And... we're back!

There is no denying it: race season 2018 is finally here.

In the Toronto area, winter refused to loosen its grip, dumping snow and freezing rain on us in late April, just as we were thinking we were free.  But that turned out to be the last of the frosty temperatures and now we have settled into typical weather patterns.

So as the mercury rises I figure it is time to figure up my blog again after a lengthy off-season hiatus. 

What's ahead for the race season?

I am ecstatic to say that I am returning as a Skechers MultiSport Canada Ambassador.  Since tentatively trying out my first duathlon on Toronto Island back in 2007, I have been a big fan of this race series.  It is fun and welcoming, with events that appeal to people of all ages and abilities.  If you haven't raced with MultiSport Canada, what are you waiting for?  This is your year.  Reach out to me if you've got any thoughts or questions about the experience.

Many moons ago: the Toronto Island Duathlon 2007 - smiling and loving it!

As I enter my fifth year of structured and more "serious" racing, I have shaken things up to break through some goals and avoid getting stale.  I had two objectives: make training more social and find new ways to build my cycling skills.

Some would say, make incremental changes and see what happens before making more.  I threw that theory out the window and dove into some new experiences.  As they say, you only live once.

In the off season, I spent two weekends getting certified for track cycling at the Milton Velodrome.  That was way more fun then sitting on the trainer like usual.  (If only it were easier to get to the Velodrome by public transit.)

At the Velodrome.
I also attempted to grow a beard, later settling on a goatee.

I've also rejoined the Friends For Life Bike Rally, the cycling fundraiser that started me along this path to multisport, way back in 2004.  This time, I'll be riding from Toronto to Port Hope in support of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. 

Crossing the border into Quebec in 2004. This year, I'll do a shorter, one-day version of the event.

To make training more social and to learn from people stronger than me, I joined Megan Brown Performance run club, based in downtown Toronto.  I'm now working out twice a week with her group and have been reminded that it is definitely more fun being with other people when you're pushing through a tough hill or speed workout!  This change in routine is already getting results. 

Me with the gold medal for my age group at the Race Roster 5 km.

On the cycling side, I joined X3 Training, under the watchful eye of Coach Michael Liberzon.  His gang of Toronto-based multisport athletes are fixtures in the triathlon scene, especially the long distance races.  In just three short months together, my cycling strength is back near where it was at the end of last season (prior to a lengthy hiatus), I am pumping out higher wattage while in aero and I've dialled in my position further.  And we're just getting started.

In this process, I decided to part ways with Coach Roger of PR Endurance Training.  We had been together for the past four years and I thank him for all of his help and friendship along this journey!  We achieved big things together! 

And finally, I joined the Timex Factory Team, an international squad of endurance athletes, chasing their goals at everything from Ironmans through to marathons and duathlons.  More on that in the months ahead...

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones on the race scene this year.  My first MultiSport Canada event will be the international distance du at Gravenhurst.  Between now and then, I'll also be at the Sporting Life 10 km in Toronto and the Somersault Early Bird Du in Ottawa.

Happy racing!