagon mechanic) followed by a very quick rebound pace I eventually ran out of gas near the top of Yellow Lake (150 Km). It was fun while it lasted and another great learning experience.

Congratulations to all of the Ironman racers and good luck to all those who were standing in line to have their chance to play on such a special day next year! It really is an amazing weekend!!

IronMan Canada - riding up Richters Pass

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Apple Triathlon

Congrats to Sheldon who completed his 1st ever triathlon at the Apple sprint.

He was very please with his swim and bike splits beating the goals he set. He unfortunately had a slip in transition that put out his back and forced his run to much slower than expected. He finished in 1:29 and thoroughly enjoyed the race. Nice work Sheldon.

Shane was also racing. He was really looking forward to this day as it has been a while since he last raced while feeling fit. He finished in 2:22 and was 17th in his age group. Welcome back to racing Shane.