Sunday, August 16, 2009

Last Triathlon of the season and more changes

As the 2009 version of Ironman Canada looms, it's time to change the blog title, etc.  Inspired by yesterday's last triathlon of the season, I'm ready to start my slacking in preparation to build it all back up for next season.

Yesterday's performance was pretty weak.  I was expecting better but I went into the day already on a negative.  No wetsuit.  I couldn't believe that this decent sized lake was 80 degrees.  My pool at the condo is way colder.  WTF!! But I'm sure the temperature was right because it was no problem at all getting in.  In my head I knew it would be a tall order to bring goods knowing I was easily going to give up 5 minutes on the swim.  The only benefit was a bunch of power hills on the ride and decent hills on the run as well.

I drove out to the event which was about a 2 hour drive.  It wasn't too bad as I had been slowly adjusting my sleep schedule in preparation for the early 3:30am wake up call.  I got the event without trouble and setup my rack.  I decided to go with my tri-top rather than my full zip cycling jersey.  I was able to get the tri-top over my torso after the non-wetsuit swim at Florida but I hadn't practiced since then.  Uh-oh.

The swim started and was uneventful early as I found clear water and had a decent job sighting.  I swam pretty straight.  I really need to figure out how to draft.  The problem is by the time I decide to try to draft, all the swimmers going just a touch above my speed are already gone.  So anytime I draft I end up swimming up over them.  I just stayed off the left of the pack and went as best as I could.  By the time, I got out of the water, I forgot all about hitting my watch for a split.  I was busily trying to hammer the super long run up about 40 stairs to the rack.

At my rack, everything went on fast except my tri-top as it got stuck.  I struggled at least 2 minutes to get it ready.  What a bummer because I saw a ton of athletes shirtless which I easily could've done.  Oh well, next year I'll have this solved as well as the cycling shoes.  I'll buy some tri-specific shoes in the offseason so I can go sockless on the bike.

The bike had a few decent little inclines plus this massive long false flat towards the end of the loop.  We did 2 loops and I was passing quite a few fast swimmers.  I was killing it on the bike.  I was really making the legs suffer.  I decided to try this as compared to my first Olympic where I went hard but not all out and still had decent running legs.  The road surface was quite good and there wasn't much bike traffic.  Plus on top of that there was no wind so it was fast even with the hills.  The finished include 2 decent sized climbs which I was trying to pass just a few more folks.

I was lightening fast in T2.  It's always my fastest taking only about a minute.  I hit the run course and my body just said "Nah I don't feel like it today".  It was weird feeling.  I guess that's what happens when you leave it all out on the bike course.  I tried to start at an easy pace and then pick it up in the middle.  I was slow for the first mile but it included some decent up hill.  I saw the overall leaders and there were going at a good pace.  I just couldn't match it on my own side of the 2 loop run course.

I was glad it was over knowing that my season is done.  I ended up 39 overall which was sad.  I might've made the top 10 in my age group but who knows.  I was pretty slow but the official results aren't up yet.  I heard quite a few athletes complain about the swim course being a little long and even the bike course being a touch long.

It was like a vortex of the worse possible scenarios.  Long non-wetsuit Olympic swim course.  This is the worst thing about the distance is the everything else is half the half-ironman except the swim which is only a quarter mile shorter.  The best part was the hills which definitely helps me on the bike and even the run although painful on both.  I guestimated my run split around 39:30ish which is only 2 minutes slower than the DC tri in June which was dead flat while this one had hills.  Plus I never felt fast, I felt like I was doddling the whole way.  How sad is that.  My A game leg was crap.  Time to take a break.

All in all my knee is hurting big time so I'm taking 2 weeks off from running.  I really want to see if I can get it in line for next year.  I'm also going to try my best to improve my swim as well since my luck seems crappy for wetsuit swims hence the new name of the blog.