Last year's (pre-penalty) time: 2:49:42
This year: 2:53:07
Bike (includes T1 & T2)
2007: 1:24:09 (includes penalty)
2008: 1:25:18 + 2:37 T1 + 1:07 T2 = 1:29:02
Looking at those numbers I feel better about the race. I thought my swim was atrocious it was almost impossible to sight on the return as we were swimming directly into the sun, it also didn't help that they gave some swimmers caps the same colour as the bouys, so I'm sure I swam far more than 1500m. I'm surprised I swam faster than '07, even if I did have a bad swim last year.
The bike was hell for the first 20km, aside from swim start panic attacks I don't think I've ever wanted to quit that much in a race. I was super sore from the prior week, especially the ride on Saturday, and had a hellish time getting up Vancouver Ave. I finally convinced myself that I would finish the ride then I could think about dropping out. Shortly after that I saw someone ahead of me that I deemed unworthy of being there and decided I had to pass her. When I couldn't pass her right away I told myself I'd get her on the run, at which point I realized I wasn't quitting. (FYI - I caught and passed her shortly after)
Sometime before the turn, probably about the time riders in front of me almost got taken out by a deer, I started to get into it. By the time the kamakazi coyote failed to get his head stuck in someone's wheel I was actually enjoying myself. I'm a sucker for wildlife (just try to get me to pay attention to what you're saying if there are hawks, eagles or other cool birds in the vicinity) so the distraction, plus the relief no racers or animals were hurt, probably helped my mood.
The return was fun, a guy and I played leapfrog for about 10km, enough that we started joking about it as we passed each other, until I lost him and was riding alone for the last bit. I got a bit confused at the top of the last descent as there were suddenly no markings on the road and no one stopping/directing traffic. I figured it would be par for the course if I got lost on the bike as well as the swim. Another racer blew by me and leapfrogger passed me so I knew I was on course, or at least I had company if I wasn't, and got back up to speed. Not a good ride at all but hopefully that was just fatigue.
The run start was also hell, I walked a bit at the base of the hill then realized I was losing the blue shirted woman I'd chased the whole way on the bike and got running again. Once I got to the top I felt better and chatted with a few people as I passed them.
The return portion was great. I started to pick up speed and pass people, I caught blue shirt and told her she couldn't walk as she'd been my pace bunny for the last hour. I thought I was being obviously silly but she actually apologized when she had to stop and walk again about five min later. I was able to run well down the hill, unlike last year, although when I hit the flat I still lost speed (and the orange shirted woman I'd caught and chatted with on the descent). Knew I did better than last year but am surprised it was three minutes.
Take away from this race:
- If I'm having a bad day, focus on small goals (catching someone ahead, cresting a hill, finishing the bike leg, etc.) and don't worry about the big picture
- I won't ride Richter two days before Kelowna
- I need to get out of my wetsuit faster (slow T1)