Spring training started with a great camp May 4-9 in Vernon, BC hosted by Talisman ETS and Tri Club coaches Jack VanDyk and Jon Bird. Hard work, but really fun to ride new routes; have a focus each day/ride; support vehicles (ie: "Tour du France" - thanks to Jack's parents); add in some swim and run/hike options, and we covered it all. We also rode ~120 km of the Ironman Canada course. I have conquered Richter Pass (and it's likely the closest I'll ever get to Ironman, beyond spectating). I hope this camp is offered next year - definitely worth it. Check out these pictures from the camp.
A group of us have ridden the Calgary 70.3 Ironman course. I had my first flat tire EVER! This includes 7 years of riding my road bike. I had great difficulty getting the back tire off - thanks Don. As everyone gathered to watch me, Alan took over and finished, thanks Alan. I can do this - I've had tutorials from Cam at Speed Theory more than once. I proved this to myself the next day when my newly changed tire was flat again. I had no audience, and it took me forever to change the tire (like 20 minutes), but I did it. In my own defence, it was the back tire and a new tire and very tight on the wheel. Always good to practice this skill to get an idea of how hard it is to get the freakin' tire off the wheel, then on again.
The "tool kit" I carry on my bike includes - minitool (various sized allen keys), extra tube, 2 or 3 CO2 cartridges (16 grams = ~100 psi), CO2 cartridge dispenser (keep CO2 cartridge unattached to dispenser until it's needed), teeny/tiny patch kit, tire levers (2 or 3), a few dollars and the little carry case that attaches under my seat on the bike and holds all this stuff. I don't have a chain repair tool, and I don't know how to use one either.... I don't own a cell phone, if I'm on my own I borrow my Dad's so I can call in the troops if need be. Usually, I ride with others and someone (usually everyone, except me) has a phone with them. What, no duct tape?
I try to do hill training on a week night at Edworthy park - I can easliy ride their from home and it provides a good warm-up and cool down. I affectionately call it "that evil hill". There are always familiar faces - everyone smiling as they tell themselves "I love hills". My goal this year is to pass at least one person on that "evil" hill.
Onward to an open water swim at Sundance Lake. Thanks Chris - I notice you didn't get wet again this year.... It was cool outside and beyond COLD in the water. Jon and Grant made no bones about jump in and swim! They can be so demanding. I wore my very flattering "neoprene bonnet" along with a wetsuit. Getting that thing on is an adventure/workout in itself. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance from your fellow athletes in getting it done up - if you feel like you can't breathe, pull the body up higher. Impact Magazine (May/June 2010) has a good article about getting into a wetsuit.
My next hurdle is too have some sort of focus while in Europe for 3 weeks. I will have some pics of some great running spots in Finland, Ireland and Sweden. Although, I think I should have been training to increase my alcohol tolerance as I'll be attending a friend's wedding in Ireland!!