Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let it be known!

Back to real training and it feels great.

We have officially stepped it up to pre-Mazatlan taper intensity in all three sports.

Yesterday was our first shot at some run intensity. We loaded the legs with 4 x 6 minutes building from Tempo1 on the first, to Tempo2 for the last three. Follow up with 8' Fartlek and we have some feeling back. Sunday base run, and Monday / Wednesday frequency runs combine to create the rest of our run feel. Sweet.

Cyclocross Sunday, heat acclimation Tuesday, and Newton Hights Hilly Crit Wednesday (aka: fun in rain, Ixtapa prep, and all out effort) let us know we did some good work in the Grand Canyon State.

Regen swim Monday, Fast swim Tuesday, and a Fast longish swim Wednesday add up to complete feel back in the water.

Swimming or otherwise, as Islanders (and Triathletes), we spend a fair amount of time around the water. One of my favourite post run rituals is gathering all the accumulated sweatshirts, toques, and blankets from the car, bundling up, and icing the legs in cold water. This not only really helps recovery, it also provides an opportunity to chill out, absorb the workout, and appreciate where we are. Ancient Elk Lake.

This Tuesday while sitting on a rock at Elk Lake, calves dangling in the water, I couldn't help myself from being memorized by the lake. How many people have sat in this lake? Ran, walked, or jogged around it? 1000s? 10000s? How old is this lake? People have been living on this lake for 100s of years. Even before the people, there were animals living with this very lake for 1000s of years. The very same lake. This exact lake. This exact spot where I'm sitting. This lake has been here for a very long time. And now here I am dangling my legs in the cool water, appreciating the ancientness.

This evening was our first shot at one of the Victoria Criteriums. Crits are definitely the sort of thing where with experience, you become more skilled at racing. Fitness is of course important, but the skill of reading a race comes only with practice.

My race plan was to ride up front and chase down any attack. In my head this was the only way I could see myself racing, as I don't yet know who the strong riders are. You never know which break away will stay away, so I figure it's best to be a part of all of them.

After 7 of 15 laps, a fellow OBB rider told me, "Patience Stevo, Patience." Ok, that sounds like something an experienced rider would do. I'll allow the next break to go, and let the pack chase it down. The second you rely on the pack, you are giving up your control of your race. That 3 person break stayed away.

A new season of crit racing is here!

Patience is definitely a worthy strategy, but it doesn't really fit in with my current crit race plan. More experience this season will definitely be an asset, but I'm convinced my race strategy will work. The only catch with this one is you must stick to it for 100% of the race. Caleb Pike next week . . It's on.

Now I must sleep. Rest well.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

444Hz = A+

The efficiency equation.

In our training this is very applicable to swimming. From September until the end of January my focus was on swim efficiency . After having spent the previous year beginning to learn how to learn to swim, the time finally came to learn how to swim. Sweet step.

As we were flying back to Victoria, I was really looking forward to hopping in the pool and testing our Tucson training. Will the work translate back to Swim Masters Harvey / PKelly SCP style swimming?

Wednesday and Thursday swims were fairly basic. Hop in, swim for 4, stretch, towel off. Build the Cane, spin. Find the kicks, run.

On Friday we tested some efficiency with an "almost break point" set, and some of this years favourite . . . band. It wasn't the true break point set because the object was not to break. The point was swim well. Find the efficient stroke, and swim fast with this stroke. Simple? Yes. The trick is the later. Swim fast with the efficient stroke.

I thought about it in these two steps. First focus is the efficient stroke. Next, skip past the run out, wetsuit removal, swim cap tossing, lost goggles, and Superman to cycling.

The bike equation is simple. In order to bike faster, you must pedal faster. I applied this to our almost break point set. Pedal faster with your other appendages. The trick is to keep the same hold on water.

The 50's were over sooner and required the same number of strokes.

Good swim.

Fridays run was double fartlek. This being attributed to both pace and topographical variation. Warm up, tempo, steady state, hills, flats, and errant golf balls all add up to 75 minutes of fun in the sun.

Today was 3:45 of quality time riding with Sugar Cane back on the home turf and 5K in the water. Good day.

Thanks to Oak Bay Bikes for tuning Sugar Cane. 444Hz = A+. She appreciated the much needed bath.

Rest well.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

But Definitely . . .

. . . it's out there.

Rest well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


As the Lemmon house / Edison brothers departed from Tucson to Mazatlan we could all feel an excited energy growing. Although things were quiet at 3am when we left the house, conversation built throughout the morning. By the time we were buckled in on our flight from LA to Mazatlan, the gentle murmer of "remember the time when. . . " had built to a steady roar of laughter. Everyone was stoked as were finally going down to race!

The laughter continued to grow through oversize baggage pickup, customs, and out of the airport to our shuttle bus. Then, as we began to drive through the state of Sinaloa, a quiet hush fell over our vehicle.

For that moment we all realized just how fortunate we are to be where we are, doing what we do, living our lives. As we drove through town and into a sheltered cove, our privileged lives began to stick out like a tall saguaro cactus, alone in the Arizona desert.

This is a good way to enter any new city before a racing, as it presents new valuable perspectives.

Other than one shallow dive through a wave, race preparations were quite smooth. Running was easy along the seawall, and swimming in a warm ocean is always favorable. We found a few good places to eat, and managed to avoid fruit and vegetables entirely while in Mexico.

Cycling was a challenge through the busy streets. One memory which will be forever etched in my mind was attempting to ride steady state with accelerations through downtown . . . wrong way up a one way, Andrew managing to accelerate with one hand held closely to the body, other hand on the bars navigating potholes.

Our key workouts before the race were in the water, learning to dive through swells and waves. This is hard to describe without sounding like a hyperbole. The waves were Big.

I like adventure and Big waves are an adventure. Any kind of new challenge, something fresh to work on, send it over. The more impossible it sounds, the better.

The Race

Race morning:
French Toast! (start time was 12:20pm)

The Juniors had early starts allowing us to check out their ride just before breakfast. Awesome work across the board! Our junior men showed some real toughness. Beyond tough, I'd say ultra tough. UT.
After being rocked like a rag doll in the swim, and a time trial bike effort, JP went for a 16:00 5K jog. That's what it's about.
The first time I saw Sharpie after the race he was covered in gauze. 1st out of T1! That's Right. You heard me. Two crashes on the bike. Are you kidding me? 16:34 Run split with a broken arm. Are you kidding me again? Heroic in the most heroic of ways.
Aaron raced with pneumonia. Enough said. Standing on the start line alone shows determination.

The Junior girls ran the Pan American show.
The Coates Combination hit some sweet numbers. Kyla, 1st Canadian out of the water and 3rd overall! Absolute awesomeness.
Alex dominated the bike. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Follow up with a smoking fast run. . . I do believe so!
Christine showed she is a force to be reckoned with. Nice one!
Sara-Ann Brault took the big win. There you have it. Wickedness.

Kerry had a huge race finishing 2nd in the U23 Women's division and 6th Overall. Definitely cool. Great work Kerry!

Jeff Symmonds of Penticton took the U23 victory and 7th overall. Great race dude man. Especially nice Run!

Andrew's race could be described as blistering. 1 dislocated finger 3 days prior, 3 broken spokes, a crash in T2, and anyone's fare share of road rash embodies the phrase, "What doesn't kill you just make you stronger." Look out, because with this much strength to burn off, A-Russ will either be picking up dump trucks single handedly or leading the next race wire to wire.

Scotty had a smoking fast swim. 4th out of the water at PanAm's! Chalk that one up there buddy. That's definitely something to throw in the back pocket. Unfortunately, Crush succumb to a few mechanical issues leaving Scotty charriotless. Watch out, because now he's fired up.

I raced too and had fun.

Time for lunch. Rest well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back Online


One of the things I love about Mazatlan is the laid back and relaxed attitude. Rarely do you ever see someone rushing to finish a task. It's a "things will get done when they get done" sort of place. Even though the roads and drivers are slightly less than relaxed, no one ever appears upset from traffic.

Three or four days ago our internet and telephone lines went down here at La Siesta. No problemo, it will be fixed when it's fixed. Now, as we pack up and prepare for travel, the internet is back just in time for me to say, "Thank You Mazatlan, your hospitality has been much appreciated!"

A race and week report will soon follow.

Resto Bien.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Safe and Sound.

Yesterday was our travel day. The day began at 3am with a shuttle to the Tucson airport where our first flight departed at 5am. Our early arrival provided ample time to talk down baggage fees with the customer representative. Perfeto.

Upon arrival we went out for a fartlek run with some tempo, just to fire the legs up. Post run twilight dip in the water to play in the waves, and that's a great travel day.

Quick story from today. Picture this:

1 beach start, 4 white guys, 4 speedos, 1 disclocated finger. We're triathletes, so therefore it's run time. Run to the hospital in nothing but speedos.

It turns out there is a military hospital located right behind our hotel, literally a 2 minute run from the beach. In even less time, Andrew was through the waiting room, in a bed, and had his finger popped back in place.

Good swim, that is before our little excursion to the hospital. All is well.

Time for a deep breath and recovery snooze.

Rest well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pictopost 2

In Arizona, this is known as 18" Chicken Florantine. Translation: Cheese sweats on the walk home.

Scotty and JP drinking coffee in a sophisticated fashion at Le Buzz.

Balance the spoon . . .
Lemmon House Brotherhood:

Earth, Fire, Water, Wind. (JP, Stevo, Scotty, A-Russ)

Nice Recovery Andrew. Ready for Maz!

Jeffro helping me stretch another tubular.

Ice Cream on the curb after a big day of training.
My feet are dirty.

Packing up the charriots: Fiona, Crush, Cramerotti, and Sugar Cane in our living room / bike shop.

All packed up and ready to rock.

Rest well.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Friday Run:
Awesomely fast running by the whole Lemmon crew!
4 x 1000 on 6:00; 2:53, 2:51, 2:53, 2:54

Friday Sunset:

Friday Dinner:

Saturday mounting tubulars:

Enjoy the Day and Rest Well.

Friday, April 11, 2008

First Chirp

How do you know you are used to where you are staying?

You might . . . Be comfortable in your new bed, have your own spot at the kitchen table, acclimatize to the temperature or humidity, adjust to a new time zone, or find local food that suits your fancy. Then there are the little things.

How about the birds? Victoria birds sing a certain way, and Tucson birds sing a completely different way. It's something I never really noticed while back in Victoria, but when I arrived down here I noticed right away how different the birds sound. Now I am used to the early morning Tucson bird's song.

In a way this speaks of our nature to notice things when they change, whether it be hot to cold, loud to quiet, windy to calm, or one song to the next.

When I first moved to Guelph some of my rez room mates were amazed I left Beautiful British Columbia, for Guelph. A friend of mine back home reminded me that there is beauty all around us, all the time, no matter where we are. We just need to open ourselves to see it.

Tucson has offered us a lot. There are many things I am thankful for down here:
Awesome training venues: NCAA champion outdoor pool, Mt. Lemmon, miles and miles of open road.
Awesome training group: A-Russ, JP, Scotty, and of course the rest of our Victoria crew. (+ The Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskachewan groups)
Awesome support from our coaches: Patrick, (+ thanks to Craig and Gary for letting us hop in with their groups)
The list goes on and on.
Thank You.

We will have been training here in Tucson for one month tomorrow. It has been a great experience so far and we have all learned valuable lessons on many different levels.

Volume has started to drop, intensity is race specific, and we are beginning to sharpen the pencils for our first real exam of the summer semester, Mazatlan.

Now it's time to lace up the kicks for some speed on the U of A track. Sweetness.

Rest well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Wednesday is Windsday, according to Winnie the Pooh anyhow.

Today the Tucson valley was blessed with a refreshing rain. It was a little overcast as we rolled down to the U of A pool for some draft pack swimming. When we arrived, Russ the Wildcats Swim Program Coordinator, brought the pool temp up by a degree or two. Sometimes little things like that make a big difference. Thanks for the thoughtful consideration Russ. It feels like we're being treated like Kings down here!
Main Set: 4 x 500 drafting steady - mid race pace, 4 x 200 drafting start speed.

Back to the (Mt.) Lemmon home and time for an O so good breakfast: Omelet & Oatmeal.

Soon after breakfast we noticed it was raining. "Let's run now and bike later." "Good idea."
21 minute warm up, 20 minutes steady state, 21 minute cool down. Perfect. I love running in the rain. As we were heading back along Mountain Ave I thought, "This must be Tucson's way of helping us feel at home." It was just like running back home for an hour, a way to fill up on Victoria goodness before we head down to Mexico. What a perfect way to help us appreciate every moment of sun too.

Eat again, nap, feet up the wall, listen to some good music, and it's sunny again. Ride = 1h45 easy spin + 15 minute stop in LeBuzz, a local "cyclist" coffee shop down here in Tucson. Sweetness, now we've had our Arizona coffee ride.

Bath time, dinner time, bed time.

Monday and Tuesdays were great days too. Monday was JP's Birthday. All the best this year buddy. You're ready to rock and roll. Laser Tag & a Birthday dinner reminded me of elementary school style birthday parties. + an easy swim and regen = Monday.

Tuesday started with a solid ride over Gates Pass with some race efforts. 2 x 10 minutes mid-race pace and 4 x 6ish minutes faster than race pace. For our 6 minute pieces we started 1 mile back from the Gates summit and went for it. Approaching the top was an all out effort every time. Awesome. I love working absolutely has hard as I possibly can, then holding it, finding the groove, next it's time to crest the plateau for more climbing.

Nice work Scotty on the 10 minute pieces, and hanging in there up Gates. Andrew, awesome attacks up Gates. That was definitely pack breaking speed. I think it will prove suitable for the Geneva race course.

Afternoon swim with a main set of 20 x 100: 3 on 1:30, 1 on 2:30. I am thankful the order is swim first, bike second, run third. Good swim.

Evening chill out run. Nice.

Ok, back to today. It's almost bed time.

Rest well.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Sometime we need to wait a little while to find out just how a workout or practice went. In the case of the Shootout ride, I realized my effort level twice. Interestingly enough, neither of these times were when I was actually riding hard.

This morning my suspicions were confirmed. I was working hard. Judging by how my legs felt, I would say that was one of my hardest ever bike efforts. Hamstrings tighter than an E string wrapped one octave up.

Man, that was a fun ride! And the good news is we have one more shot at it while we're down here in the sun. Awesome.

After the ride we went out for a 30 minute spin with the kicks, just to remind our legs of the true story. You can't let 'em escape too easily.

4500 yard swim of the complete flush variety: 1000 warm up, 10 x 100 drill/swim, 1000 pull, 1000 fins/snorkel, 10 x 50 as 25!!/25ez, 200KK, w/d. That's a smooth swim. There's nothing to it, just tune in, turn on, select, and enjoy.

This morning we ran the Tucson Race for the Cure. These events are really special. They let us know about real world survival, and real world desire to live. I am grateful to have been given the chance to participate in such an event.

A big Thank You goes out to the race director and all the volunteers who helped make it possible. Also, Congratulations to the other 875 runners, and over 13,000 walkers out there racing for the Cure.

When healthy living or sporting events are tied in with charity there is a powerful feeling in the air. It's something I'm sure everyone felt at some point this morning. The feeling may have come while standing on the start line, silently preparing, cooling down, or passing out water cups at one of the aid stations. It's a feeling I'm still trying to understand.

It lets us know there is a world, an existence much bigger, much more encompassing than triathlon, running, swimming, biking, any time standard, place, figure, or number.

The clock says bed time. Rest well.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Follow up


I remember a piece of advice I was given when I first started triathlon.

"Just look around at people who look like they know what they're doing and do what they do."

Ok. I can do that. There goes a rider. There goes an attack. That guys taking a pull. I'm going to attack. I'll take a pull. I'll make a brake.

These are are good things to do.and today they led to a humbling experience.

Sometimes it might be better to hang back a bit, watch things happen, save a little, and let 'er rip when the time comes. Naa, that's no fun. Go 'till ya blow. Eventually you'll be able to hold that pace.

Time for a run.

Rest well.

bReAkFaSt TiMe

It's 4:30AM and you guessed it, I'm too excited to sleep. Today is Shootout day.

Talking with the U of A TriCats yesterday I learned the ride can be more than just 63 miles. Apparently that's just where a group of cyclists turn around. Turn around? I don't think so. If there's a race going on at the front, and I'm any where near it, take a guess what I'll do.

Apparently the entire loop is 110 miles.

The cool thing is I really don't know what to expect. It is said the Shootout is a humbling experience. Sounds like a good time to me.

Yesterday's 1500TT was ok. It's wasn't the split I was hoping for, but a PB none the less. Cooling down after the effort I thought, "This is good news; there's a good reason for more swimming!"

The afternoon fartlek run was a good one. After a 20 minute warm up, and a few intervals, I heard a knocking. It was the comfortable stride. We had a good time for the next 6. Nice running. "This one's for Maz!"

Now it's time to refine the blood sugar levels before this ride. Oatmeal . . . I do believe so.

First I will pour on some po som on to loosen up the calves.

Rest well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Something new happened today in the water. I forgot that I was breathing. This is new to me, for you see, having grown up as a land mammal I have become accustomed to breathing at will. I don't often think about breathing while standing on my left leg, or maybe every other left leg step. Up until this morning, breathing has generally been at the forefront of my mind while swimming.

All of a sudden I thought, "When was the last time I took a breath?" Breathing must have just been happening without any effort. Then of course, I tried not to think about breathing for the rest of the swim. One thing is for certain, trying to not think about something rarely leads to our desired result.

After our swim we wandered over to the dive tank for a few jumps. The facial expressions were priceless:
. .
Easy 90 minute spin and that`s a good recovery day.
Over the next three days we will have a chance to test ourselves in each of our three sports. Tomorrow we have a 1500m TT in the pool. Saturday is the infamous Shootout ride, a longstanding 62 mile group ride here in Tucson. Rumor has it the group starts with over a hundred cyclists and by 30 miles the group is down to 20 - 30 cyclists. A shootout with the local cyclists. On Sunday there is a local 5K Run for the Cure. Good stuff.
Tonight`s dinner is a pork tenderloin. This time I tried butterflying and stuffing it with apples etc. After it`s all cut up and stuffed there`s the matter of tying it back together. No string to be found, but there is a drawstring in my run shorts. Perfect.
Rest well

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Today was a comfortable day. We started with a comfortable swim, followed by a comfortable run, and finished with a comfortable bike.

I was relieved to hear that our 4 x 400 drafting set was modified to a "moderate" pace. Moderate feels good. It can be a challenging effort to understand, definitely not easy, and far from hard. It's a pace where you do some work, and feel good the entire way through. It's a perfect opportunity to work on some techincal aspects of our sport with a little bit of moderate speed. Moderate is pretty cool once you start to know her. I think she may be a second cousin to Buzz.

Next is core. Nothing beats core on the U of A pool deck in the sun. I noticed some of the swim teams goals posted on the wall. More on this later, I just need a reminder for next time.

Easy run through the U of A campus, lunch, and it's bike time.

This afternoon was the first time I have really felt comfortable with Sugar Cane. Something clicked. I can remember the exact place and moment in time. Descending a small hill we made a left hand turn, sharp right still descending, slight left, and up a small rise. As I made my way out of the saddle still in the drops, upper body over the bars, it happened. Smooth riding, just doing the dance.

Nice 3hr spin with 4 x 10 minutes building from steady to tempo 1.

Rest well.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

ice cream cool down

First an update on the Onion Tactic. I think it has been working! The swelling from my weird bug sting is way down, and instead of half my leg being red it's only a small red circle. I have one more potential remedy if things aren't completely better by tomorrow morning. . . meat tenderizer.

This morning's swim was the best yet. It was a 6K Long Course Beauty with 26 x 100, alternating between 2:10(easy) / and 1:20(fast). I touched the wall after the 1st hard one at 1:10. "Cool, that was faster than I expected and felt easy. Today must be a fast day so I'll try and keep it there." I hovered between 1:10 and 1:11 for the remainder of our 13 hard 100s feeling great. So today I'm happy to say we have a new standard for 100s, 1:10. Starting tomorrow morning the new acceptable standard is 1:09. From there it's only a short trek to where we can see base camp. Excitement builds.

Back home for a couple boiled eggs, a couple slices of toast, sunscreen application #2 and I was ready for a two hour base ride through the south side of TuKson. Nice smooth ride.

Feeding time, nap time, feet up the wall time, more eating time, time for one more sunscreen application and it's run time.

20 base,
8 build to tempo,
3 x drills and strides,
dynamic stretch,
3 x 1K on 6:00, (3:08, 2:58, 2:57)
right into 6 x 200m on 1:30,
10 minutes rest,
3 more K's, (3:07, 2:57, 2:52)
6 more 200s,
10 minute walk home,
5 minutes eating ice cream on sidewalk outside house,
20 minutes kicking soccer ball around as cool down.

my focus was smooth running on the K's and speed for the 200s. Fast is fun!


rest well.