Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ironman Florida 2008

This year was an experiment (somewhat forced) in what I can versus need to do to perform well. Life got in the way of what I wanted to do training wise, and what I could do. Heading down to Florida I was anything but confident in what the result would be. Granted I had a great race at peterborough half earlier this year, but I wasn’t feeling confident that I could meet or beat last years time.

That being said, I did make sure I got all of my ‘key’ workouts in this year. So could I do better on less hours? How would the fact that I was already at a higher fitness level affect things.

Got down to PCB on Tuesday. Took the day to get settled. Went for a quick 30min run to shake off the travel. Settled into my parents condo, and had the first of many amazing meals that my mom cooked up. It cannot be over stressed how amazing this is to have such healthy and perfect food during race week.

Wednesday. Slept in a bit. Went and picked up my race wheels ( and registered. Got all of this done early. Went back to the condo and put the Zipp’s on the bike. The orbea looks unbelievable with a disk on the back. Awesome! That is truly inspiring. Took it out for a test, and felt great. I swear those wheels add 3kph.

After the bike I gathered up my wetsuit and headed out to the gatorade swim course with my wife. We bobbed around in the ocean for a bit before calling it a day. (Managed to make it out to the 3rd buoy which is ,by far, the farthest she has been out in the ocean.) I think I will be able to talk Jenn into this Ironman thing someday!;> Headed home to another awesome meal and sleep.

Woke up on thrusday and headed out to the swim early. Met up with Alex. Swam with Alex and Brandon until about the 2nd buoy where they made their way back. I wanted to swim the full course so I kept going. I allways do this once as more of a way to ease the mind. I love ocean swimming, but it takes a bit to ease the little naysaying voices in the head. Had a great swim and was stoked to get too race day.

Headed out with Alex later to ride the run course since he had yet to see it. After we went out for a short run ’strutting’, as Alex put it, by running by the expo and all of the crazy IM people. The atmosphere at any of these events is second to none. I recomend it to everybody!

Thursday night was the athlete banquet/ meeting. I didn’t show up until later (skipped the crappy pasta) and just went the the athletes meeting. Really not much different from last year. Be safe, don’t draft and have fun etc . . .

Friday was a true rest day. Fiddled with the bike getting it ready and just ate. I love eating!
Dropped the bike and gear in transition and went for a walk on the beach to calm the nerves. Not nearly as bad as 2007. Felt pretty good about things actually.

4am on Saturday morning. Woke up to eat as much as I could shove in my face. I think I got to my 1000 calorie goal. Couple of cups of coffee to get things going. Headed out at around 5am to get sorted in transition. Pumped the tires, dropped the special needs, left my nutrition and then waited. It was probably only around 10 degrees in the morning so a bit chilly.

6:30. Got my westuit on and headed into the water. Short warm up and back out to watch the pro’s go.

7:00am. No nerves. Positioned myself right on the front. Same as last year. Gun went, and we sprinted for the first buoy. I was able to ease off a bit earlier than last year as I found some open space. The biggest benefit I find with getting off the front early is that you are swimming with good swimmers who can go in a straight line. Very little banging around. I stayed about 10m off of the main line until the first turn just to avoid any crazyness. Went a little wide around both buoys and took the inside line back. It was pretty easy sighting this year. There was a bit of a cross current coming in but not too bad. First lap was in 26 min. Super fast!

Once we got back in the water we had to wade pretty far as there was a substantial sand bar.
It took a while to get my HR down after the wading. The second loop was pretty easy (I don’t remember much!) I was out of the water in around 56min. A little slower than last year, but I think that is mostly to do with the sand bar.

Out of the water and to the strippers!! The first of many unbelievable volunteers whipped my suit off and I was on my way. I handed my suit to Jenn and was off to T1.

I got my bag really quickly and headed into the tent. I sat down and had a volunteer helping me. I threw my compression socks on (get them, they are unbelievable. If you want more on them just ask me, I will probably do a gear review soon!) and the volunteer actually put my shoes on for me while I put my arm warmers on!!! I was out of the tent fast and was handed my bike. I managed to take almost 2min. off of my T1 time last year. I looked at my watch as I hit the mat. 1hr right on. Great stuff!!

The bike.Last year I really eased into the bike for the first 30km. I was trying to get my HR down. This year I wasn’t racing with my HR monitor and was going by feel. I took it fairly easy for the first 10km and then started pushing. We had a pretty steady head wind from 10 -40km. I was still able to stay above 30kph the whole time. I pushed pretty hard in this section because there was a pack forming and I didn’t want to get caught up in it, and didn’t want to end up pulling them along.

Made the turn at Ebro and things got easier. I was riding mostly with a pair of Beligium twins (who eventually won my AG with 3hr marathons!!!) and we were around eachother for most of the bike. At about 70km I looked back and saw a big pack riding behind us. I eased off and let them pass. At this point I talked breifly to one of the Belguim dudes and we decided that we would try and get away from the pack after the special needs station at 80km. At about 75km I passed the whole pack and lead by about 200m into special needs. I didn’t get my bag and made the turn onto 231. There was a good tail wind and I was able to stay around 48kph (on flat ground) for most of this section. The twins caught me around the turn off of 231. We rode together(legally) for most of the rest of the bike. At the turn around we saw that we had put around 2km on the pack who were riding two abreast!! I hope they got some penatlies!

The rest of the bike was steady pacing. I was feeling pretty good, but honestly was concerned that I had pushed too hard. I thought I was going to go sub 5 on the bike! (only missed it by 22secs!) I knew I was faster than last year for sure. The last 10km were into a head/cross wind. I took it real easy for the last 5km and eased into T2 feeling a little torched but alright.

T2. Another super transition, and another super volunteer! Quick stop at the porta potty and I was off.

The run.The first few steps were tenative, but ok! I quickly got up to my distance crunching pace (the one I feel like I can keep forever). The first 10.5km went fast. Lots of people on course and lots of great volunteers at all of the aid stations. I hit the turnaround in just under 50min (too fast!) and hoped that wasn’t a mistake.

Finished off the first loop in around 1:43. At this point I knew I had over 2hrs to finish sub 10! I knew if I was smart I should be able to do it. After the turn around I started to feel like absolute crap. Popped another Gu and thought that maybe I had used up all I had. I forced myself to keep running and kept telling myself that it would turn around. It did. The Gu kicked in (along with a banana and some coke) and I started to feel good again(relatively:> )

About 2km before the turnaround I felt my inner thigh starting to cramp again like last year. This had forced me to walk quite a bit. This year I was going to be pro-active. I decided I would start walking the aid stations until it got better to prevent it from cramping. This really seemed to work well. It would start tightening up until around each aid station. I kept this up for about 6km. At this point the adrenaline started to kick in as I knew that I was going to be under 10. I kicked it up a notch. I wanted to leave it all out there this year to see what I could do. The cramp left me alone and I was able to run pretty quickly for the last 4km. Coming into the shute I noticed that I was at 149:00

I wanted to keep it under 9:50 ( an 4 is better than a 5!) So I sprinted it in. 9:49:XX!!!!!! I was unbelievably stoked at this point. I didn’t think I had this time in me today. It was awesome. So rewarding and satisfying.

Met Jenn and my parents at the line! It was great!.
Got my medal/hat/shirt and went off for some Pizza. I was torched! Really had nothing left. I was starving and thirsty. The greasy Pizza was perfect!
So it was an unbelievable day for me. Honestly, this hurt more than last year. I pushed a lot harder.

It is going to be a few years before I do and IM again. I just can’t dedicate the time at this point to training (if you are going to do it, do it right!!).Thanks to everybody for their words of encouragment and support. It means the world to me.
Keep the rubber side down!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where I am at.

Well, for the few of you that pass by here I guess I have been neglecting this.

Things are good. One week out from IMFLA, I feel a little underprepared this year. Training has been ok, but not nearly where I was hoping to be at. The inspiration to train hard has just not been there.

I have revised my goals for this year. I would be very happy with a repeat of last year. Realistically I think 10:30 is more reasonable, but we will see. I think the running is a little stronger, but I just haven't done the bike miles that I did last year. I was usually only getting in my long ride and maybe a short one during the week. Just no time.

This is why I know for sure I am not signing up for IMFLA.

Jenn and I are thinking of doing the trans rockies MTB race next. I also hope to do my first marathon and some enduro mtb races. If things are going well at the end of the summer I will think about doing the Canadian, but on a much more relaxed training schedule.

I will definetely still do a bunch of early season tri's. Milton, Peterborough, Muskoka Long are all in for sure.

So that is me for now. Just sent the bike and gear off with my parents as they drive down. Jenn and I fly out on Tues. 28th.

Got another decent bib number this year #380. I've been told that it is very lucky in China? So I will take that.

I will update when I get back.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Orbea Ora (my new bike!!!)

Her she finally is. Awesome. 2 rides on her, and one 160km. The full carbon really takes the bite out of the rough roads. Definitely notice the lack of fatigue after the long ride.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Orillia and Coburg Race Reports (shoulda got some pics!)

Well, since both of these races had similar outcomes.

We will start with Orillia.

I threw this into the schedule late. I was always pretty sure I was going to do it, but I didn't want to commit to early.

Showed up early and set up. I was looking forward to seeing where my race fitness was as I have been training pretty well lately. Unfortunately, all Ironman specific.

I bought some new goggles at the expo before the race and made the mistake of deciding to try them in the race. This was the first mental no no.(never do anything new at a race!) Then I waited too long to start putting my wetsuit on. For some reason I really struggled with this. Got it on with only a few minutes to spare to warm up. Needless to say I wasn't in a good mental spot at the gun.

Started the swim ok. I was out infront of my wave. Then I got clipped a little by someones hand and it shifted my goggles. With my old goggles I would have fixed it quick and they would have stayed. For some reason I could not do this with the new ones. So from then on I was having to stop every 50m or so to let water out of my right lens. I
got good at this, and was able to do it without wasting too much time.

The bike. . .
Well, as many of you know I am still waiting for my new bike to come in, and as a result I was left riding my cheap road bike. Don't get me wrong, I love it and it serves a purpose, but isn't meant to be raced on.

I started the bike in great shape. I was passing tons of people and felt really strong. I was having a great time despite the lower quality equipment. I had set the bike up with some older aerobars, and got my aero position dialed in realatively close my normal one. So I was feeling comfortable.

With about 8km to got there is a long climb. Heading into the climb I shifted out of my big ring. The chain fell off (which isn't a big deal) and I quickly (while still moving) put it back on the small ring. What happened next was a little unexpected. As I took my first pedal stroke after putting the chain back on I heard a big crunch. I looked down to see my deraileur hanging off the back of my bike. It had snapped. Cheap plastic Campy!

Well, at that moment I knew my bike ride was over. I started walking up the hill wondering when the sag wagon would be by. The OAT official asked if I was allright (along with probably 300 athletes! I love triathletes!) and said it would be closer to an hour before the sag wagon got to me. Well, those who know me know I have zero attention span. So it became my challenge to myself to get back to transition before the sag wagon. Luckily the rest of the course had more down than up. So I took off my shoes and started jogging with my bike back to transition. Jog/Coast. Eventually I made it back. Learning a few interesting lessons along the way.

1. It doesn't suck as bad as I thought it would running in bare feet.
2. Paint lines on the road are nice and smooth.
3. Those long rubber patches they fill cracks in the road with are great to run on!

So got back, and headed out on the run feeling pretty good about myself. I have never DNF'ed, and it wouldn't start today.

The benefit of starting the run so far back in the pack is that I am a lot faster runner than everyone around me. I headed out at a strong pace and was just blowing by everyone. This makes you feel good. I estimate I passed 60 plus people in the 7.5km.

Finished in a really slow time, but it was no longer a race to me, but more of a challenge to see if I could do it.

On to Coburg. I really didn't want to do this one, but a friend of ours was doing his first tri-a-tri (who I was coaching) so I was going down anyways.

Coburg is a great venue, and the low key nature of the HSBC races is a nice change.

Ran into Tara Norton before the start whom I was surprised to see at a short sprint. She wasn't racing, just there to do some physio at the finish line. Had a short chat with her and off to get ready.

I had lent my "trusty" (see above) road bike to my friend to race on. I was then going to switch off the flat pedals he had put on and use this bike to do the sprint (as my new bike is still not here!!! :< ) I got my bike and put my pedals on, but the left seemed to not go in fully. (Turns out that he had tried to put the right pedal in the left crank and stripped it.) However, it seemed to be in ok so I didn't worry too much about it.

The swim. Forgot my goggles. Borrowed someones that didn't fit properly. Ended up swimming the entire swim with no goggles. It was also really choppy out there so sighting was not so great. I was 5th or 6th overall out of the water (which was an 800m swim) in a really slow time for me.

Onto the bike I knew pretty much immediately that something was not right. My left pedal had a little bit of a wobble too it. I was praying that nothing would happen in the short 20km ride. Well, the wobble got worse, and I was nursing it through the course. After the turnaround there is a hill, and about half way up it the pedal came completely off the crank. It had stripped entirely the crank.

So I am left on the side of the road again!!!

I walked up the rest of that hill and started to pedal using just my right leg. (Thank god for all of those one-leg isolation drills I do over the winter!)

I was surprised at how quickly I could still ride. I got passed a lot, but my average speed over the bike was still near 28kmph. Not fast, but not bad!

That being said, my right leg was exhausted by the time I got into T2. Unfortunately there is no way to run only using my fresh left leg!

Toughed out the run in a decent, but well below my goal, time. The crazy thing about this is that I still managed a 3rd in my AG. In the Subaru series I would have been 20th!

So that is my story.

The new bike will be in this week. (so I am told) and it can't come soon enough!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For Sale QR Tequilo 57cm

Selling my beloved QR tequilo. Very Fast TT/triathlon bike. Great condition. This bike has been professionally maintained.

Dura Ace/Ultegra/FSA. Alex 320 wheelset (upgrade from stock)

There is a small area on the top tube where the paint was rubbed off during transport.

This bike will fit someone 6' to 6'4.

Asking $1500 bo. ($2800 new) (Make me an offer!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mentoring (coaching) an athlete

I've coached high school track and x-country for many years now, but only in the last year or two have I spent any real time coaching/mentoring adults. It is really a far different experience.

With kids, they are allways being taught, and expect to be taught in certain ways. They are also used to progressing with everything they do. So, while rewarding on some levels, they don't necessarily recognize the effect your role as a coach has played.

Recently one of my adult athletes has been experiencing some real success. I think I am more stoked about it than him! He is really appreciative of my assistance, but I am more awed by the effort that he is willing and able to put into reaching his goals.

I find many adults feel that at a certain point they have reached their physical peak, and it is all down hill from there. I know from personal experience that this is definetely not true. The cool thing as a coach is to be able to show these people that they are able to be fitter and faster than they ever where before at any age.

In triathlon and running this is a very prevalent revelation. Many people take to these sports later in life, and experience these changes. We hear so many stories on all of the forums and blogs of later life fitness and success in endurance racing.

There is the obvious maturity required to race multi-sport, and the help of the larger income! But it is neat to see all of these people going against what many parts of society lead us to believe is the inevitable decline into old age.

As far as I am concerned, we should all fight this! With everything we've got. My biggest hero's are those 70 and 80 year olds running marathons and finishing Ironman races. They show us that this is definetely possible.

So what I guess I am getting at here, is that it is never to late to try something new, and as representatives of this sport, I think it would be a neat goal to try and get one person involved in fitness. It is as simple as helping them set a goal and helping them achieve it. It is a rewarding and addicting experience for the coach and the athlete.

So give it a shot. Mentor someone and find out what the rewards can be!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Peterborough 1/2 IM

Wow, I don't know where that race came from, but I am not complaining. Training has evened out a bit lately, but I was not expecting to improve on last year when I was training hard.

The day started out OK. Got to the site in plenty of time and chatted with some friends.

The swim start. Seeded myself with the top guys, (where I should be swimming) but did not have a great swim. My warm-up was a bit rushed, and I wasn't feeling ready to race when the gun went.

Started off OK, but was feeling a bit lethargic. After about 300m I got hit on the side of the head which loosened my goggles and allowed them to fill up with water. I had to stop to fix them. This allowed the group I was swimming with to put a gap on me. I tried to make this up, but was unable to. Coming back to the beach we were swimming into the sun which made sighting tough. At the turn bouy I turned too much and got myself offline and didn't realize it (because the glare of the sun wasn't letting me see the buoys) until I was probably 30m too far to the left. I then tried to correct this and somehow ended up too far to the right! Not a good first lap.

Onto the second lap, the group ahead of me had about 30secs on me and I knew I couldn't catch them, and there was noone else near me. It was a long lonely second lap, but I sighted a bit better.

Out of the water in a little over 30 min. and into transition in just over 31min. About a minute slower than last year. I wasn't terribly happy with this since it was more just stupid mistakes than anything.

T1 - I took my time to put socks on here. A little slow with the wetsuit removal, but hey, it is a long race what is a few seconds!

Onto the bike. I was feeling OK, and eased into the bike. I was really careful to let my body settle in before I started pushing. Due to the lack of really long rides lately, I was weary of pushing to hard to early. After about 10km I started to feel good, and at about 25km I put the hammer down. I felt awesome throughout the entire bike. I was blowing by people on all of the hills and I didn't even feel like I was struggling! It was probably one of the best rides I have put in ever.

Off the bike in 2:28 (36.3 kmph) Very stoked with this.

T2 was uneventful.

Headed out onto the run. It loops around the soccer fields, and I really dislike this section. It is uneven, and really tough because it taxes all of your stabilizer muscles. I don't run on trails, so I am not used to this. That being said, I was still feeling really good. I had to hold myself back a fair bit at first because the body wanted to really go.

I was aiming for a 1:40 1/2marathon and I was holding this pace very well. It wasn't until the last 4km when I dropped off. Entering back into the park the body really decided it was about ready to finish. I really mentally had to battle to not really drop my pace to much here. I managed to do allright, but missed the 1:40 by a couple of minutes. Not suprised after the effort I put out on the bike, but all in all really pleased with the run.

Finish 4:45:15. Over 3 min. faster than last year on less training. I was not expecting this at all. I am pumped!!!

I now have a significant time off from racing. I don't race again until Steelhead at the beginning of August. This is a good thing. I am looking forward to relaxing and training well.

It is now the time of the year when I get to put in the big miles, and I am looking forward to this.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wheels for sale.

I have three wheels for sale.

All are tubular and have newish rubber on them.

$250 unbranded American Classic Front. 40mm full carbon light and fast. Maybe has 400km on it. Continental podium tubular. used 3 times.

$150 Mavic Cosmic Carbon Rear. Very solid wheel 40mm carbon fering. Great shape recently trued. New conti podium tubular, used 3 times. Approx 3000km on it. Still great shape. Decals removed.

$100 Specialized/HED trispoke rear. Damaged, so I can't promise a whole lot. The breaking surface was damaged on a pothole before I got this. It has been repaired but is nowhere near perfect. The wheel is still very fast and true. Breaking is affected, but not to badly. I have raced this wheel a few times with no problems at all. New Tufo tubular on it which has never been ridden. Great second wheel if you don't want to risk your $2000 wheelset.

All wheels DON'T include skewers or cassettes.

I'm selling because I am going to be upgrading later this year.

contact me at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Muskoka Race Report

Muskoka is such a fun event. It has the atmosphere of a smaller race, but there are a ton of people there. Most of the best make it out for this one.

I wasn't expecting much out of this race as those of your who read this blog will probably realize. Training has been extremely sparse. I didn't taper at all and still did my long run/ride during the week so the legs were a bit tired.

Got to the venue nice and early this time, and had pick of the racks and parking which is allways nice. One neat thing was that there were less pro's this year, and as a result they moved one of our racks right next to theirs. Definetely cool to be suiting up next to these guys. It gives you a chance to chat with them, and more importantly check out their rides.

The race.

Swam down to the swim start which is so much nicer than walking. The pro's headed off and we watched the women fly by before we left. Got into a nice little pack off the gun, but lost them before the first buoy. I'm not sure if it was me or them, but I thought I had a good line to the buoy so I am thinking that they weren't sighting to well. It was hard into the sun.

Cruised the swim nicely. As usual with the longer swims I find a good rythym and can hold it well for the whole swim.

Out of the water I was feeling ok. From looking at the times of the pro's and myself, I think that the swim was about 100m long. Everybodies times seem a bit inflated.

T1 was relatively smooth.

The bike was the biggest x factor for me. I have been riding very little lately. Muskoka is a very tough and hilly course so I thought I would ease through it. I did ease through it, but the hills still smoked my legs pretty good. I had some GI issues about half way through the bike as well and my nutrition kept repeating itself on me. I had a very slow bike split. About 6 or 7 min. slower than last year.

T2. I knew I was going to be in trouble coming into transition. Had a slow transition removing a stone from my shoe. The first few steps were tough, and my abs were cramping really badly. I knew though, as a mature athlete :>, that if I just eased into it my running would come around. From experience it allways does.

Unfortunately today it took 8km to finally start feeling good. I got passed a lot in the first 7km, but I was determined not to walk. By the turn around the gut was starting to feel ok, and the legs were back on board, so I slowly ramped up the pace. I wanted to try and finish strong anyways.

I estimate that I was able to start running 4:20min. km's by the end, and I was feeling really good. To bad the race wasn't another 5km long I could have made up some time.

So that is the race. I know what I need to do to get back on the wagon. Bike, bike bike!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How to make life stressful 101.

Well. I think I am getting to be a pro at this. Not that I am overly stressed, but I definitely am making things harder than it could be.

So what do you do during the busiest month of the year to make it more difficult? The most stressful things you can think of!! Buying and selling a house! That's right! During exams/race season/ end of school year/ busy time at work for Jenn we go and buy a house. Of course buying the house is the easy part. Selling and packing our existing house is the hard part. Granted, most of it is now past us, but there are many niggly little things that go a long with it that take up a lot of time, and energy. I am more fatigued now than I was after Ironman, and I am not training that much at all!

So the closing is on the 26th of June for both houses. Jenn leaves for Newfoundland on the 22nd for 2 weeks. Yup, she won't be here for the move. That means that I will need to be power of attorney for her to sign the papers. This also means that I am going to have one less set of hands during the move. (This is part of the stress ) Thankfully, my wonderful parents will be there to help out. This day also happens to be the second last day of school, and our commencement. Which means that I will need to run to school for the ceremony during the move. Wow. I am getting an ulcer just thinking about it.

In the end I think this will work out fine, but June will be a blur that I don't remember. July and August will be full of doing all of those new house things that you are want to do. Painting/sanding/staining/tiling plus some minor carpentry. Luckily, I will still be able to get some quality training in during that time. Right now, I am lucky to hit 10 hrs a week. I am only managing onto the bike once or twice. Still, I should be in OK shape for Ironman. I am really lucky that I am doing florida and not Placid or Canada, because I would not be ready, or a total stresspot. It is also much easier the second time around. Unfortunately most of my season goals are being left out. No going pro next year, that is for sure.

So that is where things are at. It looks like I won't be able to make WIBA since it is the day after the move, but Peterborough and Steelhead still look like they will make the cut. After steelhead I may not race anymore until IMFLA. We'll see.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Milton Sprint Triathlon

Headed out into the day today wondering what the weather would hold for the first official triathlon of the season. It couldn’t come soon enough for me. Very anxious to see where the legs were at.
Recent life situations have made training difficult this year, so I was interested to see what would happen. It was a tough field with many athletes peaking for worlds next weekend. I knew this would be the case so expectations weren’t to high.
The race started with a splash into the frigid waters. I chose to start in my AG wave today as opposed to bumping myself to the elite wave. The confidence wasn’t flying to high today. I think this was a good choice overall, despite being held up a bit in the swim. Finished the swim in a respectable 11:10. I was hoping for a sub 11min. swim and would have probably done it in the elite wave. I didn’t really have anyone to draft off of in my wave, and the lappers quickly got in the way of that.
Into T1. I made sure to have sandals at the swim exit, as the parking lot at Milton is awful. Good choice. My transition was really slow. Had a bit of trouble getting out of my wetsuit. I need to practice this more. Normally I can get out in less than 1min, but I took 1:17 today. With the tight field this cost me a position in my AG and a few overall as well.
Onto the bike. I struggled on the bike at Victoria’s Du. I was going to make sure today that I eased into the ride, especially with “the hill” to contend with. Spun up the hill nicely, and passed a bunch of people who were really struggling. This was a moral boost for sure. Made sure to keep my cadence high and avoid mashing. This was my downfall in Kitchener. Managed to do this well while reaping the benefits of a second wave start. I mentally get a big boost from passing lots of people. So starting in the second wave allows me to do this. I only got passed once on the bike which is unusual. 51:03 for the bike, averaged 35.3.
I had a healthy gap over any riders coming into T2, and I knew that I was in contention. Another less than stellar transition had me onto the run course.
The run starts with a series of short punchy hills. These hurt while you are trying to get your legs under you. I made sure to give my legs some time to flush out today before I tried to start pushing. This was another mistake I made at Victoria’s. Milton is a tough run course. It is uphill almost the entire way to the turn around. My legs came under me around 2km, and I started picking off people. By the turnaround I was feeling very good and was holding a respectable pace. I started to cramp with about 2km to go, but I wasn’t going to let it slow me down at that point. I managed a little sprint into the line to finish in 1:35.55. A little slower than last year, but OK. Our AG was extremely competitive with only a little over a minute between first and fourth.
Overall I felt great about today, and I definetely have more confidence going into Muskoka in a few weeks. Should be fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Interview with Tara Norton

CT: While most of us have been hunkering down for the winter it sounds like you have been putting in a hard off season! What have you been up to over the last few months?

TN: I have definitely started off my season earlier this year than ever before. I know that this is true as I did 4 5hr+ indoor Computrainer rides! In February I traveled to New Zealand and did Epic Camp ( After the camp, I traveled to Melbourne, Australia and raced at the Geelong 70.3 one week later! And I have just returned from competing at my first Ironman of the season in Tempe, Arizona. I placed 6th overall and qualified for Kona in a very competitive women’s field.

CT: You were down in New Zealand for Epic Camp. What was that experience like?

TN: Epic Camp is a camp run by my coach, Scott Molina, as well as Gordo Byrn and John Newsom and my 8 days there consisted of 1100km of hard cycling, 125km of running and 42km of swimming (totalling 62hrs of training). It was the experience of a lifetime! I pushed to limits I didn’t know were possible and this new knowledge (along with the physical strength I gained) will help me in my future Ironman races. There were 21 campers including the coaches, and I ended up placing 4th overall in the points system. I was the only woman there and had to show the boys that a girl could play the game too! The people at the camp were great and the scenery in New Zealand was spectacular.

CT: So, what are your plans for 2008? Any major goals that you would like to achieve?

TN: My plans for 2008 are to do four ironman races: Ironman Arizona, Ironman Lanzarote, Ironman Switzerland and the Hawaii Ironman World Championship. Obviously I would like to improve on my 12th place finish in Hawaii, but I would also like to add “Ironman Champion” to my resume!! I am continuing to work to improve my run leg of the Ironman. I would like to run a 3:15-3:20 marathon in one of my Ironman races. Finally I am coaching some athletes through and I want to be the best coach I can be and get them all to their start lines healthy and happy!

CT: We are heading into summer, what does a typical week look like for you once the snow has left the ground?

TN: A typical week would include:
Monday: 3-4K swim, 1 hr weights. Tuesday: 90min run (tempo or short run reps), up to 3 hr ride, 90 min strength and stretch class. Wednesday: 4K swim with lots of IM, 3-4 hr ride, 45min run. Thursday: 90 min run, 1 hr weights, 5K swim. Friday: 3-4K swim, 1 hr weights, 1 hr run. Saturday: Long 5-6 hr bike/30-60 min run brick workout. Sunday: 5-6K swim, up to 3 hr run. And in there I coach, see massage clients and get all my own appointments in!

CT: Obviously you are a very talented and driven triathlete, what first brought you into the sport?

TN: A friend of mine started the Triathlon Club at Trent University where I was doing my undergraduate degree. He suggested that I try doing a triathlon race. I started with the relay (I did the swim) and then I progressed in the sport as most people do: I did a sprint, then an Olympic triathlon, then a Half Ironman and finally a full Ironman. It’s funny because when I first started triathlon I thought that Ironman was crazy and that I would never do one! Fourteen Ironman races later…there is no stopping me!

CT: You have been a major proponent of visualization. What first got you interested in this subject, and how has it affected your racing?

TN: I have always known that Ironman is 1/3 mental (and 1/3 physical and 1/3 nutrition) and as I progressed in the sport, wanted to train mentally as well as physically. Just as I was starting to inquire about mental training options, I was contacted by Etienne Couture ( and that was the start of my mental coaching. I signed up immediately! This work has been incredible and has been extremely instrumental in my improvement. I continue to do weekly sessions and continue to learn how to use my mental strength to achieve my best in the sport. Through my mental training, I now have better awareness which helps in all aspects of my life. I have learned mental techniques to help me in my races and in training (both mentally and physically) and I am steadily improving my results.

CT: What is your sponsorship situation looking like this year?

TN: I have the most amazing sponsors including Shimano, Zoot, Endurosport, GU, Rudy Project, The Toronto Athletic Club (Dr. Lawrence Micheli), and Toronto Circus School. My success wouldn’t be possible without all this support, for which I am extremely grateful. My Shimano gear and Zoot apparel and Cervelo P3C from Endurosport make me fast AND make me look good!! I just rode my PRO disc wheel in Arizona and it was SWEEET! I love the new Zoot racing flats as they fit like slippers and my Zenith wetsuit makes me look like a superhero!  GU and ART by Lawrence Micheli keep me well fuelled and keep my body healthy.

CT: Do you have a race that sticks out as your favourite? Why?

TN: Ironman Lanzarote is definitely my favourite race. The island is magical and deemed the toughest Ironman in the world with the heat, wind and almost 9,000 feet of climbing on the bike, it plays to my strengths. I love climbing on the bike, so this is a great course for me.

CT: Has your family always been supportive of your triathlon pursuits?

TN: I have 100% support from my family and as a result I feel very lucky. I know this is not the case for everyone so I am extremely appreciative and don’t take it for granted. I have had the support from my husband, Bruce, and the rest of my family from the time I started to contemplate turning pro. My family also travels to almost all of my races and this is very special to me

CT: What is your favourite food?

TN: Oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts. Post race would have to be ice cream!

CT: If you had one piece of advice to offer an aspiring pro or age grouper what would it be?

TN: Follow your passion – if you do what you love to do, you will do it well and be happy. More specific advice for Ironman would be to ensure that you get in good nutrition (that you have practiced beforehand) during the race in order to fuel your body. Most people do all the hard training in order to get ready for Ironman but it would be a shame to then not have the proper fuel to execute that great race and put all that hard training to work on race day!

CT: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Best of luck this year and hopefully we will see you on top of the podium!

TN: Thanks! I hope so too

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stressssss and Triathlon.

Do you ever wake up and think that you have too much going on in your life and would love to escape for a while? The last couple of weeks have been feeling like that. Looking for a house, getting our house ready to sell, taking on new challenges at work, coaching the track team and trying to train. Guess what hasn't been making the cut lately.

I haven't been on my bike in a week and a half (excluding Victoria's Du) and previous to that only a few times since the snow left. Cycling has taken the biggest hit becuase of the time required. I think I have screwed up my thinking on the matter. If I don't have time for 90km, I just don't go. Still in the Ironman mode I guess.

It probably isn't the worst thing to take time away from training, unfortunately it is something I want to do, and I feel better having done it. So not training is adding stress. Also stressful are the races I want to do well at early in the season. Muskoka long course is starting to loom large.

I keep saying, next week I will get my long ride in, and then something gets in the way. Running and swimming are doing OK because I can easily fit them into my mornings, or after work.

It is looking as though I won't be able to get any consistent bike training in until the end of June. That is OK for IMFLA, but not for the other races I want to do well at.

I guess it is just a matter of changing my goals. '

Besides time, I am finding myself constantly tired. Not from training, but more just mentally exhausted. The body feels like crap for not doing anything, but the brain is so tired you can't motivate yourself to go.

Hopefully once track is done, I can get back on Track :>

We'll see!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Victoria's Du

Did I mention I hate duathlons?

My opinion of them hasn't changed after yesterday.

It was a cold, windy, rainy day. Really didn't feel like racing. The body was fatigued from the start due to all of the work we have been putting in at the house this weekend. Also, hadn't been training as much as I like.

I believe that I have changed my body into a long course fitness. This short stuff hurts!!!!

Started the run off feeling ok. was shoulder to shoulder with Larry Bradley (an athlete I mentor) and Pat Bielgalski a guy I have been racing with a fair amount over the years. Dropped a few meters back of them by the end of the run.

I didn't have gloves so my fingers were pretty numb in T1. I couldn't get my helmet done up. Lost a few secs there.

The bike was tough. The wind was fierce. The entire way out we had either a head wind or a vicious cross wind. Once again I was neck and neck with Larry throughout the bike. By the turnaround I was pretty spent and started having some GI issues. I am not used to pushing this hard. I let Larry go while I tried to recover. Was feeling OK coming into T2.

The second run was tough. The legs came around after about 500m and I got into a rythym. I tried to push the pace to catch Larry, but at the turnaround I hit the wall. Too much time spent at too high of a heart rate.

I got passed a lot from then on in. Cramped up pretty bad which means my hydration and electrolytes were off coming into the race. Finished a full 8 minutes slower than last year!

Oh well, this was just for fun right?

I know I need to get on the bike a lot more. My swimming is doing really well right now, and I need to switch to a bike focus to try and get it together for Muskoka.

We'll see!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I don't think I could ever be a pro cyclist. The long long hours required to be at the top would kill me. Don't get me wrong, I put in a lot of hours, but I don't think I could spend that much time on the bike without going loopy (and sterile!). I love long rides once a week, but to do 20-30 hours on a bike a week is insane!

First Meet!

Our team had the first meet of the season. The kids did really well. A bunch of PB's, no hardware, but everybody had a good time. This was really the biggest goal of this meet. We are headed off to Dwyer tomorrow to better our times. Looking good for LOSSA this year.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

As Requested, more Tat pics

This is the initial sketch that I made of the tattoo and the final design is pretty much the same (obviously minus the red). The theory was to include the MDOT in some sort of pose, but not in a cheesy way. I am a big fan of tribal stuff (and want some) so I kind of took some design elements from that. So it is the MDOT crossing a finish line with his arms up. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Something a little different from anything else I have seen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hah! Took the track boys down!!! He He! Guess that is what happens when I design a workout more suited to me. 10X400m decending starting at 2:05 With the last one all out. I set the pace for each 400m. I managed a 1:11 for my last 400 and beat out the fastest comer by about 1sec. Close, but I was in front!! Managed to push them pretty hard. I sense some school records this year with this group. Good stuff!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Just got humbled by one of my track kids. Up until last night I was able to take him in the 400m. He stuck it too me good! We did repeats and he beat me on every one! Normally I can tire them out and easily beat them by the 4th or 5th repeat. Not so anymore. Wondering if I am getting slower, or he is getting faster! I hope it is the later.

Also, I am now sore from that workout. I haven't run that fast in a long time. I can run forever, but not fast apparently.

Oh well, maybe in a few weeks I can regain some of my speed. It would be great to get a bit faster for the sprint tri's in June and Victoria's du in May.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Getting into the swing of things!!

Spring is finally here! Can't wait to take the bike off of the trainer.

Training is going OK, not quite where I want to be, but close and that is OK this time of year. Track has started so the kids will be keeping me honest and forcing me to do a bit of speed work, which I desperately need. I can run forever right now, just not that fast!!!

I will probably be heading to the Uxbridge 1/2 Marry looking to demolish the 4 year old 1:34 PB. Shouldn't be a problem. Would love to see a low1:20. It will be a game day decision on how hard I push. If I am feeling rested and strong I will give'er, but if I am a bit sluggish I will hold a steady tempo. Don't want to push the body too hard this early in the year.

Did a 19.5km run the other day in 1:34 which is pretty good. I might have pushed a bit hard, as the quads were complaining a bit the next day, but it felt good. Also did a 10km hard tempo down the path to the lake, and pulled that off in 42min.

The big question is the bike. I will need to put some hard miles in if I want to do well in Muskoka. Can't wait to race!!

It looks like I might do Victoria's duathlon. Every year I say I won't (cause du's hurt!!!) and every year at this time I am itching to race and do it anyways!!

Starting to build up the mileage in the pool Every session is over 3000 now, and I will be doing long sessions of 4-5km.

Looking forward to warmer weather!!! Spring spring spring!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thanks Again!!

Despite hundreds of votes for me (which for each I am eternally gratefull!!!) I was outdone by some great triathletes. Thank you for all of your support through this. It has been great hearing from everyone, and I look forward seeing everyone soon.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Making the Team, 2008 ( EVO TRI)

There are four things that are important in my life. My wife, my dogs, my students and triathlon.

I take great pride in all of these. Each for their own reasons.

My wife is the source of my strength. Through her spirit, beauty and personality, I get a lot of what makes life worth living.

My dogs are nuts!! But I still love them!

My students make everyday an adventure. Their open eyed approach to life and innocence make me realize why I do what I do.

Lastly, endurance sport has been part of my life for years, and my identity as a person is closely related to being an athlete. Triathlon represents what many people are missing in their lives. Balance, drive, ambition and camaraderie.

Completing my first Ironman last year was a monumental experience. I remember running the last few km and reflecting why this moment was so important to me. Was it crossing the finish line? Was it the pride that I saw from my parents and friends? I realized that it was these things and more. I think the biggest thing was the journey. Never before in my life had I committed so fully to something. Something that at some point I thought was impossible. Completing Ironman meant that nothing was impossible.

If I put my mind to it, I could achieve anything. I have noticed myself applying this to my life more frequently. Many things that I might have otherwise not even attempted, I am trying. Like team EVOTRI. In the past I would have quit once my video was voted off (Hell, I would never have made the video in the first place!).

I want to share what I have learned with other people and, more importantly, with kids. I see the potential kids have to do great things. All they need is someone to believe in them and give them some structure and direction.

I started a triathlon forum last year ( as a way to connect with other athletes in Canada. Initially it was more of a hobby, but that has led me into other areas. From this I started a triathlon team. The team is a way for me to share all of the knowledge I have gained training and perfect my coaching abilities.

However, I think that my skills are probably best applied with kids. I love working with them and the impact that I can have on them.

I have also recently organized spinathon for ALS (BLAZEMAN foundation) in Toronto.

If I am selected for Team EvoTri, I have a few ideas of what I can do for the team. (I am saving these for the interview if I get selected). I want to be part of the team really badly, and I know that I have a ton to offer if given the chance!

Thanks for reading. Here is a video I put together after doing IM FLA last year. Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for reading! If you think I should be the next fully-sponsored member of Team Evotri, please write down the URL of this web site and have it ready for voting when you click the EVOTE button below. Thank you!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Thanks for all those that voted for me for Team EvoTri. Unfortunately I guess I wasn't what they were looking for (or others had more friends!!!). I appreciate all the support! You guys Rock!

Monday, February 18, 2008

HELP!!! Vote for me!!!!

I am in the final 10 for a spot on Team EvoTri. They have opened it up to voting for the final 7 until Wednesday. So the public will choose who goes on!

We had to submit videos as to why we should be on the team. (mines a bit silly, so watch it!)

If you could go to and check out the videos that would be cool, otherwise you can just shoot off an e-mail with my name in the subject line (they won't open most e-mails)

So send an e-mail to with the words "Vote for Syd Trefiak "in the subject line

If you have multiple e-mails you or people that would help me by voting please forward this to them!!

Thanks a lot guys.
If I make it to the next round I will let you know!!!!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spin for ALS (Blazeman foundation) in Toronto

Hey guys,
I am currently organizing a spin for ALS and the Jon Blais (Blazeman) foundation. It will be held March 1st, in Toronto at FITS training center. We will be spinning for approx. 16.5 hrs. (the amount of time that Jon was on course in Kona for). You don't need to spin the whole amount, just come out and join us! A min. $25 donation to the fight against ALS would be appreciated.

You can check out a bit more of what this is all about at or the

We will have some spin bikes available on a first come first serve basis. If you want to bring your bike and trainer that would work too!

If you want more info or a pledge sheet, just e-mail me at

Also, if anyone would like to donate water/gatorade/food/prizes to the spin, that would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Everything is going well. Training is starting to come around, feeling strong again. I will start going long more in February. I am up to 11/12 hrs a week at the moment. Trying for 14 for Feb. Getting close to having all of the parts to build up Jenn's bike. A few more shiny pieces for my own. Picked up a Carbon Aero QR seatpost for the Tequilo, and am in the market for some Carbon bars as well. I love Carbon!

I might be running an ALS spinathon for the Blazeman foundation. The timeline is a bit tight, but if I can find a venue I might give it a go. 16.5 hrs on the bike! If anyone has a venue (gym) ideally with some extra spin bike let me know!! Looking for March 1st (I know, not much time!)

Had our V02 max/ LT testing done at the Cleveland Clinic in TO last weekend. Very cool experience. Paul and the gang were very nice to us! It is allways great to have someone check out these things for you. Turns out my training zone were off a bit. Nice to know!

Other than that, just keeping, keeping on. Jenn is going to be heading to OZ for work for a few weeks in Feb, so I will be left with the dogs. Should have the devil spawn, I mean, Kaya, a little more settled by then. She is actually getting much better. I just don't like waking up at 5am if I really don't have too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January is going Swimmingly!

Well, it is January. So far things are going alright. I am really trying to focus on putting some good solid miles in the pool in the next month and a half. Felt awesome today doing a 3500m swim in around 50min. Sweet. Can definitely feel the strength work helping out in my pull. I am thinking I might be able to get a lot closer to a 50min swim in FLA this year!

Dog is being crazy. Good thing she is cute!

Other than that, just trying to get back into a schedule with the training. Might take a few weeks to get back to the 14hrs that I want right now, but no rush.

Definitely not doing worlds this year as Muskoka has spots for Lake Placid next year and I want one!