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.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Day Ride

These are posted a bit late as I had some issues with downloading the pictures from my phone (I hate the phone with a passion, but that's a post for a different day).

I rode with the club on May 1st out to Deep Cove but left them at the Second Narrows and came home on my own. As it was a lovely day and I was on my own, I stopped along the way to take some pictures.

The view from the top of the bridge. To me the picture captures the "big sky" feel the day had. I also love the roiling water. I probably should have cropped out either the sky or the water to make this more balanced, but I like them both too much to remove - artistry be damned!

One of the grain elevators,looking freshly painted.

I'm not sure if this is a grain elevator but it's picturesque. The section of Wall St. along the bike path is one of my favorite parts of the city.

Finally, a view back towards the bridge from Wall St.

Monday, May 10, 2010


After an unhappy gastrointestinal day (you do not want more details) on Thursday last week I decided I'd de-germ my waterbottles.

I didn't quite get around to it, however, until I saw the gunk on Teresa's Fuel Belt bottle on our run yesterday. I looked at the same spot on my FB water bottle and it too was gunky. A useful training trip, when you are 40 minutes into a 2 hour run on a warm day it is a bad idea to become revolted with your water supply.

At home I filled the sink with hot water & bleach (not at all eco friendly but kills bacteria real good) then disassembled my water bottles and threw them in. I know that gunk likes to hide in the lid so I removed the nipple (yes, I said nipple - grow up!) so everything could soak and be scrubbed. On the water bottle I used on Thursday I found some seriously nasty grime - it was black, slimy and hard to scrub off. In fact I couldn't get some of it off at all. It irks me to toss an otherwise perfectly good water bottle but I think it's off to the recycling bin for this sucker.

Hopefully I've fixed the source of my GI issues from last week. If nothing else I have a whole lot of squeaky clean waterbottles

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Quick Update

Since my last post we had time trial week.

Swim: 1500m - 28:17
I've never done a 1500m time trial in the pool so no idea where this puts me in terms of training. I'm usually about 30 minutes in a tri but that's open water so I'm not kicking off the wall every 25m.

We'll just hold onto this number for reference!

16km TT - 31:28
Not a good time for me compared to the last year's time I can find - 28:50 from August and 29:41 from April. Something to work on, I guess.

5km - 24:15 (pace - 4:51/km)
3km - 14:24 (pace - 4:48/km)
This workout was nasty. We showed up expecting a 5km TT, but arrived to find out that would be followed by a 10 minute recovery and a 3km TT. I thought I was going as hard as I could for the 5km but somehow I managed a faster pace for the 3km rather than the 5km.

Alan said we weren't pacing properly. I think I just take a long time to warm up!

This week things are feeling solid. I'm finally feeling in the groove, I'm feeling strong and focussed and fit! It might have something to do with just coming off a recovery week, but I also think I've adjusted to my training schedule. Regardless of the why, I'm happy to be happy!