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Monday, May 31, 2010

A cold day at Shawnigan...

Overall it was a good day to be alive at Shawnigan lake on Sunday!
The Howitzer blast tore through the morning stillness, jolting hearts and minds, and starting the Shawnigan lake half-iron. For me it was also the one year anniversary of my start in long distance tri (and what an amazing year it has been!).
As per the plan, I was racing the swim and the bike portions for team PT Performance. A very nice woman named Karen came on at the last minute and filled in the run, so my job for the day was to come off the bike in good position for Karen to run it home!
The swim got off to a bit of a rocky start. I am still not strong or aggressive enough to really fight for position in the initial blender of human bodies, so I was pushed off my ideal line for the first couple hundred meters. I settled into a good rhythm though, and was able to bridge up to the group in front of me. I came out of the water leading the second pack, just a couple minutes behind the leaders! Overall I am really happy with my swim, I think my pacing was bang on and I think it was a great start to the season!
The bike was not the smoothest of my life. The cold water/air lead to stiff/numb hands and feet, making it all but impossible to get my shoes on. About halfway through the first lap my breakfast decided it didn't really feel like staying in my stomach anymore, and I spent the next 1.5 laps in an epic battle with my gag reflex trying to talk it into sticking around. The end result of this struggle was complete lack of nutrition for the first half of the bike! I was still setting a good pace for the first three laps though and managed to maintain my position despite hitting a bit of a wall going into the last 20km.
At the end of the day I managed to get the job done, coming off the bike in 6th overall and leading the relay teams, giving Karen a bit of head start on the run. Karen ran a FANTASTIC 1:32:00ish to maintain our lead, and it was two tired but smiling faces high fiving at the finish line!
I am really happy with the race overall. I feel like it has given me a good step to carry forward with the rest of the season!
The PT crew was out in strength, lead on by a course record run and strong finish by Adam!
Congrats to all the other competitors, it was a cold, hard day for everyone!
Finally a big thank you to all the volunteers, without you non of it is possible!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My two cents...

This issue has been passed around a lot over the last six months or so, but it seems to keep popping up. Other than ranting with training partners (Moka house has debates that rival parliament!), or the odd comment supporting what others have said, I usually stay relatively silent in these instances. Mostly because I don't consider myself a good enough writer to construct a decent argument.
The problem being athletes portraying themselves as something they are not, possibly taking support and recognition away from others. Noa Deutsch has already commented on this and her post is a much more concise and well written version of my opinion. I highly recommend reading her post.
I would simply like to say that during my short time in triathlon I have had the opportunity to train with (and around) athletes that embody the pure ideals that athletics strive to instill within society. Whether they are Pro, elite, or age-grouper, they show up to training and work hard everyday because it is what they love to do. They set goals that are realistic (although sometimes lofty ;) for them and take pride in reaching them. When not racing they take pride in sanding on the side lines and cheering their training partners, finding joy in seeing their friends succeed.
As a grassroots athlete that has received a lot of support (see my wonderful sponsors) my issue is not with "lower" level athletes receiving support. There are many athletes that get support because of the work they do in their community, and there are many companies that have grassroots programs. I take issue when an athlete misrepresents himself to his sponsors and community at large. When someone make false claims it not only discredits themselves, but damages the sport as a whole.
I can only hope that hard work, honesty, and integrity will win out in the end and people that deserve support are not hurt by the dishonesty of others.
I have dedicated my life to sport education because I believe it is the best way to teach the values that society builds upon. Thank you to all the fantastic athletes that continue to present themselves in a manner that makes me proud to be involved in sport (even in my small way)!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The last two weeks in the life of me...

For those of you that don't know my life is divided nicely into two (usually) equal halves. I manage to keep a fairly good balance between my training and going to school for physical education. Sometimes my two lives do spill into each-other and the halves become slightly less than equal....
Usually my priorities tend to shift more to the side of my training, which often forces me spend unreasonable amounts of time in the library every few weeks. These past weeks, though, the balance has been heavily weighed on the school side.
The last two years of teachers college are spent taking teaching methods classes and spending time in schools getting practice teaching (practicums). We start with two weeks, and then do four months before we get certified. My first practicum was at St. Michaels University school. I spent the last two weeks observing classes and I had the opportunity to teach both science and PE (my two teaching areas). It was defiantly hard balancing training with full time work. Lots of early mornings and late nights, made for a very tired Tyler.
I was happy to discover that that I really enjoy teaching though, I was especially surprised by how much I enjoyed teaching science. Being in the classroom was a new experience for me, very different from teaching PE.
I find a lot of parallels between my life in triathlon and my life at school. Both the Tri community and the PE department at UVic are small worlds, where everyone knows each-other. One of the best parts about being part of a small training unit is that you can all help each other through difficult times and share in everyones success (read the same for school)!
I am happy to report that all my friends (and I) passed our practicums with flying colors, and as far as I have heard, enjoyed their time in the classroom as much as I did!
Congratulations to all my friends who completed their practicums this year, both their two week and their four month!
Now I am excited to get started on the summer, focus on training and make some big gains! Lots of hard work and big races coming up, can't wait!
Best wishes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I only puked a little...

Those were the first words out of my mouth after I finished the Warp Speed time trial (20km) on Sunday.
Needless to say it was a hard race. Although I am not super stoked with the final result, there were some definite positives that I am happy to focus on.
First off, it was my first time trial of the year and my first race period on my new Transition. Met up with Cam from Riders last friday to get my disk dialed in, and I must say that blue bike+red disk=sexy!! (sorry, didn't get a pic yet, somehow the dozen or so photographers on course missed me:(
I was really excited to get on my bike and see what it could do!
The Warp speed corse is a hard out and back with a long false flat, and on the day a slight cross wind. I think I went out a little hard over the first 5km or so, hit a solid wall just before the turn around. The power drop in my legs was accompanied by a slightly more chunky spit than usual, and I was in pain mode for the last half of the race.
I managed to hang on for a sub-thirty finnish (28:23), good enough for 29th overall. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but good for the first race of the year.
Lots of good lessons, back to training. The summer is on!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm so excited...

At long last, the big day arrived! Bike Fitting day!!!
My new race bike came in from Specialized a little while ago, but due to a couple of issues it took a while to get built up.
Before I get into it I need to start by thanking Specialized for hooking me up with my new S-Works and Riders for having so much patience with me!
Special thanks to Luke and Cam for all there help with everything. Luke did such an amazing job setting me up with everything and keeping on top of everything, and Cam is one of the best and most patient mechanics I have every seen!!
Noa and I have been chomping at the bike to get me fitted and riding, so once it was built up we wasted no time!
Here are some pics from the fitting session,

Setting it up on the trainer, getting ready to go!

Settling into my new ride!

The Genius at work (Noa has a masters degree in bike fitting... Actually!)

Going to be fast! :)
My first race is the Warp Speed TT next weekend, can't wait to see what I can do!