Monday, October 21, 2013

Bici Rodeo Cross, September, and BMO Okanagan 10k

Apologies for slacking on the blogging side, but I've been sick ever since Blitz Duathlon and not doing much with regards to racing / training in the past month.
Here are some notables.

Bici Rodeo Cross

First cyclocross race of the year. A week after Blitz, and was just starting to feel a cough coming on. I had done a decent amount of skills training but very little high intensity training. Ouch!
It was very cold and windy out in the Airdrie Rodeo grounds. I managed to get in two full laps of warmup, but the last one cost me a decent starting position - which pretty much seals your fate in a cross race. I was probably ~20th in the hole shot.
I felt pretty good in the first 2 laps, passing or catching guys on the straights, and mostly holding my own on the technical parts. I did slip up a few times, especially as I fatigued, and ended the race in virtually the same position as I started (not uncommon).

September Stats:

  • Bike: 21 rides, 950 kms, 35 hours, 8,500m elevation
  • Run: 16 runs, 113 kms, 9.5 hours

After this, my cold/cough thing got a bit worse. I went to see a Dr who told me I had a throat infection, and prescribed some antibiotics. With over a week to go before BMO, I figured I'd be well just in time to get in a couple hard runs before the race and still do well.
Unfortunately, the antibiotics did nothing.
I managed one hard run on the preceeding Friday, with a single kilometer at race pace (sub-4 min/km), and was hacking and coughing for a minutes afterwards.
Did a light run in Revelstoke on the way to Kelowna on Saturday, and didn't feel great there either.

BMO Okanagan 10k Run

So the stretch goal was sub 40 minutes, requiring a sub 4 min/km pace for 10k, obviously. I say stretch because I've never even done 5kms at that pace.
That said, I felt I could do it with the reduced elevation (>600m lower than Calgary, which according to runworks, could equate to about 11s improvement).
I line up next to Melissa and a bunch of school kids who are talking about running 3:30's. Yikes.
My plan was to go fast with the lead group, for about 3km, then pull it back for a km, 3 fast, 1 slow, last fast.
Went out hard as planned. Looked at my watch and it said 4:30'! Turn a corner, now it says 3:30. Great...
1 km split goes by, 3:50. I'm feeling pretty good. -10s.
Next km goes by. Little bit slower but still sub 4. Overall, -12s. Still feeling good.
Km 3, lose a few seconds, back down to -10s. Now I'm starting to hack.
I hear a familiar voice behind me. Turn and see Melissa has caught up to me.
Km 4, lose a couple more. -6s. Melissa runs in front of me. Wow she's running strong!
Km 5. I'm fading. Tempted to try to break the 20 min marker, but decide to ease a little and hope to recover. +4s.
The turnaround takes a lot of me. I struggle to get back to speed, and am losing contact with Melissa and another guy I'd been running with.
The next 3 kms are torture, and I lose 56s, and several placements.
In the final 2km I am caught by another guy, and we run stride for stride at around 4:10's until the final 400m, where he accelerates and I'm left with nothing.

Official finish time: 41:50. Not quite personal best, I got 41:30 last year in the Underwear Affair!
Not too disappointed considering the state I went into it, but was hoping for better.

(Melissa on the other hand, killed it! Won the overall women category, time of 40:27!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blitz Duathlon

7km Trail Run - 19km Bike - 3 km Trail Run

Details, here.

Strategy going in was to hang on to lead runners (mike) for the first km, then hit the climb easy while the others burn matches, then kill it on the descent. 
Then hope for a wicked bike split to make the difference, and hammer the final 3km "sprint". 

Well, that's pretty much was how it went down, except I couldn't make up enough time on the 20k bike, and the lead runners were much faster. 
Cool-down run in the final leg because there was nobody within a minute, before or after. Finished 4th overall, but since the top 3 were all in my Age Group and they separated those, I still got a prize for 1st place in my AG!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 2013

Not much news since road race autopsy, except that I've been enjoying NOT having to put in specific training rides, taper, etc.
Even seeing my wattage coming back for sustained efforts.
Also, been getting back into running and as of today, put the knobbies on and cleaned up the cyclocross bike and went ripping around Fish Creek!

  • Bike: 21 rides, 825 kms, 31 hours
  • Run: 5 runs, 48 kms, 4.5 hours

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Road Race Season, epilogue

It's always hard not to judge the entire season by the last few races. Last year, I ended on a high note, taking 1st and 3rd in the final two races, and receiving my Cat 3 upgrade letter in the mail shortly thereafter.
This season however, fizzled out slowly, with both enthusiasm and ability crawling along to the finish.
In order to provide a fair introspection on the season as a whole, I will provide a timeline of races and a brief recap of high/low lights.

  • 8 - WNS 16km ITT
    • Big turnout for the first WNS of the year, 8th overall, in a strong field. Watts very close to the same as a similar race a year ago. Only 29 seconds behind Mike though.
  • 11-13  -Velocity SR
    •  Worked my ass off for Isaac in Road Race, chasing breaks. Went in the ditch on final turn. 10th/36 in ITT, only 1 second behind Mike! Tired and timid in crit; unable/unwilling to push to the front in the final laps.
  • 26 - Pigeon Lake RR
    • Cancelled right before final loop due to crashes.
  • 11 - MM Crit
    • Fast names, hung on and rode strong.
  • 13-16 Banff BikeFest
    • No improvement in HC over last year. First time racing 1ASprint RR, which ended in crash right before the sprint. Missed start time for ITT. Too risk-adverse in crit. Finished strong in Tunnel Mtn RR, but got center line infraction.
  • 22-23 Devon GP
    • Bottom 3rd in Hill Climb. Skiddish in crit after Mike crashed. Strong in cat2/3 combined RR, worked for Marc, but strong in sprint. Finished 3rd but relegated for center line infraction. Cost me podium in RR and high placement in Omnium.
  • 25 - MM Crit
    •  Raced strong, but rained out before the finish.
  • 26 - WNS - Mini Giro RR
    • Suffered like a dog on the course with nothing but climbing and climbers. Finished solid.
  • 1 - Canada Day Provincial Crit
    • Tactical race won by break. Played the only hand I had and had the best outcome I could have received in those circumstances.
  • 7 - Stampede Master's Provincial RR
    • Mechanical problems forced me out of the race.
  • 13-14 - Rundle Mountain Omnium
    • Mid-pack in prologue. Unable to obtain my position in the crit. Strong Provincial road race, where I worked hard and managed a top 10 in the uphill finish.
  • 27-28 - Kicking Horse Cup
    • Consistent power and good final kick on long hill climb. Hung on for first climb but dropped on 2nd lap. Strong finish in final kms.
  • 31 - WNS Hill Climb
    • Two other guys in Cat A, Evan Bayer and Isaac... and I came in 2nd! 

  • 3-5 - Tour De Bowness Omnium
    • Strong in long road race, attacking, chasing, sprinting. No motivation in Hill Climb so pulled the chute half-way up. Lost position in final lap of Crit, despite racing strong.
  • 9-10 - Jason Lapierre
    •  Not riding strong in ITT, until flat at turnaround forced me to quit. Didn't read the tactics in the crit sufficiently so was out of position for the sprint. Also really low max wattage.
  • 17 - Provincial ITT
    • Little bit sick, not much motivation, and even less ability!

While typing this summary, a few observations jumped out at me.
First off, my lack of aggression in the crits prevented much of my former crit success this year. I recognized situations where other guys, mostly young guns, would dive bomb into corners at obtuse angles, risking life and limb of everyone around them. I would always back off. I happened a bit in road races too, but usually there is more time/distance to recover. Not so in a 30 lap crit.

I started the season with strong time trials, but ended weakly. This tells me I had great fitness coming off Libby, etc, but with the sheer amount of racing my fitness probably waned, while I accumulated fatigue.

I excelled in the long road races. The longer and nastier, the better. Apparently. After Devon and TdB I'm confident that I could easily hang in most Cat 2 road races, with enough mustard to produce a solid finish.

I've also lost my fear of climbs. In years past I would never have driven all the way Golden to do a hill climb! Sure at 80kg I'm not built like a horse jockey, but I love how those races are about sustained wattage. I'm finding I can climb better than most sprinters, and sprint better than most climbers. There are certain races where this could be the perfect recipe for success.

Cat 3 tactics are very different from 4 and 5, at least in my pelotons.
In cat 5, guys will sprint from everywhere! You are guaranteed a lead out from anywhere you want, if you are patient and can jump a few wheels.
In cat 4, nobody wants to sprint too soon, so you can often catch the pack off guard by jumping early.

In cat 3 this year, due to the log jam of great juniors always present, guys attack everywhere. Entire races are often filled with attacks, many of them a couple hundred meters, slight regroup, then next attack. Timing is key and trusting a few other guys in the group to help chase down legitimate breaks.
Seldom is there any team tactic involved, however.


  • Points in all Provincial Races (6th in Crit, 9th in RR, 6th in ITT)
  • 28 Upgrade points, out of the required 60 (could have been more if GC events still counted for upgrade points. Also could've had more if I'd learned about that centre-line rule sooner!)
  • Increased critical power for 10-30 min range.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Provincial ITT

30km ITT. Sounds fun, don't it. What if I told you it was up near Edmonton, windy and hot? Well, if that doesn't get you excited check your pulse.

Okay, there was one detail luring enough for me to make the day-trip up for such guaranteed suffering; ABA "Series A" upgrade points and a small field of Cat 3.
That and I'd registered in EVERY other ABA race this year, so why come up just short?!

My strategy was to start out around 90% of my FTP for the first 5-10km, so that I would feel good and have a strong finish.
Sounds easy enough, however I hadn't done an FTP test in a long time, so I was basing this on my most recent 20 min test, performed back in June.

Unfortunately, I hadn't made any adjustments for fatigue, or a nagging cold I'd been fighting.

The first 5km split was painful, even at the lower target wattage. The next few splits would see my power drop to 80% of FTP, despite an alarm that I had set to beep when my wattage dipped into Zone 2!
The body just wasn't having it. I was producing a ton of phlegm, and felt like I had zero energy.
Took the turns very carefully soas to reduce the risk of flat/crashing like last week.
I was NOT going to DNF again and miss out on a couple upgrade points!

So, on I trudged, managing to bring up my wattage in the final 5km back up to 90%. To me this felt like I was going all out!!

Anyway, thanks to my aero bike, helmet, wheels, etc, my average speed was still over 40, which put me in at 6th / 8. Went home with 8 upgrade points, so Mission Accomplished I guess.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jason Lapierre Memorial

20km Time Trial

Decent warmup, tapered all week, and despite fighting a cold since TdB Road Race, I was jacked to race on the Orbea. Last time I got to ride it was Banff, when I DNS'd due to my 10 min time penalty.

I went out pretty hard, trying to keep my watts at FTP. Started fading in kilometers 5-10. Going into the turnaround, my front tire exploded, and I went over my bike.
Race over.

Downtown Criterium

Though nursing a sore wrist and scraped knee from the ITT, I was feeling less sicky than yesterday and ready to go back to the course I won last year!

The return of Isaac meant I had a teammate! First time since Devon that I've had someone else in STC colors to race with!
The pace was pretty quick, and folks tried attacking, but nothing was going to stick. It never does.
The course it too straight, too non-technical.
At point around lap 10, I saw Isaac at the very front, so I decided to launch an attack; have him block a little, or at least have someone else pull in front.
I got a small gap but looked behind and saw only Masa. Half a lap later he wasn't coming around and the pack had pretty much retrieved us so I backed off.
That was exciting. Sat in the back for the remainder of the race.
Only one prime, and I found myself bored for much of the race.
Isaac wanted to go on an attack with about 15 laps to go. It finally happened with around 9 laps left. He was caught about 2 laps later.
In fact the final 15 laps were attack-filled. Final 3 were no exception.
It would make my last year's strategy very difficult. Got a bit separated from Isaac, and there was some sketchy cornering so I didn't/couldn't move up to where I wanted to.
Ended in a bunch sprint for about 50m.
I didn't like how close the finish line was to the final corner this year; it served to neutralize the thing I liked about that race before, the 3 wide open city lanes to sprint on.
Finished disappointingly somewhere around 10th or 11th...
First time in 4 years that I attained not a single upgrade point at this event!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tour De Bowness

135km Road Race

20k in, a pair break away and we let them go. Big mistake, they stayed away for the rest of the race!
2nd half of the first lap, I spent a lot of time at the front, trying to keep the pace going, but didn't get much help.
2nd lap, pace seems like it's getting slower and I'm still at the front, so I convince Evan Burtnik to drive the pace up on a roller. End up in a 3 man break w/ Andrew Rockwell. I'm liking this mix, so we bust it for about half a lap. Unfortunately our break is caught right at the base of the big KOM hill (crappy place to get caught).
Soon after the hill, Evan jumps again with someone else. They stay away, so now I'm thinking we're racing for 5th.
3rd time up the hill, Andrew and a couple guys get away,  and I'm convinced we're now out of the points.
We still have Barrie and Lukas, both good sprinters, so my new goal is to mark those two guys.
We end up catching all the breakaway gang (except for the first 2) with about 10 km to the finish.
Pace immediately softens until about the final Km.
Final rise it strings out a little, but everyone is being very cautious.
With 250m to go, an opening forms in front of me. I make a quick decision, knowing it's probably too far, into a cross wind, but with a big pack still remaining, I don't want to risk getting tangled up with people standing up to sprint so I decide to jump!
Nothing but silence for what seems like minutes, I can see the finish, and then voom-voom-voom... The 2 Juventus boys and Barrie go flying by, maybe 20m from the line!
End up 4th in the sprint, 6th overall.

3-Up Hill Climb

The format of this race is a little different. It's considered a time trial, however races go up Canada Olympic Park hill in heats of 3. This allows for some interesting tactics, drafting, pacing, etc.
Except when you're two heat-mates don't show up. :(
Then it's just me, and the long, lonely road up the side of a bobsled hill.

Despite pleading with the commissaire at the start line to group me with individuals behind me, he adamantly refuses saying it's too complicated, etc. Wouldn't ya know it though, he somehow managed to uncomplicate it 2 minutes when he paired Evan B up with Mark Faas, who were both without partners!

I had a decent warmup, but definitely felt the residual wear and tear from the Saturday race.
As I take off I settle in nicely to my target wattage and plough through the first half of the course, against the NW head winds. But my legs start to ache, as they should, and I decide not to argue with them on this day.
I'm not a hill climber on the best of days, but I would have fought tooth and nail to hang on to someone else's wheel had there been one, so I resolved to resist the self-mutilation and live to fight another day.
Ended up about 30s slower than last years time.
Good news is that I'm still in 7th in the Omnium, and can possibly make up a couple spots next in the Crit.


Not killing myself in the HC the day before was a good idea. I had a long warmup, and felt great the whole race, moving easily from 10th-3rd place at will.
2nd last lap, the pack is strung out in the final straight away and the guy in front of me lets a huge gap open in front of him. Crap!
I have to burn my one and only sprint match just to get around him and regain the pack. By then I'm pretty cooked and going into the final sprint I was way out of position, and couldn't move up any places at all. Finished 11th. Managed to snag 7th overall in the Omnium so at least my race fees are offset by my prize money! :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kicking Horse Cup, Golden BC

Hill Climb

Mass start hill climb in Golden BC!
Considered a Master's race, however all men started together. We left Golden and crossed the bridge and it was on! 13km Cat 2 climb! Ouch. I let a dozen guys go right at the base of the first climb, and rode w/ Thomas for most of the way up, hoping for guys to drop off.
Didn't really happen, only caught a couple guys.
Finished 5th in my age group.
Here's a nice pic of the final rise to the finish!

Australian Pursuit Master's Road Race

"As per BC Masters Association rules, the Australian Pursuit Road Race starts with 70 year olds first, 6 minutes to 60 yr olds, 5 mins to 50 yr olds, 4 mins to 40 yr olds, 3 mins to 30 yr olds. Women will race with men, 15 yrs their senior."
Sounds simple enough. Except for the 1000m elevation, largely accumulated in two long climbs.
It was a 30 km needle-shaped course, which we lapped twice. The first lap was spritely, with several attacks, but none stuck. It did dwindle down the pack, especially up the first long climb.
Managed to hang on to the selection of 10 guys, including 2 juniors. We saw the 40 year olds split apart and I think that inspired our group to catch them. 2nd time up that long climb, and our selection broke apart. I was in the 3rd group of about 3 guys at the top, and the group in front had caught a big group of 40 year olds. We would catch a few more stragglers on the long descent to the finish. Going into the final 700m I launched my depleted sprint. Finished 5th in my age group, 7th overall.
Pretty pleased considering the amount of elevation concentration in the last 2 rides!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Rundle Mountain Omnium


4.2 km time trial on the Nordic Centre ski roller path.

Pre-ride would have helped because of it's technical nature. Nonetheless, I felt I rode it much better than last year. In fact, I knocked 20 seconds off my time from last year. Finished 11 or 12th in Cat 3.


Fast pace the entire race. I counted 2 laps out of 25 that I would consider recovery laps. Very difficult to move up when it's going full tilt the whole time. Spent most of the race mid-pack, which meant I suffered from the elastic snapping effect constantly. Like last year, I ended up further back than I wanted going into the final lap and did not put myself in a position for the final sprint. Finished 12th.

Provincial Road Race

Woke up sore, and tired, but decided most people would be feeling this way. Imagined a break could form, so I stayed near the front. 
At the first end-of-lap turn around, I was ready to pounce. As luck would have it, Bryon H. laid his bike down in front of me, so I detoured on the gravel but stayed in it. A small split in the pack had formed and I fought to get in it. Some of the big names were in, so I thought we had a good chance to escape on the downhill. One name missing was Barrie, however, and I think he dragged the peloton back in contact. 
That first lap and a half was fast, I think 41kmph. We slowed down each lap thereafter, and I spent most of the race at or near the front. 
On the final ascent to the finish I hung on as hard as I could. Lost Barrie's wheel in a brief regrouping before the final kicker, then buried myself up to the finish line. Ended up 9th. Not too displeased considering the profile of this course.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stampede Masters Provincial Road Race

First off, had a great long warm-up with Barrie, only to realize we went out to far and I might risk missing my start time. So I haul ass back to the car and realize Mike had locked it; With all my bottles and nutrition inside :( I scramble together a couple bottles of water and a banana and off I go to the start line. Make it just on time. Half a lap into the race I hear a whirring sound. My rear brake had become dislodged! I take it off and ride over to the feed zone. Wrench back together and off I go. Solo. Two laps later my rear tire goes flat. Teammate Adam lends me his rear wheel in the feed zone and off I go! Fourth lap I decided to pack it up and watch my race come to a sprint finish. No contest this year :(

Thursday, July 4, 2013

June 2013 & Canada Day Criterium

Finally it is starting to feel like summer in Alberta, and race season is in full swing.
Between Wednesday Night Series, Midweek Mayhem Criteriums, Banff BikeFest, Devon Grand Prix Stage Race, I've made up for all the cancelled/rained out races of past months!

Despite mostly racing on the weekends, I was able to break the 1,000 kms on the bike. Will help to maintain my fitness for August races.


  • Bike: 23 rides, 1,001 kms, 33.5 hours, 9k meters elevation
  • Run: 1 run! 11km, just over an hour. (That's 4 runs in the last 2 months! Kind of sad)

Canada Day Provincial Criterium

Great course with wide corners. This was a points race, with top 4 positions in intermediate sprints getting 5,3,2,1 points, every 4 laps. I got 4th in the first sprint, made it just outside the points in the 2nd. Then a break of 2 got away, with the majority team PRW represented in the break (so no chasing it down). Bici and PRW had leadouts for the remaining 2 points so kept missing out.
Decided the only chance was to take off with a guy from United after a prime and stayed away until the next prime. Won that sprint so got a couple more pts.
No contest in next sprint, then came in 4th in final sprint, after the 2 breakaways.
Official results say I came in 6th.

Here's a short clip of my sprint out of that chase/break group:


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Devon Grand Prix Stage Race

Left soggy Calgary behind and drove up to Devon, Alberta for this 3-stage race.

1km Uphill Time Trial

Peak around 10% grade... no mechanicals but I think I spent too much time looking at my wattage. Finished a mid-pack 13th/23 in Cat 3.

Downtown Criterium

Great warmup, great plan to lead out Mike. Except that Mike crashed out and broke his collarbone! Ouch!!
I ended up doing something stupid called attacking with 3 laps to go... made it about half a lap before getting caught, and subsequently tortured... completely toasted and out of position for the final sprint, finished 15th.

Genesee Hills Road Race

Cat 3 and Cat 1/2 race combined. Worked with Dave to keep the attacks in check, reel in escapees, protect Marc where we could. First climb up the River Valley hill I *barely* hung on, but then saw Dave and Marc still in the selection so moved up and helped open the gap. 2nd time up I hung on again, then managed to help contain a couple attacks in the finals KMs.Couldn't get up to help Marc with the leadout, but managed to pass a few guys in the sprint. Results not official yet, I think I finished 3rd in Cat 3 but got centre line relegated (again! grrr) to 7th. Finished 6th in GC.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Banff Bike Fest

A little late, but here is a brief overview of how BBF 2013 transpired for me this year in Cat 3:

Prologue - Surprise Corner

1 second slower than last year, probably in the first minute, but I felt like I had a good kick at the end. Finished 18th / 42 in cat 3. 

1A Sprint Road Race

Huge pack of cat 4's and 3's combined. Relatively easy pace on this flat course. Hard to move up in position so I sat near the back for most of the race. Saw a black bear, and a huge bull elk!
300m from the finish there was a big crash, involving Isaac :(
I went into the side ditch to avoid it, then chased back up. Finished 11th in Cat 3 I think.

21km ITT

Showed up for my start time, but was told the race was delayed around 10 minutes. When I showed up for my adjusted start time they said I was too late, and they were going to let me race after the last cat 3, incurring a 10 minute penalty. Decided to save my legs for the remaining races :(

Downtown Criterium

Kinda sketchy, couple guys making stupid corners. I moved up , back , etc. last laps I couldn't move up enough, finished 17th. 

Tunnel Mountain Road Race

Almost got shelled in the first lap but managed claw back. Hung in there, got a good position and punched up the last climb. Finished 9th overall, 8 in cat 3. I was later given a 30 second penalty for incurring a centre-line infraction... 

Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013

Race season is upon us!
Ok, sure 3 races in a row were cancelled, but we did manage to get in Velocity Stage Race in perfect weather.
Also I managed to log my 2nd highest training bike month.


  • Bike: 36 rides (18 on Cross bike, 1 indoor, 14 road or TT bike), 1535 kms, 51 hours, 12,000m elevation)
  • Run/hike: 7.5 hours, (30 kms running)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Velocity Stage Race

Well, race season has officially started.
Just like last year, Mike and I headed up to Edmonton for the 3 stage race including road race, time trial, and a criterium.

Unlike last year, however, we were both in cat 3 now, and were both entering the weekend with a high level of accumulated training load, so our expectations weren't terribly high.

We were, however, going to do all we could for our teammate, Isaac.

This stage race is a provincial team qualifier and looking at the start list, we could see many high level junior riders had signed up, including Juventus with 7 riders in cat 3. We would have our work cut out for us.

112 km Road Race

One change from last year is that they had us do the road race first thing Saturday morning.
With everyone still in GC (general classification) contention, and fresh legs, the first of 5 laps was insane. In typical Northern Alberta crosswinds, the Juventus and Cyclemeisters young guns put in attack after attack. Much of that lap was spent clinging to the wheel(s) in front of me trying not to get dropped!
It didn't really slow down very much, and guys started getting away.
At one point there was a group of 6 guys up the road with some of the bigger team represented.
Speed Theory was a minority here, but since no one else was making any attempt to reel them in, Mike and I took the charge.
We finally caught them, then more attacks.

During lap 3 I think, a small break formed with 5 guys, including Isaac and a couple cyclemeisters. I dug deep to bridge and made it, but within less than a minute we were caught by the pack.

Lap 4 was relatively calm, but then lap 5 picked up again. A Juventus kid and another guy from PRW broke free.

Going into the race, our team plan was to lead out Isaac to within 200m of the finish.
Rarely do plans work out exactly.
We took the lead with around 5 km to go because up the road a TCR rider had gotten away. Again Mike and I doing hard pulls, even Isaac in front to close it down.

Coming into the final turn, I was at the front of the peloton with a tailwind, realized I had too much speed and not enough angle... I had to make a decision, either attempt to carve it and hope for no gravel, or go into the ditch.
I chose option 2! Went straight in with speed. Stayed up however, and rolled out of the ditch, but the pack had passed. I regrouped and finished the final 1.5 km on my own, finishing about a minute behind.
Mike had lead out after me, but was too far from the finish.
Isaac took the front, but as he faded Ferenc came up past him. Isaac jumped on his wheel for a bit, then proceeded to win the bunch sprint!
Because the 2-man break stayed away, he ended up 3rd place. 

9 km Time Trial

Within two hours from the finish of the road race, we were set to begin.
A quick snack, bike and jersey change, and it was time to "warmup" again.
Temperatures in the high twenties, and winds gusting, there were some rough looking souls lining up for this race!
Even in my warmup, I did a couple of race-pace pickups to test the legs. Looking at my power meter reading, I was easily 20-30W lower than what I had been targetting for such a short race! This was gonna hurt...

Well, once I started I hit it a little hard, just to get my speed up in the crosswinds and get my legs spinning fast. I settled in to what I resolved would be my new target wattage, and found myself coming up to my 30 second guy pretty quickly.
I passed him, then around the halfway mark I saw my 60s and 90s guys in front of me. I soon caught the 60s guy, and on the final stretch I started to gain on the 90s guy.
I had been feeling pretty good, considering. Last year, the race was almost 9.5 km, however they had shortened it this year by half a km, so when I came over a small crest and saw the finish line, I had a little too much left in the tank.
Found out afterwards I'd came in 10th place, just 1 second behind Mike!
Considering last year I came in 16th in cat 5 and around 40 seconds behind him, I was actually quite pleased.
Isaac came in 2nd, so his GC position was doing well.


There'd be some more tired legs on Sunday, however it was more of the same from the Juventus lot.
They sent guy after guy up the road, and again, Mike and I pulling them back.
Before I knew it, the race was half over and I'd done way too much work!
Again, our hope was to get Isaac in position for the stage, and try to get myself in a decent finish as well, but the Juventus kids were making it really difficult. When they would attack, the rest of them would block.
At one point, I saw 10 laps remaining. Ok, I'll settle in and recover.
Next lap it said 5 laps. WTF? Maybe a glitch.
Next lap, it said 5 laps again... ok, def. a glitch, it's probably closer to 7 or 8 now.
Next lap, it says 3! Turns out the previous readings were how much TIME was left, prior to the final 3 laps!
Now I'm sitting at the very back of the pack, and thinking how the f*** am I gonna maneuver all the way up.
This course was very technical and I tried to make my way up on each straight section.
Match after match I burned and by the time I got to the final sprint I think I might have made it up to the middle of the pack.
Mike was just in front of me, and Isaac just a head of him.
No podium for Speed Theory in cat 3.
Well played race by Juventus, plus my confusion over the lap/time thing cost us.

Overall, I had a great training load and it was great to measure other racers we'll be competing with all season.
Also, Isaac managed to get a shwack of upgrade points so he can join Marc in cat 2 soon (that is if Marc doesn't get signed by a pro team first!)

Friday, May 3, 2013

April 2013

Well, weather and travel prevented any races or major events this month, so I will simply post my overall stats this time.

Happy Birthday Kelly! And Karel-y Rae too!
Running along the 'Sound in Seattle
Finally got the S5 assembled

Stats for April:
  • Running: 9 runs, 90 kms, 7 hours
  • Cycling: 14 rides (5 indoor), 515 kms, 25 hours

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March 2013

Libby, Montana - Speed Theory Training Camp

4 days, 630 kms, 20 hours, 100,000 pedal strokes. 
What a trip. So many variables, so many things could have gone wrong.
First of all, where the hell is Libby??
After taking his high school protractor to the map around Calgary, Marc discovered this self-proclaimed City of Eagles* nestled snugly in the Kootenai National Forest.

* "City" is certainly an overstatement: it has a population of 2,618. It does boast the 8th busiest train station in ALL of Montana!

There had been no reports of any cycling happening in this area, few Strava segments with little activity, and unknown road conditions.
STC Headquarters

What we encountered however, was nothing less than a cyclist's paradise:

slightly above seasonal warm conditions (avg temps between 15 and 18C), friendly locals, well-kept roads, and $1 beers (yes that's right, $1 !).

How it went down:
  • Day 1: Might as well get the longest, gnarliest, hilliest, meanest ride out of the way first. 188kms around Lake Kookanoosa, featuring 17 categorized climbs on MapMyRide! 'nuff said. 
  • Day 2: "Recovery" ride. Only 128 kms, mostly flat save for a category 3 climb up a gorgeous, paved logging road.
  • Day 3: Yaak Mountain. Ok it's not called that, but any of the other 5 guys slugging up the category 2 climb on Sunday will know exactly what I'm talking about. 156 kms.
  • Day 4: Fast out and back to Thompson River. 162 kms.

As for the rest of March, it was a lot more snowy than February, but nice enough for a few outdoor rides.

Stats for March:
  • Cycling: 21 rides, 952.89 kms, 47 hours, 8,386m elevation
  • Running: 7 runs, 68 kms, 5.75 hours
  • Strength: 4 workouts, 3.5 hrs

Friday, March 1, 2013

February 2013

Well well, what a different month this was than last.

Tom climbing up a desolate road in Mongolia, AB
We in Calgary could not have asked for a better February!

Looking back at 2012, I commuted to work once or twice, but had zero weekend rides.

By contrast, this year I had 6 outdoor rides over the 4 weekends!

Ok, there were a couple of days when it was a *little* less enjoyable than others, but nonetheless it was ride-able.

Tom Kenny posted a hilarious account of the final ride of the month on the STC forum.

Finally! Rolling back into Longview
after being tossed in the ditch.

Some stats for February:
  • Run: 8 runs, 85 km, 7 hours
  • Bike: 15 rides, 587 km, 6,300m elevation gain, 36 hours.
  • Strength: 4 workouts, 4 hours

Friday, February 1, 2013

January 2013

Another bitter, snowy month in Calgary...
Only got outside for one ride this month. This may also be due to my increasing wimpiness as I get older, but I do recall a few more nice weekends last year this time.

I did start getting back into the gym again, doing calisthetics once or twice a week, and actually hitting the weights once a week.

Stats for January:
  • Run: 10 Runs, 95 km, 8 hours (highest month in Garmin record)
  • Bike: 13 Rides, 52 km, 24 hours (most monthly hours since September, but well below last year's whopping 38!)
  • Weights: 8 workouts, 5 hours

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Hockey Bike Workout

Well, true to form, Ma' Nature has kindly screwed over another weekend in Calgary with -25C windchill and a light film of ice and snow to ensure that no cyclist could make it outside on their day off.
Mike and I sufferin' to the Flames season opener!
But the good news... the NHL is back!
With it, comes the patented Hockey Bike Workout (ok, there's no actual patent at the moment, so feel free to rip it off.)

A few people have asked, so I decided to post it here for reference.

What is it:
It's a bike workout you can do while watching a hockey game, d-uh.

When should I do it:
Whenever you want a solid workout that has a bit of everything, predominantly zone 2 (endurance), but want to watch your favorite hockey team get their asses handed to them.
2/13 Flames vs. Stars, 7-4 !

Duration: 2.5-3 hours

  • Try to warmup during the pre-game show or the national anthem.
  • During Game Play (the hockey show is on): Endurance zone (50-80% FTP)
  • During commercials (not in-game advertisement overlays) - usually these last about 90 seconds: Threshold (100% FTP)
  • Whenever anybody scores: Max effort sprint for 20 seconds (if on rollers, do lower watts, max 1 min effort). 
  • During the intermissions: Sub-threshold for 15 minutes (90%)

During the final 2 minutes of the 3rd period, you no longer need to sprint for goals, UNLESS a goal ties the game up. Then you must sprint for 30 seconds!

Over-time and shoot-out during regular season are cool-down pace. During playoff treat overtime as regulation time (good luck!)

Pro-tip:  If it's early season or Prep phase, feel free to replace the Threshold intervals with Speed intervals, keeping your watts low but bringing your cadence to 115 or so. Remember if you start bouncing, lower the RPMs a bit.

Disclaimer: If you happen to live in a prolific market like Pennsylvania, don't sue me for having to do 12-15 sprints in a given night!