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Chinook 51.5 Triathlon - Triathlon

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Calgary, Alberta
Chinook Triathlon Festival
70F / 21C
Total Time = 3h 21m 29s
Overall Rank = 124/134
Age Group = M30-39
Age Group Rank = 42/45
Pre-race routine:

First Oly!

My training got thrown for a loop when I started doing an out-of-town project 4 weeks before race day -- made it difficult to keep up with a consistent training regimen. I did manage to cover each of the distances as standalone, plus some... swim + 50%, bike + 25%, run + 100% (half marathon).

The event had OWS practice the week before -- tested out my new (used) wetsuit and practised a slow, controlled front crawl without losing breath or experiencing panic. Also did a brief brick mid-week but otherwise, I took my tapering seriously...!

Pasta dinner the night before. Breakfast of strawberries, yogurt, granola, peanut butter toast, OJ.
Event warmup:

My wife joined me for the day -- nice to have a sherpa!

We left a bit late -- also had to make a pit stop to deal with some... er.... GI issues. Quite worried that I was catching the sickness that had been floating around my family -- but happily enough had no further issues.

Got to the event with limited time to spare -- quickly set up transition. We missed the start of the half-iron race, but we wandered over to watch everyone finish their first lap, and then later zip out to T1. Yeesh, some of those folks are speedy...!

At T-45, I had a final bio break, and put on the wetsuit.
At T-30, I went in the water to warm up. Started with a few minutes of breast stroke, then tried 20 strokes of front crawl, then 50 strokes. Everything going well!
At T-10, we lined up in the start corral. Seeded myself toward the back, and tried to remember -- above all else -- slow and steady, slow and steady.... Chatted a bit with a couple of other athletes.
And.... the horn blows and we're off!
  • 37m 1s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 28s / 100 meters

Last OWS (in September 2012), I got swept up in the moment -- started way too quickly, and ran out of steam very early. Did 80% breast stroke -- the goal this time was to have a successful, panic-free swim...

  • ... WHICH I DID!!!!!!! Complete 180 from last time. I did 80-90% front crawl, never felt panicked, kept my stroke slow and steady, did a reasonable job of sighting. I first knew things were going well when I rounded the second buoy and checked my watch -- 10:xx. Really?!? I finished the first lap in 17:xx which was lightning speed for me. Second lap was a bit slower (19:xx) but still really good. Overall time was a 1500m PR for me.

  • What was the key? Proactively switching to breast stroke... anytime I had a setback -- before it got worse. Running out of breath, swallow some water, water in the goggles, need to sight... I switched to breast stroke, if only for a couple of strokes. Really helped prevent any minor setback from becoming something worse. May not be the fastest approach, but it worked like a charm. Having a strategy for dealing with setbacks made me way more confident about plowing ahead with front crawl.

    First leg was really busy -- lots of body contact nearly the entire way -- quite a pain to deal with. Things started to open up on the second leg, and for the third leg and the entire second lap, I was so alone I thought I was off course!

    Best feeling in the world was touching sand on the final lap.... I did manage to embarrass myself emerging from the water -- my legs buckled under for a moment, and I went down. No harm no foul -- but right in full view of the spectators, bad timing..... though Kim later told me that I wasn't the only one!
    What would you do differently?:

    Nothing. I was so happy with the swim, wouldn't change a thing. For next time, I need to practice sighting.
    Transition 1
    • 04m 11s

    Wetsuit strippers! First experience with them... quite a nice touch, I must say...

    Kim was cheering me at the swim exit, and then again at transition. Otherwise nothing too notable here. Tried to slap on a bit of sunscreen, but I certainly didn't end up with 100% coverage!
    What would you do differently?:

    Arrive at transition earlier, and fully think through the placement of everything. I put the towel on bottom (with shoes on top), even though the towel is the first thing I want. As a result, I forgot to dry my left foot, which led to some issues during the run.
    • 1h 28m 54s
    • 40 kms
    • 27.13 km/hr

    Overall -- better than I'd hoped. Was worried about the wind, but I've done enough wind training that it was no big deal.

    0-5km: Slight downhill, downwind. Though I didn't realize it! I was going at a good clip, and thought I was pretty hot stuff!

    5-10km: Slight uphill, upwind. Definitely a slow pace (under 20 km /hr) but I was feeling good. I think I had convinced myself that this section would be steeper uphill, so it was easier than expected. Not faster, mind you... but easier.

    10-15km: Steeper uphill, upwind. This was my biggest fear going in -- but again, it wasn't too bad. I did have an embarrassing moment when I literally drove off the road -- provided a good chuckle to the other cyclists....

    15-20km: Rolling hills, upwind. By this time we were out in farm country, so that plus the rolling hills made it feel exactly like my training neighbourhood! Was nice to have a few downhills after the long climb up.

    20-35km: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! Downhill, downwind. I swear, I don't think I went under 35 km/hr this entire time. THIS is why I love cycling. Got passed by the first half-iron racers -- man they were zippy!

    35-40km: Slight uphill, upwind. Not a fun way to end the bike, race organizers! But not too bad. At this point, I knew I had a solid bike leg in the bag -- so was primarily focused on not overcooking the legs.

    Managed to drink most of a Powerade bottle, and eat two granola bars.

    What would you do differently?:

    Hard to say. Other than just generally increasing fitness, losing weight, and thus getting my speed up.
    Transition 2
    • 01m 48s

    Was nice to be back in an area with spectators (including my wife...)

    Lots of bikes in T2 by the time I got there -- managed to walk right past my stuff which added a bit of time. Luckily, since I still use the same shoes for bike and run, it was still a reasonably fast transition.
    What would you do differently?:

    Find my stuff?
    • 1h 09m 33s
    • 10 kms
    • 06m 55s  min/km

    Not fun. By the time I hit the run, I had been going for 2h10min -- I've done that a few times before, but no farther. So I was in new territory -- and my cardiovascular system was not amused. Ended up doing a lot of run / walk intervals. Good news is, my legs themselves were OK.

    For the first 3-4 km, I "rewarded" myself with a 30-45 second walk at every km marker. As I went through -- the walks became more and more frequent. Particularly at the 5-8 km point, which was right in the valley, bright hot sun, no wind.... most of my run training was in cold weather, and I struggled a bit in the rays.

    Sooooo happy to see the final turnaround! Less happy to see "Heartbreak Hill" which was a nasty, nasty hill at the 9km mark.

    A bit disappointed that I was passed by a bunch of people in the last 2 km -- but I was well beyond my body's comfort zone....

    Convinced myself to run again for the last 500m (for show, naturally!). Right at the end, I found my "personal cheering section' again. Very happy to cross the finish!
    What would you do differently?:

    I need to be more diligent about longer training sessions. If I intend to do Olys again, I need to get to the point where 2+ hours is boring and routine.

    Also need to rethink nutrition a bit. I was super hungry -- need to eat more on the bike. And perhaps invest in a water belt.

    Post race
    Warm down:

    Eat banana, drink water, sit for a few minutes. Didn't have much chance to loiter, as we needed to get to our daughter's dance recital!

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    Same old story... weight, cardiovascular strength, need more training. But I can clearly see improvement from prior events -- fantastic to see!

    Event comments:

    Overall good. The race organization was "casual" -- had a local community feel, which was good. Only suggestion would be more / better aid stations... particularly on the run. Maybe the provincial park didn't allow more, but it felt like a long way between aid stations.

    Last updated: 2012-10-07 12:00 AM
    00:37:01 | 1500 meters | 02m 28s / 100meters
    Age Group: 43/45
    Overall: 126/134
    Performance: Good
    Course: 2 laps of 750m in Lake Midnapore. Large right-angled triangle.
    Start type: Wade Plus:
    Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
    200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
    Breathing: Good Drafting:
    Waves: Navigation:
    Time: 04:11
    Performance: Average
    Cap removal: Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
    Jump on bike:
    Getting up to speed:
    01:28:54 | 40 kms | 27.13 km/hr
    Age Group: 43/45
    Overall: 129/134
    Performance: Good
    Actual distance was a bit less (~38.5 km or so) as measured by Garmin & trip computer
    Wind: Some
    Course: Out-and-back on Highway 22X. First 10 km flat / slight uphill, then 5 km more uphill, then 5 km slight rolling -- then reverse the whole thing.
    Road:   Cadence:
    Turns: Cornering:
    Gear changes: Hills:
    Race pace: Drinks:
    Time: 01:48
    Overall: Average
    Riding w/ feet on shoes
    Jumping off bike
    Running with bike
    Racking bike
    Shoe and helmet removal
    01:09:33 | 10 kms | 06m 55s  min/km
    Age Group: 41/45
    Overall: 121/134
    Performance: Below average
    Course: Short run through suburbs, then a run through Fish Creek Park.
    Keeping cool Drinking
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Mental exertion [1-5]
    Physical exertion [1-5]
    Good race? Yes
    Course challenge Just right
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? Yes
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? No
    Post race activities:
    Race evaluation [1-5] 4

    2013-06-16 1:26 AM

    User image

    Calgary, AB
    Subject: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon

    2013-06-16 11:02 PM
    in reply to: #4777628

    User image

    Greenville, SC
    Subject: RE: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon
    Great Race, Scott! Congrats on your first Olympic! Also great to hear that you see yourself improving so much. Keep at it, you're doing great!
    My Race Log
    2013-06-17 2:26 AM
    in reply to: leechj

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    ann arbor, michigan
    Subject: RE: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon
    Way to set a PR.

    Now you have a bar to beat in the next one

    I am really impressed with how your hard work is paying off.
    My Race Log
    2013-06-17 9:04 AM
    in reply to: wannabefaster

    User image

    Simsbury, Connecticut
    Subject: RE: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon
    Nice job!!
    My Race Log
    2013-06-17 10:38 AM
    in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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    South Alabama
    Subject: RE: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon
    Great job Scott! Always great to see progress. Glad to see that you had a much more comfortable swim. Keep it up!
    My Race Log
    2013-06-18 12:26 PM
    in reply to: slornow

    User image

    Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
    Subject: RE: Chinook 51.5 Triathlon
    Steady improvement is what it's all about.  Congratulations on a great race!
    My Training LogMy Race Log

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