Monday, December 20, 2010

If it doesn’t tick, tock to the guys at Timex

Countdown: Two-Hundred-Fifty Days to IMC 2011!!

Once upon a time – oh the puns will keep coming – I watched the ongoing festivities at the 2010 Ironman Canada Expo.

Eventually, it wasn’t so difficult to miss this larger than life Timex watch (and btw Kory Seder is a big guy).
So ultimately I was keen on figuring out how this Ironman Global Trainer watch with GPS will stack up to the wonderful world of Garmin.

I couldn't resist but try on the not-so-ugly GPS watch for kicks.

The no. 1 question I had for the guys at the Timex tent – Is it compatible to Google Earth? Deep inside, I needed to know if my plan for global domination was really going to work. And really who else better to consult then Timex themselves? Dude at the booth was stumped and had to check with his boss. Turns out they weren’t sure.

Then my second question – what about the structural integrity of these wrist bands, because I have my fair share of broken wristbands whether it’s velcro or plastic. It's uncool how those straps aren't so ironproof for such ironman-related activities.

One of two similar watches I managed to destruct within a year.

The guy pulled out an envelope for me and asked me to return it for repair.
Or visit the website (link:

It was a clever green idea. Or so I first thought..
So later next week I filled out the necessary info and returned it.

The total price for a new wristband including tax and shipping worked out to be just under $17 cad. Sweet.

About 4 weeks later, I was super stoked to have a basically brand new watch. Sadly, only after a first test swim with the new watch, the top left button flew off and the watch died completely on me. The excitement was short lived. =(

Lesson to be learnt, not all green ideas are deemed bulletproof.  Just ask if building a roof made of banana peals is a rad idea?

I was super bummed and consulted Timex this time by email and they told me to just return it. Great thing about these watches is that they actually fit through a letter size envelope slot, so hence the watch I shipped only cost a little more than a loonie for regular postage. =)

Finally today, just a few days shy of christmas I got my (newly repaired)^2 watch. Thank you Timex for the early christmas gift, really appreciated it!! I will try not to break it before the new year. =)

Now that I know the system works, I shall send those other lovely broken watches to Timex. =D

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The nerdiest room space planning tool ever

Big news for the Guo family, we’re going to spend this winter holiday moving! Not anywhere far per se, only a whopping 1.3km of driving distance from current to new place.

Luckily for me, I had already drawn up my furniture back in my glory days of free spiriting, so it wasn’t too difficult to plan out my new room. Yes Google, the nerdiness in me is finally coming out. Next thing you know, I whip out the GPS watch and start importing the data into Google SketchUp (haha just kidding).

My fancy surveying measuring equipment consisted of my own feet. I measured out the new room, and WALL-LA, it came out to be 10.5 by 9.5. Back home, I did the simple conversions. This is what I get.

This room screamed my name, since by default my sister had claimed the other room with the larger closet. That’s correct; no heated arguments necessary, the number one criterion to any room (in my sister’s eyes) is closet square footage.

I imported the items and by trial and error came up with this close to bulletproof optimized plan. Hey presto, check it out.

It fits! ..kind-duh. =)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race report: Fall Classic Half Marathon

Date/Time: November 21, 2010, 8:39 am (delayed)
Weather: minus 5ish with a few slippery patches and light snow.
Distance: Half Marathon
Chip time: 1:29:06 (4:13 min/km pace)
Age Group: 9/104
Overall: 28/1008

Ah the Fall Classic, it should be better known as the winter classic this year. This must had been perhaps the coldest of the cold Fall Classics I’ve done over the years. The surprise elements of snow and some patches of slippery ice also decided to crash the party this year.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with my time. Didn’t quite PB or even PB in this particular race; however, given the circumstances I managed to pull off a respectable time no less and was super close!

For me, this race was more for adopting a new running technique with the Newton Terra Momentus (here’s a link to a review of the shoe: a good read for those interested).

My soft goal was to go 1:28 and see how far I can keep up with Mr. Liam Harrap this year (last year I got dropped at 5k the first turnaround), but REALLY I really had absolutely no idea how the new shoe and technique would perform in a half marathon race. I’ve only used the shoe in 15ish casual training outings and maybe just a couple intervals speed workouts.

I’ve been cautious with this particular shoe because striking the ground with less surface area is painfully painful from a blister perspective (apologies for my comments, if they offend if not all the Newton lovers out there). I’ve been getting so many with this shoe!!!
I think the whole idea of forefoot and its link to barefoot running is still foreign to me. I didn’t quite get the scale of hype about it, until I saw practically everyone in the leading pack of the Ironman Canada wearing Newton Runners.

I’m more of a mid-sole striker, and really have adapted into it. My Racer ST4 Brooks running flats has always been the PB missile of choice this year.

Okay now for the exciting race details.

Writing this report two weeks late, I guess it won’t be as fresh as newly laid snow (oh yes, pun intended). It was great to see so many people doing this race I knew from the triclub. I wanted to keep up to Liam because he is so steady and fast. He is that person who can run as patient as you and can run that extra 10 second pace faster- a DEADLY combo for the perfect pace buddy.

The race was delayed 8 minutes for some odd reason. In the triclub office during a pre-race gathering, Liam and some other girls particularly called me out for being just WEAK. I guess I just was wearing too much clothes.

Shortly afterwards Liam intelligently recommended ditching the leg warmers entirely and just going with short shorts. On hindsight, what a great suggestion, but then the downside you wouldn’t have been able to see how ridiculous my attire was (fitting with the road conditions obstacles we had).

We held about 4 minute pace, but deep inside something just didn’t feel right for me. My left leg warmer falling down was the least of my problems. The penetrating lug of the Newton shoe just pounded into my layer of cold skin. It was just unbearable at the 5K marker. For those keen and interested, please scroll down to the photographical illustration at the bottom of this post.

Looking at Garmin, I just ended up taking the rest of the race gingerly at around the 4:12ish pace, which was my blister’s tolerable pain threshold. A few runners passed me, and that was perfectly fine.

I finished at around 1:29:10 gun time and felt awkward walking the blister out. I did manage to quickly crash fashionably late into the triclub Sunday’s swim workout and get a solid 500m swim and to ease up the pain in a nice dip into the hottub. This was probably the best decision I’ve made all day.

Special congrats to my pace buddy Liam for holding pace and posting a very impressive 1:24:43 and big congrats to Matt Reeve from the triclub finishing 3rd overall in the 10K race! Very impressive results along with many other notables.

My splits from Garmin

km Pace
1 3:59
2 3:59
3 3:51
4 4:15
5 3:53
6 4:14
7 4:14
8 4:20
21.1 4:12

As UNCOOL as this might be, I think most people would enjoy this! =)

A MANblister! I did you the favour of not going for a zoom-in shot. =)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LESS is more.

Finally, a blog update!

I’ve been meaning to do FIVE but I just have been procrastinating. This picture I found pretty much sums up my less than kick-ass motivation of late. My downtime has mostly been reallocated to beauty naps.


The ante has been upped for searching quality naptime since I’ve started my day job. The only nap time I can take is after workhours. Hence, the lack of productivity on my blog.

At work, the line of work is still super secretive at the moment and the interesting assignments I’ve come across definitely passes time more quickly. It beats school work in a heartbeat back when I pretty much enjoyed napping in each and every class. No joke. Surprisingly, I’ve managed to survive being discrete about it and nobody in the office seems to mind when I take up to 3 different desks for my work (Okay two of the three were actually assigned to me for temporary desk-parking locations). =)

When it comes to that other form of blazing flash of fun and excitement (i.e. running, biking, and swimming), it’s been more like my physical training to become a ninja. Only weekends to I get to enjoy training in light and get my dose of vitamin D. However, I have also been struggling to get in my naps so I have to bank a lot of time during the weekends.

This has been an extremely busy week for me. Fall classic on Sunday (stayed tune for full race report - I’ve been meaning to write it up, but it seems like the time officials are spending just as much time as me procrastinating about correcting the times). I also had my convocation on Thursday (woohoo, it feels good to be done!), the temporary laid white stuff on the ground decided to join us for the big party, which allowed for some pretty cool pictures. Checkout that giant snowball being ricoheted off my sister.

For me, I know it might be super lamesauce going to the same convocation twice within two calendar years. Hey, last year for my Bachelors and hello again this year for my Masters. The chancellor looked at me funny and perhaps realized I was back again. Funny most of my friends still think it’s just MEH. But this time if felt REAL.

No more delaying the inevitable this time (oh right the blog update). I guess I’ve kinda exhausted that lifeline already.

Chancellor, President, and "Space Lady" Julie Payette was there to accept her 19th hon. degree.

Really!? I must admit Space Lady/Engineer/Musician is REALLY a bit of an underachiever. =)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Hundred Ninety Nine

To celebrate my last race in the 20-24 age group, I figured I can break the only PB I have yet to achieve this year and that is running the half marathon. It’s been an awesome 2010 year for me, and 2010 reasons to celebrate for sure. I've been busy mooching candy off little kids lately. =)


I have already achieved quad-digits of running mileage in kilometres during training and racing this calendar year. But hey, I am still nowhere close to Marathon Maniac status...just yet. That’s beyond the scope for 2010.

My current PB in the half marathon is 1:28:32 and my latest marathon in Victoria halfway split was just 26 seconds shy from matching it! So with little convincing from Liam Harrap, I decided to join him for the UBC Fall Classic in only 19 days.

See? I believe good things are in stored. Just can’t lose, unless I don’t try.

Just another baby step to keep me distracted from that next big challenge coming up (299 days until Ironman Canada 2011!).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Real World Welcomes Winston!

I was getting too comfortable.

I realized that being in the business of a full time triathlete, parts of the nitty gritty everyday job description involved doing the house chores and making sure I don’t miss my midday naps. However, there is this relentless magnetic field that somehow keeps revolving around the same question time and time after again. WinSistorm and my dad keep me honest, let’s say. They would chuck metal objects towards this question everyday...

When will you get a job and enter the REAL world, Winston?

I knew if I didn’t find a job soon that I would be stuck in this forever sticky mess of explaining myself during every family dinner conversations with regards to the hairline details of my current onrush on job hunting.

The patience pursuit towards global domination is not good enough it seems. I realized this. Try convincing this to your family for notions of approval and in return, they automatically return this funny look. Trust me, I’ve tried.

This week, I have started my job and the beginning chapters to the rest of my life! I’m pretty excited, I love taking in new challenges. Recently, dinner conversations are a lot more pleasing to the ears.

There’s a lot of top secret classified information for this job and I’m not suppose to spill the beans on as part of the agreement of my contract, not even to fellow employees not involved on the project. Don’t be surprised if you find out that I’m actually a secret spy working for a federal agency. ;)

What I can say is that it is a welcoming experience returning to the company, who once hired me as a coop student. I know the people, and they know me. It is a very tight knit group of people in the industry of marine structures. I think I’m starting to like it. Keep a secret for me and don’t tell this to my bosses tho. =)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Race report: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Date/Time: October 10, 2010, 9:00 am
Weather: 10ish partly cloudy with sunshine
Distance: Marathon
Gun time: 3:07:55
10K: 41:48
Halfway: 1:28:58
30K: 2:08:56
Chip time: 3:07:53 (4:28 min/km pace)
Age Group: 6/59
Overall: 109/2643

No need to lookout anymore WORLD, a Winstorm has qualified for Boston with a gun time of 3:07:55! Yep, I’m so flipping delighted; I have to say this feeling is dangerously contiguous! You have been warned. =D

So this past weekend, I was pretty much all business going to Victoria. They say once you have completed your second marathon, you can usher in the new coveted title of becoming a true marathonER. I did my first marathon in this same race two years ago with a time of 3:22:34, but I was just a rookie and ran a near positive 20 minute split. Yuck! I just remember being remotely incapable of running for 6 weeks after that race and the excruciating pain of course.

Zee 42.2K Run

This year I enter the race with a little more confidence in my abilities because of the 2008 experience and I have done a lot more mileage base training in the previous 10 weeks. It really did pay off, I must admit. I ran a near positive 10 minute split this time, which is a huge improvement. Maybe next time I can cut it down to 5 minutes and eventually even-Steven. That would be an amazing improvement on my style points, but until that happens I’ll take whatever finishing time I can get.

I ran with Vince pretty much shoulder to shoulder from start to the halfway point. We were banking a lot of time on our desired pace of 4:20 per km. Vince’s plan was to run faster (sub 3hours), but my plan was to try and hold 4:20 pace as long as I physically could. 4:20s would take me in with an expected time of about 3 hours and 2 minutes with about 9 minutes of buffer time to accommodate for any undesired kinks in the game plan. Fortunately Vince had an awesome race, pretty much holding 4:10ish pace for the remaining half.

I realized by the halfway point, my powerful cardio engine was too much for my legs. The calves and hamstrings started twitching. From about 22K onwards, I felt like if I ran any faster, I might pull something and would risk a DNF. I eased off the killer pace and luckily didn’t walk and started to just run base on what the legs could hold for at a comfortable steady rhythm. Gentle feather feet, I was thinking to myself.

By 32k, I looked at Garmin and knew I just needed a sub 50 minute for the final 10k to reel in Boston. That was my motivation to finish strong. Thanks to Scott and Celeste for bringing me home at the final 1km point.

I enjoyed the final stretch and totally cruised the final 200m with the amazing cheers from the crowd.

km Pace
1 3:50
2 4:04
3 4:09
4 3:58
5 4:11
6 4:17
7 4:12
8 4:17
9 4:17
10 4:09 10k Split: 41:48 (4:11 pace)
11 4:13
12 4:14
13 4:15
14 4:12
15 4:09
16 4:10
17 4:13
18 4:14
19 4:08
20 4:14
21 4:09 Halfway: 1:28:58 (4:13 pace)
22 4:14
23 4:24
24 4:24
25 4:25
26 4:30
27 4:25
28 4:21
29 4:37
30 4:40 30k Split: 2:08:56 (4:18 pace)
31 4:44
32 4:49
33 4:47
34 4:47
35 4:48
36 4:47
37 4:51
38 5:00
39 4:59
40 4:41
41 4:41
42.2 4:41 Chip time: 3:07:53 (4:27 pace)

This was a fun race with music and kids trying to high five me. Joerg Winter and Jesse Chao, my hostel roomies did pretty awesome in the half, both running PBs. There were also many other tri-club members doing the half and full marathon. I think everyone I talked to managed to get a PB, awesome and congrats! Also congrats to Liam Harrap for placing third in his age group for the half marathon! And congrats to Andrew for signing up pretty much fashionably last minute and deciding he would shave off 1 hour of his previous PB. Special congrats to Mel and Vince for also qualifying for Boston!

Thanks again for all the support World, really appreciated it. =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Update

It’s Canadian thanksgiving over here, and I just wanted express how thankful I am to have great friends and family providing me with continuous support and encouragement for a Boston Qualifier. They have taught me, that it’s all right to tune out those little voices inside my head that say I CAN'T.

A taste for what to come.

This is what some had to say leading up to the Victoria Marathon this weekend.

Little WinSistorm showed off her mad Swedish written skills for an assignment and then had to memorize everything word for word:

Hej Lena! Det här är Winston, min bror. Han talar engelska och kantonesiska. Han är från Kanada. Han föddes den 24 Februari. Han är ingenjör. Han utexaminerades från UBC. Han är mycket atletisk. Han älskar att simma, cykla och springa. Deltar han i triathlon regelbundet. Hans dröm är att tävla i Boston Marathon och slutföra Ironman.

Mere minutes before the start on race morning, Andrew Wight said this in regards to qualifying for Boston:

You`ll qualify. You’re not just anybody, you are Winston Guo (pronounced Guwal).

Liam Harrap kindly pointed out to me during a training run this past week:

You`re not coming back from Victoria until you qualify.

Aye yes luckily thankfully I did not disappoint, did I mention I QUALIFIED for BOSTON!?! I’m beyond overjoyed. More to come in my official race report. =)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pre Victoria Marathon Race Goodies

Personalized Winstorm-ized bib no.

Look out world, a Winstorm is forecast to hit Boston Qualifier in a of couple days.

Operation Organized Free Goodies at Work 

Jesse shows us the look of champions

Powerin' it up at the PowerBar with Vince

These next two pictures are dedicated to a friend, who shall remain nameless for the time being. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

That T-word.

Week 9/10 to Marathon

When I run, I feel like I am unstoppable (as per Newton’s first law of motion).

So you can imagine trying to stop or slow me down at the very least.

But, it’s time to take a step back and recharge those little batteries. How to become one step closer to global domination, STEP No. 22: Chillax.

So ‘chilled’ and ‘relaxed’, I can omit some letters for the sake of chillaxing.

This is probably by far the least exciting part of my 10 week training regime. Sleep for 8 hours, nap midday, and run less often. Yep. Boring stuff. ZzzzZZZZzzz. I'm dozing off just blogging about it.

We do like numbers to back us up when faced with a challenge. Here is the training breakdown during the past nine weeks.

Exhibit A is for those silly people thinking I’m just a madman on runners (usually they’re right).

Exhibit A: See proof, I do TAPER!

Exhibit B reveals the “proposed long run” of the week & actual “long run” kilometres.

Exhibit B: So far so good-ish! =D

Tapering also involves the mental aspect. Selecting race gear and nutrition as well as focusing and becoming familiar with the race details, etc. I think I am ready as one can be.

Alright so the question remains, have I tapered enough for my marathon? Even bigger question, will I qualify for Boston? Or will I have overtrained and dug myself my own grave site?

Stay tuned to this weekend in Victoria for my killer second crack at the marathon distance.

Boston Boston Boston! Maybe the more times I mention Boston, the more likelihood of my chances for qualifying! Eh? =)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tempo Runs - a creative touch

Week 8/10 to Marathon

Having conquered the peak load stages of my 10 week marathon training program, I feel like my legs can eat 10k for breakfast, 20k for lunch, and still have room for dessert without much discomfort. It’s a wonderful feeling, really! Two weeks ‘til the marathon, I feel confident about getting my main course meal - my Boston Qualifier time (3:10:59)!

All this running mileage building however is not without its obstacles. My body is handling the extra mileage beautifully, though the same cannot be said about the in taking the large icy-syrupy beverages. Lately I have restrained myself from going anywhere within 50 meters of any gas stations or 7-11s to resist the urge of getting a slushie.

The hot N cold just doesn’t mix well, especially eating yummy shanghainese rice cake noodles after a slushie. It upsets the enzymes apparently - I learned that the hard way while making many visits to the bathroom during the night. =/

To the running and triathlon worlds, it shouldn’t take a great stroke of insight to realize that throwing in a weekly tempo run is the answer to racing your best.

How to become one step closer to global domination, STEP No. 16: Be creative. The Kenyans may get upset at me for using their tempo race secret, but don’t worry, I have a clever idea to add!

We all know the benefits of tempo running. It’s basically a way to teach the body to use the oxygen more efficiently by increasing the lactate threshold. This involves running at a constant speed at a 'comfortably hard' pace that should hover around 85 to 90% of your maximum heart rate.

They also say you should have a warm up and cool down stage before and after the tempo stage.

The problem.

Some friends wanted to do a 10k tempo at 40-42 minutes on this past Saturday after the bike ride. That’s a long tempo run - usually they’re only up to 20 minutes long. Plus, I also live 20k from campus, which means I also have to do the friendly commute. Taking public transit with my Cervelo P2 just wouldn’t be cool.

The solution.

Use the cycling stuff as warm-up and cool-down. Hey presto, kills two birds with one stone (I know that sounds environmentally wrong, but it works). I got in a decent bike workout in. The commute to and back campus was flawless. Lastly I also got in a solid tempo run in. I ran with some friends just under 41 minutes. It felt comfortably hard (avg heart rate 172 bpm).

The 10k tempo Run route

Friday, September 24, 2010

One year later...

...flashback to One more year.

Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert - Secrets revealed!!! I'll recommend you just skip this post if global domination is not your kind of thing. It's quite boring, anyways. ;)

Dear Blog,

I realized sharing many of my life experiences are fresher on the blog and I now only have to waste half as much time repeating exciting/boring/sad/angry/hungry/superheroes stories via MSN (don't laff, I'm asian =P) over and over and over and over again to all my bffs best buds. Thank you!

Everybody needs a little corner of the world to call their own; your blog page on the worldwide web is no exception!

How to become one step closer to global domination, STEP No. 1: Start your own blog! Yes yes yes, you may be wondering what on EARTH are all these friggin' STEPS of late!

This is basically (besides being a complete DORK) a series of steps towards becoming closer to global domination status and it shall be my secret life mission. We’ll keep this between my loyal followers and me! On the record, my real life mission is to earn an honest living... (...not sure if it is going very well, a work in progress T.T).

Happy one year anniversary (albeit close +/- 72hrs)!

Nuff said, peace. =)

PS: I noticed many new blog bandwagon jumpers recently, which is just super cool to see! Derrick, Eddy, and Spazzz!
Keep up the awesome work!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progression Runs

Week 7/10 to Marathon

Let’s be honest, marathon training can be a bit of a drag even for the most disciplined superhero-runners sometimes.

Interested in getting oodles more fun with less recovery time than the work of normal long steady runs? Then I present to you my recently learned and adapted training secret!

How to become one step closer to achieving global domination, STEP No. 5: Carry yourself like a winner. Or in the words of Jens Voigt, “Shut Up Legs!”

Well actually after doing a little more research, I learned that the secret already exists in structured formats and is well-known to the running world, officially known as ‘progression runs’. More on this later.

The 28km run I did last Sunday started innocently unstructured enough. My original plan was to get some easy feel-good mileages in along the most continuous route, since my marathon was coming up in less than 3 weeks. I started on the Central Valley Greenway and slowly ran to the Olympic Village False creek area and eventually connecting up to the Stanley Park Seawall.

I was holding between 4:30 and 4:55 per km pace for the most part. Alas, that quickly changed halfway on route along the Seawall. I heard these monstrous footsteps behind me slowly bridging the gap. Normally it's a little kid trying to chase me down on his/her bike.

For the next 4 kilometres, this became a friendly wordless-exchanged battle between David and Goliath.

I instinctively ran slightly faster (about 4:15s) to reduce the noise pollution of these monstrous footsteps; however no luck. The footsteps followed, so I tried slowing down (to about 4:25s). The middle aged man ran ahead, and I wasn’t just going let him go that easily, so I was inspired to keep his pace at 4:15s.

After the 4 kilometres I eased up and had a quick water break at the aid station. I noticed that the middle aged guy also eased up, perhaps waiting for me to cling back on his pace. Anyways for the next 2 kilometres, I ran ahead of him and averaged 4:17s. Not too shabby for what was already 26 kilometres in. It was still a controlled pace, yet at a race pace intensity (in other words, it wasn’t my all-out pace).

I finally broke the silence and said, “great pace there buddy!” I learned that he was training for New York Marathon and he had 16 more kilometres to go. At this point as if I wasn't listening, my legs were screaming STOP STOP STOP!

When we separated off, I quickly realized that I had to slow down to 5:30 pace as there was no more help with the sound of footsteps.

So to recap, the last 6km was slightly faster than race pace for about 20% of the 28km run. Did a cool down afterwards and enjoyed a slushie.

There’s a great article on structured Progression Runs at McMillan Running.

The article classifies three different types and ironically I ended doing something very similar to DUSA. I did an 8.5 km recovery run the next day with UBCTC and my legs still felt moderately fresh. It was a great experience; I have to start simulating my own progression runs in the future now. =)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Race report: Subaru Banff Olympic

Date/Time: September 11, 2010, 9:15 am
Weather: 5 to 10ish, water temperature freakishly cold at low 10ish, rain and pockets of sunshine
Distance: Olympic (shortened swim)
Gun time: 2:16:37
Swim: 13:08 (1:46 per 100m pace)
T1: 8:21
Bike: 1:10:32 (32.3 km/hr)
T2: 1:36
Run: 43:02 (4:19 min/km pace)
Age Group: 2/8
Overall: 54/343

This past weekend, the much anticipated showdown emerged at the Subaru Banff International Triathlon. There were many humbling surprises and stories to tell in this great expedition to Banff National Park.
First surprise came when the team learned that one big name and gglg opted to not bring his TT bike due to the trivial inconveniences such as changing the brakes and putting on race wheels. Weaksauce was brought!

This meant my TT bike would be the obvious choice for a grand theft auto. I was having second thoughts.

As the evening grew darker, we crash the night for our beauty sleep in the area of Sicamous plus or minus a town – ninja camping style.

Ghost train. Or what looks like the light at the end of a tunnel.

The next morning, we hastily packed up our tents and booked it to our neighbourly province to the east.

Welcome to Albertaville!
Cool guys don’t need to watch where they are going, apparently. Watch and learn kids!

Don’t be fooled, the turquoisesie colour water at Lake Louise owes much of its look to the fine particles suspended in glacier waters. This is a kind way of mothernature giving you the visual warning sign for things to come for the swim at Two Jack Lake.

Cold feet anyone? Zeeeee feet izZz freezing!

The pioneer effort of hosting a first ever triathlon in a national park with a glacier fed lake is not without its share of controversies. The day before the race, the race director announced that the swim would be cut in half after ‘consultation’ with none other than mothernature. We realized this was no joke, the swim and the subsequent air temperature for biking will be crazy cold.

Hypothermia was a threat.

We stayed at the designated camping grounds at Two Jack Lake. What a beauty.

The night before the race, my primal instincts kicked in during a dream. I realized the only way to stay warm for this tiny 135 lb physique is to layer up – the superhero way. I should survive this adventure by keeping all the sensitive areas warm, such as head, toes, hands, and the tighty whities area of course. Now I understand the underwear layer method, it’s all about speed. Get out of the swim and your only choice without butchering minutes for what seems like hours in the transition area is to layer up with your preferred choice of undies.

Now theory to practice...


The swim.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG the swim was chilly. Despite the reduced distance, this was truly a MAN test, an exploration to the unknown! I had no trouble weeing in my wetsuit in the water after doing a warm up lap (above ground). I broke the swim into three survival stages as each stage was a side of the triangle. My chin got so cold, the skin in that area no longer feels as smooth as what it used to be. I did the two swim caps method and even opted to swim with a white cap indicating I was a distressed swimmer. I’m still a terrified swimmer, but I passed so many swimmers, backstrokers, breast strokers and even freestylers. Nobody had great technique because their head were held way above the surface to avoid the bone chilling slap in the face. It felt great!


Not very often I can laugh and say 8:21 was the time it took me to t1. The guy next to my transition with bright neon orange cycling shoes had enough time to exchange at least 3 jokes before we left transition. I was in survival mode, doing everything necessary to enter the bike leg as warm as possible. Arm warmers, inner tri top, outer shirt, and rain jacket and...
Top right: swim cap
Top left: black briefs
Bottom right: gloves 
Bottom left: toe covers 

The Bike.

The bike course was a little wet. I felt great for the bike, not much can be said other than watching out for sheep and elks on the course and riding gingerly over the Texas cattle gates. I was super stoked I got to race on my Cervelo, but my puffy yellow rain jacket probably screamed DRAG but oh well. This was a sweet deal, mountains in the background and racing on the outskirts of civilization.


Trying to jump out from your cycling tri shoes was a difficult matter, especially if soaked I’ve learned. There was a suction issue and I couldn’t yank my foot out in time, losing some precious seconds.

The Run.

The 3 apex very ITU run course meant that I got to see my Subaru series rival Andrew Wight nearly six times in 10k. I have learned that for the first time in the race that he was within 2 minutes ahead; however despite this gap, and running 3:50 to 4 minutes pace, I couldn’t hold it for the second lap. Typically I can settle in the half iron distance and catch him at my comfortable pace (2 minutes would have been an easy catch in the half marathon). It could have been due to shortness of breath from the elevation gain and the super flat run course.

Andrew is learning quickly and using my own classic Winstorm secret race tactics to beat me this time (gradually getting faster as the race proceeds on). I knew by the 4th apex, I wasn’t going to close the gap. It was a great race though; I was beat fair and square. Scott and Vince finished less than 10 minutes ahead, so it was a pretty close race all around. Hey, no more double digits spanking, guys! I like this!

Also congrats to a youngstar of the future, Eddy for finishing strong in his Olympic.

It’s all about consistency. Bridesmaid position again! Congrats to Eagle for taking the 20-24 age group.

I didn’t win the blue triad frame, but who’s to say I can’t say this weekend was a huge success. A great Canadian rockies adventure for sure, and overall what a great road trip with the UBCTC team. Congrats to all who raced. Also a big thanks goes to the entire team for keeping my Cervelo in such good shape, I really appreciated it. =D

Mike used to be a ballin’ ballerina, I suspect (or still is judging from this photographic evidence). =P

Live obstacles: A male elk along the bike course.

Vince gives two thumbs up.

Trash talk from Ceilidh? Looks like he will be trouble, he already copied my killer smile.

The 2 Cool Club which consists of Celeste, Me, and Eddy for having such awesome numbers
 (blogger won't let me rotate this picture, it's kinda uncool!).