Wednesday, July 25, 2018

How Was Your Weekend?

So the weather was downright nasty on the weekend. Humid, rain, cloudy, warm. That means retreat to indoors and come back stronger later right? Nah.

On Saturday my friend Sheldon (from Sportwheels) and I organized the second annual Sportwheels 65km Sportive Trail Ride. A nice safe way for riders to get a long ride in that has support along the way and a BBQ at the end. For many riders it is a great way to kick off training for the longer century rides that come in August and September. In total I rode 75km (some added support) on the St Margaret's Bay Trail, had some great chats and met some new people.

Then Sunday it was time to hit the trails to get training for my October Trail Race. I stayed close to home using the Bluff Trail system to get a 15km run in. I learned a few things about shoes on that day, which is why we train. It was also a wonderful day to just get out of the daily grind and into nature.

As I sit and drink coffee in my air conditioned office, I do think, dang, it would be great to get outside. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Aylesford Lake Triathlon 2018

This post is a little behind as the triathlon was last weekend, but I had hoped to get a few more pictures before I wrote it up. Alas...

Well anyway, I love this Triathlon and this year it was almost cancelled, until 2 great guys stepped up and made it happen. Thanks Jeff and Andrew.  This year I opted to go back and retry the Standard Distance (1.5/40/10) that I had done well at 2 years ago. I don't do a lot of triathlons each year but thought if I was going to do this one, it would be hard.

I arrived and was happy to see that I was presented with the #1 race bib as the official leader of the points series. I also received a special gold swim cap which only the points leader can wear. I'll take these moments when I can.

The lake was really nice and calm, the sky cloudy and the wind low. Perfect conditions. While I am not a strong swimmer, I was feeling comfortable going into this race.

Check out that cap!

Soon the race was off. We ran into the water, or in my case, traveled at an easy pace to get comfortable.  I hit the water and had no issues with panic and just started swimming. Now I did swim fairly wide to the side to start, wanting to ease myself in and soon I had a good rhythm going. two years ago, I was a little faster in the water, but as a non swimmer, it is hard to maintain that without a lot of work. I reached the half way point about 2/3rds of the way back in the field.

I managed to finally get out of the water in 29:43 and in 15th place.  I will admit I had a slower time with my wetsuit this year and that was likely also showing up in my overall time as I didn't rush the transition zone.  When I did get in, I was able to breeze through in 42 seconds for the second faster T1 of the day.

Then to the bike! 

I got a rhythm going quickly and started to catch up with people. This course is rolling hills with a few good climbs. I knew I didn't have a lot of hope catching all the top guys, but I did want to make sure I finished as close as possible to the leader, as this is how points are awarded. 

Sadly I have no pictures, but coming into the end of the bike ride I had worked my way up to 8th place with an average speed of 34.1 km/hr. I blew through T2 in 40 seconds and was off on the run.

The run starts up hill, a steep up hill and on bike legs that feels horrible. Still, I knew that with a little effort I could catch at least a couple more people. About 2 km into the run, I caught up with Craig and could see Paul. I pushed hard and by the end of the first 5K I had closed the gap down to Paul. Finally, at about 6-7 km into the run I passed for 6th and pushed hard again.

Ideally I had hoped to go under 2:20, but I ended up crossing the line at 2:23, 6th overall, 1st Age Group. My swim had been much slower than the top guys, in some cases 7 minutes slower. That is hard to make up. So I am happy I made up as many places as I did. The run was a little long, and I completed it is 41:45, 3rd fastest of the day. 

Overall, quite happy. I had a couple of really ugly training weeks leading up to this race, and while I felt good that day, I think it took a little of my mental game away. Also, heck, recovery from the races I have done in May and June has been rough. Still, I had fun.

This is a great event, I was privileged to be the wearer of the golden cap and can't wait for the next event.