Recently in Triathlon Category

Mooseman Report: Run

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Off the bike, first thing I did was hit the port-a-potty. I put on my running shoes (forgetting to take off my bike shirt), grabbed a power bar and a bottle of gatorade, and I was off!

...sort of.

I walked the first half mile, power bar and gatorade in hand. I had intended to fuel up in transition, but it occurred to me that I might as well walk while doing so. If nothing else, it would stretch my legs out for the run (or shuffle) that was to come.

I suppose it looked funny, but c'est la vie.

Eventually, I couldn't eat any more, and I put them both down by the side of the road. The first mile was an awful slow shuffle, as my legs were in no hurry to wake up and come around. I drank 2 cups of gatorade, and the second mile was better.

When I came to the one steep climb on the out, I made the conscious decision to walk it both times (double loop run). The words in my head were "this is not the battle I really want to win". No regrets, there.

There was a lot of music along the course, and occasionally I stopped to do a little jig. Just after the turnaround, there was a barbershop quartet. I stopped and faked scoring them a perfect 10. It was just so great to have distractions along the course. :)

Bill looked like he was 30-40 minutes up the road from me. He looked strong, and we had kind words for each other whenever we passed.

On the first loop, I peed twice, then peed again back at the transition area before the second loop. Clearly, I wasn't dehydrated - just the opposite!

Near the end of the first loop, I had my second chocolate power gel. It tasted every bit as bad as the first. A careful reading caused me to exclaim, aloud "oh, no wonder it tastes bad - it's coffee!". Yup, that icky chocolate power gel I'd gotten at the aid station was, in fact, espresso. With caffeine.

On the second loop, I drank a bit less, at least until I had a spasm in my calf. I took that as fair warning, and started drinking more gatorade again. I also had a second power gel - I chose vanilla from the bowl. :)

When I hear the drums up near the turnaround, I knew for sure I was going to finish. I was buoyed, and had to rein in my emotions.

After the turnaround, I was able to continue running most of the time, which made me very happy. A few more calf twinges prevented me from picking up the pace, even when I saw by my watch that I had a shot at sub-7 hours. Finishing upright and smiling was far more important to me than some arbitrary number, so I walked when I needed to.

I managed to finish in a shade under 7 hours in the end, so it's just as well I didn't push myself.

That's right. I finished. Longest open water swim in my life. Second longest day ride in my life. Longest I've run in 2 years. All in one day.

Mooseman Report: Bike

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As Bill said in an email, if I'd spent any more time in T1, I would have had to apply for residency. (We all shoot for world records in our own ways, I guess.)

It didn't help that I'd spent the pre-race time chasing pedals, rather than setting up T1. Still, despite the fact that I spent more than 8 minutes in T1, I didn't start on the power bar I'd intended to eat there until I was out on the road.

Of course, to get out on the road, I had to clip into my pedals. Turns out it was much tougher than to do for these pedals - they really were a tight fit. I wasn't going to be casually clipping in and out in this race, that's for sure!

So I clipped in, with some ungentlemanly grunting and cursing, and immediately pulled the power bar out of my bike jersey and chowed down. Probably looked ridiculous with all these fit triathletes blowing by me in their aero bars. Suckers. They were missing out on the surprisingly decent taste (but still bleh texture) of oatmeal raisin power bar.

I was done the bar by the time we started hitting the rolling hills. I kept telling myself not to push, to take it easy. I was surprised that Bill hadn't blown by me yet, but focused on my own race - or lack thereof.

Around the first corner, and I started preparing myself for Devil's Hill. Unfortunately, when I got there, I realized I needed to go into the granny gear (smallest front ring). Quite often my bike chain falls off when I try to do this, and this was no exception. This, of course, happened halfway up the hill.

Unclipping was fun, too. So was reclipping into these new pedals on a steep uphill. Whee.

Bill blew by me here, as did about 40 other people. There was just no way about it, I couldn't wait for a gap in the traffic, I just had to cut in front of people and go.

Devil's hill put me far into the red zone. Actually, it put me there for far too long. I was huffing and puffing like an asthmatic when I crested. Not good. Ok, so on the downside I hit 61km/hr without pedalling AT ALL. Not adequate compensation. A few minutes later, I was in the red zone on another hill. On the detour onto the point, with all its false summits, I was in the red zone again.

In short, I was not well prepared for the rolling hills of Newfound Lake.

What didn't help was that I refused to go into the granny gear again, so I was grinding the heck out of my legs - making them put out more raw strength than they normally would have had to. When I finally came off the point, I was going backwards quickly, out of breath, and behind on my nutrition ('cause it's hard to drink when you're climbing).

Eventually, I got my legs back, as we left the lake and descended into Bristol. I reminded myself that my goal was to take it easy the whole first loop. I was now very leery of hills, knowing that I might have missed some on the Saturday drive-around. I wanted to make sure I had enough in my legs for whatever was around the next corner on my first loop. On the second loop, memory would help me plan.

Jeff and Bill had remarked that there was lots of climbing on the 104 out of Bristol. I'd missed it, but that's because rather than rollers we faces long slow inclines. This was more like what I was used to, and it didn't bother me at all. In fact, it was quite welcome.

Off the 104, there was a quick hill, then an aid station. I almost missed the port-a-potties, and had to brake quickly. Of course, in the middle of braking quickly, I remembered the new pedals, and nearly had a comical "fall over at a dead stop" moment. Fortunately, I got one foot down in time, and I stopped for my first pee break.

After this aid station was, by far, the best part of the bike. The rolling hills were more gentle, and they gave way to a bit of open farmland before we descended back to the lake. There was much happiness to be found here.

Suddenly, we were back at the lake, and done the first loop.

By now, I'd probably been passed by at least 350 of the 650 participants. (Which was fine.)

I made two big changes on my second loop. One was that I revisited the granny gear whenever I could. Yes, it was taking a chance, but my chain never dropped again, so it was a huge net plus. Also, I spent a lot more time on the tachometer of my computer, trying to keep myself at 90 rpm whenever I could. I especially tried to keep my cadence high AFTER hills, trying to let my legs recover actively, rather than passively. I never really pushed the pace, but tried to keep my legs active and loose.

Because of this, the second loop felt faster, and more cohesive than the first. When I got back to the 104 (seemingly much more quickly), I was on my third Gatorade bottle, and had eaten 2 power gels already. My gut, however, was starting to complain.

Remembering the aid station, I made plans to stop there again. Of course, it was about 5 curves further away than I remembered it being, but I did get there safely. When I did, I spent AT LEAST 5 quality (ugh) minutes there. This was kind of a no-brainer. I knew I had something like 3 hours left to my day, and I needed to get everything out that I possibly could NOW.

I took a bottle of Gatorade and 2 power gels from the volunteers on my way out, and started out again. One gel was eaten as soon as I hit a farm flat. It tasted awful, but went down in one swallow. Bleh.

By now I was largely on my own on the road. The entire field had gone off in front of me. I rode the last lonely miles, and rolled into T2 a very happy man.

All along, I'd told myself that I wouldn't know how the half marathon would be until I came off the bike. Coming off the bike, I felt surprisingly good.

On the bike, I ate: 1 power bar, 3 gels. I drank 4 full bottles of gatorade.

Mooseman Report: Swim (Part 2)

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Having found my stroke, I settled into the rhythm of freestyle. I took a wide line around the swimmers, aiming for a point to the right of the first left turn buoy. I was breathing every second pull, and on my left, which was weird. Jeff had remarked that breathing on the left was an advantage when the buoys are always on your left, so maybe I incorporated that idea.

I would occasionally see a swimmer on my left, but never for long. I'm not so sure that I was swimming terribly straight, but I was moving. Time slipped by almost without notice. One buoy before the first turn, I passed my first blue swim cap. I'd made up the 4 minute stagger on somoene.

Around the turn, and I noticed that the water was pushing me towards shore. Maybe we'd been swimming into the wind, and the home trip would be easier? Some wheel in the back of my mind told me to go steady on this phase, then pick up the pace after the second turn, on the run back to the beach. I had to mentally preempt this idea, reminding myself that I wasn't here to race, no matter how small the swim was in the grand scheme of the day.

I actually made the second turn surprisingly close to the buoy, as there was nobody there. I got behind a pair of feet or two, but at this point anyone that close to me had to be slower than me, given my start (I never saw any swim cap beyond dark blue and light green, so I don't think anyone from a later start caught me.) At one point, I came in too close to the buoys, and got behind three swimmers abreast. Yuck. I kicked it out wide and went on my way.

Suddenly, I could see the bottom. I watched the rocks go by, and tried to at least use them to stay straight. I saw lone fish, who scurried off, annoyed by my presence.

I pondered doing some butterfly close to shore, to try to get a laugh from the people on shore. Beyond it being a bad idea for injury reasons (I'm not THAT coordinated), the rhythm of freestyle was so ingrained in me by that point that I knew I'd have a tough time switching up.

Suddenly, it was too shallow to swim.

As everyone else ran across the mats and into T1, I strolled leisurely along. I may have been coming out of the water with the big boys, but I truly was a minnow. I needed to stick to my pre-race strategy, and take my time in the transition.

We got up early race day morning. Our fabulous B&B host got up early with us and, being a former marathoner herself, had bananas, yogurt, muffins, juice and water out for us. Fantastic.

We parked near the race site, and walked up. We stopped to help someone pump up his tires on the way there. I racked my bike in the transition area, and everything suddenly spun on its head.

I only had 1 pedal on my bike.

What followed was a few seconds of very vocal panic. What on earth had happened? What should, or even could, I do?

I dragged my bike to the local bike shop support tent. They weren't too optimistic about my chances. Remembering my bike dragging a bit after we left the guy who was pumping his tires, I told them that I MIGHT know where my pedal was, and offered to go look. I ran off.

Great - so much for conserving energy. I sprinted in sandals half a mile back to the site, and scoured the lawn on all fours. No pedal.

Almost in tears, I ran back, head down, scanning the ground for the pedal. No luck. Had it fallen off in the car? At home?

Back at the support tent, some good news. "I've found some pedals that should work. Want me to put them on?" Some unintelligable gratitude followed. I ran to get my shoes, and bike guy tried them out. He had to force them a bit, but they fit. Hurray!

By the time I got back to the transition zone, they were calling for people to start moving to the beach, and all the free space around my bike spot was gone. I put my towel and bike shoes out, grabbed my wetsuit, and joined my friends in the walk to the start line.

I have to take a moment to offer two huge thank yous. The first, obviously, is to the MC Cycle and Sport. The loaner pedals saved my bacon. The second goes to Lisa Bentley. I remember attending a talk she was giving, when she spoke about bad things happening to her during triathlons. She made the point that "everything happen for a reason".

Well, here I was, on the brink of the terrifying cold water swim, and my mind was blank and calm. The pedal fiasco had completely preempted my rising terror at the swim.

The PA played "Don't Stop Believing" and I smiled. They played "Welcome to the Jungle" and the first wave left. Now it was our turn.

My feet touched the water. "Damn that's cold." I need to watch my language when I get nervous. I put my hands in, because that usually helps get me acclimatized. "Oh god oh god oh god oh god."

I was intending to go to the front, being a competent swimmer, but now I wanted to go backwards. I didn't want to be here, I didn't want to do this. This was terrible.

"30 seconds to start".

I crouched down, to get my body wet. There was a slight chill at the base of my spine, I guess at the bottom of the zipper. Everything else was fine - the wetsuit did its job unbelievably well. Of course, my hands and feet were still SO COLD.

I looked at jeff. He had already gotten his face wet. Smart guy. I couldn't bring myself to.

"Go go go go go!!!!!"

Terror and panic. Step, step, heads up breast. Ugh. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. OH GOD. More heads up breast. Everyone is going away from me.

Ok, put my face in. Now gasp for breath. Another heads up breast. The support boats must think I'm insane, doing nothing but heads up breast at a tri. Roll over, fix my goggles. Man, nobody is behind me. I'm dead last. How the mighty have fallen.

Roll back over. Head in the water again. UGH. Heads up breast. How about dipping my head halfway under on breast. Ok. How about all the way? Ugh. Try a pull of freestyle again. Ugh. Again, this time I remember to breathe out. Does blowing help to warm the water, making it easier? Heads up free is too tiring, try heads up breast again. Try two pulls in a row. Breathing on the left is fine. Man, I really shot forwards there. Do it again.

Maybe I should sight?

Wow, I passed that guy like he was standing still.

I AM GOING TO BE FINE.

Mooseman Report: Plan

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Knowledge is the basis of plans, and experience is often the source of knowledge. I had some relevant experiences to help me prepare for Mooseman:

1. Olympic Triathlon: The swim in an Olympic Tri is something like 75% the distance of the swim in a half iron. What I knews is that not only had I completed the Olympic distance swim, I had ADORED it. The rhythm and solitude of an open water swim is an amazing experience. I knew that not only could I probably do the distance, I could probably enjoy it.

2. North Bay Triathlon: From a swimmer's perspective, I'm a competent swimmer at best. From a triathlon perspective, though, I'm a strong swimmer. So why did this 500m swim destroy me so badly? COLD WATER. I learned that I did not handle cold water in my face well in swims at all. Knowing that Mooseman could be even colder motivated me to spend both money on a good body length wetsuit, and time mentally preparing myself for the start of the swim.

3. 3 marathons: My goals for the 3 marathons were: finish, improve my time, and try for 4 hours. My results were finish, improved my time, and went 4:06. Sounds good, right? Still, all 3 featured some kind of a nutrition failure - cramping on the first two, and dehydration and hyperventilation on the third. All three races, I hit a point where I obeyed my stomach and stopped taking on nutrition. In a half iron, which is much longer than a 4.5 hour marathon, this would simply not be permissible.

The most important part of my plan involved nutrition. I had detailed plans for what I would eat/drink at T1, T2, and how much I would eat/drink on the bike and run. I brought extra foods with me, including soda crackers, trying to anticipate potential dietary problems. I did extra reading on race nutrition. I reviewed the race literature carefully, noting that their promised aid stations were amazing, and adapting my plan to incorporate them.

I also gave careful mental preparation to the subject of pacing. Going out too fast in a half or full marathon can ruin any chance of a PB. Going out too fast in a half iron must therefore be even more dangerous. I told myself that I simply would now have an idea how my race was going to go until I was off the bike. That meant that I was going to have to conserve my energy, and limit my speed, for hours.

There was a lot of contemplative mental preparation that went into the pre-race buildup. I confronted my fears about the cold water, reminding myself that once I had gotten past my panic in North Bay, the temperature had gotten easier to tolerate. I charted nutrition aggressively, and thought through what might happen if my stomach revolted at some point. I visualized myself walking long parts of the half marathon, but still being happy.

I tried to address every real fear and concern I had, knowing that the race day might be even stranger and more stressful that I could foresee.

Mooseman Report: Preparation

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How do you prepare for an epic race in only four months?

Last fall was epic enough. We bought a house, spent months packing, days moving, and will probably spend years unpacking. There certainly wasn't time to vigourously crosstrain. Heck, I had trouble just keeping to my 3 day a week masters swim schedule.

Nonetheless, there was background talk among friends of getting together to do a triathlon in late spring. It was enough to get me to buy a bike trainer. So I rode in the basement(I want to say rode AROUND, but that of course is ridiculous), all by myself, not going anywhere.

At the start of February, it seemed like people were IN for the triathlon, and for the half iron besides. Despite having not run in months (a conscious decision, based both on the chaos of moving and the cold of Canadian winters), I decided I was in, too.

The important point of these decisions is to have a realistic outlook. My reasons for saying yes to the half iron had little do with wanting to crush Bill, despite trash talk to the contrary. I wasn't looking to show off my athletic talents, or to impress the athletes that I know with a strong first-race showing.

I wanted to get together with friends, and to participate in something epic.

Note the word participate.

I worked hard on the trainer, and on the bike once the weather improved, at ramping up distance. Speed did not matter, I just wanted miles in my legs.

As for running, my goal was to somehow pole vault the shin splints I'd had last time I restarted running. Ok, and the time before, and the time before. This called not for an aggressive training schedule of consistent distance and speedwork, but rather a slow rampup of distance work, focusing on consistency and, more importantly, lots of rest and recovery between runs.

So how did my preparation go? Well, in the weeks leading up to the race, I was able to comfortably swim 1000-1200 metres in the pool, nonstop, without really taxing myself. The 1900m open water swim seemed doable, in isolation.

My longest ride was 75km. The 90 km ride seemed doable, in isolation. Of course, there rated to be more hills than I was used to, here in Ontario.

As for the half marathon? Not sure. My longest run was 16km. Most of my 12-16km runs involved my legs getting sore and tired towards the end. If I could do 21.1, I would probably need to back off the pace.

As for putting it all together? Well, this was half iron number 1, so it was always going to be a question mark anyways. Given the leadup, I was going to have to design my race day to maximize my chances of enjoying my day.

Hey Bill!

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It's ON!

National Capital Olympic Triathlon

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Everybody's alright
Everything is automatic

- Matthew Good

Monday's pool swim gave me a strong case of nerves. 1500m open water. What if I drowned?

The truth of the matter is that I swim over 1500m all the time. Ok, so I haven't done a set that long in a while, but the whole reason I decided that I could do an olympic tri was that I'd been swimming 2400-2800m twice a week in the pool. Why had the logic suddenly changed? So I focused on positive thoughts, and told myself that if I took it easy early in the swim, I'd be surprised by how quickly it went by.

This morning was an exercise in experience. Do I really need to flip out the morning of a race, even a tri, at this point? I did all the things I usually do, and took comfort in the fact that I was in my element.

About 15 minutes before the swim, I listened to the swim instructions, then got in to warm up. The air was around 17C, and the water was supposedly 24C. Yeah, it felt good once I was in. I worked on some light freestyle, really focusing on lazy arm recovery over the water. I felt good. Probably not fast, but that was exactly what I needed to feel.

I sat in the shallow water until 3 minutes to go. Then I shivered on the beach. Nothing much to say or do. The race starts, and I walk into the water. No reason to run. I don't want to be in traffic anyways.

We swim out past the buoy lines, then turn left and head for the distance. I stay far to the left, and swim parallel to the buoys. I'm all alone, and it helps me get into a really great rhythm. I sight occasionally, but can't see the turnaround buoy. No matter, I see swimmers, and I'm still in open water. All is good.

We pass the end of the beach, and still I'm off to the left. I catch a couple of swimmers, and pass them I guess. The water's murky, so if you can see them underwater, you're too close. I pass a paddler at one point - race official of some kind, so I know I'm not too far to the left. Just keep going, keep going.

The swim, I have to say, is feeling awesome. I can see why people endurance swim. Sure, there are dangers, far more than endurance cycling or running, but there's a rhythm and a peace to swimming. I'm all by myself, all I hear is myself. I'm trying to stay relaxed while moving forwards. It's very easy to enter a nice state with all of that.

Eventually, I look up and the turnaround has jumped into the foreground. I swing wide around it, never breaking freestyle or really looking around too much. The inside lane, I've found, is overrated.

Graham Beasley Triathlon

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Graham Beasley Triathlon, Sprint Tri, year 2.

Year 1 results:

500m swim + T1: 16:26 (127/210)
20km cycle: 39:29 (94/210)
5km run + T2: 26:26 (63/210)

Overall placement: 86/210

Year 2 results:

500m swim + T1: 13:07 (77/228)
20km cycle: 39:47 (63/228)
5km run + T2: 24:45 (54/227)

Overall placement: 58/227 (44/125 men, 7/17 age group)

I knocked 4:41 off of last year's time.

We had company this morning. That, combined with an early departure for an out-of-town race, precluded family attendence. So I hit the road just before 7am, with my bike and a bagload of gear behind me. Unlike last year, this year I parked on a quiet street, with nobody around. I walked down, grabbed my race kit, hit the washroom line, then went back to my car for my gear. I grabbed a spot in the transition zone near the water, which would be a disadvantage for T2, but gave me choice of an end-of-rack position.

I spotted Brian, who I ran with in the North Bay Tri. He was doing the Half Iron distance. I set up my transition area, then pondered going for a swim.

I really wanted to test out my wetsuit, and my general ability to swim, before the race started. After clearing it with a race marshall (by then the half iron swim had started), I got in near the Swim In, and swam across the river and back. The current was noticeable, but I felt pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. Then again, swimming was NEVER my strength in triathlon.

I left my wetsuit on (I'd gotten it done up once by myself, and wasn't about to take any chances), and headed over to the start line. Last year they'd encouraged wearing water shoes, due to the prevalence of zebra mussels. The prerace email hadn't mentioned them, but when I got to the docks one guy was nursing a nasty cut on his toe. Uh oh. Apparently, they were back.

I stayed on the docks until the last possible minute. I had to put my feet down once, to get into the water, but was advised that I'd be ok if I went slowly and tested the bottom gently. The 20-29 wave left, then it was our turn.

I started behind the front wave, and tried to start out strong, smooth, and most importantly aerobic. I was less concerned at first with going straight than I was with avoiding collisions. I had someone swim up my back a few times, but there wasn't a lot I could do about it. Surprisingly, whenever I looked up, I seemed to be headed pretty close to the right direction.

As with last year, we do about 225m into a stiff current, then turn around and do 275 with the current at our feet. I probably would have preferred to start slowly to build confidence, but the truth of the matter was that the current necessitated starting with power. It would be easier and much less costly, I figured, to ease up on the return journey.

About 50m before the buoy, I realized that I was swimming alone. Of course, there are two possible explanations for this. I chose to believe that I was having a good swim. It felt like I was. I breathed every 2 or 3 pulls, depending on how I felt, and ocassionaly stopped, looked up, and sputtered. I made the turn alone, which I can tell you is a huge blessing.

Off the turn, I sighted the 3 buoys, and aimed slightly to their left. Someone was swimming well off to my left, close to shore, but that looked like they were adding distance. I stuck to my guns, stuck to my line, and let myself glide a bit more between pulls. I started to get a bit winded, and felt a bit constricted in the wetsuit, but I was far from panicked. I passed under the bridge, positive that I could hear someone cheering my name. Not likely, but it felt good. On the other side, I angled to shore.

I quickly got to my bike, and sat down. Off came the wetsuit. Um, what comes next? Off with goggles and swim cap, on with glasses. On with helmet, since the rules are so tough. Socks and shoes were next, I forgot to dry one foot before I did, though, so the first sock was tough. Grabbed my race belt with my bib, took a swig of Gatorade. Anything else? Nope. Time to clip clop to the mount line.

As you can see above, my swim + T1 was over 3 minutes faster than last year. I don't think my transition was anything special, so I'll say it was my swim.

Feeling good, but winded, I got on my bike and started going. It felt like I was going to need a minute or two to get my legs. I got up to 90rpm and tried to ease my way out of town.

I recalled the course being primarily gently rolling hills. Actually, I was pretty much looking forward to the ride - flat, but with the opportunity to get some speed off the downhills.

I hit the rollers almost immediately, but was still struggling to get my heartrate down. I passed a few of the 20-something triathletes, and a few who were in the sprint duathlon. I was maybe 7 kilometers in, approaching the first turn, and feeling good about my pace and my slowly descending heartrate whne one of them went by. You know. One of those people who ride like they're from another planet? Fancy bike, aero bars, spinning some crazy gear the rest of us reserve for downhills? Yeah, that.

Mentally, you allow for that, of course. I watched the guy who wasn't even in my age group go by, and kept at it. The hills got a bit rollier, and I resolved not to push too hard, until I'd seen the turnaround. Then I'd know I was more than halfway done, and could push a little more.

I thought they'd changed the route a bit from last year, but the turnaround out by Almonte looked familiar, and I kinda had an intuition that it was coming. Just past it, I was passed by two riders of the human variety. I tried to stay out of the draft zone as they eased by me, the first two "human" riders who'd passed me on the day. I repassed one on a downhill, but was repassed the next uphill, which was fine. The speeds I was holding weren't everything I was hoping for, but I was moving.

When we finally hit town, I was still in touch with at least one of the passers. I thanked the police officer who was keeping the one busy intersection open for the race. I tried to keep it going right onto the bridge, then broke hard for the dismount line. Suddenly, my ride was over.

Feeling-wise, I was pretty happy with my ride. While I can't keep up with the superhumans, I thought that I was decently fast, but still had some room to improve. From the results above, I was 18 seconds slower than last year, and 31 positions higher. Hmmm.... Maybe the course was a bit hillier than last year. Maybe it was windier. I'll call it a cautious victory.

T2 was again incident free, but no great shakes. Someone on my rack didn't have to change shoes, and passed me in transition. Oh well.

Onto the run I went. The run is usually my forte, but at this point in my training, I wasn't expecting blazing speed. I quickly broke the run up into thirds - the first third, up to 2km, I'd keep my cadence high, but stay relaxed. In the middle third, from 2-4km, I'd keep myself slightly breathless. Over the final third (1km, yeah yeah, mathmatically they're uneven, but any racer will tell you they're close) I'd do whatever I could (even if that wasn't much).

I was passed around 1.5km by a nice young lady (20-something) in a green top. It's sad, but I don't have to be very far into the 30-something age group for 20-somethings to be "young ladies". Somewhere, someone's laughing at me. Oh yeah, that would be me. Anyways, my exertion-dazed mind told me that she was already 5 minutes ahead of me, so I would never have beat her anyways. Just after the 2km mark, a 40 year old man passed me. Again, I figured he was ahead because of the different start time. This time I was right. Fortunately, I'd passed a few runners of my own, including at least one in my age group.

At the turnaround, I took stock of what was behind me. I saw two likely candidates for people in my age group who were maybe 15 seconds behind. I simply could not afford to let up on the way home.

I ran through the water station, and dumped water on my head. I hadn't noticed heat on the bike, but it was getting hot - probably already 25 and humid, I'd say. Green shirted lady wasn't pulling away from me, which gave me some courage. I could imagine the guys behind me, though, and I knew I'd have to break them with pace, or they'd catch me at the end. (No illusions of TdF grandeur in me mid-race, eh?)

The 4km mark seemed to come early. I couldn't see the bridge, I couldn't see the turn. I passed another young lady who was struggling. To be fair, I probably sounded to her like I was. I was losing control of 2-and-2 breathing, and I wasn't quiet about it. Still, I didn't really think I'd picked it up.

Then, there was the bridge. It seemed so close. 400m? Dunno. Can't go just yet. We make the turn. Somehow, there are 5 or 6 of us, all close, including green shirted young lady and 40 year old guy. Someone recognizes someone else, and invites them to "go". Suddenly, we're all going, picking up the pace, soaking up the cheering, eying the finish line greedily. Behind me is quiet. No real point in passing anyone in front of me, and no real inclination too. I finish strongly, but not insanely.

I ran 1:41 better than last year. I know last year's run felt awful. This year's run didn't feel great, but was probably still around 23:00 for 5km. Not bad for being a bit low on speed yet.

Once again, I really loved this triathlon. Familiarity made me comfortable, which put me in a good state mentally. If I want to move on to olympic distances, I may have some work to do. For now, though, I'm pretty happy with the current state of my fitness.

This Morning's Email

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GOOD NEWS for what you thought was your "bad news"

GOOD NEWS for all of you sprint triathlon participants - what you thought was a 'slow' 500 metre swim time was in fact probably a great 750 metre swim time. Yup - several of you have pointed out that the 500 metre swim was a 'tad' long - 250 metres to be exact! The actual turn for the 500 metre swim should have been the single swim buoy BEFORE the double swim buoy that you actually all swam around. So - congratulations to you all on your 'new' performance of the 750 metre swim course. We were quite pleased with how the 'timing' of the whole thing went so will actually keep this 750 metre course as the official distance of The Canadian Sprint. Our apologies for the mistake, but congratulations on your 'improved' swim times. We have made the change on the results which are posted on our website.

Looks like I averaged something like 2:00/100m in open water. I'll take it!

The Canadian Sprint Triathlon

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Alarm was set for 5, but I think I woke up just after 4am. Oh yay. One of those days. After a time of trying to get back to sleep, I got up, grabbed Cheerios and milk, and logged onto the computer for a bit. Dark. Quiet. Cheerios. Yum.

Around 5:30 I hit the washroom, got dressed, and gathered my stuff. Loaded the bike carefully onto the bike rack. Grabbed a pair of pullover pants and a sweatshirt, when the weather channel said it was only 14 out. Then, I was off.

National Captial Sprint Triathlon

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The results have just been posted, and I'm laughing. More on that in a minute.

I ran the National Capital Sprint Triathlon today. My third triathlon, second at the sprint distance, and best and most fun race yet. I was faster, I was more comfortable, I was more confident, and I finally had family in attendance.

Graham Beasley Triathlon

| 8 Comments

Graham Beasley Sprint Triathlon:

500m swim + T1: 16:26 (127/210)
20km cycle: 39:29 (94/210)
5km run + T2: 26:26 (63/210)

Overall placement: 86/210

Riverkeeper Try-a-Tri

| 9 Comments

Veni, Vidi, Vici, I guess. I am now a triathlete.

...and probably also a convert.

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Recent Comments

  • jank: Man, was it great seeing you out on the run read more
  • jank: Epic it was. (My secret motivation, too) read more
  • jank: Did you ever find the pedal? read more
  • Dave (Memphis MOJO): Congrats on finishing. Sounds like you did great! read more
  • Wendy: Well Done Warren! Finishing upright is an achievement, for sure. read more
  • jank: I remember kind of semi strolling/jogging through T1 too, with read more
  • warren: I have no idea how I lost my pedal either. read more
  • Jon (was) in Michigan: I'm glad you made it, Warren. It sounds like it read more
  • Jon (was) in Michigan: I just can't imagine what it feels like to swim read more
  • jank: Sounds like we're on the same page. read more

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