Shawnigan / Victoria Half Ironman Race Reports

Triathlon season is alive.  I just finished my second Half Ironman 3 days ago and it's hard to believe the next one is just 11 days away.  My training this year has been less than stellar so as to be expected my results have not been that great so far, but there have been some positives.  Race reports below.

First race of the season was at Shawnigan Lake on May 30.  It was an amazing trip with about 10 people from the UBC Tri Club heading out for the adventure.  Big thanks to Celeste's mom for putting us all up.  The race started with a swim in freezing cold waters.  I'm glad I went in early to let my body adjust to the temperature because the shock when my face hit the water was unbearable at first.  Soon the water was fine to swim in and the real challenge was how the cold would be affecting me later on in the race.

When I got on the bike I had a hard time getting my legs going because they were so cold.  I keep telling my legs to spin but they wouldn't listen.  It was a 4-lap course around the lake and my first lap was okay, but then my second lap was a couple minutes slower and wasn't going well.  When I hit the third lap something happened - my legs came alive and my adrenaline was pumping.  I started yelling at myself to push.  Not in my mind, I'm talking full out yelling out loud.  I'm sure people thought I was crazy.  Every time my legs started to burn I just keep yelling, "oh yeah! I love it! I love the burn!"  This lap was 3 minutes faster and I held that pace for the next lap passing a lot of people.  It was the first time I had a faster second half so I was pretty happy about that.

The run was average.  I'm not running as much this year, and what was once my strongest event has now seemed to become my weakest.  I held a consistent 5:00min/km pace for the whole 21 km and finished in just under 5:15.

My legs were tired but as I approached the finish line I had the idea to ninja kick across the end, so I did.

Thanks to a small amount of people in my age group and two of them dropping out of the race I surprisingly finished 3rd in my age group.

I had three weeks to go until my next race in Victoria.  I decided to start going to the open water swims at Kits Beach with Vowsa to work on my open water swimming and sighting.  This proved to pay off as my Victoria swim time was about 6 minutes faster than at Shawnigan.

The bike course in Victoria was pretty tough.  There are a lot of rolling hills which take a toll on the legs and it got pretty painful near the end but I pushed through.  I started the run feeling okay, legs were sore, but I was pushing through and they started to warm up.  I was able to catch up to and pass a couple of people in my age group so it wasn't going too bad.

For a couple of days prior to the race I had been a little sick and my appetite wasn't that big.  This was my problem in Victoria.  Near the end of my first lap of a two lap run course I started to feel hungry.  I`ve never felt hungry in a race before and I knew this was going to be trouble.  I started to feel light-headed, which turned to dizziness.  I began to run zigzagged and my vision was going in and out.  Clearly I was bonking.  I considered trying to push through it and hopefully making it to the finish but I sensible decided that the smart thing to do was to pull the plug.  I finished the race but I walked from 15km on and so I was passed a lot.  I dropped 74 spots on the run.  I ran the last 500m or so and finished just under 5:30.

Sure the race didn`t go well, but I dropped a lot of time off the swim, and my bike ride was relatively good.  It was slower than Shawnigan but the course was a lot harder so that was fine.  I just need to work on my running and I should be able to come in sub-5 consistently.  I also dropped a minute off both transitions.  So there have been improvements.  Hopefully I can plan my nutrition better and have a good race in Vancouver July 4.  I think it`s too soon to make any substantial gains on the run but hopefully by the Sooke race at the end of August I`ll be cruising.

Here are the results:

Swim: 39:24
T1: 3:23
Bike: 2:44:19
T2: 2:28
Run: 1:45:23
Finish: 5:14:55

Swim: 33:17
T1: 2:10
Bike: 2:47:12
T2: 1:28
Run: 2:04:46
Finish: 5:28:51


Vincent said...

thats a great swim in Victoria! And I know the feeling, I was dying on the run as well

Winstonian said...

Andrew, I admire your warrior mentality, and I know you'll be a force to be recking with in Vancouver.

Winstonian said...

reckoned* =)

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