triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “lake chaparral

Recap – Week 33

Back to back weekly recaps. Lazy you ask?


Swim – 2:00:00 – 5200m
Bike – 1:00:00 – 26km
Run – 0:35:00 – 7.26km
Total – 3:35:00

In relative terms, lazy is about right. Lake Chaparral was my last race of the 2013 triathlon season, so this week is my wind down before I take a couple of weeks off from structured training. In hindsight, I may have taken it a little too easy, but with a pending vacation and work in full swing, I had to skip a couple of days.

Monday was a complete rest day after my race. After nursing my sore legs, standing desks don’t help with that by the way, I hit the bike for an hour on Tuesday for a easy spin. I tried the same for Wednesday in the pool but ended up with 16x25m sprints. That is the thing about being part of a club, there isn’t much room for individual requests. So I stuck with the workout because I would rather swim harder with the group, than swim easy on my own.

Easy run on Thursday and back in the pool on Friday. My swim coach has mentioned that he was looking to sell a couple of his wetsuits and brought them to the pool for me to try out. I took the first 15 minutes of our workout trying on, diving in, and swimming with each wetsuit, feeling each one. I have no problem getting into a wetsuit, but I have never done it wet before. It was more of a workout than the next 45 minutes in the lane. As I missed the warm up drills, I stuck around after the group was finished and completed my 400m, drill set.

So long story short, I liked the sleeveless ‘speed suit’ and took it with me on vacation to hopefully try it out in the lake a couple of times.

We are off for a family vacation, this time without the training gear and structured training plans. I love Sicamous; my family has been going there for a summer vacation since I was around 12 years old and we have gone each year since my daughter was born. She really enjoys it as well, so despite the mosquitoes in July, wasps in August, seaweed all year round, and a 6 hour drive, we make the trip each year.

More than the location, I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation. I have been going pretty hard this year, not taking may days off since last fall. I am going to try for a couple open water swims and one or two runs while I am away. Stay tuned to see how that goes.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Race Report – Lake Chaparral KOS and Olympic Distance
21 Day No Complaint Challenge


I lent a book that changed my life, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”, to a buddy over a year ago. Every time we run into each other, he says “Dude, we need to grab a coffee and I can return your book.” I wasn’t angry, if it took him some time to finish it, no problem. It is totally worth it.

So this week, he invited me for a coffee and gave me my book back. Only this was a brand new copy and inside was a $30 gift card. He wrecked the copy I gave him and instead of returning a damaged book, he hooked me up with a crisp new copy.

That is stand up.

Question: What is your wetsuit preference? Do you dig sleeves?


Race Report – Lake Chaparral KOS and Olympic Distance

My daughter races the Kids of Steel, I race the Olympic distance.


I have got in a habit of writing short and sweet race reports, so my next challenge is to fit two reports in the same space as one. Try anything once right? So here I go, KOS first, Olympic after.

They revised the course for the 7 & under as the boat ramp was pretty slippery. We would swim along the shore, up the beach, then into transition. Great, water, sand, and sensitive skin. I quickly tried to figure out a way to clean off her feet, and the wet grass would do the trick between the sand and pathway. We got in the water, waited for the start, and got our motorboat on. It was a long run, who I am kidding, walk to transition.

Once we got there, she changed and off she went on the bike alone. Before the race, she asked me to swim with her, but she could do the bike and run alone. Well after she came off the bike, she wanted me to run with her to the finish. So there I am, wet shorts and nothing else running the KOS run course with my daughter. It was kinda fun, but kinda weird at the same time.

Hit the aid station (always have to) and worked her way to the finish. The great thing about kids is that they don’t care about their time, or how they finish. Actually, I am not sure if she really knew it was a race.

No matter, we had a great time playing on the beach before and after the race, munching on post race snacks, and celebrating when we got home.

Now onto the main event.

I had a decent swim by my standards. The start was the most hectic I have been in for a while as I started near the front, smack in the middle of the pack. I didn’t get kicked in the face, but I did knock elbows, knees, and feet with most everyone around me. This lasted for about 300m, and once we hit the first buoy I was clear. Tried to catch a quick group 10m ahead of me, couldn’t for the entire 2 laps of the lake.

On to the bike. I noticed a racer that I competed against at Chinook (tough to miss a BMC Time Machine) who passed me on the bike with a little attitude. I made a point to pass him when I could, and succeeded at km 6 never to see him again. Come to think of it, I hope he is alright and didn’t have a flat or something. I crushed each uphill section, standing for the last 50m or so to keep my speed and cadence high for the flat section. Before I knew it, I was coming up the hill for the last time and heading into T2.

I was targeting a fast run, but today was not my day. Not sure if it was the effort on the bike, but I couldn’t convince my legs to keep my pace above 4:40/km after the first 1.5k. I settled in for a tough run, but was determined to finish under 50 minutes. I eventually crossed the finish line with total time of 2:23:23 (49:45 10k run split). I was a little bummed as my main rival was 3 mins ahead of me out of T2, and with a 42 min 10k, I would have raced him to the finish line.

Still, not too shabby; beat my time from last year by 8:06 and placed in the top 10.

Overall it was a great weekend. I enjoy the ability to share racing with my family and not just have them come out a watch as I race past. I may even try to convince my wife to participate in the relay next year. Stay tuned to see how good of a salesman I really am.

Question: Did you race on the weekend? How did it go?

Hotels, Family, and Training

Well I am back at it.


I has been a couple of weeks since my last post.

Vacation was great with stops in Coeur d’Alene, Seattle, Vancouver, Courtenay, Comox, and Sicamous. We had a lot of time together as a family, got real familiar with the seats in my truck, and visited family we haven’t seen in years. I managed to sneak in 80% of my planned workouts, opting to forego 3 swim workouts to ensure I got my time in on the bike and run.

Let me tell you, Seattle didn’t do much for me while we were there. The traffic was crazy, construction was all over the place, and the people didn’t seem too friendly; but when I look back on our time there, I like the city more and more. Some of the neighborhoods we visited, Queen Anne, Bainbridge Island, and West Seattle for example, were laid back and interesting to explore. I don’t think that I would move there, but I would go back in a heart beat.

Oh, and if you like Starbucks (who doesn’t right) I am sure you can find one. They are only on about every other street corner….

This weekend is my final race of the year; Lake Chaparral Olympic Distance. This is year number three participating and the first year I am targeting a high finish. I love this race, it is always well organized and with my daughter participating in the Kids of Steel race on Saturday, we make a family weekend out of it. I am riding my trusty Cervelo P3C instead of my new shinny Argon 18 Krypton. I love my new road bike, but as I found out pretty quickly, you sacrifice speed for comfort, and speed is what I am after. *sigh*, typical triathlete.

My training has been going great. I am averaging 1:28/100m in the pool over the past month. Not that I expect to clock that this weekend, open water always is a bit slower and considering it could be a non-wetsuit swim, that could make it even slower. Biking is also getting better. I am noticing my fitness is far better than just a few months ago; climbing and wind don’t bother me too much any more. The run is where I have noticed the most improvement. At Chinook back in June, I ran a 45:10 10k (4:31/km). Based on how I feel, I should be able to push the pace and come in with a 43:00 or even a 42:00 10k this weekend.

I am toying with the idea of weekly recap as a standard post. Not sure if I can keep up with it. Who am I kidding, I am not sure if my life is that interesting to be able to fill a post, let alone keep you guys interested each week. I can’t really think of a reason not to try it, so I will give it a try.

I say this a lot, but I am glad to be back in Calgary. It is nice to get away, but I love this town too much to stay away for long.

Question: Is your Triathlon season coming to an end? Did you achieve your goals?

Race Report – Lake Chaparral Olympic Distance

This was my second time in Lake Chaparral for a triathlon, and I enjoyed it this time more than the first.

Freshly off Ironman 70.3 Calgary, what better way to end the season than an Olympic distance race.

I arrived in transition around 0615 and found a spot to rack my bike.  There was plenty to chose from , which sometimes can be a bad thing as you can overthink which is best, and I grabbed a spot close to the end with no rack behind me.  Good, plenty of room to manuver.

After setting up my gear, I hung around in transition chatting with the guys who set up around me.  This is the best part of the pre-race for me, getting to know fellow competitors and look at the gear guys are bringing in.

At the pre-race meeting, we were informed that as the water temperature was warmer than 22 degrees, so no wetsuits were allowed for the olympic distance.  WARMER than 22 degrees, this race was in Canada right?  Great, T1 should be a breeze.

Swim – 1.5km – Lake Chaparral
Since the weather was overcast, and no wetsuits allowed, I didn’t want to get into the water too early for a warm up and end up cooling off.  So with about 5 minutes to race start, I hit the water for a quick 200m warm up with mixed intensities and sighting drills, got out of the water, and kissed my family for good luck.

The course is a two-lap swim around Lake Chaparral, starting from the beach.  I lined up close to the front of the pack, towatd the middle.  We were to swim straight out, then left toward the first buoy.

The starting siren went off, and we hit the water.  Instead of swimming straight out, eveyone swam left.  This resulted in me getting kicked a couple of times in the side of the head, but nothing too bad.  About 300m out, just after the first buoy, the pack spread out and I found a quick pair of legs to draft off.  I followed him around the turn, and the full length on the backside.  He seemed to slow once we turned for lap two, so I dropped him and went in search of another drafting partner.

I was able to find another pair of legs, but couldn’t stay in the draft for more than 5-10 strokes, so I decided it was best to swim my own pace and left him behind as well.

I was lifted out of the water by the voluenteers, thanks guys, and headed toward my bike.  I was a little disoriented as I forgot ear plugs and I find the water does that to me if I don’t wear them.  I also tweeked my left ankle coming over the timing mats, hope either of those don’t come back to bite me later on.

Highlights: Sighted very well, focused on making sure I made the turns a smooth as possible.

Lessons: I felt like the swim was fast, but at 2:04/km it wasn’t my best time.  I think focusing on the draft partner gave me a false sense of pace.  Need to remember ear plugs for every race.

Result: 30:47 2:04/100m 6/17 Age Group 38/146 Overall

Bike – 40km – Lake Chaparral Community
Transition was a breeze, and I hit the road within 1:30 of exiting the water.

The course is a four-lap bike around the community of Lake Chaparral.  It is realtively flat with one large hill to decend at 3km and climb at 6km; a total of 110m elevation change, so no big deal.

I started a little flustered on the bike, probably due to forgetting my ear plugs.  I tried to settle in and contiued on the bike.  I took it pretty safe on the first downhill at 3km and right turn toward the turn around.  The road in the valley was pretty rough, it took concentration to say out of the large bumps.  Once I hit the turn around, I grabbed my water bottle and grabbed a sip, went to put it back and dropped it, crap.  I stopped, went back, and grabbed it off the ground.

Dropping things on the bike is becoming a habit.

My nutrition plan was to have a gel on the first hill climb, then a second on the final hill climb.  I hit the first gel on lap 2 and the last gel on lap 4 just before the decents washing it down with an electrolyte drink on my bike frame.

For the next three laps, I traded position back and forth with racer 679, and joked about it with him a couple of times.  Other than the shadow I had and was at times, the rest of the bike was uneventful.  It did get a little congested on the last lap as the sprint distance was now out of the water and on their bikes.

As I have done before, I took my feet out of my shoes just before transition and threw my right leg over the bike and coasted on my left pedal, albeit a little early, and dismounted.  Coming to the rack, I noticed another racer had racked his bike in my spot.  It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except his front wheel was right in the middle of my run gear.  I decided to not worry about it, as there was nothing I could do about it now.

Highlights: I didn’t get passed by anyone in my age group.

Lessons: Need to find a better hydration system as the bottle and cage were not very efficient on the bumpy roads.  Determine where I dismount on the previous lap for future races.

Result: 1:11:43 33.5km/hr 6/17 Age Group 25/146 Overall

Run – 10km – Lake Chaparral Community
After digging through the front wheel of another racers bike for my gear, I headed out on the run.

The course is a two-lap run around the community, lapping through the park a total of three times.  It can be confusing, but after having done this last year, I knew where I was going.

My nutrtion plan was to carry a single gel in my jersey, and use it if I needed it.  It fell out of my pocket about 50m out of transition.  Maybe dropping things period is becoming a habit.  I decided to leave it as the aid stations had gels available.

I grabbed a glass of water and a gel at the first aid station, and ran out of the park to the street for lap one.  My pace was great for the first lap and I felt strong and fast.  Coming toward transition, I was cheered on, actually given a hard time by, a fellow Tri-Club Swimmer who had set up an unofficial aid station on his driveway.  That was awesome, I would use the aid station on the next lap.

Coming through the park for the second time, I saw the gel I had dropped and grabbed it on my way through.  I would rather grab it than use something that I haven’t tried in training, so I ditched the aid station gel and went for lap two.

I wanted to negative split my run, so I increased my pace once out of the park.  Almost instantly I began passing other racers, some from the sprint distance and some olympic distance racers just one the first lap.  It felt great to be passing people on the run; my last race I was the one getting passed.

Coming into the park for the last time, I was passed by guess who, racer 679.  He thanked me for pacing him, and blasted infront of me toward the finish line.  I didn’t have much left in my legs, so I conceeded that he would finish before me, and came into the finish line strong.

Highlights: I ran pretty much even for both laps.

Lessons: Continue to work on fitness to increase my speed on the run.

Result: 49:00 4:54/km 7/17 Age Group 38/146 Overall

I had a blast.  The Lake Chaparral Triathlon is probably one of the best events in the City of Calgary, and is always well organized.  The support is great, with various pockets of supporters around the bike and run course.  I actually was told by two children that I was awesome, so when I passed them on the next lap, I told them they were awesome.

I set a goal for myself for this race; I wanted to be strong on the run.  I felt mentally that I was strong, pushing the pace when my legs told me to slow it down.  I am happy with my result, next year I should be able to take it below 2:15:00.

Here is a link to some of the pictures from the day, check them out here.

Result: 2:31:29 5/17 Age Group 27/146 Overall

Race Report – Lake Chaparral Kids Of Steel

This was KOS number 2, and the first I was able to participate in.


We had a chance to cover the course on Friday afternoon, which is highly recommended for any Triathlon, not just your first KOS. As this was her first time in a lake, she wanted me to swim beside her, and asked if I could stay with her the entire time.

The 7 and under category was to swim last and only after all of the previous age group had finished their bike leg. This meant that there was going to be a 20 minute delay. More time to play in the sand!

Highlights: As the start was delayed, we had a chance to cheer on a friend as she passed on the run course.

Lessons: Spectators can show up a little later than we anticipated, around 0930 should do.

Swim – 50m – Lake Chaparral
The kids and adults hit the water and began the swim across the dock. We decided to start mid pack, and regretted our decision as we got stuck behind some slow swimmers. So we went around, and cruised to the boat ramp.

The ramp was slippery, and the volunteers were helpful in getting us to our feet.

Once out of the water, I let her take the lead. It was up to her to find her bike, and start getting ready. She found it with ease, I helped with the socks and shoes, and I put my shoes on while she put her helmet and race number on.

After insisting that she needed her hoodie on, we left transition.

Highlights: We navigated transition like champs. It wasn’t fast, but she did it all on her own.

Lessons: Need to ditch the socks, little wet feet are not easy to dress.

Bike – 1.5km – Lake Chaparral Community
The bike course was on a parking lane, at least I think that is what you call it, so the kids did not have to worry about traffic. Awesome.

It was like a clam Sunday afternoon bike ride, no real urgency about it. She was telling me stories, checking out the park, and overal enjoying her time. Maybe I can learn a thing or two…..

Highlights: She didn’t get passed by anyone, or pass anyone.

Lessons: Continue to enjoy each bike leg.

Run – 0.5km – Lake Chaparral Park
Again, we navigated transition like champs, she found her spot, I racked her bike, and we were off to the run.

We waved for some pictures, thanks Oma, and hit the aid station just before the finish. She grabbed a glass, took a sip, and threw it to the ground like she has done this before.

I asked if she wanted me to cross the finish line with her, or do it by herself. She wanted to go it alone, so I veered off to the right, and watched as she crossed the finish line.

Highlights: She continued to run for the enitre 0.5km.

Lessons: Continue to enjoy each run leg.

She enjoyed the race, there was a smile on her face the entire time. The post race munchies were a hit, she wanted to grab some water, fruit, and bagels. Hey, we even stayted around for the draw prizes and won a pair of goggles.

It was great that we were able to share the expreince with family friends as well, it made it much more enjoyable for her to see her friends competing as well.

The differences between a KOS and an ‘adult’ triathlon are obvious, but it is the atmosphere that struck me the most. It’s not serious, it was so much fun. I am pretty sure we will do this every year.

Here is a link to some of the pictures from the day, check them out here.