Sunday, February 14, 2010

Womens Hockey at the Winter Olympics

What a truly great experience for us and the boys. We had the best time! It almost felt like we were Canadian for a day, eh.

We got up early to head to the Lynden border and could count the number of cars in front of us one one... finger! Very easy and felt arriving too early to my friends house to meet and pickup our tickets.

Omer and I got together a couple years ago and decided what was hopefully the best chance to see either Canada or USA women's hockey in downtown Vancouver. We entered and hit the Canadian Olympic lottery for tickets, 7 in total for Canada vs Slovakia on a weekend.

We drove around a bit and found a Tim Hortens to stop at for a bit before going to Omer's house. We finally met and visited for a bit. We headed out about an hour before Omer and family.

Traffic was non existent as we drove into a park and ride in Surrey and simply walked onto the Sky Train that arrived within minutes. They added extra trains and all day the free trains (with our tickets) were not too crowded and we never waited for than a couple minutes for the next train.

Downtown was a different story... Everywhere we walked (and we walked a lot) was crowded and lots of lines to get into the different celebration pavilions. They had different spots setup for each province and a big central LiveCenter. All had long lines.

We met Omer and family for lunch, we walked around Chinatown for 10-15 minutes looking for Dim Sum, but the three places Omer had in mind were all closed. Quite an experience for the kids walking past shop after shop with all sorts of unknown items and the smells of who knows what. We settled on a Chinese diner and ate lunch.

After lunch we walked around the seawall and through the larger Concord Place celebration area with multiple celebration pavilions. Across the water is the Athlete Village, neat to see all the flags.

We then got onto a train to take us to the waterfront to see the Olympic flame, the train was great, but we miss judged the distance from the train to the flame, longer walked than we planned and a lot more people than even the celebration pavilions. We couldn't get a good look at the flame, but we did see it. Kinda anti climatic after all the people we had to sift through to get our small glimpse.

Back on the train to the stadium area of downtown and got in line about 15-20 minutes before the security checkpoints opened to get into the stadium. My oh my, there must of been 20+ security checkpoints and each had a tremendous line. Once they opened it moved smoothly, Debbie had to get scanned with the wand though (her belt). We heard people later inside that they slowed down and some people were late arriving to the match.

We got in the stadium about 2 hours before face off and they had a big screen setup to watch other sports, we watched a bit of ski jumping before finding our seats. I thought these cheapest seats in the stadium were great, 1 row below the roof we could see the whole arena and good view of the center screen for replays and watching pre game videos of the opening ceremonies.

We walked around the stadium a bit and got souvenirs and ate before the game started. Alex got a bit bored before the third period, but everyone else had a blast right up to the final outcome. The place filled up and we felt a bit out of place, almost everyone was wearing Canadian colors, lots of red and white, and a ton of hockey jerseys. Good experience for first hockey game, lots of action, lots of scoring... Canada won 18 - 0!

Due to extra security they only had one exit area and was kinda tight to get out, like a herd of cattle just moo-ving slowly through a small gate.

Once again the Vancouver transit was awesome, as we got on a train without any wait and nice easy ride back to our car. Straight shot from the car down King George highway to the Blaine border and as we got to the border crossing we could again count the number of cars in line in front of us on one... finger! Yeah, best day ever for going across the border!

Not sure if we'll ever go to another Olympics, but this will leave lots a great memories for a lifetime.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report 2009

I got to CDA on Wednesday and was able to get most all the pre race issues before Debbie, Jacob, Alex and my parents arrived on Friday night. Spent a great day on Saturday with the family and even had time to BBQ at our hotel with everyone and my Aunt and Uncle from Spokane.


Up at 3:30 race morning, and ate two packages of oatmeal and a nice cup of coffee to help with... well, you know. We stayed only 2 miles away this time and even though such a short drive I left before 4 and got a screamin parking spot just across the street from transition so Debbie and the kids and parents could relax if needed during the day.

I was able to fill up my tires, drop off my bags, sleep some in the car, porta stops and basically get all ready and use the car as a base.

My parents picked up the family and caught a free shuttle and were able to meet up and walked to get a great spot to view the start. Got hugs and good wishes and made my way to the beach. ate a Gel and was feeling ready, saw Sean and his plan was to go inside the buoy line, my plan had me on the other side of the beach and 2500 people, so I went over there and waited, not nearly as nervous as in 2007. I also couldn't hear any announcements so when the cannon went off, just walked into the water and started swimming with just a few other people (2153 starters).

SWIM 1:32:13 (1680 out of 2153 overall) (262/313 M35-39)

Swim started out ok, but I really felt like this swim was worse than the almost canceled 2007 CDA swim. The rollers were bigger, but no whitecaps this time. I found it very hard to get into a groove and was constantly running over others or getting run into. I thought I swam some what straight but clearly not my best swim. first lap took longer than expected and I knew a PR would be very tough. Got a cramp in one calf on the way back out, but was able to quickly stretch and get back to swimming in under 20 seconds. Much less traffic on second lap, but still ran into a lot of people zig zagging around the course. I warmed up the water as I got closer to the exit and was pretty well ready to be done swimming for a while.

I was in 1680 position coming out of the water.

T1 5:21

I saw Debbie and my parents as I ran up the beach and that pumped me up! I was happy that they have wetsuit peelers so I didn't have to get out of that on my own. Transition tent was packed so I got ready out side and was off onto the bike pretty quickly. Seeing the family again as I got to my bike was awesome, each time my smile got bigger and eyes got wetter and I got faster.

BIKE 6:39:19 16.8 MPH (1332 out of 2097 overall) (245/313 M35-39)

I planned all year on using my power meter to monitor my wattage output and keep things under a certain amount to save energy for the run so I started slow on the initial out and back along the lake. I noticed it was tough into the wind and got pretty fast with the wind even though I was under my goal wattage. One hill on this section that you ride up and over each way. On the way out you go up this hill and half way up is a band of bagpipers and just past them is a huge inflatable sun smiling at you, then a bunch of cheerleaders just over the crest finally followed by some Scottish dancers kicking their feet up on our way down the other side. The crowds, the volunteers and seeing the family each lap really make this a great race.

Very uneventful section and very quickly made my way back into town and headed north with the wind, what a nice push, if I watched the MPH I thought I was going to hard, but the wattage told me different and kept a nice easy pace going 20+. I knew what was looming though, we don't really hit the hills until we get to Hayden Lake and come they did.

I tried my best, but my wattage still went over my limit on each hill and was passed on each and every hill on course, but the power meter also told me when I crested the hill and could start peddling harder and I passed many many who had passed me on the crest even before we started back down the other side of these hills. I had a bit of pain in one leg and was worried that I would cramp up like I did on of my last training rides, but the cramp never materialized.

Coming back into town into the wind was a bit tougher, but saw Daryl (my coach) and got pumped up and then as you get even closer into the core the crowds grow and grow and just made me smile even more. I really enjoy the crowds and think this is one reason I really like this venue. Saw Debbie before short 1 mile out and back so knew I'd see her again riding past transition and I think I rode very fast and hard on this section but I figured 2 hard miles over wattage wouldn't blow my day and wanted to hear the cheering again.

Past transition and loud cheers from Debbie (My parents took the kids to a movie so everyone had a great day!) then ride 6 blocks through town with crowds on both sides of the road just pumping up even more.

Time to repeat the lap, I made a quick stop at the furthest turn around by the lake to grab new bottles of perpetuem and was quickly underway again. heard Debbie cheering again as I passed transition and got nice push as I headed back north towards Hayden Lake. I needed to make a quick porta stop at the first aid station and they even have volunteers to hold your bike whilst you do your business so I got going quickly after continuing North. Again seeing Coach Daryl out there was great and then the hills. I was getting pretty tired by this point and really felt like not biking, but kept pushing on, standing a bit more on the second lap hills and getting out of the saddle, even the downhills were not as fun.

About mile 95 I needed to get off the bike, so just past that aid station I got off and walked the bike for 3 or 4 telephone poles to stretch and use different muscles. I really think this helped with the final push into the wind back to downtown, as once I was riding again, I must of passed another 40-50 people before hitting transition VERY happy to get off the bike and hand it to a volunteer to rack for me.

I had a GU every 30-45 minutes and drank my perpetuem and went through most all I planned, also downing 2 salt tabs every hour or so as well.

I'm sure I passed some in T1, but passed 318 moving up to 1362nd position overall

T2 4:44

Off the bike, before getting my run gear I made my way into a porta john and got some relief and after grabbing gear from another volunteer found an empty chair inside the tent. Nice to sit, but I had work to do so worked quickly to change shoes and that was pretty much it, ran in the same bike clothes.

RUN 4:06:16 9:24/Mile (478 out of 2032 finishers) (90/313 M35-39)

I had my GPS and was able to pace myself out of transition and keep it easy for the first section of the run. I had planned on walking the aid stations and thought the first aid station came pretty quickly, but stuck to my plan and walked through the aid station from one end to the other. Once through I started running again out to the turn around and back to the same transition, again I walked and again thought it was too soon to be walking but stuck to it.

The next aid station is way on the other side of town and more than 1 mile and was further than expected before I was able to walk and truly was looking forward to this 3rd walk, but running through the throng of people downtown made up for any slowing, what a rush to run through thousands of people cheering your name (because it is on each bib with your number)!

After some twists and turns through town, we run along the lake and right into a headwind and rain. I was slowing and very much wanting to walk, but again stuck to it and made it to each aid station without any walking in between meeting one of my goals. The furthest out aid station is within half a mile of the turn around and I walked it each way even though so short of run section in between.

Running back into town with the wind was uneventful and seemed to just pass away. I hit the midway point at 2:04 on my watch and saw my family just past the transition area and got some high fives and high energy from them. Jacob ran along with me for 100 yards or so! What a great spot they had, because I only had the short .8 mile out and back to get to see them again.

Once again more high fives and energy to keep me going. I needed that, the long section without an aid was looming and I was in a tough spot. I mentally took inventory and kept saying if I can make this section running I could then make the 'easy' one mile sections after that. I started taking the cola and chicken broth on this second lap for additional kick.

I made it and the next couple sections were very tough mentally to keep it running, the headwind on the way out again was tough, but really once I hit the furthest turn around I had the wind and the knowledge that I didn't have to come back out there again so just started cruzin.

I still walked the aid stations, but the final 4-5 miles were my fastest miles on the day and just flying past a ton of runners, what a feeling, to be able to run in the 7 minute range and just fly. Checking the watch I knew I was going to break my 13 hour goal and was looking like I was not going to make my sub 4 marathon. I still kept it strong and with a smile all the way to the finish.

I thought about not walking the final aid, but did walk it and the final mile or so was packed full of fans and the final 7 blocks is downhill past 2-3000 people cheering and pumping you up you cannot help but run fast. I was in a zone by now and just floating down the tunnel of people passing more people. Got high fives from the family near the finish chute and was moving so fast that the camera missed me, empty frame on the pic. so fast that I didn't realize the couple of finishers in front of me screwing up my finish pics :) What a great race, I truly love the fan support, the volunteers, the multiple laps to see the family, the organizers really do a top notch job of running this whole event.

I passed almost 500 (480) and negative split the marathon to finish in 882nd spot out of 2032 official finishers!


My volunteer finish catcher walked me through all the finish line stuff and escorted me to the athlete corral and handed me to a medical volunteer who asked me some good questions and I knew I needed to get my feet up or else my calves would fully lock up so he took me into the medical tent and I sat with my feet up wrapped head to toe in space blankets and ice on my calves shivering like crazy, but never fully admitted to the area where the docs are, so not officially a medical tent occurrence, but just getting out of the rain. I sat for about 45 minutes while Debbie, coach Daryl and maybe others didn't know where I was, but was able to walk out on my own and found Debbie and made it to the car with the bike and easy 5 minute drive to the hotel.

Debbie went and got me some Epsom salts and a burger. I knew I wanted to soak and that I would be starving about 3 am. I soaked up some magnesium salts and two bites from the burger (still not wanting solid food at this point) I was in bed and then like clockwork, up about 3 am and polished of the Red Robin monster burger. so tasty at 3 am!

More than a 45 minute PR! I'll be back again for more Ironman, but again will give it a year off of this distance to fully recover and mentally be ready. Another 45 would get me well under 12... too early to think about that? naw, keep your eye on the prize!

882 out of 2032 finishers!
173 out of 313 M35-39!

Vacation and race pics here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 11 days!

Bib numbers were announced and just wanted you to know that my bib number this year is 1033

You can watch the live online video feed on Sunday June 21 as well as look up my live results as the day progresses all from

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finally a blog update

It has been quite a while since I've posted to the blog so thought I'd let those still looking that I'm still training and getting ready for Ironman in Coeur d'Alene on June 21. Just finished my last long bike ride yesterday, 111 miles. I was really thinking about riding around the block to get to the 112 but one of my legs was cramping so bad that I had to one leg pedal downhill while I rested/stretched the cramping leg.

I haven't posted to the blog because I find it much easier to post a small blurb on Facebook or Twitter. feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

The Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim followed by 112 miles on the bike finishing with a 26.2 mile run (marathon). Sunday, June 21 will be my second Ironman triathlon and you can watch me live online on You can also look up my name and results as I cross timing matts out on course.

Best times to watch will be from 6:45 am to about 7:15 am when the cannon goes off and all 2600 athletes jump into the lake at the same time. A mass start with this many triathletes is very exciting. They have the live video all day, but winners will finish around 3-4 pm and I hope to finish before nightfall (lucky for me it is the longest day of the year).

Also, very inspiring to watch the later times as athletes will continue to cross the line up until the midnight cutoff, some of these competitors are in their 70's and 80's and finishing up a 17 hour day of exercise. I hope to be competing (or at least participating) when I'm in my 70's and 80's...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kauai Family Vacation

We had a great time in Kauai hiking, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding, spending time on the beach, at the pool all over the island! We went as far North as the road goes to Ke'e Beach and Kalalua trail head on the Napilli Coast and within miles of the end of the road to the South when we drove up the Waimea Canyon.

Starting up the Kalalau Trail

Wailea River

Secret Falls

Ke'e Beach

Kalapaki Beach

Alex hiding from the paparazzi

More (but still a small selection of the 400+) of our favorite photos are on our Picasa web album here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2 weeks, 2 hikes, 2 times the fun!

Last week we all went for a hike up the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) along Chukcanut Drive to hopefully make it to the Bat Caves, but we started out too late to make it that far. We made good time and did get up high enough to enjoy the view, sat at the bench someone lugged up there for a while and headed back down, great sunny warm January day!

Today we rented snowshoes and drove to Mt Baker. Parking lot was dry concrete so we got all suited up and walked over to the edge of the snow, got our snow shoes on and headed out for another sunny hike. Alex was not enjoying the snow shoe hike as much as the trail hike to the caves, so he and Debbie turned around about 30 minutes into the hike. Jacob and I continued on, but not too far, we went to the base of Table Top Mountain. Everyone had more fun on the deeper snow rather than the cat track we were using to get up higher originally. We all met up at the car and home safe. I think we all had fun, but in different ways.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 year in pictures!

It goes so fast, but all these pictures and more bring back such great memories, I say let's do it again in 2009.

Hunting for Eagles in January
From Gervais2008

Manning Park vacation in February
From Gervais2008

Bike to School and Work Day in May
From Gervais2008

Jacob and Alex Ice Sculpting
From Gervais2008

Escape From Alcatraz Vacation in June
From Gervais2008

Glenn Escaped
From Gervais2008

Jacob Clear Lake Triathlon in July
From Gervais2008

Cannon Beach vacation in July
From Gervais2008

Renee and Chris Wedding!
From Gervais2008

Family Camping in August
From Gervais2008

From Gervais2008

Camping in NOVEMBER!
From Gervais2008

Tons of Snow in December
From Gervais2008

Enjoy these, but be sure to check out all the best of the family pictures on our web album at If you want to print any of these, you can download from our web album, if that is not a large enough resolution for you, please email me and I can get you the original(s). Happy New Year! and here's to a great 2009!