Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Guelph Lake 1 Oly

Right! Here we go.
A nice partially cloudy day in guelph. This is a venue that I have had strong races at in the past so I think it must suit me well.

I wasn't too confident going into the race. I had taken a tumble on the mountain bike on saturday and landed on a root brusing my hip. It was a little sore and I didn't know how it would respond to the running.

I had set relatively lofty time goals for the day. I wanted to run a sub 40min. 10km, and average 37kmph on the bike.

They had adjusted the swim from a straight 1500m to two 750 loops. This suits me fine as the little run on the beach allows the arms to recover and freshen up for the second loop.

The start was a mass start. I had seeded myself in the sub 23min. group. Apparently those farther back had a rough go of it. For us the start wasn't too bad.

Caught a decent draft for the first few hundred meters but lost the feet of the guy at the turning buoy. He went wider than me and I ended up passing him. I then found myself all alone (which wasn't the plan) There was a small group maybe 10m in front of me. I tried to bridge to them a couple of times but found that the effort wasn't worth it.

We exited the water for the second loop and I tried to bridge then. I was able to get onto the feet of that small group and caught a sweet draft for the entire second loop. We were out of the water in 22:00. I had the 13th best swim time. I was happy with that. It is a long uphil run to the transition. I had a good smooth transition.

Onto the bike.

I've been learning to pace myself early on the bike. So many people race off hard, and then blow up on the run. I find if I take a few km to allow the body to adjust I then am able to push the bike, and not be burnt out for the run. I was passed by a number of people initially, but I think I got almost all of them back by the end.

Averaged 36.9 km on the bike. Right on my goal pace.
Bike: 1:11.?

I ended up passing a guy right before transition. It turns out that was for the lead! I never knew that until I read the results! I thought through the entire run that I was in second or third.

The run is a lot hillier than I remember. Started of at a good pace. The legs were getting pretty heavy by the turn around, but I knew it was mostly downhill until the last couple of kms. Started running with a guy who was from the 40-45? age group. Both of us were pushing pretty good and we ended up pacing each other for the rest of the race. I got a lot of comments that we looked relaxed and chating away. Trust me. We were chatting, but pushing hard.

Guelph finishes with a run past the finsih line, and then they shoot you up this punchy little hill and back to the finish. Probably one of the most painful finished of any race I have done.

I made it up the last hill, and the legs recovered on the way down. I managed to break from the small pack I was running with and beat them too the line.

Run: 40:45 (not the sub 40 I wanted) but a good solid run.

I ended up winning my AG. First time for that! I've been eyeing up those race winners hats for a while!

This race was a world champs qualifier, so I was offered a spot. I declined do to it not being in the budget, but that made someone else happy!

So guelph was good! Looking forward to p-borough though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Muskoka Long Course Race Report

It was a perfect day in Muskoka for a race. Warm and overcast to start. The temps never became an issue at all during the day which is in stark contrast to last year!

The best part of Muskoka is that you get to race against some of the best triathletes in the world. It makes for a really exciting atmosphere. Everything is kinda electric.

Right from the start I had scheduled Muskoka as a B race. In reality it was more of a b-. I wanted to get some points, and have a strong race in prep for peterborough. I didn’t want to get into a position where I was expecting a great result and came up against the competition who where peaking here trying to get a spot at an IM.

My goal was to have a good strong race with a focus on running well.

I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed at a race! It was great. No butterflies/nothing. I racked up, and did a quick warm-up run. I didn’t take the bike off the rack in fear of losing my spot! Put on the new Aquaman westuit (carefully!) and headed down to the swim exit. I took a nice leasurely swim down the channel to the swim start. I recomend this to anyone doing the race next year as it is a great way to get away from the crowds, and not have to walk the distance to the start.

I started in the second wave after the elite men. Immediately I caught a draft off of one of the front guys in my group. I held him until the back stretch of the swim when we started passing the first wave. I then managed to position myself behind a (big)guy from my wave who was finding a good route through the lapers. Had the goggles knocked off once, but not too bad.

Once we hit the channel it opened up. The white caps seemed to all stay left with the purple going right. I had a strong draft the whole way up river (which is very important). I never felt like I was working hard on the swim. It was a very cruisy one for me. I knew I was pacing OK, but it wasn’t requiring that much effort. Maybe the new suit ?

Out of the water in 29:53. Good time. I think I can easily go sub 29 at peterborough.

Good transition. Nice and smooth. Once again the wetsuit came off like a breeze!

Onto the bike. The MO for the bike was a nice conservative effort. I was well aware of the amount of hills on the course this year, and I didn’t want to overdo it. I rode well within myself which was a great feeling because I was still moving. I really focused on my shifting and maximizing momentum. Got to the aid station feeling great. Chuged the rest of the gatorade and water and reloaded. Only to lose the gatorade they gave me within a km. I was slightly concerned, but know that I normally ride this distance with only three bottles so I should be fine. Ended up not being an issue. GLad it wasn’t too hot though.

The hills were pretty bad on the back section of the bike. Some of the new slurry sections were very sketchy because you couldn’t see the bumps. Nice that they put the effort in though for this race. Very interesting ride. Thought it was challenging but fun.

Off the bike in 133: AVG. 35.6kmph

I was aiming36 so that was ok.

Another good transition.

Started the run feeling pretty good. I wanted to focus on setting a good comfortable pace until the heart rate came down, and then start pushing a bit. My side started cramping a bit after about 3km. However, whenever I let my mind wander from the pain, it went away. No big deal. It kept coming back a bit throughout the run.

I was running well, and the body started to really feel good about the 8 or 9km mark. I started to push a bit harder. There was a guy behind my from my AG that I passed earlier coming up on me, and I set the goal of keeping him at bay. He ended up passing me at the 12 km mark. I knew he was working harder than I was so I just stayed right behind him. When we hit the 13km mark I was feeling really good even on the hills. So I decided to see what I had left and really kicked. I put almost 500m between myself and that guy in the final 2km. I was flying! I couldn’t believe how well I was running at the end. I guess this is the first race that is approaching the distance that I am training for. So that is a great boost of confidence for me.

Run : 1:03 4:13?

Overall 3:07. About 40 min. faster than last year!

I ended up 7th in my AG. Which was Ok. More importantly I have really boosted my comfidence for Peterborough. I now have a prooven strategy for the distance, and we will se what I can do! Really stoked to go long.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My place in the race.

The beginning of the season has been interesting for me. After a hard winter of training I've been able to see the results of my training. I've already met some of my goals for the year, and had some good results in the races.

So why am I not satisfied with this? I guess it is that inner athlete that wants to be the best, but I really am getting frustrated with his constant nagging!

Other than that, I'm pretty happy! I get my new wetsuit soon. Good to get rid of the old one that doesn't fit anymore. Probably cost me some time at Milton.

The school year is almost over which will free up my time for the big IM training miles. I'm really looking forward to that.

I think that this time of year is the most frustrating. I want to train more, the body wants to train more, but the schedule keeps getting in the way. Work tires you out, so the evening sessions aren't as good as they could be.

I have met a bunch of new people this year. It is great going to the triathlons and knowing a bunch of people. I am starting to feel as though I belong to this community and am not just an outsider looking in. It is neat to hear my name a lot as I pass people coming the other way on the run or bike.

The website is excellent also. Talking to people who are not as fast as me, helps me put things into perspective. They see my speed and think I am super fast, and I see the leaders speed, and compare myself to them. I think I should spend more time looking at last years results and seeing the huge difference.

I saw a bike picture of me from Milton when I was in my tuck. I didn't realize how aggressive I am positioned on the bike. It is awesome! My back is completely flat. I think I can widen my aero bars a bit which might open up my chest a little more and that could ease my breathing. Not that that is a problem right now, but I don't need to have them as close as they are. I don't think I can get much more aero than I am now! (MAybe a nice aero wheelset, but that is about it!;>) This may also help with my digestion.

So I guess everything is going real well. It will be interesting to see how the body reacts to the longer races. I'm looking forward to keeping a slightly slower pace.

Muskoka will be fun. I'm really relaxed about it because I'm not expecting to get many points due to the competitive nature of the race and field. I am more focused on guelph. So it will be a good experience and I get to do the longer distance which is more fun!

This will be a good gauge for peterborough. I'm really going to focus on nutrition. Especially downing plenty of GU on the bike. I think I will try one every 35 min or so. See how that leaves me on the run.

There is an awesome swim at Muskoka. A water start, and lots of room to spread out. I need to focus on getting a good draft in this one. I lost the toes of the lead pack at Milton, and was unable to catch them. Unfortunately, the Pro's will be going off in a seperate wave, so hopefully there will be a few fast swimmers in mine that I can get behind. It will be nice to find a groove. The long straight stretches will allow the breathing to settle down. I was breathing every 2 strokes for most of Milton which isn't good. I was putting out too hard of an effort, and should've eased off until I could breathe every 3. This doesn't cost me any speed. I just need the HR down.

The bike is hilly, which suits me fine. I think I might put the 13-25 back on the bike so as to have the smaller gear on the steep hills. I will put it back on for guelph and peterborough. I want to keep the HR down as much as possible. I need to have a strong run at Muskoka for the confidence. Even if this means losing a position or two. If I can average around 35 or 36 I will be happy.

The run starts hilly, and then flattens out. It isn't hard, but last year I blew up and that hurt my confidence going into peterborough. So I think it is a good idea to ensure a strong run. I know the bike is strong, but the run could use a little work.

My training on the run has been going real well. I've put in some great tempo runs. These are quickly becoming my favourite workout. Still trying to up the speed workout reps, but I keep doing them on hot days. I think they are helping though. Even when I am struggling on the run I am keeping a decent pace. I can cruise doing 4:10 kms so that is promising for peterborough.

I am planning a long weekend this week so I will be able to test out the legs again. I actually miss the long workouts when I have races. They are really relaxing. It will be nice when school is out, and I can get these in during the week so when I do race on sat or sun it won't eliminate a long workout. I really need to focus on keeping the body healthy and not burnt out, and I think that these long easy workouts are the key to this. Especially on the bike. It's funny. The 180km ride is much more daunting to me than the 42km run. I guess it is just the amount of time it takes to complete.

Well, that is it for now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Milton Sprint Triathlon

So it was a muggy and hot day in Milton. I was sweating before the race even started!

Milton has a great challenging course. The hill on the bike is a challenge, and the run also features a number of hills.

My day started out allright. A bit of nerves, but otherwise O.K. I wasn’t too sure of myself as I was having a bit of a Blah week. I was ready to chalk this one up as a learning experience!

However, once I got there, and met up with everyone, I quickly caught the fever.

The swim is a nice loop in a small lake at the kelso conservation area. The water was warm (atleast 70) and was a pleasure to dip into to get out of the heat.

I bumped myself up to the elite wave to avoid the slower swimminers I would have to pass.

I started right beside Carlos Robles fellow running free athlete, and the Guembels. The MO for the day was to see where the swim was at compared to the rest of the field.

I started strong and was able to stay clear of any craziness. I tried to keep the leaders within site. For the most part I managed this. I think I was 7th or 8th out of the water. I wasn’t particularily pleased with my breathing on the swim, and next time I need to focus on getting a better rythm. It is hard to on these short swims.

SwimL 10:34

I had a bit of trouble in T1 with my suit catching on my watch and timing chip. A little slow. Next time I am going to try and keep the watch under the sleeve, same goes for the timing chip.

The gravel in T1 was harsh. I ended up wusing out and left some sandals at the swim exit. I think that was a good move.

Onto the bike. The body handled the transition OK. Which is good since this is the first such transition it has made this year.

Hit the hill, and was wishing for my other cassette. From last year I knew that a lot of people attacked the hill and burnt out after it. I decided to pace myself up it (regardless of who was passing) and push once we topped out. This worked pretty well. I managed to catch all 4 riders who passed me on the hill including kyle vanbuerden. The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful. I ended up riding near two of the top women. They were pushing each other hard, and I got caught up in it. Went a bit harder than I would have planned but OK.

I did have someone from my old AG draft off of me after I blew by him. I didn’t notice him for a while. I wasn’t happy. He shall remain nameless.

BIke: 47:00 37.5 avg

T2 was uneventful. SHould have taken a Gu on the bike, but the tummy wasn’t dealing with the heat that well. I knew that the run was going to be painfull.

The run starts with a punchy little climb immediately out of transition. It hurts. It then winds its way out of Kelso onto the road where you proceed to run up hill until you turn around in a small park. Benefit is, it is almost all downhill on the way home!

I pretty much blew up on the run. The GI track was rebelling. I was really just in damage control mode then. I took it slow for the first couple of km. I notched it up a bit after I started getting the old HR under control.

Overall not a great run.


Total 1:32:?

I managed 2nd in my AG, and 25th overall. I know that I probably could have taken a couple of minutes off of the run, but for a C race this was a good result. Just racking up the points for an overall AG win.