Ironman Calgary 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Calgary, Alberta
12C / 54F
Total Time = 5h 25m 33s
Overall Rank = 176/805
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 32/115
Pre-race routine:

This was my 2nd "bag in advance" style race, first one from home. So staging all my bags and stuff was totally different which means new checklist, yay! More on my poor clothing choices later.

Bike was dropped off on Sat, and I had a quick dip in the lake (17 degrees C (63F) - brrrrr. But I've been in a lot colder so it was ok. Only my 3rd open water swim this year but whatever.

Other than a small 10k bike to test any last bike changes (new chain, wheelbuilder cover taped on) I did nothing for the last 3 days. Some fast strides on Wed was the last workout then just rest and get twitchy.

As I'm on the "load up 2 days before race" boat, I ate like a horse on Thurs/Friday - chili noodles/chicken/hot & sour soup twice, Sat dinner was light porkchop and rice.

Since they bumped the start time up to 6:10, I had to get up at 3:45 to eat something then drive 15 mins to catch one of the 4:30am buses. So I open the door to leave, and oh crap. It's raining, bad. It's August, it's supposed to be hot. I don't mind getting wet but this is bloody cold. And my only kit is the new Desoto cooler long sleeve shirt, and tri shorts. Even my bike shoes are tri-shoes full of holes. Well I always said I'd suck it up, so I put on my gortex snowboard shell (hood and all) with the decision to wear it if it was pouring no matter how retarded it looked.

Event warmup:

The PLAN was to take one of the earlier buses, have time for a potty, a warmup/cooldown swim, and start nice and early. As I walked up to the buses after parking, I happened to be one of the last ones on a bus that was just leaving. Perfect, extra time I thought! Not so much. If I hadn't caught that bus I think I would have really been screwed.

After the bus ride, we arrived just after 5:35 for a 6:20 start. Seems ok, no panic. Rain seeming to let up, flip-flopping about whether to put my jacket into the t1 bag or not, hrmm, decided not to.

After trying to setup my bottles/bike kit, find a floor pump to fill my tires (latex tubes, drained them a bit the day before so they didn't pop) it was time for the pros to go (so 10 mins before my wave) and I didn't even have my suit on, nor did I go to the bathroom. Can't find my HRM strp (I left it in my jacket "so I wouldn't forget it" argh). No HR for this race.

Potty lineup is a mile long for the next waves, so into the bushes for a quick pee, and on goes the wetsuit. 30 seconds to gun, a spectator helps me zip up and I make my way to the middle not because I'm fast but I HAVE to get the wet/cold shock over with. A quick dunk, face into the ice water and they're counting down 10 seconds to go. So much for being organized and having time to spare.

  • 40m 17s
  • 2000 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

Yah that's right. 60/115 AG, 444/805 Overall for the swim. Dead MOP. On my last oly same thing, middle pack swim, top 20% bike and top 10 run.

Can't put it off any more, I gotta learn to swim faster and put in the work, or just switch to dus.

What would you do differently?:

Swim more.

Transition 1
  • 06m 42s

Zonked again on the T1. IMO I'm FAST on Olympic/sprints but this bag thing just screws me up. I even had an ordered list memorized the night before.

So my first screwup is the wetsuit strippers. Never had em before. Quickly took off the garmin 310 as I walked up (I know from exp I can't get suit off with it on), tossed it on the ground, ok good. They grap my legs - oh crap my arm is stuck cause I still have my google and neo-cap in my hand! ARGH, newbie 101 mistake, bah. Just let go you say? Hard when the suit is wrapped around your fist after having two ladies haul on it. The 3 of us manage to get my arm out, and off I go to grab my bag. Run past everyone else and even find a big rock to sit on. I already wearing my shirt and tri shorts, so really all I need to do is "Sunblock - nope, it's raining", "Cooler skullcap - uh, kinda dumb but it keeps the sweat out of my eyes", Helmet, glasses (in a case cause of the bag), Shoes (no socks even, should be quick). Then stuff my wetsuit into the little red bag. Everyone else seems to be able to, but crap not me. One of the Vs comes over to help and takes my bag, probably felt bad for me after 20+ people went by.

Finally grab my bike, check tires are not flat and away I go (finally something going right).

What would you do differently?:

Practice stuffing a wetsuit into a too-small ziplock? Mentally remember to drop the googles/cap etc? Not suck?

  • 2h 54m 17s
  • 94 kms
  • 32.36 km/hr

Marathon was A race this year so no bike until June. Rode to work hard each monday (30k each way) and got in a few long rides. Only a couple trainer sessions though. Every bike workout was 20 mins at FTP or higher, then hard the rest. Much quicker improvement than last year IM training when I did a lot of z1/z2 miles though as general run fitness carried over somewhat to the bike.

That all said, I was tempted to bail in the first hour. I was wet and FREEZING in the wind. My feet were completely soaked, and my cooler shirt was doing its job. Oddly enough the cooler skullcap was actually helping under the helmet, my head felt ok. I'm not even sure of the wind direction as it seemed just everywhere. When I took my 1 pee break (just pulled over to the side, didn't bother getting off the bike) I learned a whole new meaning to the term shrinkage. Like wow, even skiing in -30 this didn't happen. Hello Grade 1 all over again.

What would you do differently?:

Moar biking, and harder. Use my powermeter to work even more efficiently.

In cooler weather, I will not use Infinit. Works wonderful when hot and sweaty, not so much when cold. I ended up having to piss way more than normal cause my calories were all in liquid which I was not sweating out.

In hindsight since it was not hot like last year I should have stuck with gels and water, separating the calories and hydration into two issues rather than 1 lump.

Transition 2
  • 05m 35s

Forgot a towel in the bag so wet soggy feet went into the socks and then shoes on. I did take a bit to put on some sunblock as it was still overcast but I don't take chances.

Didn't bother taking the shoes off on the bike as it was a bit rough, and really with my T times, it's not going to help.

I also moved 2 mins from my run to T2 as I went to the potty and pissed like 2L immediately after crossing the run mat. My GPS shows 2 mins of pee time, cripes.

What would you do differently?:

Balance fluids on the bike so I don't have to pee as much, and just follow the checklist and prepare for the weather.

  • 1h 38m 43s
  • 21.08 kms
  • 04m 41s  min/km

Ok yah I ran more so far this year than all last year. So this was my race redemption to a degree. Fastest HM in March (before marathon in May) was 1:36, I pulled a 1:39 on this run. Felt good, felt fast, held my numbers. No heat issues at all, perfectly comfortable in the shoes and shirt/hat.

Fully hydrated from the infinit so just had some water and a few gators at maybe 4 stations? Ate one of my gels at the 8k mark.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe go a bit harder on the bike as I'm sure I could give up 1 min run time for 3-5 mins of bike gain.

Post race
Warm down:

Holy crap, I even screwed up the finish. I even thought to myself, ok don't be a dick and sprint past someone right before the tape cause this is a big deal for many of them so I actually made sure to pass who I wanted at the last K but no more after the finish shute. I even noted going over the timing mat well before the arch (so the race is OVER) but half-brain-dead me saw the backup at the tape/finish arch and just went through and left, screwing up whoever was in there. The announcer managed my name and made a funny comment "Finish line, check the watch - I like that!". Sigh.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I WILL work on my swim. And I will do more bike, depending on if I get into IMC or not this year. That will determine which halfs I do etc.

My main goal is to get into the 30s for 10K running though.

Event comments:

Race itself is no frills (I don't eat the carb dinners or any of that stuff anyway). Some draws and more samples/swag would be nice but whatever. The bike course was safe with lots of signs and cops, there were TONS of awesome volounteers and that's what matters most to me.

I found all the pre-race logistics a pain in the butt. Driving to the hotel to get package/expo, then driving the bike all the way out to ghost lake, driving back, driving to the casino race morning, bus out to ghost lake, etc. Also the wind makes year to year comparisons difficult, more so than a out and back/loop course.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-31 12:00 AM
00:40:17 | 2000 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 60/115
Overall: 444/805
Performance: Average
60/115 AG, 444/805 Overall (blech) My Garmin said 2000 dead on, but whatever. 2-3 open water swims, and minimum swimming in the pool so can't expect more than 2mins/100. I've got a few 1 on 1 lessons then a few months of swim focus are in order in the off season.
Suit: Helix
Course: Single clockwise loop, wave starts, about 250 in mine.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 17C / 63F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:42
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:54:17 | 94 kms | 32.36 km/hr
Age Group: 40/115
Overall: 219/805
Performance: Average
Avg Pwr: 173 W (target 178) Avg Cad: 83 (target 85) 40/115 AG, 219/805 Overall My last FTP test was 215 so for zone 3 I needed a 163-194 range. Not too shabby, although it was pretty funny playing tag with some of the on/off bikers. They'd blow past me, then I'd pass them, then pass me again, over and over - I'm just going along trying to hold 180 or so W the whole time. Bike P2SL, wheelbuilder cover on kinlin trainer wheel. Front stock R500 shimano, full flat kit, chainbreaker, 2 tubes, 3 co2, 2.5 bottles Infinit, Mich latex tubes, pro-race3 clinchers.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: This course is a 1 way point to point. Lots of decent hills but no prolonged (1km+) climbing other than the cochrane hill which has got some flat spots to catch your breath. Wind is a big factor out here. If it's at your back, you will fly. It can get up to 80km/hr. If it's in your face, you will suffer to hit 18 mph. My training ride of the course had east wind in the face and I pulled a 3:15. And my god holy mechanical screwups for other riders. In the first 10K I saw at least 15 dudes and dudettes on the side messing with their bikes. Ok I can understand not racing with armidillos but how about don't use paper thin velodome tires, and don't mess with your derailers/seats the day before a race?
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 05:35
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:38:43 | 21.08 kms | 04m 41s  min/km
Age Group: 16/115
Overall: 94/805
Performance: Good
16/115 AG, 94/805 Overall Avg Pace: 4:48 (Target 4:48 - first 5K at 5:00ish, then last 16 at 4:30-4:45) Argh, forgot to set watch to lap every 1K. So don't have lap splits. Curses.
Course: Out and back around west side of Glenmore res. I run this all the time, so I know the course like the back of my hand, including how deceptively far the run along the top ridge is since it's loops around so much. From the map, I thought the turn around was closer to Glenmore landing so I got one of those rare "Oh, it's sooner than I though, hurray" moments when it was just past the sailing club.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %3 lbs
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4