Sunday, August 31, 2008

Orbea Ora (my new bike!!!)

Her she finally is. Awesome. 2 rides on her, and one 160km. The full carbon really takes the bite out of the rough roads. Definitely notice the lack of fatigue after the long ride.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Orillia and Coburg Race Reports (shoulda got some pics!)

Well, since both of these races had similar outcomes.

We will start with Orillia.

I threw this into the schedule late. I was always pretty sure I was going to do it, but I didn't want to commit to early.

Showed up early and set up. I was looking forward to seeing where my race fitness was as I have been training pretty well lately. Unfortunately, all Ironman specific.

I bought some new goggles at the expo before the race and made the mistake of deciding to try them in the race. This was the first mental no no.(never do anything new at a race!) Then I waited too long to start putting my wetsuit on. For some reason I really struggled with this. Got it on with only a few minutes to spare to warm up. Needless to say I wasn't in a good mental spot at the gun.

Started the swim ok. I was out infront of my wave. Then I got clipped a little by someones hand and it shifted my goggles. With my old goggles I would have fixed it quick and they would have stayed. For some reason I could not do this with the new ones. So from then on I was having to stop every 50m or so to let water out of my right lens. I
got good at this, and was able to do it without wasting too much time.

The bike. . .
Well, as many of you know I am still waiting for my new bike to come in, and as a result I was left riding my cheap road bike. Don't get me wrong, I love it and it serves a purpose, but isn't meant to be raced on.

I started the bike in great shape. I was passing tons of people and felt really strong. I was having a great time despite the lower quality equipment. I had set the bike up with some older aerobars, and got my aero position dialed in realatively close my normal one. So I was feeling comfortable.

With about 8km to got there is a long climb. Heading into the climb I shifted out of my big ring. The chain fell off (which isn't a big deal) and I quickly (while still moving) put it back on the small ring. What happened next was a little unexpected. As I took my first pedal stroke after putting the chain back on I heard a big crunch. I looked down to see my deraileur hanging off the back of my bike. It had snapped. Cheap plastic Campy!

Well, at that moment I knew my bike ride was over. I started walking up the hill wondering when the sag wagon would be by. The OAT official asked if I was allright (along with probably 300 athletes! I love triathletes!) and said it would be closer to an hour before the sag wagon got to me. Well, those who know me know I have zero attention span. So it became my challenge to myself to get back to transition before the sag wagon. Luckily the rest of the course had more down than up. So I took off my shoes and started jogging with my bike back to transition. Jog/Coast. Eventually I made it back. Learning a few interesting lessons along the way.

1. It doesn't suck as bad as I thought it would running in bare feet.
2. Paint lines on the road are nice and smooth.
3. Those long rubber patches they fill cracks in the road with are great to run on!

So got back, and headed out on the run feeling pretty good about myself. I have never DNF'ed, and it wouldn't start today.

The benefit of starting the run so far back in the pack is that I am a lot faster runner than everyone around me. I headed out at a strong pace and was just blowing by everyone. This makes you feel good. I estimate I passed 60 plus people in the 7.5km.

Finished in a really slow time, but it was no longer a race to me, but more of a challenge to see if I could do it.

On to Coburg. I really didn't want to do this one, but a friend of ours was doing his first tri-a-tri (who I was coaching) so I was going down anyways.

Coburg is a great venue, and the low key nature of the HSBC races is a nice change.

Ran into Tara Norton before the start whom I was surprised to see at a short sprint. She wasn't racing, just there to do some physio at the finish line. Had a short chat with her and off to get ready.

I had lent my "trusty" (see above) road bike to my friend to race on. I was then going to switch off the flat pedals he had put on and use this bike to do the sprint (as my new bike is still not here!!! :< ) I got my bike and put my pedals on, but the left seemed to not go in fully. (Turns out that he had tried to put the right pedal in the left crank and stripped it.) However, it seemed to be in ok so I didn't worry too much about it.

The swim. Forgot my goggles. Borrowed someones that didn't fit properly. Ended up swimming the entire swim with no goggles. It was also really choppy out there so sighting was not so great. I was 5th or 6th overall out of the water (which was an 800m swim) in a really slow time for me.

Onto the bike I knew pretty much immediately that something was not right. My left pedal had a little bit of a wobble too it. I was praying that nothing would happen in the short 20km ride. Well, the wobble got worse, and I was nursing it through the course. After the turnaround there is a hill, and about half way up it the pedal came completely off the crank. It had stripped entirely the crank.

So I am left on the side of the road again!!!

I walked up the rest of that hill and started to pedal using just my right leg. (Thank god for all of those one-leg isolation drills I do over the winter!)

I was surprised at how quickly I could still ride. I got passed a lot, but my average speed over the bike was still near 28kmph. Not fast, but not bad!

That being said, my right leg was exhausted by the time I got into T2. Unfortunately there is no way to run only using my fresh left leg!

Toughed out the run in a decent, but well below my goal, time. The crazy thing about this is that I still managed a 3rd in my AG. In the Subaru series I would have been 20th!

So that is my story.

The new bike will be in this week. (so I am told) and it can't come soon enough!