Larry's Blog Pages

June 26, 2016

Woodstock Sprint Du 2016 - Race Report

It was a hard road back this spring to racing form. I enjoyed my winter playing a lot of hockey and that tends to end up with me gaining all kinds of extra weight. The social aspect of the sport and the lack of calories burned sitting between the pipes creates quite the struggle around the waist line.

So when the first race on the Recharge with Milk Multisport Canada came calling, I was a little hesitant to answer. I usually am not prepare for Woodstock during a good off-season and this spring I felt even farther behind schedule.

When the duathlon chatter started up a few weeks before the event I knew I had to get down to business and take things a lot more seriously. The results at Iron Hawk a month prior had set the tone and I could see a number of athletes were already in great shape. If I wanted to be ready for Provincials in Gravenhurst in July, I knew I had to write some early events on the calendar and let the others know I was interested. Otherwise, I just get lazy and skip events and there is nobody to call me on it.

Therefore, when I continued to mention I was excited to race Woodstock, I felt obligated to get there no matter what obstacles popped up. Thankfully, Garvin Moses was kind enough to help with the challenge of getting to the event as my family was busy on that date with a dance competition. So that was the start of the morning, driving over to the race with Garvin and Mel which was nice as I usually over think the upcoming hours and get stressed when travelling alone.

After a few administrative duties were wrapped up and some catching up with the lads, it was quickly time to hit the line. The course was a lot different from the past Sprint Du I had completed a number of years ago at this location so I could not totally draw off experience and just race on feel today.

Off the gun, I actually let the race come to me and hid back in the field a little. To my surprise, a few young guns really to the charge up and did not look to fade. Oh oh, what had I gotten myself into!

With a true 5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run Sprint Duathlon set up on the menu, I could sense my legs were going to be butchered for the bike if I tried to keep pace with these two speed demons. Unfortunately, the usual suspects were pushing hard behind with the likes of Garvin, Spencer, Jeremy, Finchy, James and Mark hot on my heels. In fact, Mr.Moses was right on my shoulder and looking stronger than ever on the run.

So, I had to ditch all strategies and go back to my old duathlon method of just go as hard as possible and hope the finish line welcomes me first. And this is what I did.

The first 5k run was a mix of grass, gravel paths, asphalt roads and a concrete damn with a few little twists and turns laid across the rolling land before us. I was holding 3rd place on this run but did not feel comfortable for one second as my stride was shorter and choppier than recent training so I felt like I was just spinning my wheels trying to hold a respectable pace. Eventually, we got through 4k and I could tell I was not the only one feeling the burn as Garvin started to ease off a little and let me hit T1 alone in 18:35 about 1:16 back of Daniel Toneguzzi with Aniket Hooda sandwiched in at 17:49.

I then showed some sloppiness in transition as I wasted time on my helmet before running the bike up to the mount line. Garvin took advantage of this and closed the gap as we both headed out of the park but were forced to slowly get the rides rolling due to the no pass rule within the park entrance.

As soon as we hit the roads racing, we cleared the triathletes holding us up and Garvin made his move right away. Damn.

I took this brief moment to get my one cycling shoe on as he finished his pass and  then I quickly got up to speed, thankfully, having the power to pass him back but I was cycling scared. So scared that I only put the one foot in and my right foot was still on top of the other cycling shoe. Not wanted to stop pedaling, and worried about the crazy cross wind among a large amount of triathletes on the road, I didn't see a good place to slip it on so I just pushed on.

Within the first couple of minutes on the bike I was relieved to spot the two young racers having their issues in the wind. Having caught them early enough in the 20k bike, I was hopeful they would not be a factor on run number 2 and it looked like it was going to be the 30 plus guys with a little more cycling experience that would be jockeying for podium spots.

After a few kilometres on the first road, we turned right and enjoyed the strong tail wind heading east. As fast as I was going, I was still worried about the chase behind so continued to hammer away as best as I could through the stream of triathletes. Another few km's down that stretch came the next right turn on this "U" shaped bike course. We were once again into the powerful cross wind and the effort was really crushing the legs so I was really interested to get down to the half way turn around to see what was going on behind me.

Maybe, I should not have been so interested as my view going around the pylon was not pretty at all. There in my sights were Garvin, Spencer and Finchy and the toughest parts of the course were just ahead. I thought for sure I was doomed.

Heading back north, there was a slight incline, and with the cross winds, it was crushing the bike average and my spirits. I never look back on the bike but was just waiting for those two to pull up along side. When we got up to the next turn we ended up getting some relief as the head wind was not doing as much damage as I assumed. My legs were hurting a lot but I was able to push forward and was still holding off the guys behind.

Near the end of this stretch, I was getting prepared to make my turn when I heard a siren coming from behind. I was already in turning position so I could not get back to the shoulder and was not sure if the police suv was going to turn with the course or go straight. If they turned with me I would have been forced to pull over to respect the law and allow them to safely get to the emergency. Luckily, they went straight and I was able to continue on as I know stopping with this much pain in my legs would have been race over for me. There would not have been enough motivation to get back into race mode after a pulse in the action.

So along I went feeling a slightly refreshed heading downhill towards the park on very smooth asphalt. I was pretty hopeful I could pull off a podium spot at this point even if one or two caught me this close to the park so this helped push me up to the park entrance.

Thankfully, the dismount was much better than the out portion and I was a little more smooth getting back to the run course. It was much warmer now and humid but I feel 2.5k should be manageable under any condition so I tried to use a few of the top triathletes now on the course to grab a decent running pace.

I'll admit, it wasn't pretty and Garvin sent a little fear into me when I could see him closing at the run turn around, but with around 25 seconds and 1 km to go, I was feeling confident that I could now pull this off. And to my relief, I was able to listen to Steve Fleck announce my name as a duathlon winner one more time. I hope I can keep breaking the tape as I age but with all the fast guys growing in the sport, it is not something I can take for granted.

Congrats to all the duathletes on this fine season opener!

Thanks to all my Sponsors and Support Team

- 3Sixty5 Cycling ( 3sixty5cycling.com )
- Recharge with Milk / Multisport Canada Triathlon Series (multisportcanada.com )
- Biosteel ( Biosteel.com )
- Pedalinx Bike Shop ( Pedalinx.com )
- Johnny K Sports ( johnnyksports.com )
- M Bradley Photography (Facebook.com/marylou.bradley )

June 13, 2015

Welland Sprint Du Race Report - 2015

IAs a few people mentioned to me over the past day, I am a gambler. I gambled today and walked away with a DNF. 
I guess some people would be disappointed but I am actually upbeat about the first race experience of the year.
I knew the new bike from Zuck bikes was going to be a rush to have done for the race but Don did an amazing job getting it as ready as possible this week. We did some initial tweaking last night but knew there would be future adjustments to be made. As an easy going person, I didn't mind trying something new on a B race so off the races I went.
We had a very solid group of duathletes show up for the Welland Sprint on this day and I was very excited to test my new fitness and reduced racing weight. I had my game plan in mind and was ready to execute.
After checking in, saying a few hellos, and getting settled in transition, it was time to rock!
Having raced this course over a number of times as both a triathlon and duathlon, I had my lines picked out and waited for the horn to start my bid against Jesse Bauer's time from last year.
I was quick out of the gate and took the lead heading into Lincoln Ave and across the bridge. I focused on keeping my stride longer than the past and pushed the pace imagining I was chasing Jesse and Mike Park as was the case last year. 
At each turn I would check my gap back to second place, Spencer Summerfield, hoping to create some space I may need if he hammered the bike as per his specialty.
By the time I started to head back to the transition, I had put a little time on the chasers and followed the lead bike into the mix of fans and swimmers coming out of the water. Here I made a slight error following the cyclist past the turn to merge with the triathletes only to have MSC captain, John Salt, direct me into the right direction. This slight miss did not register on the mats so I missed the split but it was short of the 5k anyway. 
The 5k happens at transition beside the bikes so I hit my button at 17:10 under the Run In banner, which is a good 30 seconds faster than last year!
After a decent transition, I was quickly out in the bike course and pushing hard.For not having enough time yet to dial the new bike in, I was pleasantly surprised to be clicking off a very solid pace out there. I knew we had a slight tail wind on the way out so did not let the high average take too much of the focus and just trusted the effort. 
As I hit the 15k turn around, I fueled up and started to look for the others down the line. First up was Andrew McLeod so I knew he was hammering it to pass Spencer out on the bike course. This was my alert that I could not relax or take the head wind too easy so I pushed even harder, trying to save a plus 40km/h average.
This was going very well and the ride home was building a huge amount of confidence in my legs. I was less than  5 k out when I made the tricky left hand turn back towards the rowing canel, timing the tragic pretty well. I was really starting to think about the run and get focused on leg turnover when bad luck set in. 
All of the sudden, each pedal stroke got tougher and tougher. In less than a few hundred metres, it had seized completely. I could not pedal at all. Darn it. 
I looked down and could not see any issue so I hit the brakes and jumped off to look at the crank. It looked fine.
The. I looked at the back and found the culprit, the cassette had loosened over the ride and finally fell off the hub. 
I tried to slide the pieces back on but shaky hands and sweat was making it a big chore. The chasers showed up on the horizon. Andrew and then Spencer whizzed by. 
I actually was confident enough that I thought I could still win and struggledto get the pieces back on fast but it just would not go. 
My day was done. The broom wagon showed up short after I gave up and the drive of shame started. Ha ha 
As a comparison on Strava,I was 38:33 to this point of the bike only this year compared to 40:20 in 2014!

January 20, 2015

Just warming up...

Well, we have been pretty lucky so far in 2015 with reasonable temperatures for winter. The lack of snow has also kept the running ways clear so I have left most of my winter training outdoors.

Last year I ran primarily on the treadmill so my speed stay consistent but my endurance suffered so it will be interesting to see how my early season races go with this change in year over year training?

So running has been going well again this off-season but once again the trainer has been collecting dust. I looked at my log from last year and I didn't get rolling on the bike until mid March. I wasn't happy with my bike splits for much of 2014 so I hope I can get motivated soon and have an extra solid month under my belt before 2015 duathlon season. 

Of course, if this mild winter continues, I should be outside very soon which will be a big advantage for someone that dreads the trainer as much as I do!


December 29, 2014

It's all uphill from here 😁

Well, I guess I have created quite the challenge for myself this year. Man did I ever pack on the holiday weight and now I have to get back to big workout weeks and healthier eating if I have any chance to compete at my standards.
Today is a bad time to start with New Years a few days away but I feel so bloated and out of shape, I have to act now or risk putting on even more. 
The day did not start out well with treats for breakfast before a chicken wing and beer lunch with co-workers. Tasted amazing but just digging the hole even deeper.
So after work I hit the gym and ran and biked a bit each and I was feeling the extra pounds on the frame. Had to cut the run short cause I was feeling every stride in my Achilles and knees. 
Decided to spin on the bike for the rest of the time but even that felt blah.
Got home and told the wife we need to cut a lot of the crap from the diet and then fought off urges to polish of several stocking stuffers.
I won that war tonight and had the World Juniors  to help pass the time.
Felt a bit energized after the game so hit the path for just over 10k at an easy pace.
Let's hope this is the kick in the butt I needed to get back on track!
Happy New Year 2015 to those I do not see between now and Thursday!

December 22, 2014

A new chapter

So I am just testing the blogger app and this may be just the ticket to more frequent updates. I spend a lot more time on my phone than computer so this is a game changer.

Last week I jumped on a promo sale for the Marden Half Marathon for $20. I think it is on April 11 so I better get serious right after the holidays.

My running has been there in terms of distance with a little speed but I will need to drop several pounds to enjoy a solid race. I would like to go sub 1:20 on this course and stay competitive in my AG and Masters so I hope this motivates me to take things a bit more seriously. 

As for the bike, it is an after thought these days. I hate my trainer and just do not feel like buying something I do not use enough to justify the price tag. 

The weather has not been much of an issue so I have been on quick commute rides but it is not a workout. Let's see if the new year gets me rolling as last season I couldn't find the bike inspiration until April or May. Yikes!





December 9, 2014

It's been a long time...

Life has been very busy these days and I became complacent with my blog over the last year. At times, I would think about writing an update but something would always pop up and side track my athletic thoughts.

2014 Canadian Oly Duathlon Championships (TTF)

In 2015, I am going to get back to putting my training, racing, equipment experiences back on "paper". It will take some time to get the site back up to speed but I hope a lot of the readers that once stopped by return and make their presence felt (comments, suggestions, etc.). I can't wait to get started as I really need to get motivated for the season. As I get older, it gets tougher to find the energy to put in all the training hours I once completed every week. Last year, this had me way behind on my bike preparations to start the season and my consistency suffered. I hope to correct this for the next campaign and also get my nutrition under control to make every training opportunity count.

The nice thing about the upcoming 2015 season is the group of duathletes assembled through www.duathloncentral.com , @du_enthusiasts and the Ontario Duathlon facebook page. Having constant communication has created a friendly, but competitive environment within in our sport. I hope this will help grow the participation, especially on the Recharge with Milk Triathlon series (thanks to John Salt's amazing support for us du'ers), to make the duathlon a bigger and more celebrated part of the multisport community.

2014 Lakeside Oly Duathlon 

Thanks for reading and talk soon,
Larry Bradley

www.3sixty5cycling.com
www.endlessendurance.com

July 16, 2014

Toronto Duathlon Festival - Race Report

This race was not in the plan earlier this year but as soon as it was announced that it would be the Canadian Championships, I knew I had to re-arrange the schedule and build for this challenge. I registered as soon as the race announcement came out so that I would not get lazy and let this one slip past. Hopefully, others in the community would follow suit...

During the last few weeks, Jesse Bauer and I tried to reach out to as many duathletes we knew to see who was coming into town for Nats. We were trying to pump up the event over Jesse's duathlon revitalization project, www.duathloncentral.com , but we were not getting many encouraging emails from out of province. I totally understood as a lot of time, effort and money go into a destination race and Toronto is not the most affordable place to go for a 2hr duathlon.

Thankfully, the Ontario crew of duathletes stepped up and on race day, we had a nice field of racers for the 2014 Canadian International Distance Duathlon Championships. Unfortunately, mother nature was not in a great mood on the morning of the TTF event so we had to deal with a bunch of rain and wind. This pushed back the start of our duathlon and we stood in the corral for an extra 15 to 20 minutes while the organizers sorted things out.

Eventually, it was time to roll. As expected, Jesse and Michael Park pushed the pace from the gun. As we left Coronation Park we ran into the head wind coming from the west. For the first km I was stuck in between little packs with no protection from the breeze coming at us. Luckily, that did not last too long as two younger runners finally joined me and I latched on to Justin Spalvieri as he edged past. I knew from scouting reports that he had a 33minute 10k in his legs recently so I was happy to hold his shoulder for as long as possible without crushing myself.

Eventually, his pace picked up just before the Lakeshore Legion hill and I was once again running on my own but it seemed to be the speed I was targeting (hard to tell without km markers???) so I just kept them in range. As I ran past the Boulevard Club, I could feel someone closing in on me from behind. I was not sure who else was in the field was looking for around a 36min split so I started to worry I was actually fading back, taking it too easy. A few metres down the trail, that long distinctive stride in my left peripheral made it all to clear that Dave Frake was here to play. As he moved up beside he asked me what pace I thought we were running so I agreed with his guess and jumped on for the ride.

When we reached the turn around down near the Humber Bridge, it was time to enjoy some tail wind and a run along the closed right lane of Lakeshore Blvd. Dave and I went back and forth a little over the next km or so but eventually he sniffed blood and started to pull gradually away. I tried to hold close which brought me much closer to Alexandre Beaulieu and Justin. I was not sure what to expect from a few of these runners once they hit the bike but I knew my pre-race expectations were getting much brighter with this run.

Back at Ontario Place, i checked my watch and noticed I was right on time (36:25 for 10k) and feeling pretty good. The course was a touch damp now so the bike would be tough for some but I was here to race and willing to take a few risks along the way.

Entering transition, I could see some of the others slowing down. I raced over to my bike and dumped a helmet full of rain water over my head as I placed my bucket on my melon. I knew this would happen! I then grabbed my bike and ran up the ramp to the mount line. I must have passed Alex B  during this section as I did not see him again until the final run. My T1 time was the best in the duathlon which helped me get into a good spot right away, even passing Dave at the corner of BMO stadium, although, I knew this would not last long. I then passed Michael Park on the way through CNE and set my sights on Mr Bauer somewhere on the horizon.

Making the turn onto the Gardner Expressway we had the tail wind to help us get up to speed and, as expected, Mr Frake was zipping past as we climbed up the grade to the top of the road. I knew he was not in play as soon as he got a bike between his legs so I did not worry and just got myself up to power as I made my way through the line of triathletes on the right side of the road. Thankfully, the Gardner is wide enough that I had quite a lot of space to pass all these folks and eventually could see Jesse up the road.

Just after 5k of riding I had made up the time on my young competitor and knew I had to put down the hammer to put enough time in between us while on the bike as he would be looking to chase me down on foot for sure. For much of the ride up north on the DVP, I was pushing 53-11 on the www.3sixty5.com disc wheel Chris and Mark had let me sample for the race. I felt like I was putting down a good effort but hard to tell against some of the triathletes in this part of the pack. When I reached the turn around I started my count down to Jesse and could see I had around 1:10 on him now. This would not be enough.

I knew it was now or never so I pushed my hardest down the DVP. We were now getting a head/side wind that was hitting a lot of the people hard so it made me look very fast. I started to wonder if I was pushing too much of a big gear for the run after or for the massive head wind that would hammer me once back on the Gardner? I thought back to what coach, Kevin, said about the wind and my bike and knew I could not back off.

When I reached the ramp from the DVP to the Gardner Expressway, I took a little breather and spun up this tiny climb. It wasn't much of a climb but did force a change in gearing so I took up the cadence for a few seconds and then jumped out of the saddle and prepared myself for the last 8 or so km on the bike. These were tough kilometres due to the wind and I gradually watched my average sink from 42km/h. I used this realization to set up a mental thought in my head. I will not share it but it is something I have been working on during longer, solo rides and seems to keep me pushing hard.

Well, it worked again and I finally made the curve on the off ramp and started to race through the CNE back to transition. Unfortunately, I got a little too aggressive during the twists and turns and ended up sliding across the pavement with about 200m left in the ride. Thankfully, there were only a few scraps on my knee and buttocks, so I picked up the bike and carried on, ready to run scared.

Once again, I had the fastest transition (somehow?) and worked my way up to a pace I hoped to hold. With the first section out to the west into the wind, I used up a lot of energy to hit that pace. I knew I would have help from the wind back to Coronation Park and just counted down the time I would suffer into the wind. As I neared the turn around, I could see Dave out comfortably in 1st so there was no chance in catching him but I assumed I was fair game with some of the run splits the guys behind me could lay down. So the watch was on as soon as I rounded the turn and I used the wind to stretch out my stride and tried to float home.

To my good fortune, Jesse, Alex, Richard (Eyram) and Daryl (Flacks) were out of touch when I spotted them (according to my math) so I relax a little knowing I was going to cross the line in 2nd Place on this day. As I reached the park, I started to feel the effort in my legs and started checking behind to make sure I could coast a little more into the line and enjoy the moment. I could not see anyone in the rear view and made the corner to the finishing chute. What an unexpected way to end this big block of training and racing.

Congrats to everyone that races in these messy conditions! The duathlon community continues to get closer and I hope I got to say hello to everyone before we ran for shelter! Man that last rain came hard!

Triathlon Canada Championships
International Duathlon - Toronto Triathlon Festival

2nd Place Overall
2nd Place Age Group (40-44)



THANK YOU!
*3SIXY5 Cycling
*Toronto Olympic Club - Kevin Smith (coach)
*Kurzawinski Coach Cycling - Krys Kurzawinski (coach)
*Pedalinx Bike Shop
*Endless Endurance
*Johnny K Sports
*Duathlon Central
*Rudy Project
and of course Family and Friends!!!!!



August 20, 2013

For Sale - Argon E-114 TT Bike



Selling my Argon E-114 bike. Mostly Dura Ace components with Blackwell Research 1080s wheel set. The bike has four years of race only wear on it and the components were new when I built it in 2010. Frame came from a professional team and the rider hardly used his TT bike.

Asking $2,700 OBO

Shipping extra based on buyer's needs.

Live in Toronto, Ontario area

Welland Sprint Duathlon - Race Report

Had this in draft form... I have a lot of catching up so will have to cut back on the length of these reports as they are just getting out of hand.


Recently, I travelled down the QEW to Welland to compete in my third duathlon of the 2013 season. I knew heading into the race that this was going to be a tough battle with a number of speedy duathletes confirmed to hit the start line.

Thankfully, amazing weather was on our side for the morning races and the only concern was a slight breeze out of the west that would test us on the first half of the bike leg of the run/bike/run. After getting set up in transition and chatting with some of the regulars, I headed down to the start line to finish up my warm up. As I waited with Jesse Bauer for our call to the line, Syd Trefiak (my first coach in the sport) spotted me so we were able to catch up a little before the gun.

Shortly after the first swimmers were sent off, we received our que to run and off we went for our first 5k journey along the Welland Recreational Waterway. I took the lead out to the first corner where we turned left to cross over the flat bridge and then was joined by Mr. Bauer as he started his push to stretch out the field. I knew he would want to test all our legs on this rather level and fast course so I just wanted to stay as close to him as possible and hope uber cyclist, Erik Box, would not be on our heals.

As we rounded the first turn around at the far east end of the course, I could see Jesse had done a decent job setting a quick pace so I just held my position a few metres back as we doubled back to visit the west end of the path. This section travelled along the waters that hosted the swim portion of the triathlon so I just zoned out for a while watching the masses cut through the clear waters south of our running trail.

Eventually, I made my way to the turn around marker on this end where I was still not too far off the lead, comfortably running in second place. We were around 1.5k out from our bikes at this point and I could tell our leader was feeling good as he seemed to put in a surge as we weaved back to transition. I didn't want to give him too much of a lead onto the bikes so I picked up the pace as well and minimized the damage. Finally, we merged with the swimmers coming up from the beach at around 4.5k of our opening run. This was where the first timing mat was located and I posted a time only 23 seconds down from Jesse.

We were then forced to slalom through the groups of triathletes along their run up section until we reached our bike racks. I made a much better switch over in this race as I opted to go with my tri specific cycling shoes already clipped into the pedals. This saved me 20 or so seconds and I was on my way to track down JB.

Out on the first roads of the 30k bike course, the pavement is a touch bumpy so I focused more on my line than the people ahead so when I quickly looked up around three kilomtres and noticed my target, I was surprised to see him as it took 6km last race in Binbrook. This was a huge shot in confidence as I pushed along into the head wind on the smoother roads leading out of town. I knew in time Erik Box would soon be on my tail so I just put my head down and tried to grind away.

I seemed to be hitting a decent pace based on my effort but I was not exactly sure of my speed as my cycling computer decided to die before the race (i had just changed the battery two weeks ago) so I was flying gadget free, trying to replicate the effort in my previous race.

As expected, My Box finally caught me just before the 15k turn around marker. As we hit the turn together, I tried to keep him in sight but he was gradually getting away. To make things worse, Jesse had put in a huge effort to stay close to me so I knew I needed to find some speed on the return trip to transition.

For some reason, my legs were not responding the same as Binbrook and I felt very tired as I pedalled along. I know Coach Kevin and I planned to train through this race and Huronia but wasn't expecting this type of power outage on such a short bike course. Oh well, I just did my best to keep at a respectable speed and get back to transition ahead of Mr Bauer.

After a few slow downs entering Welland, due to traffic, I finally got back into the edge of town and made my short trip along the waterway to the arena. I could not see Erik ahead or Jesse behind so I was not sure how much the gaps were.

As soon as I got out on the run course, though, the picture became a lot more clear. Erik was up the road about 500 metres and Jesse was right on my butt. I was not feeling overly fast during the second run and made it to the first turn around just before Jesse put his pass on me. I made a silly effort to get on his heals but he was flying and determined to catch Erik.

I didn't want to shuffle back to the finish line and tried my best to get into some style of running which actually saw me make up time with Erik who was just now running in second after JB claimed the lead. Along the flat waterfront trail, I could see second place may be a possibility and found a little energy to push my pace. When Erik and I hit the west end pylon to turn back towards home, I was able to pass for second and then used the tailwind to pick up the speed even more.

This effort was good enough to hold the position and I cruised into the finish line about a minute back of Jesse but happy to grab second in a solid field of duathletes.

June 19, 2013

Binbrook Sprint Duathlon - Race Report

We received probably the best race conditions possible for this race just outside of Hamilton on June 8th. There was rain and wind leading up to this day but we were welcomed by calm, over cast skies that kept things very comfortable for racing. With an early start, I did not get to the park quite as quickly as I wanted to so I ended up rushing around a touch before the race and had to put some items on the back burner (i.e. adjust seat) but was still confident enough to concentrate on the race once we lined up for the horn.

It was a grassy start that would lead us into familiar trails so I wanted to make sure to push close to the front to avoid any congestion in the turns along the trail and damn section. Right from the gun it was Jesse Bauer (awesome, young duathlete on the rise) and I leading the pack setting a very manageable pace through the first of five kilometres.

After we traveled to the mid point of the damn, a gravel service path directed us out to the country roads where Jesse pushed along to open a little gap. I was OK with this knowing he has much quicker wheels than I so I just wanted to keep him close. As we turned left on the next side road, I was joined by two more athletes so I started to doubt my tactic for a second. I pulled back up to Jesse as we climbed a small incline to the turn around marker but the others were still in tow. When we made the turn, Jesse fired off and opened up another gap and the other two (Richard Eyram and Jennifer Faraone) started the chase.

I figured on this down hill I would just catch a little rest and prepare for the uphill back into the park about 1km along the route. This worked out decently as Jesse and Richard controlled the pace I worked back and forth with Jennifer on the rolling asphalt until we reached the service road back into the park. I had raced against her before in Woodstock and knew what great run splits she was capable of so I just stayed put and watched the other two lead the way well within my planned distance.

When we got to the transition, I could see a slow time for the expected distance but then also noticed we had about 300 extra metres of running under our belts so was happy with the effort. Next, it was time to get on the bike. I decided to go with pure cycling shoes on this day so my transition time suffered and Jesse actually picked up an additional 28 seconds in T1 so I had 49 seconds to catch him with on the bike.

Right out of the gate, I got into a much better rhythm than my last race, on the bike, and got rolling past a massive number of triathletes. I could tell by the pace (compared to their speed) that I was cruising so I just focused down the road, looking for Mr Bauer in the mix of other athletes. When I finally caught sight of his black and yellow kit, I settled a little and got into a much safer pace for this distance (rather than 10k TT all out I seemed to have worked up to) and then finally made a pass around the 6k mark of the 30k ride. I kept that turn over on the pedals going hoping to open up more time before the halfway mark but did not look back to see how things were shaping up.

As we zig zagged around the country side, I finally made it to the turn around pylon and started to count down until I saw my competition. It was obvious Jesse had sparked his bike up during the 9k to the orange cone as he was only back around a minute so I knew I had to put it into overdrive as he would surely catch me in a 5k run with that small of a lead.

Although, the course was easier on the way home I put in a little extra effort and got into some open roads between some of the top triathletes. This is always key as you can put your head down and hammer without worrying so much about moving around people and getting caught up in groups of drafters. I ended up having a strong ride back to the park and made sure not to go too easy through the driveway (last time I gave away a ton of time coasting through this exact park driveway) as I knew the chase was in full effect.

After a pretty smooth transition number 2, I got back out on the run and tried my best to find my old form. Thankfully, the downhill out of the bike zone gets the legs clipping along and then I just thought about my last run here when I found a great pace on the final run of a triathlon. For the first kilometre I was on my own but as soon as I reached the roads, I found a group of triathletes up ahead. I figured they were among the top 20 in their race so wanted to push hard to pass them to avoid shuffling along. By the time we turned left on the second road I had caught the pack of them and now found some more targets strung out climbing the slight up slope. I kept my cadence up and used some tips from Coach (Kevin) Smith while I closed on the turn around marker.

I started to feel a little more comfortable with my lead but knew I could not ease up at all. With the triathletes running longer on the back of their race, I was now getting mixed in with the very top of them. They were flying but at least kept me motivated. As I made the downhill push away from the turn around I could see Jesse and Richard running pretty close to each other a few hundred metres away. I was now a little scared as I could see JB was looking much stronger than myself. This was going to be interesting.

The next 1.5km was not too bad as I was now in the open and my pace was feeling faster as I re-entered the park for the final time. As I made my way back on the grassy damn, I started to hear foot steps out of no where. Damn, was this Jesse. I was too afraid to look and just waited for the runner to come up on my shoulder. It was a taller, young C3 runner from the triathlon. Thank goodness.

Coming down off the damn with around 500 metres to go, I finally took a peak behind and only saw one other triathlete in sight. I was starting to really suffer and was slowing down. I knew the finish line was not too far away so I just kept the feet moving and made my way up the hill thankful to have held off the charge of the quick running Hamilton native.

More to come...

May 23, 2013

Victoria's Duathlon 2013 - Race Report

This one still stings to think about but I better preserve it for future reference.The morning started out perfectly with amazing weather, an early arrival and set up (so no rushing around in transition) and a solid warm up. Everything seemed to be pointing to a great result.

Ten o'clock rolls around and they send us off along the very familiar 4k opening run. I knew some folks like to take this out very fast so I just eased out this time and found a good pace to settle into. My motto was "stick to your own game" for this race so I tried not to worry about who was around me unless I felt I needed to use someone as a shield against the very small breeze in certain directions.

Entering transition area in 8th Place
 
This tactic was working very well as I hung in around the time I expected feeling ready to bike. I matched an previous best for the 4k on this course but felt much more relaxed doing it this time so I assumed a decent bike was going to follow.

Knowing most of the competition, I knew some of the guys like Eric Box, Francois-Olivier Cote and Luke Eghoetz would be pushing hard on the bike so I just wanted to minimize the damage they would inflict on this portion of the race. Coming out of transition, I got into my cleats very smoothly and got a drink of gatorade into my system before turning for our first little climb.

I seemed to be keeping contact with a few guys in front of me but my usual extra gear was not in my legs at this point. I figured if I spun up the first few hills, I would eventually find my power on the longer rolling straightaway.  I eventually passed on rider during the first 5k stretch but was not making up enough ground on the other guys up the road.

I continued to push on down the road at a pace slower than previous races just hoping others were not finding their hammering speed. That hope was dashed just after the 10k marker when the first of the power squad sailed past. Mr Box was crushing it and looking super smooth in doing so. Next was Luke and then Ming just before the halfway turnaround.

When I hit the turn, I tried to power up and hang close but they were slowly sliding out of sight up the road as even a few more guys made their way past me. I was feeling depleted as I cannot remember the last time so many riders crushed me on the bike. Usually it is one or two guys but I at least pass a good number as well to make up positions. What was going on?

I hung in there and counted down the final kilometres of the ride just wishing my legs would be ready to run. BY now the humidity was soaring and the heat felt like it was going to be a factor. With my lunch time runs, I thought I would be able to tackle the heat and come away with a respectable run and make up a few positions down to the wire.

video
 Finishing the ride, about to turn back into transition.
 
Well, this didn't happen either and I slowly shuffled my way around the country side route. Although, many others were in the same survival mode, at the turn around, I noticed Florian Ong making quick work of his first 2k and right on my heals. This was bad news as he started in the second wave around three minutes behind our wave. Damn, this was not looking good.

For the final 2k, I just tried to keep the legs moving steady and get home as quick as possible. As I finally reached the finishing area, I was shocked to see my time. I was five minutes off my previous two efforts on the Waterloo out skirts. I was bummed to say the least.

So now it is back to the drawing board. I have been training quite hard so to see this result is a little demoralizing, especially when the running speed is better than ever (new 5k pb just last month) and my cycling should be at least as good as ever.

Although, I did not have a great race, I was happy to see a number of folks climb up the results page.
Congrats to all those who participated, volunteered, cheered (especially my aunt Cathy for her support and pics!), worked and organized a great race!

Thank you!

The long and lonely start to the final run.

May 15, 2013

Long road from recovery...

So this Monday (May 20th), I will finally get back into a duathlon. This will be my first since last July in Cobourg and I am super excited but a little nervous.

I have been training very hard and think I have put myself back into solid duathlon shape for my age. I hope I can better my last effort on this course from a few years back and, if I do this, I should be able to crack the top 10 and hit the line not too far off the great athletes this race attracts. I am sure if Mr Sanders makes an appearance, he will be miles up the road but I hope I can compete with the other age groupers that come out for the event.

Other than that, life has been pretty non-eventful so I will just give you a link to save some money.

Endless Endurance is a great online shopping destination for running, biking accessories and nutritional items. Almost all product is on sale this week so check out the site below. All orders are free shipping in Canada so stock up and save lots of dough before the season gets rolling.

www.endlessendurance.com

Also, I have ONE more discount to give away on carbon wheels from my friends at 3SIXTY5 Cycling. If you want to save $50 dollars on a great set of carbon wheels, email Chris Day at 3sixty5cycling@gmail.com and use promo code LB365 for your savings. Remember, you need to be the first to use this code to save as this is my promotional offer!

www.3sixty5cycling.com

Good luck to all those racing this weekend!

April 30, 2013

Sponsor Announcement - 3SIXTY5 Cycling

Great news leading into the 2013 race season! Chris and Mark from www.3sixty5cycling.com were generous enough to throw their support behind me and have set me up with some awesome carbon wheels.

I made some time this morning to slap on the rubber and mount them onto my road bike for the first time. I elected to go with the C50M set to add some aero profile to my ride. 3SIXTY5 Cycling also offers a number of other excellent options (C38M, C88M, etc.) so please contact them (3sixty5cycling@gmail.com) if you are looking for some great carbon wheels or accessories at incredible prices.



 About 3SIXTY5 Cycling




3SIXTY5 Cycling bicycle parts are made by a group of companies in Taiwan and China who are major Original Equipment Manufacturers of carbon bike components and sports equipment. These are the same manufacturers that produce some of the most high-end products for many well-known brand names. We are a Canadian company selling direct to customers worldwide.

So why are our prices so good? Because we sell direct and we don't incur huge costs in brand building campaigns. Our typical customer is a cycling enthusiast with good knowledge of bike riding and technology, knows a good product when they see one, and found out about us through research or from their cycling network. By minimizing our cost of product promotion to a wider market audience, we aim to make the best cycling technology affordable to people who will truly enjoy it.

We believe that carbon composites make the most amazing bikes. Our products are designed for their high performance, strength, durability and good looks. Now everyone can afford them. All products come with a satisfaction guarantee and are warranted against defects in workmanship.
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For more information, please check out their facebook page.

 https://www.facebook.com/#!/3sixty5Cycling

April 29, 2013

Spring into Motion 5k - Race Report

One of the early season races I love participating in is the Spring into Motion 5k held at the Gellert Community Centre in Georgetown. It is very close to home and hosted by Brad Mailloux and his Feet in Motion (local running store www.feetinmotion.ca ) crew.

This year we were welcomed by a warm morning considering the cold weather we had been blasted by this spring. Finally seeing the sun in the sky made it much more fun to get outside and enjoy a quick tour of the neighbourhood.

Feet in Motion does a great job in the community getting the youth of Georgetown active, which shows in the range of ages in the racers at this event. Having many of the local high school runners out, I was not sure how fast the younger gentlemen would travel across the 5k course but I then noticed a multiple champion of the race, Tim Shannon, warming up so I knew I would have one pacer out there for sure.

After a good warm up we were directed over to a new starting location which added about 120 extra metres to the route. I guess Brad must have re-measured the track and wanted to offer a true 5k for our stats. This was fine with me as I would like to challenge the sub 17min 5k on a correct course instead of pulling off the feat on a short loop.

When everyone had settled at the new line, the timer gave us our count down and we were off along the narrow park trail that led us out to the running path along 8th Line at the southwest corner of town. As usual, a large group of young guns went out very hard but I did not get distracted and kept Tim in sight as I knew he would be the one to beat on this day.

The stretch to 8th line was just over 200 metres where Tim and I took the lead as the younger legs started to burn out already so it was just the two of us out front heading north, up a slope and into a strong breeze. This is about a thousand metre section of the course where I stayed tucked in behind Tim as he broke the wind so I could save a little energy. I remember two years ago running shoulder to shoulder with him on the path as we both tackled the wind. As soon as we turned left into the sub-division he showed off his impressive speed and left me in the dust.

This year, I learned from that mistake and tried to save my inferior speed to see how long I could hang on to his heals. To my surprise, we made the turn together and I was not blasted off so I held onto his shoes as we received some tail wind support back down the slope in the nice neighbourhood of large homes.

Hanging on longer and longer, I started to get some confidence that this was going to be the race that I finally hammered that 17minute barrier so I pushed as hard as possible to not allow a gap each time it seemed a space was opening up between us. Eventually, he started to put in some distance and just before the 3k marker, he was showing his strength so I knew second place would be where I would settle but I thought I would still have a shot at my ultimate goal so I did not let off my accelerator.

At the 3k marker I was at 10:10 and a few seconds ahead of my pace at the Good Friday 5k so it was promising for sure. I kept up the intensity but as is my usual energy drain at this point of these 5k races showed up and I fought to minimize the damage I was doing to my chances. Tim was not too far up the road so I was starting to get mixed signals as to how I would end up. I estimated that I was around 20 seconds down on him and he had run 16:13, 16:32 and 16:08 in the past three years on this course. I figured if I kept that gap and he came in around 16:40, I would be in a sprint for my goal.

We soon looped through a few side streets before making our way back into the park across a community bridge. There was only around 500 metres left but I must have suffered too much in the  last kilometre or so as my watch was not showing a good reading. In the end, I miss my goal by 30 seconds but only 17 seconds behind the winning time. I guess the wind and extra portion of the course had some effect on Tim as well as he was over a minute off his amazing run of 2012.

Thinking back on the race, I was not upset as I put in a very good effort and was closer to a win than my previous few years. As always, I was impressed by the community support of this small town race and the amazing volunteers and organizers that made it such a great morning of running for everyone! It is also nice to be home in a few minutes to enjoy a full day of the weekend.

  Happy Training,
Larry
www.3sixty5cycling.com
www.endlessendurance.com

April 2, 2013

Good Friday Road race 5k - Race Report


GOOD FRIDAY ROAD RACE 5K - RACE REPORT

Being away from the race scene since my bike crash last August, I was both nervous and anxious to finally make a commitment to get on a starting line. I have felt ready since the start of 2013 but nothing has worked in my calendar up until now so I knew I needed to get back on the horse.

Even knowing I was going to be a little rusty going into this first event, I still wanted to push for that elusive sub 17min result at this distance. Mentally, I prepared for an all or nothing approach and bought into pushing as hard as possible knowing my training was leading me in that direction.

When I arrived at the race location early Good Friday morning, I realized that my work was going to be cut out for me as the course was not exactly flat and fast in nature. I took the extra time to drive the route and noted a few places I would have to be ready for as the gradual climbs would eat away at my legs having spent a lot of time on the treadmill during this cold and snowy winter.

After taking the tour, I got parked and took the shuttle in from the train station set aside for a majority of the folks travelling in for the run. I still had plenty of time after picking up my kit and slowly got into warm up mode trying to pick out some of the bib numbers I read off the registration lists. Some of the speedsters I wanted to chase around the Burlington roads were familiar by name but I had never seen them in person so I had to resort to finding them in the crowd based on their race numbers.

Finally, feeling ready to leave the warmth of the school gym, I decided to get changed into my favourite racing shorts so I went to the men's room as not to scare anyone with my white compression shorts. As I entered the first change area I placed the shorts on a bench and went into the washroom section for a very quick visit. I wasn't in there for any more than a minute and then returned to the empty change room to discover someone had lifted my shorts! I was bumbed out as I only had my tights now and it was getting too warm to race in them.

Luckily, I knew Peter from www.mynextrace.com was working his booth and, thankfully, he was able to hook me up with some shorts. They were basketball style shorts but at least they would allow some ventilation so I happily accepted his offer. Thanks Peter!!!

Running to the line in Peter's Shorts

SO now it was time to race! I picked out my targets on the start line and then settled behind them in the second row leaving the younger runners to rule the left side of the road. We waited around listening to instructions before the sporadic countdown began. I remember a few call outs at a minute and thirty seconds with a little pause before we were sent off surprised not to hear a gun or horn.

As the youthful athletes sprinted out, the older side of the line cautiously picked their way through the field heading downhill to through the eventual finishing line. At this point there were a good 30 or so kids up ahead of me as we commenced the first climb of the route. It was a mild tester on the legs but seemed to slow down some of the teenagers so I moved up a little through the field still following my two markers who were closer to my age category.

We then zig-zagged around a few side streets for short distances before hopping on one of the longer streets we would run along. As we turned on this stretch, we had a quick downhill twister to negotiate where things started to string out a little more closing in on the first kilometre sign. Just around that section we started a long portion into the wind that took us back up the other side of the valley. I knew this would cut into the great opening km (3:06) I was able to roll off so I just wanted to minimize the damage and tuck into a few of the runners around me to help save my legs for later.

As we continued closer to the second kilometre one of my pacers had moved up the field and out of reach while the other gentleman was hanging right beside me flip-flopping with me as we both took turns cutting the breeze. Coming up to the halfway portion of the race we turned north as the road climbed up again through a mild S bend on the street before a few quick turns to get us onto Plains Road.

Soon after starting our journey east on Plains, we hit the 3 km marker where I finally looked down at my watch again and saw 10:12. At this point my legs were feeling good but also knew that I tend to fade badly around this part of a 5k before waking up again in the final 500 metres. Doing the math, and knowing we had a tail wind and mostly downhill final two kilometres to the line, I really felt like I had a chance to hit my goal on this challenging course.

Starting the third kilometre, I was still in contact with many young high school and university runners but one of the guys around my age was starting to find his second wind. I tried to pull closer in the following few hundred metres heading south off Plains but was not making any progress on the runner I wanted to stay tight with. I continued to dig deep but was running out of run and gas as we made our final turn  onto Fairwood Place Road. The man volunteering on the corner mentioned it was 400 metres to the finish so I tried to muster up one final push knowing the downhill area where we started would keep the momentum going. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the wheels on this day and I saw the board hit 17:00 as I rounded the bend about 100 metres from the line. I still had a PB in mind but was not getting up to full sprinting speed. As I passed the clock it was just reaching 17:10 so I just tried to get it to stop as close to that as possible and settled for 17:12 on my watch but 17:14 on the results sheet. Not sure how that happened but have a feeling they used the second timing mat as I let up as I hit the first one.

In the end, I beat my previous best of 17:18 on a much tougher course so this was a very satisfying result coming back after a long layoff. I was able to place 1st in the 30-39 AG and tip my cap to Andrew Taylor and Paul Leduc for their impressive races in the 40-49 category. They were the two gentlemen I followed around the Aldershot roads, eventually coming up a little short of my ultimate running goal.

Stay tuned for some exciting Sponsorship information to come very soon on this blog!!!!

March 20, 2013

It's been a while...

Wow, can't believe how long it has been between posts, yet, it doesn't seem like I have missed writing about much.

So what have I not blogged about of late? Not a heck of a lot. Work, family and hockey have been super busy so I have made an effort to get these taken care of first and then get my training in during the gaps in time I find. Usually, that means a lunch workout as well as a late night trip to the gym.

I was really hoping to get out of that habit and switch into a productive morning person but this habit is not wanting to work with me. I don't think daylight savings has helped this out as I was hitting the gym for a tready or trainer ride pretty late but treating it like an hour earlier to justify being there so late. Good luck getting out of bed to train the next morning after a bunch of those sessions per week.

Hopefully, I can get rolling on the other side of the day soon as I would like to use the mornings to get back into cycling shape. I am not sure how much safer the morning is to ride (due to the crazy commuter traffic) but most people seem to think my late night riding is pretty dangerous. Sometimes, I see their point but the route I take at night offers a secure ride in my mind. Problem is you are stuck on this route within the city limits so it does become rather monotonous so getting out on to the country side would be a welcoming change.

With the weather remaining cold and snowy around the GTA, it appears I have some time to incorporate this change any way. I have been riding outside but usually it has a secondary purpose as I need to get to work in a quicker time than the bus often offers. In previous years, I have used my cross bike or MTB option so my road bike has been protected from the elements. After trashing the MTB and being too lazy to tune up the cross bike, I have been riding my roadie all this time and the winter has not been kind so it looks like I have a spring project coming up.

Thankfully, I got a head start on this and picked up some new parts along the way so I can get the Tarmac rolling nice and smooth in time for the dry, warm weather we should expect soon. I can't wait as it has been too long since my last group ride and I feel I am falling behind the crew as they have been training together with Coach Kurzawinski indoors and are probably light years ahead of me in terms of cycling. Running, on the other hand...

 
Great Pic of Bald Eagle taken by my Mom

I have been following Kevin's guidelines for my run training and been cranking up the speed a lot the last few months. I can tell I am hitting new levels of running speed so I am itching to race. As I mentioned in the past, I have been avoiding runs for a number of reasons but I think I am finally turning that corner. My last obstacle was the winter weight I was training at so I said enough is enough and joked about a Biggest Loser program for March. My facebook posting was actually met with interest so we have a number of us working together to improve our waistlines this month.

So far, I have dropped my winter weight and reached my pre-challenge goal so now it is time to keep the momentum rolling to see if I can get down to my ideal race weight by March 31. This gives me plenty of time as I do not plan to run (race) anytime this month but just continue to push the training to put me in a good spot for a PB effort at a few 5k events in mid to late April. Before that, I hope to get in a few road races on the bike with the team. I have been so tied up with other stuff in life so I have neglected my racing schedule so far. I am now just getting organized so I hope I did not leave it too late to get into some of the events I wish to compete in on two wheels.

Well, just thought I better update the blog before I lose all the readers out there. Hope to see everyone out at the races and group runs/rides very soon. Hurry up spring!

Larry

February 1, 2013

Catching Up To Do...

So I was away in the Kona area last week with work so I have a bunch of catching up to do with family, training, everyday work duties, etc. A lot of people (mostly co-workers) ask me why I do not take much time off work and this is exactly the reason. I hate falling behind and then having to stress to catch up when I return. Sure it is nice to see the world, enjoy some down time and relax now and then but I would rather give a smooth, consistent effort than rush to prep for the time off, get lazy for a week and the have to scramble to get back up to speed.

Although, the Kona trip was work related, I was still able to get in a bunch of running miles during some free time but, unfortunately, I missed out on a bike adventure along the IM route. We did drive almost the full extent of it so that was neat to see the views caught on TV and photographs. I now have an even deeper appreciation of how tough that bike course must be as the winds were howling and the temperatures (even in January) were very hot.

 
Our View at Lunch - Hiking Day
 
 
Alright, now that I have that distraction behind me, it is time to get serious. My running feels very good these days so it is just a matter of getting back down to race weight and finding a great race to inspire me to do so. I have not raced since August and need to get back on the horse. It is almost like I am too nervous to get back on the line as I do not want to have a sub-par performance and find out I am way behind schedule. This is silly so I just have to get registered and stick to the plan.
 
On the bike, things are starting to come along...slowly. I was not going to push it too much out of the gate and really focus on the run but I have had some encouraging words from my 2012 team to get my butt into gear. I will not race as much as last season but would like to help out where I can to get the M2 fellas some upgrade points so that they can join our strong threesome in M1. This sounds a lot more safe than M3 so hopefully I can register with the group and work my role to give them a chance to point in some early races. I know riding with these guys is very tough and will do nothing but improve my riding strength so I hope I can find enough time per week to saddle up with the http://kurzawinskicoach.com/ group.
 
This takes us to sponsorship, or lack there of in my case. I spent as much time as I ever have allocated to this part of the game and still have nothing new to show for it. I am not really shocked, to be honest, as Canadian businesses do not seem too interested in getting behind Age Group athletes. I did have a few leads that I thought would pay off but in the end my name was not called so I will just continue to save money by shopping for deals and wearing, eating and riding what ever make financial sense.
 
In 2013, I will have Rudy Project (proud team member for a number of years) in my corner but no other gear support in my lead up to DuWorlds. Thankfully, I have some great friends with stores in the area that have always lent a helping hand so if you are looking for shoes and running gear, carbon bike gear or tri products please pay them a visit! Feet in Motion (Georgetown www.feetinmotion.ca ), 3sixty5 Cycling (online www.facebook.com/3sixty5Cycling ) and Endless Endurance (online http://www.endlessendurance.com/ ) .
 
 
 
 

January 9, 2013

Quick Update...

Happy 2013 everyone!

Not much out of the ordinary is going on with me so I have been quietly trying to get back down to a respectable weight. I really dove into the holidays this year with treats and more treats. I didn't get too crazy with the drinks but the snacking certainly did some damage by the time the new year rolled in.

For the past week I have been back to hammer time and passing by all the sweets that seem to be lingering around the house and at work. The first few days were very tough to resist but I survived the initial temptation and now find it much easier to stick to my apple or banana snack and the figure is starting to take shape as an athlete again.

On the training front, I have been working with Kevin Smith ( @DU_Smithy ) to get me down to the fastest running times my body can handle in my advancing age. Come February, I will be hitting the ceiling on this age group so have to stay shape to keep ahead of the younger bucks in the 35-39 AG.

I have also finally motivated myself to get back on the trainer to build back to the place I was last summer on the bike. I can feel I lost a bunch of power and endurance so it looks like I better get back to my 2012 frame of mind that helped me increase my cycling before the crash in August.

It may only be January but I am eagerly awaiting some dry roads so I can safely ride outside again. The cold is not the big issue for me but the lack of space on the roads with the snow and ice taking up the shoulder, does not make for friendly encounters with motorists. This week has started out warm so I may just get some open road cycling this weekend.

In other news, I am off to the Kona area for a business trip in a few weeks. Although, this is for work, I hope to use some spare time to train in the nice warm weather of Hawaii. I don't think they have too much more daylight but as long as the air is warm in the morning and nights, I should be able to rock out a solid week of running, swimming and maybe even a ride or two on a rental.

On a parting note, check out the photos my Mom has been snapping in the Sarnia area. It is a hobby of hers and she has captured some cool shots of birds and animals we don't always get to see in action.

www.picsbylou.blogspot.com

 

December 14, 2012

Runnin, Runnin, Runnin...

Nothing too exciting to report these days, although, I wish there was. Trying to fit in races this winter has been very tough with other commitments but that is OK, there are lots of those in the future so a few missed ones now is not the end of the world.

Wishing I signed up in time for Egg Nog Jog 2012!

Not having a goal does make some things in my athletic life difficult to keep in check. The training portion is still going strong so that is keeping a smile on my face but the diet has taken it's usual hit this off-season. It is frustrating to see how hard I train to not see any physical improvements. I know there is only one person to blame for this so until that person gets a lot more strict with his food choices, things will remain this way for a number of months. Last year, I was able to turn the corner very quickly after the holiday season and was doing very well with my weight in January so I will use that as a guide and try not too get too far out of shape in the next few weeks.

So talking about the new year brings up another topic I have not shared over the blog. With the kids getting a little more independent as they get older, I am able to squeak out some extra group training sessions and I have finally made time to travel down to Oakville on Monday nights for the Toronto Olympic Club - Oakville group runs. I have been wanting to do this for years as fellow duathlete, Kevin Smith, has been mentioning this run for a long time. I knew he was leading a group to some quick running times and was certain that I would benefit from his coaching and leadership.

To date, I have made it to six consecutive Monday night runs. Just knowing that the other runners are putting in a serious effort, and that someone is expecting us to , makes me more accountable for my short interval session of the week. The group also meets on Wednesday night in Oakville for some longer tempo runs but I am currently tied up on that night so I cannot join in during the winter. Some of them also gather in the High Park area (Toronto) on Saturday with the main TOC crew for a spirited run but I am in the middle of the kid's skating lessons right now so those two items conflict on my calendar.

With the runs I have been able to make, I can tell this group will be a great help in getting me faster for the World Duathlon Champs next summer so I have decided to join the TOC for 2013. With Tyler working hard on his new gym and some other ventures, I did not want to bother him this year so having the chance to work with one of the top duathletes for this season will be a new experience that should continue my growth in the sport. There are not too many people out there that know as much about the duathlon in this area as Kevin so I will be sure to pick his brain as much as possible in my pursuit of a strong showing at the big race in Ottawa.

On the sponsorship end of business, there have been a few positive emails of late but nothing signed or sealed so I will keep my finger crossed that something comes a long. Better not mention too much at this point as I would surely jinx myself so until I have confirmed info, I will keep things under wrap.

Until the next update, have a Happy Holiday season and stay safe out there!

Larry

November 19, 2012

Glad you found me again...

Hi folks,

Sorry about the confusion - if my last blogspot address misdirected you but I figured it was finally time for a change. I had created the original URL back when I started out with a sponsor that I am no longer working with. They are a great business but since I moved to Mississauga, a number of years ago, I tend to visit other stores closer to home.

So, I decided today was the day and changed the blog address to reflect a more generic description of me. I am sure it looked silly to potential sponsors by promoting my blog with an old sponsor in my blog address. I have been thinking about a change for a while now but was not sure how much of a mess it would create.

Apparently, there will be a little updating to do as I have now lost my blog lists for friends I was following. I know this is a big reason many people come here (to see if there is any new info on other blogs on my blog list) so often so I will work to get these updated ASAP.

Also, my link on other blog pages will not work any longer so if you want to keep my link fresh you will have to update on your site as well. Sorry!

Let me know if you see anything else out of whack so I can fix those issues as well...

Talk soon,
Larry