Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter Run

It's been a while... but winter is here so the updates will start coming a little more frequently. Tonight, it is -8c and snowing in Edmonton. Paul and I went out and did the 4x4min intervals we missed last night due to the intense snowfall. It was an awesome run and it felt great to be outside.

The run looked like this - 4x4min, Garmin Details

I've really missed running with Paul throughout the summer and fall. Due to his work schedule, we haven't been able to train together much. But it's awesome having him in Edmonton again so that we can at least get out a few times a week. I always seem to run a little faster when he's around. 

I couldn't find any pictures of us running in the snow together, but in the process of looking I did manage to find this. So... that's something.
The route we took also brought me back several years to doing morning intervals with Lorris. When we were coaching, it was tough to get our own training in during practice. So we'd often meet before work and do the exact workout that Paul and I did tonight. Lorris lives in San Francisco now, so he and I don't get to see each other very often these days. Remembering those mornings makes me pretty happy though.

Lorris and me at the Olympics. We are a couple of good looking guys.
So, all in all a great night. There is talk of a 5km classic skiing time trial on Sunday. I'm already thinking about wax and ski options. It certainly isn't fitness that is going to put me in that race :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer - that's a wrap

Some things that happened this summer:

We spent a lot of time with Roseanne...
... and Wayne!
Specifically, we spent a lot of time with Roseanne and Wayne in the boat.
We also played ladder ball.

Maryann and Cole were a team.

Cole was a really good shot...

... but Luke and I won the game.
Luke took advantage of some glass.

And Cole grabbed some air.

Rose strapped on the board.
Wayne taught me to love skiing. He's still got it.

I got my swerve on.

Maryann got a new wetsuit and immediately learned to drop a ski. Coincidence? I think not.
She was pretty excited about that development.

I was excited too.

Luke is excited because he is sitting beside the heater!

Cole was in charge of the tunes for most of the summer.

Good times.

Thanks guys - that was an unbelievable summer!

My first World Cup trip of 2012 gets underway in less than 100 days. Not long now...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Edmonton Half Marathon

Today Paul and I ran in the Edmonton half marathon. This was a good race for me and I was able to push the pace all the way to the end.

Near the front of the group, just a few minutes before the start.
At the finish. I was able to make it in just under 1:30, crossing the line in 1:29:53. It doesn't get much closer than that.
Paul just about to finish. Not his best day, but there will be others.
Finished. I kind of like this picture.
Today was an interesting race. For me, it was a good effort and my first half marathon on the road. I can safely say that I didn't leave any time on the course and I am very satisfied with the way things worked out. Sitting here right now, I can't remember my legs being this sore after a race in a very long time. So that was good.

It is a bummer, however, that Paul didn't have his best day. Typically, we are within seconds of each other in races like this and I can really only think of two other times when the time gap has been this significant: a triathlon in Sherwood Park where Paul was sick and a ski race at Mount Shark where his heart rate raced out of control. Other than that, it normally comes down to a sprint finish.

So, all in all a good day. A good run for me and Paul will be back to fight another day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Update

A bunch of things have been going on. Let me bring you up to speed:

1) Canadian Death Race
The Death Race was on the long weekend and Fast Trax put in a shop team for the 6th year in a row. I ran the fifth (and last) leg, which now seems to be the tradition. It was a good race for me and the culmination of my summer running season.

This was easily my best running season ever with new personal best times at the Blackfoot Ultra, Sinister 7, and now the Death Race. More than anything, I attribute these results to being more consistent in my running. My training log shows 76:33:58 for 728.55km from April 1, 2012 - August 7, 2012 as compared to 61:41:32 for 562.65km for the same period in 2011. There was other training in both periods, but the bottom line is that I ran more and specificity produces results.

Anyway, the Death Race was exciting for the team and unfolded like this:

Leg 1 - Marcelo - 1:39:31 - Fast Trax sitting in 20th place
Leg 2 - Reid - 3:28:09 - Fast Trax sitting in 6th place
Leg 3 - Paul - 1:42:07 - Fast Trax sitting in 4th place, but 5th chasing hard and just 6 minutes back
Leg 4 - Sean - 3:51:35 - Fast Trax sitting comfortably in 4th place
Leg 5 - Patrick - 1:46:33 - Fast Trax finishes in 4th place (2nd men's team)

The most impressive thing about our team is that we didn't have any superstars this year. Just a bunch of really solid runners who performed to 100% of their potential on the day of the race. That is hard to coordinate between five athletes, so it's pretty awesome when things work out.

Marcelo, post leg 1. Most positive teammate and all around awesome dude you will ever hang with.

Reid, post leg 2. This is a hard stage. According to Reid, "If I had actually trained, my legs would probably be just as janked, but I might recover faster." I'm sad that Reid lives in Calgary now.

Paul wrapping up leg 3. It was muddy. Like, really muddy. He killed the stage and then threw out his shoes.

Paul making the hand off. Sean put us in an amazing position after leg 4.

Sean making the hand off to me. Time to get after it.

200m from the finish.

The boys!

2) Water skiing
I have done more water skiing this summer than I have for the past several years. And it has been awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have a single picture to prove it. So, here are some other pictures instead.

Picking up the new ride back in April. This thing is sick. You have no idea.
Luke and Cole taking advantage of some glass.
3) Cross Country Skiing
The winter schedule is coming together nicely and I have updated the "Where's Patrick" section on the left side of the main page. The summer has been filed with a trip to Fischer in June and fleet management sessions with a bunch of athletes.

4) Olympics and Triathlon
In case you missed it, Paul Findley finished last in the Olympic Triathlon. This is a tragic story of athlete mismanagement by staff that happens more than it should. You really need to check out this article in the National Post - Canada’s Paula Findlay deserves apology for struggling through Olympic triathlon.

Simon Whitfield has stepped up in support of Paula, which is a bold and commendable decision. In response, someone posted on Twitter, "Praise in public be critical in private". In short, they are wrong. Sometimes when things are handled so badly they need to be made public. I'm a big supporter of both Paula and Simon.

Is that enough? That seems like enough. This was a pretty epic post. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Cleaning

The season is wrapping up and it is time to put your skis away. Make sure they are clean and fast for next winter by following the directions I posted on the Fast Trax blog - Spring Cleaning Directions.

In other news, there is a lot going on in the world of skiing but it is ridiculously busy at the office. More to follow later...

Friday, February 17, 2012


This is what pushing a car up a mountain at 2500m elevation looks like. Epic.

Turkey - part 1

I've been in Turkey for a few days now. Overall, the scene has been pretty chill. There is no racing until Monday, so we've been doing some pretty limited grip tests and mostly just skiing for fun.

This is what it looks like when you precariously balance seven pieces of luggage that weigh 175kg on a baggage cart. The result is slow, nerve wracking movement through the Munich Airport (and Ankara and Erzurum, for that matter).

This is me and an American junior named Cory upon arrival in the Erzurum Airport. I ran into Cory in Ankara as we were both trying to get on the last flight of the trip to Turkey. Overall, this was one of the most epic travel days I have ever experienced. It's almost too much to write down. You should ask me about it sometime.

They take Valentine's Day very seriously here in Turkey. Our hotel is on a huge alpine resort and what you see in this picture is a massive heart of fire burning at the bottom of the runs. Pretty weird.
Because some people asked, here is an update on my hands. That German cream is working well. See before picture - gross.

Playing a game that Heidi learned from a Japanese exchange student. The object is to guess how many people will put their thumbs up. I guess there sometimes isn't a lot to do in Japan...

The dessert table and our hotel. Complete with giant cake.

Day one at the ski centre. What you see behind me are the race trails. There are virtually no trees anywhere. The focal point of the trails is the top of the hill, and the course attacks that hill from every imaginable angle. These are tough trails.
Riding the bus with Emily to the secret team activity. See below.

The secret team activity turned out to be...

... high powered go-carts in the indoor parking area of this giant mall in Erzurum. A really fun night and a great way to fill an otherwise boring evening.
Turkish candy shop. Before this trip I had never even heard of Turkish delight. Now it appears to be a staple in the wax cabin.

Further hands update. Basically all better now.

There is a massive winter storm here in Turkey at the moment. We gain 700m elevation from town to our hotel and this afternoon the car with the waxers got stuck. We had to push a long way, which was pretty epic. When we walked into the lunch room everyone stopped and looked at us covered in snow. I'll try to post a picture of that later.

That's all for now. Not the most exciting update of the trip. Things will get more interesting once the races get started.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Latvia and Estonia

As we were flying back to Munich today from Riga, Latvia, we were discussing how we would describe those Baltic countries. We settled on:

- Grey
- Fur hats
- Fu*king cold

We had some good races and in particular, Nish threw down in the 30km skate in Latvia. Unfortunately no podiums resulted, but Phil got selected to the World Cup.

In terms of service, things were remarkably consistent. Conditions were generally cold (see above). Latvia had man made snow on the sprint course and natural on the distance course. Estonia was just natural snow.

We used Holmenkol paraffins and Ski*Go, Maplus, or Vauhti flouros for every single race.

Testing race wax with Fraser. He wasn't asleep at this point ;)

This dude was hanging around outside the waxing cabins at the Latvia venue. That isn't witches' brew that he is making, it is some kind of peppermint tea in a cast iron pot. Drinking random stuff from random Latvian guys isn't normally my style, but I figured what the heck... so I tried some. It was sweet and tasted good on a cold day.

30km skate in Latvia. This is early in the race before the field broke and the pace picked up.

Five way sprint finish for the win. Nish finished 0.5 seconds from first. Heartbreaking.
Driving the crew from Riga, Latvia to Albu, Estonia. Five hours of the sketchiest rabbit trails / ice roads you have ever seen. Alana did an amazing job of navigating with the worst map of all time. There is no way we would have made it without her.

Sprint stadium in Estonia. This was a good venue and we had a sweet setup for waxing with real ventilation.

This is what happens when you work in the cold and use a lot of hand sanitizer when the team is sick.

As a result, I visited the pharmacy at the Munich airport. The pharmacist spoke excellent English and got me set up with some cream for the day as well as some night cream with gloves. We'll see how this goes...
The scene upon arrival at our hotel for the last night in Riga before flying home. Internet is a hot commodity and the crew settled in for a quick jam session. Right after this we headed out to downtown Riga and had one of the greatest suppers ever.

Latvian breakfast is pretty weird. Pickled fish anyone?

Schnitz and frites at the Movenpick - classic Euro meal and one of my favourites.
At the moment I'm in my room at the Movenpick here in Munich. This is easily the best hotel in Europe and the breakfast buffet is famous. Tomorrow morning will be good!

After a big breakfast, I will lug 180kg of waxing equipment back to the airport and fly to Turkey to meet with World Junior / U23 team.

Good stuff.