CoachCal's Toronto Adventure

Monday, 22 July 2013 17:40 |
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

My trip to Toronto had its bumps. Because of lightening strikes, I was stuck on the tarmac in the plane for 1 hour at Pearson Airport, waited for bags for another 2 hours and finally got to accommodations at 4am Toronto time.   Not a great start to prepare properly some 30 hours before my big race. Because of the lack of sleep, I slept till 12 noon the next day and had a nap, which ultimately cause a sleepless pre race day (literally). Honestly I don't think I ever fell asleep. I just wanted the morning to come.

AM of the race I misplaced my timing chip and had to scramble to find timing and get a new one.  It was actually latched on to my gear bag and out of site.  I think the extra stress and running all over helped me in the swim for a warm up.

The water was chilly then warm depending where you swam in the Lake Ontario Harbour. No warm ups were permitted. I had a smoking swim, going around 22.20 on a course that had lots of turns and slightly long.  Most of the fast younger guys would swim 18-19 minutes and were barely under 22.  It felt like I was holding 1:20-22 pace per 100m and came out of the water in the top 4 in my wave (40-49 largest wave in the race).  I knew it was going to be a good day after 200m as that piano never did jump on my back....  I went out hard but within the first 400m I would just remind myself to relax and throttle it down. It really helped and as I said, I never had that fatigue that comes after a fast start. I was swimming smooth and strong (something I rarely experience). I pushed up the frequency of my swimming and I thank you LANE 1... for pushing me hard each and every time I swim with the group.

The mount line for the bike was quite a run which included a steep slippery up ramp to a pedestrian bridge.  As I neared the mount line I hear someone say my name as he mounted his bike.  It was my good friend Mical Hay from Toronto.  We go way back racing head to head at big events.  The last time we raced against each other was in the 2008 World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver.  The race actually turned into a duathlon that year. Mical and I ran the first 3 km together, road the 40km bike in Stanley Park near each other and turned the outcome into a run off.  We passed the USA and New Zealander to roll into first and second. I was leading till about the 7km mark and Mical pushed infront. I stayed with him and dug as deep as I could only to lose the World Championship by 12 seconds.  I ran a sub 36 minute 10km that year off the bike. What more could I have done??!  That race still to this day reminds me of how deep you can push if you believe you have a shot at winning or at least being proud of yourself for trying. I always ground all my races to that battle.

Deja vu.....  we swam the same, and I was motivated to keep this monster in my sights on the bike (I knew I have been riding well all year, thanks to the power training we all have done this winter season).  The winds were strong on the way out and we had to push hard....  after exchanging passes many times to stay out of the draft zone, I decided to allow Mical dictate the pace as I grew confident that he was not going to outride me. I knew what was coming.... the same head to head battle on two feet like in 2008.  I also new it was going to hurt and I had to believe.

I had to keep telling my inner voice to calm down and not settle for SILVER before the run.... I had to believe that he was not as fit or capable of running fast off the bike (he stands at 6'2" and often these big guys are stronger bikers than runners.... I also had to block out that past as the past did not represent the present.... do you remember what happened in 2008???).

We exited transition with Mical ahead and not running that fast (smart tactics as too fast could really backfire). I settled into my pace that I knew I could maintain and allow for a least a couple surges.  As soon as I pull up beside him around the 800m after T2, he literally sprinted and did not allow the pass. Then the race was on. It was almost like he was a waiting for me.... I ran 2 strides behind him for 5km, making sure he knew I was there. He surged 2 times during that time which I was able to match or at least eventually pull him back.. His paced slowed and I decided to test him and pushed hard and actually sensed I broke him. But after 10 seconds of leading the event, he surged back and tested me. It was the perfect tactics as I was a little gassed from my surge and he actually broke my string.  From 6-7.5km I ran 5 meters behind him fighting hard to keep the string with the hope he would fade... Again the inner voice was telling me Silver was fine, "let up, it hurts too much" plus there no one behind us for 5 minutes in our AG. I had to keep fighting to the end as my own personal challenge and wanted him to know I was still there.  Funny all the while this battle was going on, we were passing other younger athletes who started in the waves ahead, but we did not ever notice them.... many of them tried to stay with us, but none could. We were both in our own little world racing hard and nothing else mattered.

With 2km to go, running into a head wind and up a slight uphill, I saw Mical's pulling further ahead and I could not respond. I counted a 15 second lead with 1km to go but decided to finish the deal and commitment to myself with a last 1000m push (we do it all the time in training and knew exactly what was left (under 4 minutes).  I could actually see Mical coming back to me and that inspired me more (hope). But with 400m to go and the finish line in view I knew he had beaten me again, some 5 years later.  After crossing the line I thanked him for such a tremendous battle and the pure feeling of racing beyond your beliefs. He reflected the same and we chatted for a while.


Racing truly is a gift.  Being healthy and in control of your life choices is precious, Racing against someone who brings out the best in you is priceless.  Thank you Mical and I can't wait till we meet again.... ok, maybe give me a couple days to feel that way!

I know many of you have the same experiences in all of your racing.   Some people comment on how easy some of us make racing look... but just know that we experience the same negative thoughts and struggles you do. Believe in your abilities and position your thoughts into a winning outcome.... even if you don't win the battle with your competitors, at least you win the battle with yourself.

Read 5811 times
Calvin Zaryski

CoachCal has been coaching for over 30 years. Not just focusing on athletes, but on individuals whose goals range from climbing Mount Everest to recapturing the power of active living.


Like Us


Latest News

11th Annual Ironspeed Hawaii Final Payment

08-02-2019 Hits:9786 Camps Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

  March 16th - March 24th, 2019 Travel Days are: Saturday March 16th and Sunday March 24thActivity Days are Sunday March 17th - Saturday March 23rdArrival Date Must be on or before...

Read more

NEW Saturday 12 - 1:30pm Bike Training Session

09-11-2018 Hits:2241 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

CriticalSpeed is offering a weekend 90' Bike Interval Session every Saturday start 12 noon. For more information please email  

Read more

9th Annual Maui Camp

09-04-2017 Hits:4982 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Our 9th Annual Maui Camp was a huge success with some serious training volume and great weather. This year our very own Liam and Scott Cozens made it up the...

Read more

Women's IronSpeed Hawaii

03-11-2016 Hits:5881 Camps Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

  Sunday, Feb 19th - Sunday, Feb 26th, 2017 Travel Days are: Sunday February 19th and Sunday February 26thActivity Days are Monday February 20th - Saturday February 25thArrival Date Must be on...

Read more

How to Prepare for Early Season Racing

11-06-2014 Hits:4858 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

The 2014 season is here and no matter how many years of racing triathlons, the first few races are never easy. To have a great front end of your race...

Read more

70.3 World Championship

09-09-2013 Hits:5588 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Again huge congrats to Dawn A, who finished the 70.3 World Championship yesterday. She got beat up on the swim by the young men who started just after her wave...

Read more

Ironman Canada, Ironman Louisville and Penticton Challenge

09-09-2013 Hits:7004 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

WOW, what I weekend that was for many of you!  Ironman Canada, Ironman Louisville and Penticton Challenge were all happening on the same day.  Here are some of the results. Rick...

Read more

Ironman Mont -Tremblant

21-08-2013 Hits:4905 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Fantastic Day at Ironman Mont -Tremblant, Well done Jason and Dan.

Read more

Learn to avoid the dangers of big cycling events

21-08-2013 Hits:4870 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Mass participation cycling events and triathlons are thrilling events, but all of them have had mishaps with athletes injuring themselves and others. Many of us love the feeling of being involved...

Read more

Lake Chaparral

13-08-2013 Hits:24090 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Huge congrats to Leslie and Carolyn who raced at Lake Chaparral on Sunday.

Read more

CSR Race Results 5 GOLD, 5 SILVER and 3 BRONZE

06-08-2013 Hits:5758 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

We accomplished 5 GOLD, 5 SILVER and 3 BRONZE!  Well done team. We also had some first timers who go muddy and had fun!  Thanks to Marie for the great...

Read more

70.3 Ironman Calgary

30-07-2013 Hits:6293 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Congrats to Rick W. for crushing his previous time by 45 minutes (6:20 in 2012, 5:35 in 2013).  Chelsey went sub 6 hours and was 22nd in her age group...

Read more

CoachCal's Toronto Adventure

22-07-2013 Hits:5812 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

My trip to Toronto had its bumps. Because of lightening strikes, I was stuck on the tarmac in the plane for 1 hour at Pearson Airport, waited for bags for...

Read more

Results for July 21st Weekend

22-07-2013 Hits:4645 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Congrats to Danelle Kabush who was 2nd overall Pro female at the Beaver Creek XTERRA! Also congrats to those athletes who completed the 24 hour Mountain Bike race. Heard the...

Read more

Grand Fondo

16-07-2013 Hits:4704 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Fantastic weekend by CSR athletes! In the Grand Fondo HighWood Pass (Rocky Mountain House), CSRs Jon Firth won the 40km TT and the Overall 136km race. Tara Kabakoff was 2nd in...

Read more

GWN Results

16-07-2013 Hits:4581 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

I sure wish I could have given those who raced GWN a Hall Pass for todays work day. If you feel like me, a quiet day at home would have...

Read more

June Update

25-06-2013 Hits:4325 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Hi Team, Team CSR had an awesome weekend!  I am so impressed with the performances and it was thrilling watching Darren, Sylvie, Rick, Leslie and Mike P dig deep at IMCdA...

Read more

Chinook Triathlon

18-06-2013 Hits:24401 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

What a fantastic weekend our CSR team had at the Chinook Triathlon.

Read more

Healthy Sun Exposure

11-06-2013 Hits:4350 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Summer is here and with that we increase our outdoor activities.  More time outdoors means more sun exposure.  We all need a small amount of time in the sun without...

Read more

Wasa Lake Results

11-06-2013 Hits:23993 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Some fantastic results from Wasa lake this weekend, wow. Congrats to all those people who participated. Some notable results:

Read more

Kona 70.3 Report

03-06-2013 Hits:6669 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Well I truly was having a fantastic race. In my swim warm up I saw a huge manta ray gliding through the water. It gave me a sense of calm...

Read more

Police Half Marathon Results

29-04-2013 Hits:4370 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Thanks to all those CSR athletes who came out to support your teammates yesterday at the Police Half Marathon!  Was so cool to see many of you on the race...

Read more

Body Mass and Running Performance

10-04-2013 Hits:5743 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

My current morning routine usually incorporates a quick body mass check on the bathroom scale. Most often it indicates my level of hydration but it also serves as my wake...

Read more

Simulated Triathlon Dos and Don'ts

26-02-2013 Hits:5044 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

In a simulated triathlon when approaching the wall for a turn, try to swim a quick and short diagonal approach when coming into the wall for a turn. This results...

Read more

Xterra Canada

27-01-2013 Hits:5879 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Hi XTERRA Athletes, 2013 brings much change for off road racing.  Unfortunately, the XTERRA series no longer exists under the XERRA brand.  Many of you have already entered the World XTERRA...

Read more

Great Results from our Team

22-01-2013 Hits:4869 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Huge congrats to Shannon Winslade for smashing her marathon personal best at the Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon on Sunday.

Read more

Kona is HOT!

19-11-2012 Hits:5805 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Well duh!  But when the sun shines on your while exercising, it is an entirely different stress!  Secondly, I have to say this... every athlete present in Kona was elite...

Read more

To BRICK or Not to BRICK

19-11-2012 Hits:24493 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Back in 1994 my final project for my Masters Degree investigated the relationship between swim, bike and run individual time trials equal to the distances in an Olympic triathlon and...

Read more

In Memory of Janice Plewes, CSR Team Mate Forever

18-11-2012 Hits:6757 Blog Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

Hi everyone, Just wanted to take this time to thank all of you who came out to Janice's celebration of life. The formal proceedings were very well done but obviously sad...

Read more

Ironspirit Camp

18-11-2012 Hits:20890 Camps Calvin Zaryski - avatar Calvin Zaryski

IronSpirit Classic 7 Day IMC focus camp July 15-21st, 2013 Register Now Contact CoachKev This Camp offers the ultimate opportunity for event specific coaching and on-course training. Led by a team of accomplished Ironman...

Read more

About Criticalspeed

Criticalspeed provides a multisport training system that maximizes your time and stimulates improvements. The process includes a social and supportive environment to maintain consistency and motivation.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved. Designed By Wedge.a&d