Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bracebridge Sprint Tri Report

This is me finishing my third triathlon - with a time of 1:34:23 - not my best race by far but I learned a lot and I did cut my transition times by a huge amount.


The 750 meter swim was in the Muskoka River - a quite narrow river that had the faint taste and smell of gasoline and motor oil. The water temp was quite warm at 77*F but wetsuits were still allowed and due to the advantages of wearing one I choose to wear mine. The swim was a time trial start which has its pros and cons. The pros are easy - you have all the space in the world, the water is much calmer and the chances of being kicked, elbowed or swam over are nearly zero. The cons include a lack of adrenaline, waiting for your turn to come up and not having the surge of energy when you hit the water. I was actually happy to have the time trial start as the river was very narrow and the thought of the masses of us swimming all at once were not pleasant.

I'm pretty sure I know why this swim was tougher than the swim a month ago in Peterborough. First, I'm carrying around a few extra pounds from our Florida vacation and second I don't think I was adequately hydrated and fueled for this race. A problem I face with out of town races is finding good quality meal the night before and to eat at a decent time. Finally, my goggles failed me - the left side leaked quite a bit and I actually had to stop at a paddle board about half way though to try to fix it - I wear contacts so I was very concerned about losing my left contact lens. I pressed on and finished the swim in 18:48, 2 minutes longer than my 16:46 in the Peterborough race a month before. I put the swim behind me and remembered I was working on cutting my T-times.


It was a very short run up to transition and I made quick work of getting out of my wetsuit, into my cycling shoes (hate my shoes - need to get an easier pair to get one), helmet and bike gloves (which I will no long wear during races). Grab a quick drink of my warm G2 and headed out to the bike course. My T1 time was 2:41 shaving nearly 40 seconds from the 3:19 at Peterborough.


WOW what a bike course - there were a couple very steep hills but it started out nice and flat so I quickly got myself in my rhythm and felt comfortable (I am not the most comfortable on the bike and have a huge fear of falling). As I approached the first large hill I noticed a lot of riders WALKING their bikes ... I was determined NOT to get off my bike and got out of the saddle and got up that hill. As I crested the top I did something I hope to never do again - I vomited in my mouth - which I quickly expelled and had to take water on the bike to rinse my mouth. I couldn't get to my shot blocs (nutrition) in my pouch on my bib belt. I knew I was probably very dehydrated from the warm swim in the wet suit as well as the hot air temps and lack of shade on the course. I continued on the winding, gentle hill course and put each large hill behind me. The turn around went smoothly and I pushed as hard as I could on the return. I completed the bike in 43:02 just a tad quicker than the 43:46 at Peterborough. That's me coming back in from the Bike - I love this photo because my kids are in the back ground cheering me on!


I made quick work in T2 - happy that I did NOT fall off my bike I quickly racked and changed shoes and was out of there in 57 seconds! a FULL MINUTE quicker than Peterborough. I knew I had my shot blocks in my pouch and I knew there would be water on the course.


The run out of the park was up a short STEEP hill which I had to walk up as I had a terrible stitch in my right ribs. Was not a good way to start. I knew water was up ahead so I popped 2 shot blocks but that 1k to the water station was long and hot and the pain in my rib was horrible so I took it easy., Stopped at the first water station to take some water and to pour some on my head and back to cool down. Did some deep breathing while slowly jogging working the stitch out of my side. Luckily at the 2.5k turn around the pain was gone and by the 3rd km I was back to running my 5 min Ks. The last 2 kms were much better and i made sure to give encouraging words to the athletes that were just coming out on the run course. The finish was down the same steep hill from the beginning which was awesome because it allowed me to turn on the burners and finish very fast and strong. I finished the run at 28:57, quite a bit slower than my 27:28 at Peterborough.

I knew I wasn't optimally prepared for this race and I knew I went in to work on my transitions times - so in that light this race was very successful for me. I also learned that I need to focus on my nutrition during training and the race. My run could have been much faster if I hadn't struggled with the cramping.


I have 5 weeks until my A race - the Nation's Tri in Washington DC on Sept. 11. This is my first Olympic Distance and this race holds special meaning to me. First, it's the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. Secondly, its in a city I called home from 1998 - 2001. Third, I'm racing with my old school friend Julie. And finally, it is the first time will have returned to DC since I left in August 2001.

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