TC10K Highlight – Nick Patenaude
Tell us a little about the amazing Nick Patenaude and about living on Vancouver Island?
Well, what you see is what you get! Hot pink hair, pink race suit, pink shoes, I’m pretty recognisable, or so I’m told! I’ve been living on The Island since I was born, that was in 1990, now you know I’m in the 25-29 age group! Living on the island is something I’m still discovering value in. I wasn’t interested in the opportunities it presented when I was younger, and now, I find myself constantly discovering new places, people, and adventures on Vancouver island! From summiting Mt. Arrowsmith to surfing Cox Bay, and everything in between (elevation-wise, I mean) there’s loads of adventure to be had here! And even though the rain can suck, and winter can get too cold to ride, there’s a diverse range of training centres and a great fitness culture to keep motivated!
You are a world class triathlon athlete. How did you find your passion?
World Class is a bit of a stretch, but yes, I do compete at Worlds and in several international events 🙂 I don’t think finding passion is a secret at all. I believe describing it as a finding or discovering isn’t accurate, it’s more of a development, an enlightenment, or a “fumbling in the dark, oh hey, wait, what’s this, I think this is pretty neat, let’s try it for awhile!” experience. And I found mine like any human does, trial and error. I’m thankful I stumbled into the sport of triathlon and long distance racing, it’s a lifestyle that I find great value in [almost] every day!
You have competed around the world in Triathlon. What would you say are some of your most memorable events?
Some of my most memorable events involve the people and places around the events. While racing in Slovakia at Oravaman was a crazy and fun experience, I think to be with one of my most aspirational friend Ashley Wiles, and getting to spend a lot more time in a deeper meaning with her was the best part! Experiencing a new culture neither of us had seen (we had both been to Europe several times, but never through the old Eastern European countries). Then at Worlds last year (2016) meeting one of the most amazing athletes I’ve encountered, Oliver Kreindl of Team Austria, then spending 2 weeks with him at his family’s home in a small rural town in OberÖsterreich (Upper Austria) and feeling so welcomed into their home and family and experiencing Gemütlichkeit at it’s finest.
You have coached and prepared many people, to complete either their first race or a long distance triathlon like the Cultus Lake Triathlon and Ironman Canada. What would you say it takes to get from a 10k to a long distance race?
I like to think of this as my first marathon, I got it done, but couldn’t walk the next day and had blisters covering most of the surface of my foot. Shortly after training up to my first half-marathon, I decided it wasn’t that bad, and that if I can do a half, I can surely do a full! To keep this brief, I did it. It was painful. But I did it. Our bodies have a great capacity to endure. That being said though, it’s not necessarily worth the risk of pain and long term damage. I have a recurring ankle injury likely due to running in shoes from WalMart for my first year, and not knowing what I was doing. I would say the best thing to do is take it slow. Start with a program, coach, or trainer to help you stay both accountable and to prevent you from doing TOO MUCH! Both ends of the spectrum have negative consequences. The key is to find a state of difficulty where you’re slightly reaching for that goal, where you have to dig deep to succeed, but you don’t have to dig yourself into a pit of injury!
How do you balance life, work and still have time to train?
When I figure that out, I’ll send you a first edition copy of my book 😉
What are your next races?
Next up I have a couple of local races, including the Island Race Series events, the Dynamic Race Events (Westwood Lake Triathlon, Oliver 70.3, Cultus Lake Tri, and the Elk Lake duathlon), and Westshore Race events (Westshore Triathlon, Langford Lake Triathlon), near the end of summer I’ll be racing the ITU World Championship for Duathlon and Long Course Triathlon!
What would you say to our first-time athletes running the TC10k and are looking to continue on to longer races?
Don’t get caught up in the race hustle, it’s just another run with like-minded, goal-oriented people, just like you, who all have a different life story, but are all looking to get the same satisfaction out of completing THEIR race!
Where can our readers follow your adventures?
Well, my Instagram is definitely where I put the most love. I definitely believe in the value of images. However, I also Tweet, Snap, and have a website up where I try hard to connect with as many people as possible regularly!
SnapChat: @See_Nick_Run Snap
What makes you #Powerful Nick?
What makes anyone powerful, I think everyone has a different power, but that’s not what really matters. What really matters is how that power is used.
My power is in my ability to engage, interact, and create comfort with those I meet.
I’m able to hold space for people and truly value the experience I have with them. I add to society with that power, and I use that it to elicit positive change in each individual’s life. I thrive on encouraging others and seeing them succeed, but my selfish gain ends up paying out for the other parties, always!