Monday, May 31, 2010

Shawnigan Lake Race Report

Yesterday wasn't my greatest showing at 3:07, but it was supposed to be a training race so I'm being philosophical about it. Or trying to be.

Exec Summary: So-so swim in cold water, excruciatingly slow and cold ride on dead legs, decent run with a big negative split.

Take aways: 1) Cold really saps my energy. 2) Not sure if doing the Vancouver Half is a good idea, wondering a fast oly be better than a slow Half IM? I want to do another tri prior to to Calgary, just trying to think what would be best.

Long version:
Ended up without enough time pre-race to do a real warm up for anything other than the swim. Would have liked to have run but that wasn't in the cards.

The water was very cold. I had a neoprene swim cap (purchased last Tuesday - yay!), which likely made a big difference, I definitely didn't suffer as much as most people. I got into the water about 15-20 minutes before race start as 1) my watch was fast, 2) I didn't run so my whole warm up would be in the water (in retrospect I might have had time for a short run but everything after that would have been a panic) and 3) it was very cold so I wanted enough time to acclimatize to the temp. After about five minutes I was comfortable in the water and quite warm, however I totally froze during the 2-3 minute wait at the shore for the race to start.

The swim was unspectacular. I had difficulty drafting as either the people I was drafting off couldn't swim a straight line or I couldn't. I kept losing the toes in front of me so gave up and swam my own line and took the draft when it presented itself. About 30 min for the swim, not great.

T1 was a gong show. I lost the use of my thumbs and the rest of my digits didn't work too well as my hands were numb so getting out of my wetsuit was interesting. I also opted to wear a jacket and gloves, which slowed down T1 but definitely helped on the bike (an Elite racer was taken off the bike course in an ambulance due to hypothermia - it was cold). My legs were totally dead - mostly due to my long rides earlier in the week but also my thighs were frozen from the swim and didn't warm up until halfway in.

I tried to keep a high cadence, especially nearer the end of the ride, to get blood circlating to my feet but that didn't work. I got passed a lot on the bike, didn't like that but managed (mostly) not to get agro and try to re-pass everyone. The course was hilly, wet and full of potholes/uneven pavement so not easy to stay in aerobars.

T2 was faster - less need for opposable thumbs.

The start of the run was tough - uphill on tired legs and numb feet. I got feeling back in my feet at about 2km in, then immediately wished I hadn't as the pins and needles were terrible. I finally felt comfortable at about 3 km.

I was well over my target pace of 5min/km so I stopped taking splits and concentrated on form. I'm still working on headspace for the run portion, keeping positive is currently more helpful to me than killing myself to stay on pace.

At the turn around I felt strong and picked up the pace, repeating my mantra of "Easy", and started to reel people in. I didn't take my split at the half but as I was at 16:50 at 3km and I finished the run in 52 & change I can extrapolate a negative split.

My overall and AG ranking are lower than usual for me. Not thrilled about that but it's a training race.

Happily others in the club had great races: Marie came second in her AG in the Oly, as did Dominic in the Sprint. Not sure how Chris or Jeff did in the half, however Jeff's time was 5:05 and I believe Chris' was under 5:30, so they both had a good chance at the podium.

I have plantar faciitis, it didn't bug me in the race or last night, but my heel hurts a today so I definitely did some damage. I'm off to physio after work to get Janet's assessment.

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