Health Wellness and Endurance

The Fraser Valley’s Wellness, Fitness, and Endurance Sports Podcast.

September 20th, 2017    

Stories from the 70.3 World Championships Part A: Lesley Maisey

Two of our favourite female racers both qualified for the Ironman 70.3 (Half-Ironman) World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee earlier this month. Our first race report comes to us from Lesley Maisey.

My second World Championships in two weeks, done. What an amazing and humbling experience this one was!

At the opening banquet the race director said he was excited about having the opportunity to design a really great and tough course for the Word Champs – and he wasn’t kidding. Every leg of it was challenging! The swim up river against the current, a very hilly bike course (with a fair bit of wind) and then a very hilly run course (in the heat) made for times much slower than everyone’s usual times. And it meant I had to absolutely let go of the theoretical time goals I had set for myself going into the race, and just do the best I could given the conditions we were facing.

So I’m proud to say I raced as hard as I know how to, and did as well as I could have hoped for, given the incredible field of talented athletes I was racing with. Including these two amazingly strong women from BC that I got to share pre and post-race encouragement and celebration with.

It was an honour and a pleasure to get to take part in an event of this calibre and to race with such incredible athletes. I am truly humbled by the times the top finishers were able to achieve on THAT course! And it was such a pleasure to get to race exclusively with other women – the environment of mutual support and encouragement throughout the day was incredible. The locals have all been incredibly welcoming, as well, and the volunteers were wonderful. Chatenooga does a fantastic job of putting on a race!

This was my third slowest 70.3 race since I started competing (only my first two, back in 2015, were slower.) And my placement is the lowest I have ever achieved! But I will still celebrate my 6:11:18 finish time, and my 129/187 age group standing – and 1045/1433 overall for women.

I really only had three goals for myself going into this race. 1. ENJOY the experience and the privilege of racing a World Championships. 2. Challenge and push myself to race the best race I possibly can. 3. Not be the very last athlete out of the water for the day. I can happily say I accomplished all three!

September 16th, 2017    

Motivational Push and Pull Factors: Fitspeek 17

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Why do people climb mountains, do marathons, swim from the Mainland to Nanaimo, and all that other crazy endurance type stuff? And once they have achieved their goal, what keeps them challenged?

This week in Fitspeek 17, Zack Neufeld (dude above with Ironman hat)explores push and pull motivations in his Between The Ears segment. We’d also like to motivate you to listen to the rest of Fitspeek 17 which also has: Kevin Watt’s (man in black) Instagram Shout Outs, The Wenting’s Word of the Week, our upcoming events schedule, and our feature interview with Michelle Ingall from the Campbell Valley Wine Run that is being held on Sunday September 24.

Hear it all by pressing play below.

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September 10th, 2017    

Fitspeek Express Interview: Campbell Valley Wine Run

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The Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities has been helping people out in our area for years. One of their major fundraisers is the Campbell Valley Wine Run. You drink some wine and run a bit. Well, there is more to it than that. To get us the rest of the story, I interviewed Race Director Michelle Ingall.

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You can get more information on the run here

https://www.campbellvalleywinerun.org/

September 9th, 2017    

Kevin Watt, Zack Neufeld, and Kevin Heinze have been busy

at work preparing for the latest edition of Fitspeek. Episode 17 features the Wenting’s Word of The Week, Zack’s Between The Ears, and KWatt’s shout outs. In our feature interview with Michelle Ingall, we will do our best to explain what the heck this picture is all about. Fitspeek 17 is coming soon.

September 2nd, 2017    

Lesley Maisey: You are an Ironman/Woman/Person

 Whenever someone invests time and energy to complete an endurance event, there is something we can learn from their efforts. In the past we have heard from folks like Rio Glowasky and Joe Crocker as they have transformed their lives since embracing racing (and the training required to do it!). Earlier this summer, our Fitspeek Follower and friend, and Ironvet (!) Lesley Maisey competed in the Ironman Race in the Napa Valley area of Central California. Here, she tells us about her experiences during her big day.
An ironman triathlon involves a swim, a bike, and a run. Sounds fairly straightforward. I just completed my tenth and even with all that experience there are things to learn. Every race is different even if you’re racing on the same course.

Primary lesson learned from Ironman Santa Rosa: pack every type of wetsuit you have. Take the fulll suit, the sleeveless, the neoprene swim shorts and the speed suit. Whether you can wear a wetsuit or not on race day depends on water temperature. At the race briefing, the legality of a wetsuit was in question but likely a non wetsuit swim due to the lake temperature at 76.1F. Another 0.1 degree F, so 76.2F meant wetsuits were not allowed. Now if you are a weaker swimmer and rely on your wetsuit’s buoyancy to get you safely through a 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim you could still wear it but you were removed from any award eligibility and cautioned on the risk of overheating. The sales of speed suits skyrocketed at the expo; I almost got sucked into the frenzy but Rob reeled me back in. I have one at home, it was my mistake not to pack it for a hot race. It’s now added to the pack list!

Race morning, the 0430 athlete shuttle out to the lake was relatively quiet and peaceful. There was a gentle buzz of conversation but no yahoos with their music blasting or jumping around trying to high five everyone (yes I’ve had that experience and it doesn’t allow for some centering and reflection before a long day). Into T1 with my headlamp as it’s still dark; we typically see sunrise part way into the swim. Tires pumped to 110psi, bottles and nutrition loaded on the bike and then down to the lake. Wetsuits were permitted as the temp was at that magical number of 76.1F. So nice to dive into warm water and have the added buoyancy but wetsuits cause extra stress on the shoulders having to move restricted with a thin neoprene layer. Pros and cons to most things aren’t there? The typical punches, kicks and swim-overs in the water were there but these don’t phase me anymore. The lake was quite choppy though and I kept losing sight of the course markers so swam a bit extra I’m sure. Not my fastest swim but I felt strong and still had good energy exiting, so an efficient swim! My transition times were long because of the 1/3 mile run up the boat launch, wetsuit stripper visit, around to the bag pick up and then finally around the back of the change tents and into the tent. New volunteer rules meant no help in the tent, not even with sunscreen application. I had a good community in the tent, as we had a line of athletes all putting sunscreen on each other’s backs. Then out and onto the bike.

I knew in the first few minutes this was going to be tough. My Garmin had been kicked and hit a ton in lap two of the swim so I had to reset it to catch any bike metrics. Most times I start the bike feeling awesome as this part is my strength, but not this time. I had ridden the 160km Valley GranFondo 6 days before and my legs were not fresh. Rob and I hadn’t driven the bike course but the profile hadn’t seemed too bad. The hills were nothing too major but felt far steeper with tired legs. The roads were in terrible shape though. Lots of orange tape marking off the worst hazards but I rode on high alert thankful for the carbon fibre frame and wheels taking some of the vibration. There were bottles and bike parts littering the course and so many people flatting out (not me though thankfully). At about 60 miles I could hear my front brake rubbing as it was finally a smooth section of road. Who knows how long that rolling resistance had been in play? Stopped for a quick adjustment and I was moving again. At mile 80 I stopped at an aid station and actually got off my bike. Normally I ride through and urinate as I go (sorry if TMI!) and rinse with a water bottle but I just needed a minute off that thing! I had 32 miles to go and wasn’t having much fun. I sat in the stinky “honey bucket” (irony at its finest) and recall hanging my head in my hands. My head ached and my body was sore but after a few minutes I got back in the saddle and resumed pedalling. The last 42 miles was a three loop section and had some of the worst roads. Every bump started to really hurt and there were groans and profanities uttered by all. I was so delighted to give my bike to the volunteer at the dismount line at 112 miles (180km). A longish run in cycling shoes took me into the next change tent.

Through T2 and onto the run. The run course was changed to a 3-looper a week before to allow more frequent access to aid stations and two stops at your special needs bag if you wanted. It felt so good to run…for about the first 4 miles. After that it was more mental than anything. I had been in my head for most of the bike course which is not good and had a hard time shaking it on the run. I saw Rob at mile 9 for a kiss and much needed words of encouragement. He was there at every loop, even ran with me for a bit and walked with me through the aid station on that part of the course. I was light headed off and on, struggling with nausea but actually not cramping at all. I could run when I talked myself into it! Grapes were the sustenance that kept me going along with cola. I could not stomach another gel, block, or bar. So grapes, a couple pieces of an orange and about 4 pretzels is what I consumed on the 26.2 mile run. My favourite sign on the run was “I bet you’d like your bike back now!” Oh how true they were!

I kept thinking that I must have missed the 22 mile marker. My Garmin had a dead battery and there were fewer than usual mile markers. I almost burst into tears when I finally did see it as in my mind it should have been there 2 miles ago! Mile 25 through to the finish was the longest 1.2 miles I have ever run. You think a marathon is long? That last mile felt like it took forever! They sure like to tour us around in Santa Rosa. In keeping with the long transition pathways of the day, the exit for the finish chute was at least 8 blocks. Just when you think you’re there, a lovely volunteer says “just two more turns” or “just two more blocks to go”. Seriously! That finish line seemed elusive. I could hear Mike Reilly’s booming voice (the announcer) but I couldn’t see that red and black magic carpet leading up to the finisher’s arch.

When I finally did, and it seemed like I had run far more than just 1.2 miles since that 25 mile sign, I had the same emotional flood that I had on my first ironman finish and every one since. Even though this was my tenth, it is never a guarantee that I will finish. Anything can happen on race day. When you do make it across that line it brings relief that I can really stop now, disappointment that I didn’t meet my goal time, joy in hearing my name called out as an ironman finisher, gratitude that Rob is there cheering me through that finish, and thankful that my body lets me do this crazy event and holds up to all the training and the challenges of race day. This one took 13 hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds. I was sweaty, salty, dusty and sparkling due to the sunscreen (I told another athlete I was channeling my inner unicorn), but I was done! I think I’ll give it a few more days before planning 2018…

August 26th, 2017    

Ultra 520 K Reflections: Day Two “The best laid plans”

The picture below does a pretty good job of expressing my approach toward the second day of the Ultra 520 K. I knew from the very outset that it would be a challenging day in ways that I could not imagine and time did not really matter that much. The day featured a 275 kilometre bike ride through the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. Although in training, I had done rides of almost nine hours, those rides were not after a previous ten hour day of swimming and riding. I was going to be as cautious, smart, and gentle as possible on the bike, to preserve my soul for the double-marathon the following day. What you see in the picture is me at about the three hour mark, rolling out my back and hips on a yoga mat. It seemed to work wonders for me and although that whole stop (just before the WALL in Okanagan Falls) took me about ten minutes, I think it was time well spent. In retrospect, looking at this picture makes me respect my competitors even more, and here’s why. Although every person doing the race had a crew to help them through the event, I was truly blessed to have the support that I had. I had an official crew of four, plus on this day I had an additional five people for emotional support.

My team catered to my every need. If I wanted perogies instead of gel, they were there, waiting for me at the next stop. If I didn’t like the tilt of my aero bars, I had a replacement bike ready to go. If my private parts started to get unhappy, I knew Chamois Butter was only twenty minutes away. If I got sick of F2C, I had a choice of green tea, Red Bull, or Coke at my “bicycle-buffet” as you can see here. I’m quite sure that I had the best support out of all the racers out there.

 

But in spite of all the niceties afforded me, I still had to go the distance and for me that took almost eleven hours. In that amount of time a lot can happen to a person’s mind and body. I remember doing the long and lonely climb to the Twin Lakes Golf Course feeling just hopeless. Ninety minutes later, I was still in a funk. I guess emotional peaks and valleys are a lot longer on bike rides lasting just as long as some of my entire Ironman races!

One of the things that sustained me (or distracted me) was the thought of folks like Craig Premack doing sixteen and twenty hour rides and Geo Wade doing eight and ten hours swims. Another, very tangible thing that helped me get through the day was the gearing on my bicycles. Even though my motivation and energy levels waivered a lot through the day, it was pretty much impossible NOT to keep going with a bike that had 12/32 gearing. They also gave me the opportunity to SPIN up all of the nasty hills that the course threw at me.

The two main things that I learned from Day Two of the Ultra 520 K were that even though you think you may be fully prepared to take on the challenges of a super long event, there are going to be things that may happen along the way that you will not necessarily be fully prepared for and this is part of the appeal. The second thing is much more pragmatic – comfort trumps aero on long distance bikes. Even though I thought my bike positions were optimized, my mind and body after seven hours seem to say  otherwise. Perhaps a less aggressive position on the bikes would have lessened the suffering. Or maybe it is just that this princess just needs to toughen up!

August 25th, 2017    

Zack is back – with another “Between The Ears” segment

As an athlete, you are always looking for an edge over your competition. Often this attitude means adopting the mind set of trying harder. For many of us that means adding stress, instead of energy to our efforts. In this “Between The Ears” segment, Fitspeek’s Zack Neufeld explains how to get faster by relaxing.

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August 19th, 2017    

Ultra520 K Reflections Blogpost 2: 10 Hours of Gratitude (Day one)

I’ve been on the road and offline for a while, here’s the next post based on the pictures you see here. I think one of the biggest words in my Ultra 520 experience was US. In the Ultra I was part of two US’s. The first US was my crew and me, as I wrote about in my first blog post. The second US was me as part of the group of 14 participants in the Ultra 520K. Take a look at this picture to your right. That’s it. A field of 14. Doing an event over such a long period of time with so few participants was very different than doing an Ironman when you are competing against somewhere between one and two thousand people. The vibe at the event was very much a laid back one. The most obvious example was shortly after this picture was taken at the start of the swim. With such a small field and such a long race, there was no fighting, punching, kicking, or biting, for the first 300 metres of the swim to jostle for position. In fact, drafting on the swim was not even allowed. The start of the swim instead was just a gentle roll out with my kayaker and myself taking a deep breath and heading out for some distant mark on the smoky horizon.

The second picture that you see here, ties in with the title of this blog post with the key word gratitude. All through the first day of the event, I was filled with gratitude: gratitude that I had overcome the meningitis to make it to the start line, gratitude that I had a wife and a family and friends that volunteered their long weekend to help me do this crazy event, gratitude that the currents in Skaha Lake pushed us, gratitude that I had a steady and rewarding job that afforded me the time to train and the money for the entry fee. The list could go on and on but one I want to focus on is gratitude for having an enthusiastic swim coach for the past five years. The not-so-bad-looking swim form that you see in the picture is partly thanks to the efforts of Ryan Clifton. Through his persistence, patience, and expertise in imparting good swimming technique, I was able to make it through the 11 kilometres (ask me about why it wasn’t 10) of the swim. Of course I was of course also grateful to get the heck out of the water as well.After finishing the swim, there was still 150 K of biking to do before US got to the real finish line for the day. More on that part later.

August 12th, 2017    

Ultraman 520 Reflections Part One

Over the next week or so, Fitspeek will be primarily text and pictures. Fitspeek was designed to be a more permanent place than Facebook to post observations from my racing, training, and interactions with people in the endurance sports community. We start with the picture above. If you didn’t know it, you may think that this was some sort of cult indoctrination ritual. It sort of was and I bought into it 100%.

In this picture, taken at about 6:20 AM on Saturday  August 5, 2017 are some of the most important people in my life at one of the most intense moments of my life. This picture is also sort of a time bridge between my past, present, and future. My first set of reflections deals with people.

At the centre of the circle is Race Director Steve Brown. His masterful organizational skills and compassionate spirit got all of us to the finish line.

On the far right of the outer circle, wearing a green t-shirt and red back-pack is Andrew. He was my paddler for the 10…er 11 kilometres that I swam for the 1st event of the race.

On the left side of the outer circle you will see a guy with a white t-shirt. He is Fitspeek co-host Kevin Watt. Kevin was the crew member responsible for safety, photography, and bike support. He also provided me tremendous wisdom and compassion during my dark moments, and there were many.

What is really cool is that in this picture, is that he is standing between Rob and Heidi Bryden – people that I swam with in my 1st Master’s Swim Course back in Airdrie, Alberta, 17 years ago.

The other guy in a white t-shirt on the left side of the outer circle is Sean David. He was a calming influence in the sometimes crazy and intense 31 hours that I spent out on the Ultra 520 race course. His technical expertise in tracking my calories helped ensure that I had enough energy to go the distance.

Standing to the left of the guy in a beard and a purple t-shirt is a person who has experienced incredible personal and physical growth over the past few years. Rio Glowasky is now a hard-ass runner ready to take on her first marathon. In addition to her athletic talents, Rio was the right-brained creative genius who designed the crew t-shirts, supplied me with buckets of positive energy, and a never-ending supply of Rio Gels! As a side note, Rio may be working with that bearded dude at next year’s Ultra 520!

To Rio’s left is our Crew Chief (although she called herself something else). Elise Reeh organized the crew’s duties, indulged my “princess-like” behaviour over the past nine months, selflessly handled the shell of my body after each of the stages. My amazing wife (Ironman 2005) is also without doubt the most driven and wise person I know. After knowing and loving her for 27 years, my respect and admiration for her continue to grow daily.

In the next few updates, I’ll be posting some pictures about special moments in the expedition!

 

August 5th, 2017    

Day 1 summary of the Penticton Ultra520

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Day 1 of the Ultra520 for Sato Hydrosloth and The Crew. Hot!

August 4th, 2017    

Ultraman Blog – Friday morning takes.

There may be a high degree of randomness in this one – hang on! First some quick context via a back door brag. I’ve done 9 Ironman Distance Races and about 50 1/2 Ironman Distance Races. Back in the day, when these events used to have a carbo – loading dinner the tone was often like this picture. Whose is bigger, faster, longer, stronger? It gave the athletes (primarily male) a chance to let all the other athletes know (before there was Strava and Facebook) just how good their equipment was and how much they were training. Talk about Power V’s and Deep HEDs and 25 hour taper weeks were table fodder.

My impressions from the Ultraman meet and greet (not really a carbo – loading affair) were much more like this picture. Steve Brown has really crafted a family like (dare I say cult like) vibe. With only 12 other participants, there is no opportunity to be some anonymous blow hard big shot, which I sometimes am at triathlon socials. I did not see one “I raced at Kona, so look at me you poor mortals and despair” t-shirts. Instead, what I saw, heard, and participated in were just a bunch of genuine conversations about why people decided to sign up for the Ultra, some advice giving from those who had done it before, and talk about their home country (there are quite a few non-Canadians doing the race).  Not once did I hear a reference to an 11/58 fixie that dude rode all winter for base training! Just like a group of junkies chatting to each other about their favourite way to rig up, by being with a group of peers who had done eight hour bike rides and four hour treadmill runs seemed to normalize or validate my experiences of the past months.

Right now it is almost 8 AM on Friday August 4th. I’m not really thinking about the race. That is partly because to me, right now at least, it isn’t a race. It is more of an expedition. I have my supplies and my crew. The training did NOT go well but it is done. As average of an athlete as I am right now (2 minute and 10 seconds for 100 metres of swimming, a 5.8 miles per hour running speed average for a half marathon, and an FTP on the bike of 200 watts) one thing that I am good at is playing the hand that I have been dealt wisely. There will be no athletic acts of heroism this weekend, just a relaxed but focused drive for each day’s finish line. To get there here are a few things I need to remember

  • Slowing down is ok, so is stopping – but no longer than 1 minute.
  • Your stomach is going to hurt, but not for the whole event, peaks and valleys.
  • Just because your stomach is hurting doesn’t mean you stop eating, keep trying different stuff.
  • Puking is ok. Try it. You may like it. Hit the reset button. Get ugly when needed.
  • Draw on tusk power every day.

If your energy or interest is crashing, it means you need more sugar.

That’s it for now. My next post will likely be when this is all done, I might have a few things to write about.

August 3rd, 2017    

The Ultra Adventure: It is starting to get real

For the next few days I’ll be bringing my Ultraman Blog off of the back page and onto the front. As you may have heard or read, this is the weekend that I am doing the Ultraman 520 in the Penticton area. It’s a 3 day event that has a 10 K swim and 150 K swim on day one, a 270 K bike on day two, and an 84 K run on day three. We are in Penticton right now to do all of the prep. stuff that is required. Today we go shopping for supplies! We also get a chance to pick up the race package and meet all the folks (maybe a dozen) who are doing the event. Yesterday, Elise and I finally got a chance to see the run course. For me it is going to be so much more than a run course. It will be a walk, and maybe at times a crawl course. The stretch from km about 55-70 I suspect will be especially challenging. That is because at that point I will have been on the course for about eight hours and I suspect I will be pretty tired by then. There is a lot of up and downhill during that part of the course, so I’ll have to make sure that my pacing and nutrition are good. Of course in order to be able to get the opportunity to run/walk, I have some work to do on Saturday and Sunday. Keep checking in over the next few days, this could be quite the freak show!

August 1st, 2017    

Fitspeek’s Producer K. Heinze- Ultra Man?

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Gather round people, cover your ears children. Were going  have a Pre Race Discussion slash Banter with "Soon To Be Ultraman" Kevin Heinze and his "Bedazzaling  and  Rather Aggressive Ultra Crew"

July 31st, 2017    

Holistic Fitness In Abbotsford

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At Fitspeek, one of our goals is to blend the spheres of fitness and leisure. We think that the folks at Parallel Yoga & Raven’s Brewing have it right. On Tuesday August 8, Kara Colemen will be leading a one-hour yoga session at Raven’s Brewing.

Right after the session will be a craft beer tasting event. Hear the details in this Fitspeek Express Interview.

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July 20th, 2017    

24 Days -22 Hours. 6,900 Km. The Trans Am Bike Race Interview with Canadian Meaghan Hackinen

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Imagine racing your bike for 24 Days-22hours straght. Canadian female cyclist Meaghan Hackinen did. 6,900 Kilometres as a matter of fact. Listen as The 2017 Trans Am Bike Race shapes and transforms Meaghan into the Battle Hardend Ultra Cycling Machine.

July 20th, 2017    

Fitspeek Sixteen is here! (jump for joy!)

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Our most ambitious podcast to date, Fitspeek Sixteen is here. To help you navigate this one a table of contents is in order.

  • Zack Neufeld kicks things off with results from the Spring Cultus Lake Triathlon.
  • Kevin Watt drops by for his comments on the Positive Spin Cycle ride held in Chilliwack and his Instagram shout-outs.
  • Our feature interview is with local cycling powerhouse Galen Keller. The topics range from his training motivations to his massive 64 (you are going to have to listen to find out ).
  • Fitspeek’s newest member Chloe Knull gives us a “Tale of Two Races” as she compares her Oliver and Cultus Lake triathlons.
  • Bob Babbitt drops by for his final installment of Bob’s Bitts. Want to know the secret to a longer, happier, life? Bob’s Bitts has it.
  • Our upcoming events schedule features the Campbell Valley Wine Run and the Coquitlam Crunch.
  • The Wenting’s Word of the Week is “Attack!”
  • Zack Neufeld closes out the program with his Between The Ears feature on Mindfulness.

Whether you are at the beach, on the road, or are just a Galen fan, Fitspeek 16 is sweet indeed. Hear it now by pressing play.

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July 19th, 2017    

Introducing Our Newest Fitspeek Member: Chloe Knull

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Ever since I read her first race report on the Abbotsford Triathlon Club’s website, I was determined to bring her engaging story telling abilities to Fitspeek. Making the jump from keyboard to microphone was a natural one for Chloe Knull, as you will find out in this Fitspeek Express Feature. Chloe tells about her challenges in completing her very first Olympic Distance triathlon which involve moving the week of the race and a very greasy pre-race meal. Hear all about it by pressing play below.

http://www.fitspeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Chloe-Knull-is-Fitspeeks-Newest-Voice.mp3

July 19th, 2017    

Part Gandhi, Part Assassin, ALL Cyclist: Meet Galen Keller

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From competitive mountain biking, to the local crit and time trial circuit, and to the velodrome for some “real speed” over the winter months, Phoenix Velo’s Galen Keller has done many things on the bike, most of them quite well. In this Fitspeek Express interview we get to know the man behind the smile and those intimidating calves! Find out about his motivations, training secrets, and more by pressing play below

http://www.fitspeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Galen-Keller-Cyclismo-Interview-July-2017.mp3

July 10th, 2017    

A new Fitspeek is on the way!

We are a few days away from the latest edition of the Fitspeek podcast. As usual, Kevin Watt will be here with his insights, stories, and shout outs. We are also happy to have Zack Neufeld return with another segment of “Between The Ears, A look at the mental and spiritual aspects of racing and training.” Zack will be also doing race results and reports for us this time.  Bob Babbitt will be dropping by for the ninth (and final installment) of Bob’s Bitts. All that, plus the upcoming events schedule, and a little bit more (!) are part of the new Fitspeek, good refreshment for your ears this summer!

June 27th, 2017    

Trifecta of Fitspeek fast females

In addition to Sheigh Gaudette and Elle Bush, Rio Glowasky is also having a killer racing season, setting a personal best in the Victoria Times Colonist 10 K, and CRUSHING it in a most-painful Good Life Fitness 10 K a couple of weeks ago.  Here is her first race report for Fitspeek.com 

After 13 races in three years, learning occurs, strategy develops, and expectations for improvement continue. My goal in the first two years was to race a daunting sub 60min 10km. I refined my nutrition intake, clothing, tunes, and training distances and put my 2016 race season behind me with my best 10km at 60:47. Over the fall and winter, I started running longer distances, got better at hills, and became less focused on time and more on heart rate and distance. Going into 2017 I set new goals – improve my half marathon time, run a marathon, and yes – get that sub 60min 10km. Oh yeah, and collect more finisher metals.

I registered for the Sporting Life 10km run in Calgary early in the season as it was advertised as a quick 10km, mostly downhill, giving participants a good opportunity to set new records. April 30 I broke my sub 60 goal in Victoria at the TC10K, and this week I did what I never thought I could do and did a 55:11 at the Sporting Life 10km.

I often think of the quote “The only good pace is suicide pace, and today’s a good day to die” and that’s what it was. I’ve seen people come through the finish line looking like they are going to vomit. I’ve seen fellow athletes hobble around for days after race day. I could never relate. And now I know AND feel – it’s because I’ve never raced at race pace. For all of my 6.2mi I wanted to vomit. And for the last 6 days all I’ve wanted is healed hamstrings.

What did I do right? I did it! My Nutrition was bang on with 3 GU caffeine shots, and a bit of Gatorade. My mindset was good – as sick as I felt, I knew it was temporary, remembering I could breathe later. I kept focused on technique especially going down hills and keeping pace through the flat sections when I felt sick and like slacking. I got lots of sleep. AND! I raced at race pace – an average heart rate of 152 (previously only feeling comfortable up to 146).

What did I do wrong? I overdressed. Why do I keep doing this! I did the rooky mistake of starting too fast – that’s a first. In my defense, the first 2 miles were a fairly steep downhill into downtown Calgary. I should look at the race course prior so that I can develop strategy on new races. I drank a Fireball (a delightful cinnamon whiskey) for breakfast, and Caesars for lunch the day before, at a company golf tournament.

What have I learned? I’ve thought a lot this week on how we measure our success and goals and charted all my stats and percentiles of my races. Although thrilled with my new personal best, I knew the race attracted an experienced race crowd, and I knew my division and gender place would also be revealing of my performance. My very first 10km was a 1:02.35 chip time, and a 40.4% percentile in my division. I was disappointed ending my 2016 season with a 60:47. In hindsight, if I measured performance differently and looked at that divisional place, it remains to be my best yet at 37.1%. The sporting Life 10km landed me a disappointing division place of 46.4% percentile but an amazing gender place of 32.5% – my best yet. I’ve learned to train with purpose now that I have a few running goals. I continue to learn my capabilities.

I’m back to long distance running for the summer, taking a couple month break from racing so that I can end racing season as successfully as it started.

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