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? =)