Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Half Iron Course - Triathlon

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Vancouver, British Columbia
Subaru Western Triathlon Series
11C / 52F
Total Time = 6h 30m 50s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 10/13
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:45 to leave to Sean and Vivian's by 4:10. Toast and coffee. Got to the site perfectly at 5:30. They dropped me off as they weren't starting til 7:30. I got my transition area set up, and was about to think about getting my wetsuit on, when I realized I had left it in the truck. Called them to see where they had parked, they were close by so no worries. Grabbed my suit, still had plenty of time, so got in the portapotty line again before getting my suit on. Got into my wetsuit, headed down to the water.
I had been thinking about what I wanted for this race. I am pretty happy with my swimming overall, but I still have that 'takes me awhile to get going thing' to deal with. I wanted to get a good warmup in to help with that. For the bike, I had ridden the course, so I knew what was coming. I wanted to have a strong bike, but more than anything I was hoping that my work on the bike in the winter and leading up to the race would allow me to run well. I raced an Olympic a few weeks ago, and I was feeling really frustrated with the bike on that race. It was hilly, but I was still hoping to have been/feel stronger. After some reflection, I realized that although my speed didn't increase with the work I had done, I did have a strong run after, so I was hoping for the same here. And for the run, I had a goal of 2:20 in mind. No idea why that number popped up, but there it was. I wasn't going to be disappointed if I didn't hit that, but I did want to be able to run the whole thing (as opposed to last year's HIM in which I ended up walking a lot of it)

Event warmup:

I got in, got my head wet, got used to the water temp, then swam out to the first buoy and back. Just too slow, easy strokes. It was pretty calm this morning. Got out of the water just as they blew the warning horn and got to the back of the group.
  • 37m 16s
  • 1900 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

Wow, this was my first run in start. I was waaaaaay at the back so I got to watch the whole thing kick off. K calls it the pirahna effect--man, that is exactly what it looks like. Even starting at the back there was lots of contact, it never really spread out. As I was swimming, I realized that I wasn't sucking air, I wasn't struggling, this didn't suck. For the first time ever in an OWS, I was comfortable right from the start. Weird considering I haven't been in the ocean at all this year and it was so crowded. Well, I am not about to look a gift horse in the mouht!

The first buoys were green and they were moving quite a bit. It was also hard to sight on as it was so crowded, but also because the colour kind of matched the water. So I came up on it really suddenly. Many swam on wrong side of it, I think because we came up on it so suddenly I ended up having to swim at a right angle to the course to get around it. The next buoy was orange, small, but no problem seeing it. The turn buoy was yellow and there was lots of contact going around it. I ended up quite wide on back stretch, not too sure why, I may have just been following others. My sighting was terrible to last buoy--I kept going off course right. There was still lots of contact going on here, I was getting swum over a little bit, or my arm would come down on someone's back. I remember getting hit in the back of the head once--not hard, but just a bit disconcerting. I also had someone start the pull on the back of my legs and pushed me down a bit. It was interesting that I could feel all this happening, and I took note of it, but I was never scared/nervous.

I looked at my watch on the run around and was happy to see 18 min, pretty much right where I wanted to be. My second lap was even better though. The first green buoy was an issue again, it just seemed to appear out of no where. It was still quite crowded. I did really well rounding the first yellow this time, I took the corner right in tight and straight on to the next yellow. I had much better back stretch, straight on buoy to buoy. A lot of people seemed to be going wide here, but I didn't follow this time. I was in my own groove. So much so that I started thinking about really random stuff "Did I talk to much at dinner last night? I told a lot of stories. OMG I hope I am not "that" girl!. Geez, I hope my bike goes well today. I have ridden the course, but still..." Ok, how about we focus on swimming while we are out here?!

My last section was better as well, I was still off course a little bit but not as bad as the first loop. I got in, ran up the beach, saw 38 min on my watch and was happy.

What would you do differently?:

Not much, really happy.
Transition 1
  • 05m 52s

Run up the beach and across the grass to Transition. Walked the first bit out of the water. I had started up my kick for the last few meters so that I didn't have the foggy feeling, it helped some. Got my suit off no problem, had a bottle of water to rinse off sand. Then made the mistake of drying my feet with the sandy towel. sigh. Try again. I helped the woman next to me pull her suit off over her heels as she was having trouble. I got my shoe and helmet on, spritzed some sun screen and off I was. A dude knocked his shoe off his pedal as he was trying to do a flying mount at exit, I reached down and grabbed it and passed it to him. Both he and the woman I helped seemed somewhat surprised...
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure what is taking me so long on T1...I think I am afraid I am forgetting something.
  • 3h 29m 2s
  • 90 kms
  • 25.78 km/hr

Came out of transition, around the corner and I hear "honey?". K had come in on her own and had parked herself at the start of the bike route. This was also at about the middle of the run route as well. She got up at 4:30 am to come out and support me.

This was kind of a good learning experience for me. On the first loop I was grumpy. It was really hard and I was hating it and wondering if I should just stick to the swimming and running. I was not pushing super hard, but I was in the drops, trying to keep my speed up. About halfway through the first loop, I thought "This is stupid. If i am not having fun why do it? If I am not having fun, maybe I am going too hard." So I eased off and stopped using the drops so much. The next 3 loops were much better. I just started encouraging others, high fiving volunteers. And I don't think my speed really suffered. I think I have discovered that I don't have as much power in the drops, so it feels harder. And of course, attitude is everything! I also have come to realize that I am great at climbing, not so much at flats/rolling.

I was really bloated on the first 2 loops, a little uncomfortable and I am not sure why. I think I may have swallowed a bunch of air on the swim (I took in a couple big gulps of the ocean as well. Just wanted to see how it tasted...) Started to feel better by loop 3. I stopped once on the bike after the first loop to use the porta pottie. I had to go since getting out of the water, and I thought I might be able to join the yellow sock club, but nope, couldn't do it...

I was really trying to focus on nutrition/hydration so I didn't have the same issues as last year on the run. During the bike I had 5 fig newtons in the first 3 loops, 1/2 bottle perpetuem mixed with heed on the last loop, and about 1.2L of water; about 340 per hour which is a little higher than I would normally go, but I knew it was going to get hot on the run and I didn't want to get behind. Total calories was about 800. That is about perfect for me, around 200/hour.

I saw quite a few crashes (not witnessed, but the aftermath). At least one Elite crashed out. The bike course was really crowded for loops 2 and 3, when all distances were out there, like sometimes 3 or 4 across. I just tried to stay to the right out of everyone's way!

On the last loop there was woman that I had been sort of keeping pace with. Not on purpose, I just kept playing leap frog with her for most of the bike. For probably 3/4 of the last loop I was behind her. I could have passed her, but I thought what's the point. We are at the same pace, I may as well just enjoy the ride.

We did the last out and back, and as we turned the corner for the last big downhill, she was trying to pass someone when that person went out wide and blocked her--it wasn't on purpose, just an inexperienced rider. The whole inside opened up so I just took it (there was tons of room, like a couple meters, it was not a dangerous move). I hit the downhill like a bat outta hell and it was so fun. You know that Geigo commercial with the piggy on the zipline? Whee whee wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Yep, yelled it the whole way down :).

We get to the bottom flat and there is about 2km to get back to transition. I am just at a comfortable pace, just trying to spin the legs and get ready to run. She goes shooting past me again. Into T2 we go.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. With faster people.
Transition 2
  • 02m 36s

So I am coming down my aisle to my area and there are 3 (obviously fast, already finished) people standing in the middle chatting. I am yelling excuse me on the way up to them, but they can't hear me because of the announcer. Sorry buddy, but you are in my way. I gently but firmly moved the gentleman out of my way to get past. He was apologetic, but I wasn't hanging around to accept! Got my helmet off, shoes on, grabbed my belt, had a sip of water, gel in the pocket and go.
What would you do differently?:

Yell louder so the dude hears me?
  • 2h 16m 6s
  • 20 kms
  • 06m 49s  min/km

The first 200m I was going way too fast, so I really forced myself to slow down--man it feels SO SLOW when you get off the bike! I got into a nice groove pretty quickly--a bit faster than I had planned about 6:50/km. I was aiming for 7min/km, but figured I would just go with it and see how it went. I walked all the aid stations, just long enough to drink or douse--it was starting to get pretty hot out. Thankfully we had some breeze coming off the water.

I was about 2km in, when I realized that right in front of me was my bike buddy. She was on a walk break, I went past. I figured she would leapfrog me at my next walk break, but I didn't see her again until I was headed back in from the west turnaround. She was about 1km back at that point. I didn't see her again, so I think she may have given up too much on the bike and had to walk a lot of the run. Man, I knew that feeling!!

For the first 10km I did a run 2km, walk 1 min, for the second 10km I did a run 1km, walk 1min. I hadn't totally planned that, I was going to do run 1km, walk 1 min for the whole thing, but the 2:1 felt right, so I did it. I kept up the sub 7min km or was very close on that for first 10km. I then slowed a bit from km 11-13, but then picked it up again until the last 2km when i started to struggle.

I took a gel at about 9km when I started to fade a wee bit. I might take it a bit earlier next time. And I should have had one more with me, it would have been nice at about km 15. They were handing out gels, but they were of the kind that make me move really quickly--to the portapotty. Wasn't chancing that! I did take in some Gatorade on run, not enough.

At km 18, I started to get the low blood sugar shivers. I grabbed some coke and some Gatorade at the aid station, but it was just a little late to help. My last 1.5km were pretty slow. BUT I ran (well, jogged!) not walked.

K was there km 10, 15 and at the end of the run. She missed seeing me on my first pass. It's always such a lift to have someone cheering for you! She ran up to the chute with me and then met me at the finish.
What would you do differently?:

I am so damn pleased with this, I would not change much. Have one more gel with me, and take the first one a little sooner. To be able to put down a 20km time that is just 2 minutes more than my open HM time? With only a long run of 12.5km since coming back from injury. Slow, but consistent running mostly 6days/week with some 5days/week sprinkled in. I am a believer.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some food, chatted with Tammy (first sub-6 HIM!), introduced her to K. They had run out of finisher medals, so I won't get mine til August.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Pretty much being slow on the bike...

Event comments:

This course is absolutely beautiful. The run along the beach is great, a view of Vancouver and the North Shore. National Long Distance Championships meant there were some speedy people here!

Last updated: 2013-03-28 12:00 AM
00:37:16 | 1900 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops, triangle course. Past green, then orange buoys, then around yellow buoys. Across the base of the triangle, around the yellow, past the orange and green, around the yellow. Short run up the beach, around the white balloons and back in for loop 2
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0C / 0F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:52
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:29:02 | 90 kms | 25.78 km/hr
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: 4 loops--up hill, down SW marine to Kulluhun, out and back on Chancellor, down the hill. Turnaround in parking lot.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:16:06 | 20 kms | 06m 49s  min/km
Age Group: 0/13
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops 10km. East first, out along water, up to west 4th up hill to NW Marine, down to trail, through park for 1-2km, then along beach to start. West then, all along water/beach. The eastern part, although it had some hills, was partly shaded. The west was flat, but nothing but hot, hot sun.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4