Vancouver Half Iron Race Report

This post will be lame because I'm too lazy to come up with something sweet to say or even post any pictures.

I did the Vancouver Half Iron this past weekend and it went a little something like this:

The swim was nuts.  It was my first beach start ever - typically you start in waist deep water, and for some reason it was more ferocious than usual.  I'm used to bumping into people and receiving / dishing out little kicks but on this swim I got kicked in the face, then kicked in the groin, and later smacked on the back of the head.  Who does breast stroke at the start of a swim?  Seriously, if you're going to be kicking out to the side, swim out of the way, and not where you are going to be assaulting my junk.  With that said, I was overall happy with my swim performance, coming out of the water in just under 35 minutes.

I was excited to use my new Garmin Forerunner 310XT Multi-sport GPS watch to track my race.  I spent a little time the night before learning how to use the multi-sport function but on race day I forgot and screwed up my timing.  About 5 minutes into the bike I reset my watch so I wasn't exactly sure what my time was for the rest of the race.

The bike was my worst bike this year.  I don't know what happened.  I've felt strong the last couple of weeks and even the day before we went on a short bike ride and my legs felt strong, but on race day they just felt empty.  Normally it takes me a little while to get going as I adjust from swim to bike but on this race it was the opposite.  I thought I had a decent first lap of a four lap course but then I got slower and slower each time, allowing more and more people to pass me.  It got pretty depressing.

By the time I got off the bike and was in T2 eating a Snickers bar (most delicious Snickers bar of my life by the way) I starting thinking about pulling the plug on the race.  It's hard when you have a personal best you want to improve on but know there is no chance.  I thought to myself, do I really want to run 20km just to do worse than I did last year?  I was hungry and depressed but wasn't made up on my mind so I started out on the run knowing that the run course passes by the transition area every 5km and I could drop out in 5km if I wanted to.  I got about 1 or 2 km in when I decided, yep - I'm dropping out and I started to walk.  I don't know if it was fatigue or that stupid Shaun White Oakley ad I saw on the bus stop that really annoyed me.  You know the one, Inside Outlaw or something like that.  I don't know why that bugs me so much but every time I see it I'm annoyed.

When I neared the 5km mark I couldn't bring myself to quit just yet so I ventured on.  I ran into Scott Chris who was volunteering that day and I stopped and chatted with him for a couple of minutes.  I continued walking for about 5 minutes and then started to run.  For some reason, I just continued to run and never stopped again until the race was over.  I was feeling pretty good and even skipped a few aid stations.

I ended up finishing in 5 hours and 23 minutes.  Not great, but not bad considering how much I walked on the run.  For some reason I had it in my mind that I was going to finish in around 5:45 so when I came to the finish I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh well, maybe I just need to accept this year as a write-off.  My performance has been pretty lame but at least I'm getting some good experiences.  So far in this race series I have experienced cold, depression, and bonking.  Learning how to deal with these problems is only going to help me achieve my main goal right now which is to complete Ironman Canada in under 11 hours in 2012.

The next race is in Sooke next month.  I'm considering sitting this one out but we'll see.

Anyway, hats off to all my friends who raced this past weekend.  Many achieved new pb's and new distances.


Vincent said...

that shawn white add pisses me off as well. What a jerk!

Winstonian said...

solid swim time Andrew! Yeah, breast stoking in the beginning of a beach start is not cool.

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