It’s been awhile since my last post.
A few things have changed but much has stayed the same.
Over the rest of the summer I found myself more and more on my road bike, really enjoying putting the kilometers in. I had my biggest month ever with over 2000km in July. That was fun, and I could feel the conditioning in my legs as I geared up for Ironman Canada in Whistler at the end of August.
That race went great. I had my best Ironman time ever and felt in control (well, more in control than in previous Ironman’s, but that doesn’t say muchJ) the whole race.
I hammered the bike course hard and had my best bike split by a wide margin, on what I would say is the hardest out of the courses I’ve done (Penticton and Coeur d’Alene being the other two). It was one of those days where I was able to keep pushing and the pain stayed at bay, exactly what you need on race day but doesn’t always work out.
The run wasn’t anything spectacular, but I was happy based on the mileage I’d put in. You can’t hope for an amazing marathon time during an Ironman unless you’ve put the work in – there’s no substitute.
I left the swim out, and we’ll leave it out.
Somehow over the course of the day I didn’t keep track of my total time. All I needed to do was check the time of the day to figure it out, but I didn’t do that. I also miscalculated what I needed my run time to be in order to have a sub 10-hour time on the way out of the run transition. Allison even tried to tell me how close I was to a sub 10-hour time 12km or so from the finish, but my brain wasn’t working and I didn’t understand what she was saying (this happens during my race often – my brain’s operating on empty, normal I would say). Anyway, that’s a long way of saying I didn’t meet my goal of a sub 10-hour race and came in with a personal best of 10:03, about 1 minute faster than my previous best. Woohoo, PB!! So cool to see the small improvements add up over time.
Following Ironman, the weather in Vancouver stayed nice and I found myself out on my bike for 3 or 4 rides each week with friends, soaking up the sun as it set earlier and earlier each day. I also found my new-found freedom of no upcoming big races a breath of fresh air.
I also started running more and more on the North Shore, mostly do to the location of my new job. It’s been fun exploring new trails and it’s been a new sensation doing so much elevation, both up and down. It’s a new thing for my legs, but I have noticed some new strength in them during my tempo runs, which I’ve attributed to this change to my schedule.
I remember after first moving to Vancouver I started running on Saturday mornings with a group in Pacific Spirit park. For the first few years, I was following my friends that seemed to know the trails like the back of their hands. I had a very different feeling this morning in the park, where I read the route map once, put it in my pocket and then ran on autopilot. I’m looking forward to investing a similar amount of time on the Shore to learn those trails just as well, although, I think there’s a wee bit more terrain to discover!
My normal Wednesday night tempo session at the West 4th Running Room has really picked up some steam. There’s been a great group of 10+ runners each week in my pace group pushing each other. Each week, someone feels stronger than everyone else and pulls the group along. I look forward to this run each week and treat it as my hardest workout of the week, and therefore, probably my favorite!
I’ve been out riding with the Wedgewood Cycling Team over the last 6 months and have really enjoyed riding with them. They are a great group of people that love to have fun on their bikes while also raising money for cancer research, a great combination. Their rides are over a 100km each week, well-organized, disciplined and with some great hard efforts throughout.
I’ve set my sights on my big race for 2014; I’ll be doing the Haute Route Pyrenees in September. It’s a 7-day bike race that travels over 750km and +20,000m of elevation over the 7 stages. Having never done anything like this before, I’m not really sure what a reasonable or stretch goal would be, but once I’ve figured it out I’ll let you know.
Committing to my big races now helps me stay focused on my training through the cold/wet/dark winter months.
What are your big races for 2014?