Monday, June 28, 2010

Smiths Falls Triathlon Race Report

Been meaning to write this up for a while but I have had the time yet. It is a race report from a triathlon I did last weekend. I did write much (or any I think) race reports last year for the blog. I do write down some of my thoughts on what happened for all the races I do, so it really doesn’t take much work to turn those thoughts into something for the blog. So without further delay here is my race report for the Smiths Falls Triathlon.
Pre-Race: was fairly normal and I trained throughout the week as if I didn’t have a race on the weekend. It wasn’t a standard training week as I had to travel to Toronto for a meeting which messed up my swimming schedule. So knowing that I focused on the run during the two days I was away and managed to swim a little when I got back. On Saturday, after training in the morning, we went down to Jen’s parents, who live just outside Smiths Falls, and it poured rain as we were driving down: hopefully not a sign of things to come tomorrow. Jen and I got to go out for an early supper at a great restaurant called the Goodwood Oven. I had a great sleep on Saturday night; I fell asleep reading to Keir @ 9pm and woke up at 6am. A normal breakfast and then I got my stuff packed up and biked into the race.
Day: Sunday June 20th 2010
Here I was floating in the water waiting for the horn to sound. The start of the Smiths Falls Triathlon is a couple of minutes away and I could help but reflect on the my first ever tri which was also here (but over 6years ago), the feelings were much different. During my first tri there was a _Lot_ more nerves and fear, this time around a was really excited about racing (even the swim!). The count down started 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. GO!
Swim 500m:

I had positioned myself pretty well, just on the outside at the front (the red dot on the map) which worked out to be a pretty direct line to the turn around buoy (marked C on the map). I started out great, and got away clean (no bumping) but about 75m in my goggles started to leak something fierce. I was faced with a decision, do I stop and fix them or keep going? Since it was a short swim (should be under 8mins of swimming) I figured I would just tough it out. By now my right goggle was almost totally full of water and the left wasn’t much better. When swimming in a triathlon one of the more important things to do is sighting your swim, this is really just looking up every now and then to make sure you are swimming towards your target in a straight fashion. Well sighting with goggles ¾ full is hard as it turns out, and I soon started to swim in a zig-zag line and ran into another competitor. That was my sign to pull out to the side and re-adjust my goggles. One of the safety kayakers asked if I was ok, and I tried to make a joke about my goggles. Not to worry I thought this will just cost me a tiny bit of time but won’t set me back to much… well it happened two more times that I need to stop and fix my goggles. I guess I rushed it each time and never got the proper seal. A little frustrating and it probably cost me about one minute to a minute and a half. Apart from the goggle mix up the swim felt good but not great, never really got into a rhythm (because of the goggles).
You exit the water and have to run about 200m up to the transition area to get on your bike. I got to my bike quickly and started to peel the rest of my wetsuit off, I heard Jenny,Keir and Isla cheering me on. Keir told me he had seen his friend Preston and I tried to think of something funny to say back to him but after sprinting up 200m the best I could come up with was “that’s great Keir”. Helmet on, race number on, Watch on and I was gone.
Bike 26km:
This year I have really been working on my biking (not running a marathon in the spring helps your biking a lot) and wanted to have a good bike split. The plan was to bike as hard as I could for the 26km, “red-line it” so to speak. The course is a nice course on open roads and it takes place early on Sunday morning so the roads are fairly quite. It took a couple of minutes to get out of town and then I was able to really open it up. The bike ride was uneventful, I did pass a lot of people and was able to keep my pacing were it needed to be for my “Red-line” level of effort. The last 10km was into a head wind on some rolling terrain so my speed did drop but my effort was still high. Here is the proof:

I was happy to get back to the transition area and managed to ride 2min faster than the last time I did race (in arguably tougher conditions).
Run (5km)
The run is usually where I make up ground, so I was pretty confident heading out onto the run. The run at Smiths Falls is all up hill for the first 2km and then basically all downhill after that. I felt good on the run but never felt great. It was very hot out by the time the run got going and there was a couple people out on the run course try to help with that: there was one guy with a super soaker water guns and another guy had a water hose spraying people who were asking for it. With a km to go I tried to push it but I never felt like I got going up to speed.

I was pretty happy with the whole race, very happy with my bike, ok with my run and somewhat pleased with my swim. I ended up in a time of 1:11.56 which was good for 14th overall. I am pleased with that coming in I thought top 20 was possible (my previous best was 32nd). I have some good ideas of what to work on in the coming weeks. I really did enjoy the race and am looking forward to the next race. After the race was over I met up with Jenny and the kids, got Keir and Isla some bananas and bagels. We didn’t stick around very long as it was really hot and the kids were ready to leave.

Full Results Here:
Full Pics here:


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