Sunday, 22 June 2008

Smiths Falls Classic - Sprint Tri Race Report

Swim: 500m @ 11min12 (includes 100m run) T1: 3min13 Bike: 26km @ 49min23 T2: 2min29 Run: 5km @ 23min57 Total Time: 1hr30min15 Place: 159/246 overall; 14/20 M35-39

First off, I've gotta say that there's something up. This is the second race, and the second week in a row, where my bib number was #1 again. Honest! So much pressure! Or it could just be that my last name starts with "Ab...." I should look on the bright side - I get everyone talking to me through the race about it.

Second, and more importantly, big kudos to Peter, my coworker/running partner for doing his first triathlon ever - at the age of 53 no less! That's awesome, and it shows me that there's still a long time left for all of us to get involved in this stuff.

This race actually started yesterday, with big encouragement from both my wife and daughter. I had booked a room at a hotel in Smiths Falls thinking that the whole family would head down for the race. Unfortunately, the weather wouldn't have helped matters, and my wife and daughter would have been trying to find something to do while I did my thing. They decided to stay in Ottawa and send me off to spend the night on my own, saving me an early trip on Sunday morning. I didn't leave until 8pm - I knew I'd miss them horribly, even knowing it was just one night. But hey - it's the first time in 4yrs or so that I've been without one or the other. I was on my own to do whatever I wanted, which ended up being getting the race gear ready, and watching UFC and South Park.

The hotel was great, and I really, really appreciated both waking up later on race day, and having a late checkout so I could wash up after the race. Those two things were well worth the $100. Huge love to my wife and daughter!

Once onsite, I decided to do the swim with the wetsuit today, thinking that this race would be more for enjoyment than for competition. Of course, that didn't last too long and soon I was pushing it harder than I should have. But it was really quite fun - strong current, more people participating than last year, good weather - it all added up for some big (anaerobic) fun. I came out of the water in about 9min, but ended up fighting with the wetsuit for quite some time. That led to my long T1, which I didn't really mind. :)

The extra push continued on the bike as well, where the wind suddenly woke up and came from the west. There was more grinding than I expected on this ride, but the scenery passed the time quickly (as did all the "Hey - I passed #1!" comments). I felt pretty solid throughout, and managed to reel my HR down below lactate threshold for the latter part of the ride. That was to help out with the run.

Unfortunately it didn't help me find my spot in T2. I spent a LONG time looking for it, even stopping in the middle of the T-zone to scan every single row until I found mine. I had forgotten that I laid my wetsuit on top of my backpack, and then lost my reference point. I'm sure that took a good minute at least.

And then the run. I actually felt pretty good for about 1km, where my HRM showed a 4min54/km pace. "No way - this foot pod's off" I thought. The next kilometer showed a 5min/km pace. "Can't be - this foot pod's gotta be bouncing around." After 2 more kilometers I started to realize that either my foot pod had lost it consistently, or it was bang on. Either way, I was hurting but I stayed focused, remembering that I will be hurting more than that come time for the half-iron. In the end, that foot pod was working just fine, and I nailed down a sub-5min/km pace for the run. I think that might be a new 5km PR - and if it is, I'll do a 1hr warmup before my next 5km race! :)

I didn't PR this race, but that didn't matter. I had a great time, and got to see some great athletes out there (old and young). And now, the next three weeks is the final push to the half-iron!

It's starting to feel more and more like inside I'm saying "Bring it on!"

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