Monday, 21 June 2010

Smiths Falls Classic Sprint Tri - Race Report

Not nearly as good as I had hoped for, but let's be honest - after suffering from some sort of stomach "issue" for the last three weeks, I'm proud of this one. I suffered a lot, and I fully earned this finisher's medal!

This race day was my self-proclaimed Father's Day treat, and my wife and daughter made it oh-so special by being there for the whole thing. We spent the night in Smiths Falls so we didn't have to be up crazy early to make the races, but my daughter, nervous and excited for her first race, was up early anyways! The two of us got our race kits while mom slept, and I tried to update my daughter on what was going to go on that day. She seemed very excited to do the day!

As I prep-ed for the tri, my good buddy Scott and his family met up with us making the day even more special. All the kids were going to do the 2k Fun Run (with my wife and Scott in tow). As I suited up, the kids got ready. I gave hugs and kisses to my family who had to start the 2k run at the same time as my tri, and sadly left for the water (I really wanted to see my girls run!).

My swim wave headed off and I felt pretty good. My stroke was long and smooth, with a reasonable turnover. And for once, I was sighting really well - I saw all buoys easily and clearly, and headed right for them. All was good, and I was hoping that my girls where doing well on the 2k run. I was out of the water in 9min for the 500m.

I ran into the T-zone looking for the 2k runners - they weren't back yet. So I got ready for the ride, and this is when I knew I was in trouble. I just couldn't get the wetsuit off my legs. It's normally tough, but it was extra tough - there was no real strength in me. I managed to get it off finally, suit up for the run and got out of T1 in about 4min30.

The bike started tough for me - legs like lead, heart rate was up. I just figured it was (a) jitters, (b) the switchover from the swim, and (c) I haven't been training for a while to get over this stomach issue. But a few minutes later, as I tried to take in gels and fluid, I found that it was one more thing: (d) my stomach issues aren't over. I just couldn't eat or drink the way I needed to, and my HR kept climbing. This heaviness was due to illness more than anything else, and in realizing that, I decided to ride smart - easier gears, smart hill climbing, tight tuck in the wind. I was in survival mode.

I came into T2 with a great time on the bike, averaging nearly 32kph somehow. But I was spent. Big time.

And just when I needed it, my family and friends were there cheering me in! I started to tear up when I saw them, and a bit more when I saw my daughter proudly wearing her finisher's medal! I was so proud!
T2 was far too fast for me - about 1min20 - 'cause I needed rest. I was running on empty (literally) and I took extra time with hugs and kisses when Scott (no kisses for him) said "Hey, you're in a race you know!" With that, I was off again, trying my best to manage the HR which was now really high. The run became one of character - I told my daughter that it doesn't matter if you run or walk or do both, as long as you finish. Now it was my turn to heed my own advice.

I allowed myself to just do what I needed to. There was no PR happening today, and I needed to make sure I didn't drive my "illness" ahead further, so I just ran how I felt. I had no HRM due to batteries being dead, so it was all based on feel. I made it about 3k when I just had to walk. Everything was VERY tired, but nothing hurt except my head and my gut, and I needed to calm things down for a minute, then I shuffled along again. The entire run (not including T2) was still under 30min which surprises the hell out of me. A finish time of 1hr35 given the condition I was in is something I'm proud of, even though I now realize that I probably shouldn't have done the race. 20/20 hindsight.

The other really proud moment was my last 100m when my daughter surprised me and ran in with me! Honestly, I'd take that over a finish in Kona any day.
My wife, daughter and friends really made this a great day for me, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. We've got lots of memories to add to the bucket, and seeing the kids all proud of themselves was magical. Great times.

My daughter now wants to do the 1k run on Canada Day. We'll have to see if that will fit into the plans.

As for me, I've decided to drop the half iron in July. I really don't want to, but as I sit and wait for my doctor's appointment to arrive this evening, I'm feeling it's best. Once I'm back to being healthy, it's back to the training, but in a different way. I want to focus on improving my run, and my run off the bike. I've got a lot of work there, but it'll all be worth it.

Thanks for reading!

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