Friday, 30 November 2012

Plan for Success & don't be a Winter Warrior!!

If you are an athlete reading this in the northern hemisphere it is probably getting pretty chilly outside. I will admit to recently buying thermal tops, long johns and a pair of winter boots that can withstand temperatures down to -32 centigrade & maybe even Polar Bear attacks.

Most of our Blog followers are either in Canada or Scotland and the weather looks to have been pretty similar in both places over the last week. This has an impact as you are forced to train more indoors & your sessions are (hopefully) a bit shorter. You can use this time to your advantage.

Many of you will have hopefully had a great 2012 and are starting to look at your goals for 2013 following an end-of-season rest period from training. Whether you are targeting an Ironman or a Sprint Triathlon, most  people don’t have an A-priority race for 6 or more months. It shouldn't be news to you that you cannot train at a high intensity or expect to be at your peak for an entire year so don't be a 'Winter Warrior'.

Everyone knows a 'Winter Warrior' - an athlete who trains like an animal in the middle of the winter but fades as spring comes around. I hope you're not doing this so instead of training hard, now is a good time to do some planning for the coming season.

In this current preparatory phase you work on perfecting your technique in each of the 3 events and start to develop general aerobic strength and fitness. Consider a Video Swim analysis session to tune up your swimming, a professional Bike Fit to optimise your position, some simple running cadence drills or a specific conditioning programme in the gym.

Speak to your Coach now to get the most out of your training time and they will create a personalised training programme for you to follow and get the best out of yourself on race day. Your training plan should take account of your specific strengths and weaknesses and should fit around your lifestyle and schedule.

If you are looking for a Personalised Training Plan for next year, Video Swim Analysis Clinics or info on  Retul Bike Fitting then contact us at for more details.

Happy Training Everyone!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Video Swim Analysis Clinic - Aurora, Toronto

"If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you always got."
-W.L. Bateman

We are pleased to announce the first dates for our Athelite Video Swim Analysis Clinics, starting this December.

The dates and times of our first 4 clinics are as follows;
  • Sunday 9th December 10.00am - 12.00pm
  • Sunday 9th December 1.00pm - 3.00pm
  • Sunday 16th December 10.00am - 12.00pm 
  • Sunday 16th December 1.00pm - 3.00pm

We have secured a fantastic private venue at St Andrews College in Aurora which has an excellent 25 metre pool and facilities.

The Winter 'Off Season' is the perfect time to look at your performance and technique. A Video Swim Analysis session is the best way to see and instantly understand what aspects of your stroke need to be corrected or developed. Being able to view yourself swimming from a range of different angles is an amazingly effective process. Paired with instant feedback & stoke correction guidance from knowledgeable Coaches is second to none.

By attending one of our Clinics you are taking an important step in analyzing what you need to do to improve and learn the techniques you specifically need to develop your stroke.

Our Video Swim Analysis Clinics are suitable for anyone who can swim 400m freestyle continuously.

Our clinics feature the following;
  • Small Personal Group (maximum 6 per session)
  • Introductions & Warm up
  • In depth videoing of your stroke above and below the water
  • Poolside Review of Video analysis of your current swim stroke
  • Feedback & stroke correction points
  • Review and discussion of good (& bad) techniques
  • Stroke correction and drill practice session (in pool)
  • Take home copy of video analysis

  • Instant visual feedback
  • Enhanced efficiency through the water
  • Better propulsion for less effort
  • Reduced injury risk 
  • New drills, hints & tips to enhance your swim training
  • Less fatigue - exit the swim leg feeling fresh & ready for the bike

You will need to bring
  1. Swimming gear, i.e. swim suit, cap and goggles.
  2. Loose comfortable and warm clothing for pool side review session.
  3. A pair of flexible swimming flippers or fins.
  4. A Pull Buoy
  5. Hand paddles
  6. Signed Medical Waiver form (we will email this to you with additional information after your booking is made).
  7. An open mind!!
Cost of attending a Clinic is $125.00 + HST

For more information or to book a place please email us at

Monday, 26 November 2012

Retul Bike Fitting Studio - Aurora, Toronto, GTA

We are now taking December appointments for Retul Bike Fits at our new Studio in Aurora.

We are offering a discount of 10% for any bookings taken by the 2nd December (you can redeem them any time in December).

A proper bike fit will not only provide a rider with the most economic means of expending energy, but will also prevent pain that is common in the knee, hip, and lower back, particularly with riders who are trying to adapt their bodies to the bike they already have purchased.

A proper bike fit is essential for injury prevention and maximised efficiency. An optimal position on the bike will allow for greater comfort and enjoyment while riding. All bodies are different and your position on the bike should reflect your biomechanics.

The best way to analyse a rider's efficiency is to observe and measure the rider while he or she is pedalling the bike. Retul 3D motion capture technology simultaneously measures three planes of movement on the rider as he or she is in motion

For more info on Retul Bike Fitting please see our website...

Athelite Retul 3D Bike Fitting

To book please email us at 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Cool Running

A big change in the weather today - sub zero temperatures overnight and all day in fact, and we woke up to a scattering of snow outside. If we had our winter bike gear & winter bikes we probably could have ridden outdoors but all this gear is STILL in shipping.
It looks like it has become similarly cold in Scotland and looking at various facebook posts it seems like a lot of people came down on black ice this morning whilst venturing out on the bikes. It is a lot drier here in Canada and it's nice how everything is not covered in sheet ice like it does in the UK.

I am certainly not in the zone for biking indoors on the trainer yet so I went for a gentle 25 min as I did yesterday. I have not run since the start of October so nice & steady keeping an eye on my heart rate. Not quite as easy as I would have liked today but the wind was so cold my body temperature was dropping. Must remember to wear more clothes on easy runs.

I love running more than everything & I always default to it over the winter. There are some great playing fields over the road so a good opportunity for some off road work over the next few weeks. Looking forward to it.

I was clearing out my inbox today & found a link to this image of me on IMAC in early 2011.

I remember feeling great around this this time so I will target myself with getting back into this condition again over the winter.

This is not me, but it just seems relevant....

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sunshine Supplement

I have noticed that there is a quite a big supplement taking culture here in Canada, especially in the Triathlon community. One that stands out to me that is frequently spoken about & advertised on television is Vitamin D. It stands out because even though it is Fall here I have already witnessed more sunny days in the last 6 weeks than I did in the previous 9 months in Scotland. But I have rarely seen Vitamin D promoted or talked about in Scotland?

I am far from qualified on this subject but it is obvious Vitamin D has numerous benefits. It is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones and it is also a potent immune system modulator.

It has been recommended here on a few occasions that we both take Vitamin D on a daily basis, which we have now been doing for a month (a nutritionist here could not believe we didn't take it in Scotland!).
We do feel better (it may of course be unrelated) but I also know of another Scot, prone to illness, who has also been taking it & also thinks he notices a difference.

People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin. But winter is upon us & low Vitamin D can result in your body working far below its potential. It seems that if you live in the Northern Hemisphere you're probably not getting anywhere near the right amount, especially if you live in Scotland where it will be virtually night time from now until March!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Importance of Sleep & Recovery

I AM A RUBBISH SLEEPER. There, I said it & now you all know.

I think I blame my mother as I have clearly inherited this from her. She is always on the go but has always seemed to survive on about 5 hours sleep, & even that seems to be interspersed with trips to the kettle & reading.
I have always been such a light sleeper & rarely sleep all night without waking up. My mind churns with thoughts about who knows what, but in the light of day they are usually very trivial and easy to deal with.

It is only recently that I have really realised how much of an effect this may have had on my training & more important, my recovery from training. For the last 8 years we have both worked 6 or 7 days a week, trained 5 or 6 days a week & coached 5 or 6 days a week. If we were tired (which, on hindsight, we were 90% of the time) we just carried on. Even our holidays were either a training camp or an Ironman!! Now we have removed most of these stresses from our life, I am sleeping better (mostly) & if, like the night before last, I don't sleep well then I just don't train that day. Subsequently today - I feel great, rather than doubly tired as previously I would have just 'manned up' & got on with it.

So what is going on when you are out for the count?;

During the physically restorative phases of deep sleep, your blood pressure drops and your breathing becomes deeper and slower. Your brain is resting with very little activity, so the blood supply available to your muscles increases, delivering extra amounts of oxygen and nutrients which facilitate their healing and growth. Muscles and tissues are rejuvenated and new cells are regenerated during this phase of sleep. If your mind is spinning, like mine can do, or your sleep is broken up, then you will not reach that non-REM deep sleep phase.

As your body enters into this stage, your pituitary gland releases a shot of growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair. Lack of sleep and changes in sleep quality cause a sharp decline in growth hormone secretion. Growth hormone deficiency is associated with increased obesity, loss of muscle mass and reduced exercise capacity.

Basically you are considered to be sleep deprived if you sleep four hours or less per night, while eight hours constitutes normal sleep. One night of missed sleep will probably do little harm, but the cumulative effect of poor sleep will have a negative impact on your muscles.

If you are training like a dog then the difference between you and a Pro will be, in part, the fact that they can refuel & sleep in between sessions whilst the rest of us have to be on our feet and go to work.

Recovery is as important as your training sessions so if you have a bad night & wake up with bags under your eyes - do yourself a favour & REST!!!

Night night.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Athelite Triathlon Club - Scotland

Here is an article from the East Kilbride News in Scotland regarding the future of Athelite Triathlon Club following our departure to Canada in October. We founded and grew the Tri Club to about 60 members and we do miss it. The club is in great hands though & is continuing to go from strength to strength. It's a bit small - there is a link to the text at the bottom of the page.
Incidently, I didn't know that we are going to be Full Time Athletes. I wish!!

Here is a link to the article online if you can't read this eastkilbridenews

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Beauty Queen Ride

The weather is so stable & predictable here. It has been freezing over night, 7 or 8 degrees and sunny during the day all week. Today we headed out for our 4th bike ride in as many days, heading up north to Lake Simcoe. After the first half an hour we were so busy talking that we forgot to turn left and went straight on over the train line before we realised and turned back. By this time the level crossing lights were on and we had to sit & wait for the longest train I have ever seen. It seemed to be miles long - quite astonishing.

Having both suffered from our own special viruses recently we are still taking it easy so we just ride in Genevieves Zone 2 Heart Rate (which is barely recognisable as Zone 1 for me). It actually makes biking really enjoyable - a good winter ride focusing on a high cadence and nice smooth pedalling technique. 
After an hour we reached the southern end of Lake Simcoe but unfortunately the road we chose to get to the lake side was closed due to some unusual Christmas 'Welcome Santa' Parade. It featured a cluttered mix of Fire Engines, Police Cars, A Beauty Queen, some Tractors, some fat men dancing on the side of a tram and, just for us, a marching band all wearing Kilts & playing the bagpipes. 

All the traffic was not allowed through so we stopped & watched the parade for 20 mins before turning round & heading home before the sun dropped. We rode all the way there & never actually got to see the Lake!! Plenty of time though & I am sure we will head up again next week. Rest day tomorrow. Hope you are all having a great weekend!!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Power Hour

I am a big advocate of ''To Do Lists'' and always work much better with a bit of pre planned focus. I say 'I' because my usual approach is write up a To Do List & then pass it on to Genevieve who can plough through one of these at an astonishing rate. I find the best way is to write up your list the day before and then have a 'Power Hour' at the start of each day to deal with all the tasks.

We have a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment as we set up the new business. Some of it is fun and some of it is dealing with the administration system - made all the more tricky by being in a new Country. Nevertheless we had a very productive morning this morning and are excited about some of the potential opportunities that we have here.

We are now refuelling our brains & legs before going out on the bikes for an hour or two of probably slightly less power than we produced this morning!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Getting Chilly

There has been a definite change in the weather here in the last couple of days. Still no rain (I think I can count the really rainy days since we arrived on 2 hands), but the temperature dropped from 16 degrees on Monday to 4 degrees today. We wouldn't normally think twice about riding outside at these temperatures but as we are STILL living out of a suitcase we only really have our Summer/Autumn bike clothing available to us.
It has been 3 months now since we shipped our life belongings and we are hoping it arrives by December. After 20 minutes of adding layers to layers to more layers, we headed out for a gorgeous ride. Clear blue skies & a nice and easy leg spin as Winter training should be and it was great. I was just about warm enough but it might have been different on a windier day.
The forecast looks pretty much the same into next week so as long as it doesn't get any colder we should get a few more of these rides in before we reach the extent of our clothing limits!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Functional Bio-mechanical Analysis

We are slowly starting the (long) road to getting our fitness back and yesterday it was my turn to be the client.
My 'A' race is Ironman Mont Tremblant next August. Due to work, life & coaching commitments the last time I remember being anywhere near fit & strong was my last proper race at Ironman Switzerland in 2011. I did do a Half Ironman in the Uk this Summer and whilst racing it fairly well, I was not in great shape so I have some work to do!!
As much as I would love to start going out and swimming, biking & running multiple times a week, I know this would do me more harm than good. So yesterday Genevieve worked with me and carried out a full Functional Bio-mechanical Analysis and has designed a personal corrective Strength & Conditioning Program for me to follow over the next 4 weeks. This is not about humping weights in the Gym but specific exercises for stretching over-active and tight muscles, and strengthening under-active and weak muscles. Issues that I have been plagued with over the years are tight hamstrings and a hip weakness on one side. This gets much worse with inactivity so I need to address these problems before I launch myself into full training.

Whether you are training for Ironman or just planning on your first 5k in 2013 then a Full Functional Analysis is most certainly something that you should think about, and getting it done in the 'Off' season is the perfect time.

If you are interested then please email us at

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Featured Athelite - Pamela Allan

Athelite Coached Pamela had a great 2012 and just completed it with a storming performance at Ironman Florida this month. We sat down with her to have a chat about the race and her season.

CF; In 2011 you finished IM Florida in 11 hrs 18 mins and this year you took a huge chunk off that with a 46 minute PR finishing in 10.32 and 5th in your age group. Congratulations - that is some result. What do you think are the main contributing factors to this amazing improvement?

PA; I love this race and this is the 3rd time I have raced in Florida. This year everything just fell into place at the right time. Without a doubt the main reason is the structured training plan put in place by my Coach Genevieve. I have tried various plans over the years but the plan that Genevieve came up with for me just worked so well. A great mix of endurance, technique, high intensity and recovery. I felt like I had never trained so little but all the way through I felt strong, well rested and ready to make every session count.
I have been coached by Genevieve since the start of 2011 and, with the exception of one event, I have been on the podium of every single race since then.
I also had a great bike fit from Colin at quite a late stage which had a big effect.

CF; Yes - Genevieve & I arrived in Canada at the start of October which coincided with you getting a new Tri bike. You got your hands on a Specialized Shiv - an awesome bike, how do you like it?

PA; I always loved my Cervelo P2 but looking back it was not the right size or set up for me. I always had a sore neck and back riding it. I LOVE the Shiv - it is a beautiful bike. I found the internal Fuelselage hydration system a bit annoying and had to stop using it but otherwise I love it. I still needed the bike dialling in and I have had bike fits before but the Retul fit was amazing. I was sitting way too high on the bike and too far back so both those adjustments were made plus some alterations to my cleats. I also had the Adamo saddle but was sitting on the wrong place on it so we changed that too. Colin also lowered the front end and I felt much more compact & aero on the bike. It made such a difference - everyone should get this done.

CF; I remember Genevieve saying that your run pace off the bike improved almost immediately after the fit?

PA; It did. After my long rides I just felt like my running muscles were much less fatigued. My cadence was definitely higher and I felt like the transition to running was effortless. I wish I had had this done years ago!!

CF; Any plans for next year yet?

PA; I am very excited about the 5150 World Champs in London next August which I qualified for at Muskoka 5150 in July this year.
We are still working on my race Calendar for next year but I will be looking at a combination of short course racing and I am sure there will be an Ironman in there too.

Friday, 9 November 2012

NEW Retul Bike Studio in Aurora, Canada

Following the success of our Retul Bike Fit Studio in our Athelite Triathlon Shop in Scotland, we have now moved across the big pond and are setting up a new clinic here in Aurora, Ontario. 

  • Our website is currently under construction but will be up & running very soon with more details and our pricing structure.
  • Follow us on Facebook at Athelite to keep up to speed with what is going on in the Athelite world
  • Email us at with any questions or to book an appointment

Below are some details about Retul Bike Fitting & some explanations for why YOU can benefit from a proper bike fit.

So, what is it
Retül technology is a cycling-specific motion-capture bike fitting system designed to provide qualified bike fitters highly accurate and comprehensive bike fit data. The system incorporates three-dimensional measurement, immediate report capability, and a millimetre-specific digitising tool to provide the most accurate dynamic fitting solution in the industry.
The goal of Retül technology is to assist bike fitters in making objective and accurate fit decisions, as a proper bike fit is one of the single most important factors for optimal performance and efficiency, injury prevention, and comfort on the bike. A proper bike fit will not only provide a rider with the most economic means of expending energy, but will also prevent pain that is common in the knee, hip, and lower back, particularly with riders who are trying to adapt their bodies to the bike they already have purchased.
The Retül system reads the rider's movements while they are in motion on the bike, and accounts for all three planes of movement (3D). This type of data cannot accurately be captured with 2D video, static fitting, or eyeball fitting. The Retül system eliminates the guesswork and assumptive nature of bike fit. The result is that the rider will have a true fit to his or her bike, maximising efficiency and performance while avoiding discomfort or injury.
Elite athletes and recreational cyclists alike will benefit from a proper bike fit. Retül promotes and encourages accurate and data-driven decisions for bike fit while considering the goals, individual biomechanics, strengths, and limitations of each rider.
What are the benefits of a proper bike fit?
A proper bike fit is essential for injury prevention and maximised efficiency.  An optimal position on the bike will allow for greater comfort and enjoyment while riding.  All bodies are different and your position on the bike should reflect your biomechanics.   
Why get fit with Retul 3D motion capture technology?
The best way to analyse a rider's efficiency is to observe and measure the rider while he or she is pedalling the bike.  Retul 3D motion capture technology simultaneously measures three planes of movement on the rider as he or she is in motion.  Retul averages the rider's pedal strokes to provide a comprehensive data set reflecting the rider's movements.  Only at this point can a bike fit expert properly evaluate changes to a rider's position.  Attempts to analyse the rider in a static position, or only in two dimensions, will not provide data at the same level of accuracy as 3D motion capture.      
Who can benefit from a bike fit?
Generally, if you are serious enough to clip into a bike, you will benefit from a bike fit. Whether you are a professional or recreational rider, getting the proper bike fit is an effective yet economical way to improve performance.  
How is fit data shared with the rider?
The Retul software archives data for every rider and his or her bike/bikes.  The client receives a report of the final fit data, which includes body measurements and angles, as well as bike set-up and measurements.   

The bike fit will take approximately 2 - 3 hours.

Please feel free to research Retul more. You can find lots of information at

Pricing structure to follow.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Back in the saddle

Beautiful day here today. Cold but beautiful.
Having delayed it for weeks I cracked open the bike boxes and had them both built in no more than 20 minutes. We headed out immediately for a 30 minute ride. It was so nice out that we turned it into a 1 hour ride which, having not ridden the bike for I don't know how long (and add another month to that for Genevieve) was plenty.

First impressions of riding on Canadian roads;
1. I find junctions a bit confusing.
2. There are a lot of kamikaze Squirrels out there which threaten to run right through your wheels.
3. You have to look over the left shoulder to move out which feels weird.
4. The roads are smoother and I didn't drop up to my neck in a pot hole like in Scotland.

The forecast looks pretty good this week so we'll try & get out every day where possible. What we do need though is our winter gear which is currently on a container ship in the middle of the ocean somewhere, but as long as it doesn't get any colder we will be ok for now. Enjoy your training everyone

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Back to Reality

At the second attempt we managed to leave Panama City Beach at 9.00am on Tuesday morning.
A different route to start off this time and and we made good progress all day up though Alabama until we hit Nashville, Tennessee at rush hour with full bladders. Not much rushing going on but we eventually cleared the city, emptied the bladders and picked up the pace again.
Having planned to take our time & get a hotel for the night we completely ignored the plan and once again pressed on through the night, swapping over the driving duties every 2 or 3 hours while the other tried to sleep. During the night the highlight was Cincinnati which looked amazing again all lit up and the worse place was Detroit by a loooooong shot. What a place, and exactly as I would have imagined it - huge auto factories and chimneys pumping pollution into the air. Maybe it looks better in daylight?!
We passed through the border control into Canada, amazingly without getting pulled over or searched and subsequently realised how big Ontario is, as we then sat on the 401 for nearly 5 hours until we finally made it home at 8.30am.

I am so glad we made this trip - the driving was obviously knackering, but it was great to get some good sun & beach action. It was just amazing to watch Pam & Paula and all the other athletes of all abilities do their Ironman all day and run down alongside the finish line with them. A fantastic week and I am pretty sure we will go back & do this race at some point.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Beach 1. Drive Home 0.

It was our full intention to drive home this morning - we were packed and ready to leave for 10.00am but at 9.40am we gave in to the pressure of the sunshine and sand and abandoned the journey home for one more day!! Pammy & Paula now have alternative arrangements to get picked up from the airport so now Genevieve & I are under less time pressure & can drive direct to Toronto over the next two days rather than trying to coincide with an incoming flight from 2000km away!! This is the view from our balcony this morning that swung it for us......

We are off for a Mexican this evening then tomorrow morning we will attempt to leave this place again.
It is hard to believe that it is Bonfire night in the Uk and apparently freezing & snowing in Toronto. That's going to be hard to deal with!!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The day after the day before

After remembering the clocks changed here last night, giving us a well needed extra hour we headed off to the athlete breakfast/prize giving at the race hotel. The first time I have been to one of these where it is all outside - they obviously weren't expecting rain!!
There are limited slots available for the Kona World Champs in each age group. Only 2 slots in Pams age group but she was 5th yesterday and if any of the people ahead of her didn't want their places then it rolls down. Alas, unsuprisingly they were taken but she did at least get onto the podium and got a 5th place trophy for her efforts. Genevieve & I went to stand in the shade for 10 minutes and when we returned Pam & Paula had decided to enter next years race and were heading to the sign up queue! They joined at the very end of the line before it closed here and opened online. Good job too as I believe the whole race went live and sold out in 10 minutes. Crazy.

Just having a beer on the balcony then we'll head down to the beach for a swim. Not quite as hot & sunny today (only 27 degrees!) but that is no bad thing as we are all slightly frazzled after yesterday.

Genevieve and I are now contemplating our drive back home tomorrow and how to attack it. Probably drive  about 12 hours tomorrow then stop in a hotel and carry on the next day. Probably better than driving for 24+ hours non stop and we have to make sure we link up with the girls incoming flights into New York.

Meanwhile, as I keep being told here .....HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ironman Florida - Fun in the Sun

That was an amazing day from start to finish. Up & out for a 5.30am arrival at transition with Pammy & Paula. Not too much stress for them other than getting transition bags in the right places & the usual last minute calls of nature. The atmosphere on the beach was incredible but it was obvious the swim was going to be a tough one as there were some big waves coming down on the beach. Two loops out and back and we managed to see both of them at the end of the first loop and then both into T1. We  have been drilling in the transitions and they both left quickly and almost side by side out onto the bikes. The bike course is a 1 looper so we had no chance of seeing any of the action so we headed back to the apartment, had a swim in the sea & and tracked them online. We planned on heading out to see the lead guy coming in on the bike. It was rumoured that Starykowicz might do something special but he was in so quickly that we missed him. 4 hours and 4 minutes is truly incredible for a 112 mile bike split and though his 17 minute lead was whittled down by the end he held on for the win. 
This is a fast flat bike course & we could tell from tracking the girls online that they were on for some great times. Pam was on her relatively new Specialized Shiv. An awesome bike and I had done a Retul fit on her when we first arrived in Canada and made some big changes. These changes along with a great Coaching program from  Genevieve and some supreme pacing and effort from Pammy meant she knocked out a brilliant 5.12 bike averaging 21.5mph. Paula (also coached by Genevieve) had a great bike finishing in 5.14.
Out on the run Pam hit the ground at a great pace whilst Genevieve & I hit the party zone with a crowd of other crazy supporters. Great fun in the sun with a cold beer on the side.
Pam had an absolute flyer on the run and after I ran out and gave her some 'gentle' additional persuasion a couple of miles out she ramped it up again and managed her first ever sub 4 hour marathon finishing in an incredible 10.32. A 46 minute PB is quite a result and 5th in her age group too. Paula had a bit of stomach trouble for a while on the run but got through it and finished in 11.32 - 11th in her age group.

This was our first time spectating and we totally loved - so many inspirational performances & crazy supporters and we are now having a post race beer & crisp 'party' in the apartment and will shortly doze off listening to the waves break on the beach outside the patio door.

A great day today, and the day after Ironman is always so relaxed & enjoyable for both athletes & supporters I'm sure that will be great too. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fabulous Florida Friday Fun

We woke up early this morning to the sound of the ocean and headed down with Pammy & Paula to accompany them on their short practice swim. The sea was beautiful & warm even at that time of day. After breakfast & coffee we headed down to transition and while the girls racked their bikes & handed in transition bags, Genevieve & I stood at the entrance to transition & watched bike porn for half an hour. Some great looking weaponry out there. One of the main differences I noticed at this event to the European races that we are used to was ... No Beer Tent. Imagine that!!

Following a look round the Ironman Expo and successfully resisting spending tens of dollars on hugely inflated IM branded gumf we headed back for a coffee (there is a Starbucks on the ground floor of the hotel - dangerous) and back to the beach for a swim and sunbathe.

The alarms are set for the usual 4.00am Ironman day start then we head off down to the start line with our finely tuned athletes at 5.15. Looking forward to being a spectator for a change - I think we will try & hire mopeds to buzz out to the bike course then beach cruiser bikes for the run course. Can't wait!!

Here's Pammy at bike check in with the Shiv ......

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Longest drive EVER!!!

So, following our last minute plans to support Pam & Paula at Ironman Florida we left the house at lunchtime on Wednesday for what was the longest road trip I have ever been on. Having dropped the two athletes off at Buffalo Airport in New York, Genevieve & I continued onwards in the car heading for the very distant south coast. In the driving rain we had barely passed over the NY state line into Pennsylvania and the darkness was setting in. We drove all the way through Pennsylvania and though Ohio in terrible weather conditions getting terribly lost in the dark in Columbus as our Interstate highway was closed. The weather finally improved after 10 hours driving (not yet half way!!) and after we had passed through Cincinnati we eventually stopped & slept in the car for 2.5 hours in a truck stop before being woken by the cold (it was almost freezing outside). By 4.30am we were on the road again heading through Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville Tennessee, all the way across Alabama and finally into Florida state for the final 200 miles down to Panama City Beach, Florida. Toronto to Florida; 1400 miles in 27 hours at 65 miles per hour due to the crazy slow American speed limits and County Sheriffs pulling people all over the place.

The Condo we are staying is amazing and the balcony overlooks the beach (we had a quick dip in the sea as the sun was setting to wash away the driving pains!) The place is buzzing with the usual pre-Ironman goings on & it's going to be great to watch one for once rather than taking part on Saturday. Can't wait for a slightly more relaxing day on the beach tomorrow!!