Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ouchie, Ouchie (or the Graham Beasley Half Ironman triathlon)

Graham Beasley Half Ironman Triathlon
Date: July 15th, 2007
Distance: swim 2km, Bike 90km, Run 21.1km

Pictures here
from the pro's at the race

Warm up/pre-race.
I thought my warm up went well, but in retrospect it was probably a little short on all of the events (except maybe the run), as I was a little rushed for time (read: late getting to the site). The one costly mistake I made was not drinking enough of my pre-race nutrition, I only drank about 1/3 of the bottle (Big mistake number 1), not sure why, usually I just sip on the bottle as I am going to the race.

After my warm up, I lined up in the middle but quickly thought better and moved of closer to the shore to avoid the crowd. It didn’t seem to work cause about 100m in I was completely boxed in, and to top it off my goggles were leaking! I tried to stay calm and go with the flow but my goggles were now taking on water like the Titanic. No problem, I could just stand up, as the swim is very shallow for the whole course (got to like that). I stood up trying not to get in anybody’s way and walked while trying to fix my goggles at the same time. Turns out the strap had slipped out on the holder, quick enough fix. Dive back down and start back into the swimming, @ about 400m I got my first of many wicked calf cramps. I made the turn looked at my watch, 9:3x, oh crap, I guess the Smiths Falls swim was short(and my 5:36 swim). The rest of the swim was a mixture of swimming and foot/calf cramps. Stood up at the wall it was 38.35 on my watch, not the start I wanted.
Uneventful, actually probably the best part of my race!
I started out well, but I was worried about the cramping in my legs from the swim. By the time I got to the hills (and the wind) I made the decision to spin the hills in my small ring to try and save my legs. The first hour went ok, I could stretch my legs on the downhill’s. After the first hour I realized my stomach was not starting to feel so great and a little bloated, I tried to switch to solids(Cliff Bar) but that wasn’t happening either. From that point on it was a battle to get any nutrition in me, Gatorade, gel, whatever, they weren’t going down. (Big Mistake number 2). By 70km my energy was starting to drop and it was a real struggle to stay over 30km/h. Limped my way back to T2.

My shoe unclipped as I was dismounting, just another little thing gone wrong. Got into my running shoe pretty quick and was off.

Legs were not feeling so great and neither was the rest of me! At this point I knew I had messed up my nutrition, but I was going to have to eat something to have any hope of “running” the 21km. I started on my gels, they didn’t go down so well, but I forced them down. I tried to go on the run but didn’t have the reserves, and by 2km mark I cramped up pretty good. Walked them off, someone offered me salt tabs but I had some electrolytes in my gel flask so I said thanks but no thanks. I was running again by the 2.5km turn around but it was a battle for the next 7.5kms. I started to feel a bit better by the half way mark and was able to get up to “race pace” for the next 7-8kms. The last couple of km’s hurt but the thought of the finish line was my motivation to make the day end! I high five’d my Keir going down Bridge Street to the finish line and that brought a smile to my face, a small smile, but it was a smile.

T1: 1:40
Bike: 2:55
Total time: 5:26.26
Not the time I was hoping for, but that was a tough course (especially on the bike with the hills and wind and the road surface). I learned some valuable lessons from the mistakes I made, and will be back next year for a little revenge!

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