Monday, August 24, 2015

Porter's Lake Triathlon, er Duathlon 2015

So here was my final triathlon of the season, the all new Porter's Lake Tri. Nice and close to home, great little course that I was able to test out last year. But the fates, I mean the weather was against us this year and things didn't go exactly as planned.

I woke up dark and early on Sunday morning. Well even though it was 4:30am it was brighter than I hoped for. The sky was full of lightning. I got myself ready and took off regardless. The closer I got the more lightning was blazing through the sky. By 7am the officials had to make the call and decided to eliminate the swim portion of the triathlon and call it a duathlon. So instead of a swim we would do an extra run of 2.5km.

The weather was humid, with a light rain, though warm. We lined up for the first run and were soon underway.

Classy looking #28

The run course is very hilly so I decided to take it easy at the start and work my way up to the front. All was going well but there was some miscommunication and the first couple of runners took a wrong turn. We all followed which ended up making the first run 1.7 ish km instead of 2.5. Not a huge deal, but I would have pushed a bit harder probably if I'd known that was the case to give myself as big a cushion as possible to the faster cyclists. I finished the run in 6:15 for a 3:41min/km avg and 5th fastest overall.

I zipped through transition, though almost forgot to remove my sneakers, yikes!

I got to the mount line and arrived with a few other riders and we all seemed to have a little trouble getting started. Then off we went.

The bike ride was great. Rolling hills and fresh asphalt. I was zipping along and a couple of faster riders passed me. I was then passed by one rider but felt like he slowed down too much. I dropped back and then mounted an attack and repassed him. This happened 2 more times during the ride as we were very evenly matched. I did feel good though as I didn't see him with the lead group on the first run, so if I was able to stay with him on the bike I would likely pass him on the run.

I came screaming fast into Transition 2 and did  a perfect dismount to save as much time as I could. My average speed was 35.4 km/hr. It was only the 9th fastest time, but there were some speedy bikes out there. I blazed through transition in 47 seconds for the second fastest T2 of the day.

I took off and quickly passed another runner. Then Clint caught up with me and we ran together for a bit. Somehow I had managed to screw up my Garmin, so while I had current pace showing, I had no idea about distance. Luckily the course when properly run is 2 loops of 2.5km, so I didn't really need to know.

As Clint and I kept going we were not very far behind the lead group. Turns out we were running fairly quickly as we started to catch them. Eventually the lead three turned into 2 and we were catching third place. To the final downhill and Clint had pulled away from me, but Kevin C was falling into my grasp. I picked up the pace as best as I could downhill and seemed to make up decent ground. I pushed even harder on the flat and managed to just pop by Kevin before the finish line to take 4th overall and 3rd Age Group. The top five of us were separated by less than 40 seconds. I managed to finish with a time of 1;05:52 with a final run of 19:39. That was a great 5km final run on that hilly course. It was the 3rd fastest second run of the day behind 2 super fast runners.

Not the triathlon I was hoping for, but it was a fun race and a great course. I hope that next year teh weather will cooperate and we'll see how my swim is.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bridgetown Triathlon 2015

Wish I had some pictures for this race, maybe some will show up online at some point. Until then bare with all the ready ready stuff.

This year I decided to go back to the Bridgetown Triathlon. It wasn't held last year, but then I was too busy with marathon training then to even contemplate it anyway.

Up at 4:30am to get out the door by 5:30 and on the road to Bridgetown made for any early start. As we drove to the Valley we were hit with a  huge fog back about 40 minutes outside of the race start. I figured at that point the long course race would be delayed, hopefully they weren't going to have to delay my start as well, which was meant to be at 9am.

As I arrived the fog was burning off and the sun was pretending to peak out. I was quickly informed that the race would not be wetsuit legal, as the water temp was 24C. Dang.  But I got about getting my transition area all ready and myself in a good frame of mind.

Our sprint race was only delayed by about 5-10 minutes. We were allowed a quick dip in the water as a warm up. That was easy enough as it was like bath water. The race started in water and quite quickly we were off. I started off at an easy pace for me and worked my way passed a few other swimmers. This is a river swim so there is a bit of current to work with and against. I thought I was doing well, especially with all the swimming I had been doing leading up to this event. But as I left the water and crossed the timing mat, I was listed as having done a 17:54 750m swim. Ugh, that was disheartening. I think I am getting slower than ever! That was good enough for 28 place on the swim.

Regardless, onto the bike I went.  I passed 5 people before I even hit the 500m mark of the 20 km ride. That was nice. Then at about 1 km in, a stinging insect hit the front of my ankle. Oh my @#$#%# that hurt so much. Still I soldiered on passing people, many people it seemed and knowing that a good result meant push as hard as I could on the bike.

This course is pretty flat with a few small rises. I did come across some farm tractors and a few big trucks along the route, but somehow managed to avoid having to slow down at all. That was nice. As I entered town I passed 2 more cyclists, got my feet out of my bike shoes and road to the dismount line. Off I flew and ran my bike back into transition. I managed a 34:05 for the bike ride for 35.2 km/hr avg speed and the 4th fastest ride of the day.

Out onto the run I flew. You always get that first rush/pain of transitioning for a bit on the run. I passed a runner immediately.  Then I caught up to James M who had a stellar swim and a great ride, but I guess I managed to eke enough on the bike and counter with my stronger run. At the 1 km mark my wife and dogs were waiting by the road and cheering em on. That was nice.

Then my ankle started to hurt more, and more and more. It was almost like it was seizing up and not bending properly. The sting was really starting to hurt and take its toll. Plus the sun was now out in full force and not a cloud was in the sky. I tried to count runner on the out and back course to see where I may have made it to at this point. I saw Adam and he was looking strong. But I lost count of other and just pushed on. I wanted a good overall time more than anything.

On the way back my ankle just wouldn't relax at all. I used total hip mobility to push through the pain and that seemed to help. I rounded the final corner and pushed down to the finish line and cross with a 19:18 5km and the 2nd fastest run of the day, oh what might have been but for the bee! I ended up with a respectable 1:12:34 overall for 7th place and second in my age group. Some tough competition for sure.

My ankle was swollen to almost twice its normal size and the pain remained for much of the day. Luckily the swelling went down over night and it appears all good now.

Now onto swim training. I spent too much time in a wetsuit this summer and my technique (what little there was) appears to have suffered for it.