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Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Calgary, Alberta
Canada
Alberta Triathlon Assoiation
28C / 82F
Sunny
Total Time = 6h 09m 13s
Overall Rank = 78/158
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Tossed and turned all night and didn't get a good sleep before the race. Didn't really feel nervous but just couldn't sleep. Woke up at 5am. Had a multi-grain bagel with PB and honey, yogurt and a glass of milk. Double checked that everything was packed and ready to go. Got to the race site at 6:15am. We got a great spot in transition...right in the front corner with lots of room to maneuver. Set everything up, ate a Power Bar and made a couple bathroom stops. Still felt calm and really anxious to start the race. Went and got body marked and timing chip which went really quickly. Came back to transition area and began the workout of getting the wetsuit on. Just bought the wetsuit on Wednesday so was looking forward to seeing how it would feel in the water. Race announcer said it was 15 min. until race start so I made my way down to the water and realized that I was about to start my first Half Ironman!
Event warmup:

Got into the water and stood there for a couple minutes just taking everything in. Swam about 100m then came back onto the beach to wait for the start.
Swim
  • 43m 45s
  • 2000 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters
Comments:

Started near the back. I wanted no part of the jostling for position. I thought just stay at the back and relax so you don't panic. I tried to draft off a few people but I didn't do a very good job of it. I had a bit of trouble getting into a rhythmn with my breathing so I decided to breast stroke for a few seconds. For some reason I didn't feel comfortable bilateral breathing so I started breathing to the right only. I looked back to make sure I wasn't last and saw that there were about 30 people behind me so I didn't feel too bad. Never really felt tired and seemed a bit afraid of pushing the pace. The first loop was finally over....ran up onto the beach around the marker and back in for another loop. Relaxed during the second loop and it seemed to go a bit quicker.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe try and push the pace a bit. Almost felt a bit lazy knowing that the wetsuit would make me buoyant and I wouldn't need to work as hard. Also maybe try harder to stick with bilateral breathing as I had done in training. I had some trouble sighting when swimming looking into the sun...might want to check into some tinted goggles. I definitely need to work harder on my swimming in the offseason. I haven't put a lot of training time in and it shows in the results.
Transition 1
  • 00m
Comments:

Got out of the water and ran up onto the grass where the wetsuit strippers were waiting. I layed down and held onto my tri shorts and it was off within seconds! There's no way I would have done that any quicker on my own. Grabbed my wetsuit and ran to my bike. I was happy to be out of the water and took my time getting ready for the ride. Already had my tri top on under the wetsuit so just had to dry my feet, throw on my socks, shoes, helmet and sunglasses. Had a Carb Boom gel and started off on the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...this transition went pretty well. Might have taken a bit too much time but I thought it was worth it considering it was going to be a long day.
Bike
  • 3h 19m 48s
  • 96 kms
  • 28.83 km/hr
Comments:

Since I came out of the swim near the back of the pack I knew I would have to make up for it on the bike. Made it through the first few intersections which were controlled by Calgary Police...good thing because there was a lot of traffic and at times you wondered if you were going to get hit going through. After that we the road progressed into the foothills. I passed a few people which gave me some confidence. Noticed a few people had flats right from the start which wasn't good. I've never had to change a flat on my bike and didn't want today to be the first time. Started passing more riders..especially on the uphills. Going uphill rocks!! Unfortunately what goes up must come down....I'm not a big speed fan and the wobble I got on my last training ride a couple weeks ago shook my confidence. Surprisingly though...I had gone far enough ahead of the people i had passed that they didn't catch me on the downhills. There was quite a bit of loose gravel on the shoulders so had to be cautious. There were some pretty big hills but I stayed calm and in control. I got no wobbles on the bike which was a confidence booster. Near the turnoff I started to see some riders coming back the other way. Was trying to guage how far back I was...and thought...where is Terry?? lol...Just before the turnoff there was a Texas cattle gate which had a small strip of material over top so your bike wouldn't fall in. I almost forgot about it and just barely made it onto the strip which you had to drive over...otherwise they'd still be trying to pick up the pieces!

I got to the turnaround and noticed Terry just going into the bathroom...I thought awesome! Make it a quick stop and you'll be ahead of him. I quickly grabbed some water from the aid station dumped it into my Aero bottle and quickly turned around for the second half. Terry and I played cat and mouse for most of the second half. I would pass him on the uphills and he would destroy me on the downhills. On one hill he said a few choice words to me in Greek. On one flat I saw him pull away from me and wondered why I was losing ground...I noticed that I had been riding in small chain ring on the front for about 10 minutes without noticing....duh!

I continued passing people...in total passing close to 80 cyclists while being passed by only about 5. As I rode over the last big hill I could finally see Calgary and realized that the ride would soon be coming to an end. The last 10-16 was quick as most of it was downhill. In certain spots it was difficult to pass others because of the big orange traffic signs. In fact if you weren't careful you could easily have run into one of them. In the last 2-3k I geared down to flush the legs out before starting the run. Didn't feel tired or sore at all.

Nutrition was pretty good on the bike. Had 2 Myplex bars, 2 bottles of Accelerade and 2.5 bottles of water. Didn't have to stop and get rid of any fluids so hydration was good. I found that I didn't really look forward to drinking my orange Accelerade. Not crazy about the taste and it doesn't totally dissolve so it felt a bit "chunky".
What would you do differently?:

Maybe try and push the pace harder?? I was afraid of pushing too hard and leaving nothing for the run. Overall happy with the bike. Uphills were srong and as usual the downhills were tentative but that's just me at this point. I need to learn to trust my bike on the decents.
Transition 2
  • 00m
Comments:

I arrived back in transition. Happy to be off the bike but thinking...ok here we go...let's see what the run brings. When I reached the dismount line I got off the bike and felt a bit a spasm in my hamstring muscles and I thought oh no...so I slowly walked the bike to my spot. One of the volunteers commented that I seemed to be in no rush to get on with the run. I still had a half marathon to run so what was the point in rushing? I racked my bike and wondered where everyone was since I was the only one in transition at that point. My time in transition was fairly quick. Put on my shoes, visor(mistake), Garmin(mistake) had another Carb Boom gel and proceeded to start running.
What would you do differently?:

Not much really. I had made a decision to take my time in both transitions before the race since I didn't know what to expect and I would rather be over-prepared than underprepared. Next time I will wear a HAT and leave my Garmin AT HOME!!
Run
  • 2h 05m 40s
  • 21 kms
  • 05m 59s  min/km
Comments:

As I started out onto the run path I noticed that the overcast skies during the bike had cleared up and it was now sunny and HOT! I was waiting to feel the "jello-y" feeling in my legs but it wasn't there...they actually felt pretty good. This was wear the neuroticism with my Garmin began. I was running side by side with Amber from Regina and we were running at about a 4:30min/k pace and thought whoa slow down! I cut back to a 5-5:20 pace to see how that would feel. Everything felt decent and I reminded myself that I just needed to get through the run and I would be a Half Ironman. I passed Amber and stayed about 50 m in front of her. Stopped at the first aid station and poured a couple cups of water over my head which felt awesome. Took in some warm Gatorade and water...Yuk!...and kept on running. I noticed that I was checking my pace a lot. I have a habit of doing this when I have my Garmin on....looking at the pace and time and then figuring out...well if I keep this pace up I might come in at a certain time. Honestly I must have checked my pace every 30 seconds!

As we left the residential area and made our way into the park I saw Terry up ahead...congratulated him on a great race up to that point and told him to kick some ass...soon we would be done! At this point it started to get really hot. Up ahead we ran through some trees which provided some shade for about 10 minutes but a truck had driven through the path and caused fuzz to fly everywhere...not exactly what you want to be breathing in. The end of the loop had an out and back portion where I saw a lot of other runners heading back in towards transition so I was able to see where I was at in relation to them. The aid station before leaving the park had Coke which I had never tried during a race but was sick of Gatorade so I took a big glass of ice and poured the warm coke over it. That was probably the best glass of Coke ever! I looked up and saw that it was time to climb the hill out of the park/valley and back to transition. Almost everyone walked that hill. I tried to run a bit but thought why waste the energy. Arrived back into transition to end the first loop and out to begin the second loop. My first loop time was 57 minutes...I did some quick calculations...surprise...surprise and figured that if I could maintain this pace I could come in under 6 hours!
The temp. seemed to get hotter on the second loop....as we ran back into the park I could feel my feet burning....I wasn't hurting or sore anywhere else...just generally tired and psychologically I started to doubt that I could maintain the pace. I continued to watch my pace fall slightly...damn Garmin!....at the aid stations I started to grab ice and just hold it in my hands during the run....that felt awesome. I thought...hmm I think it would feel good to put some on my head. Doesn't work very well when you're wearing a visor. That was misake number 2. Next time wear a hat so you can keep the ice in! I began to walk a bit more...I would stop for 10 seconds and walk and then continue on...just needed to recharge a bit. On one occasion I asked myself why I had signed up for another HIM in 3 weeks....NOT gonna happen...and who was I fooling that I wanted to go out to Pentiction in August and sign up for double this distance...SCREW THAT! LOL..(Oh how quickly we forget) Reached the turnaround point and realized that I just had to climb the last hill and i was done! My stomach was starting to feel shitty so I took in a few pretzels at the last aid station and washed them down with some ice cold Coke. I thanked the volunteers but told them I was happy I wouldn't have to see them again. I walked up the hill out of the valley and realized that in 1km I will have completed a Half Ironman. I passed Cindy who was finishing her first loop....she had been diagnosed with severe anemia 2 weeks ago and still decided to do the race. I encouraged her to keep going and I proceeded on. As I rounded the corner to the final straightaway I realized there was no one else around me. 7 years ago I was 280 pounds and today I was about to complete a Half Ironman. I sprinted to the finish line as the announcer said...."Here he comes....from Regina....Nick Doulias." As I crossed the finish line the reality of the moment and the accomplishment immediately set in. Whenever I finish a race and what I went through....I always put it in perspective by remembering what my Dad went through before he lost his battle with lung cancer almost 2 years ago. I will never complain about the pain or soreness that we get from this sport. It's a privilege to be healthy and able to take part in such a fantastic activity!
I pulled myself together and was congratulated by the Regina crew that had already finished. There were almost 25 of us so the support was awesome. I walked over and congratulated my buddy Jason. We ran our first Half Marathon together 4 years ago and i remembered the pain we had after that race. Now we had both just completed a Half Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

Wear a hat instead of a visor so I can put some ice on my head. I would never again wear a Garmin in a race. I checked my pace so many friggin' times. It would be better to just run based on how I felt. It's demoralizing watching your pace drop in the last half of the run. My first loop was 57 min and the second was 1:08 so I could try and pace a bit more evenly but after being out there for 6 hours that's bound to happen. Had no chaffing issues so clothes worked out great. Might want to look at taking in more sodium. Stomach felt really queazy at the end which seems to happen at the end of every race. I didn't carry any water with me and that was ok...I hate the feeling of a water bottle bouncing on my back. Need to do a better job of applying sunscreen!
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit and then went and sat with some people in the shade and stretched. Had a couple cookies and some water and gatorade. Sat around and watched the rest of the Reginans finish and had a quick and painful massage.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My swim needs to improve. Happy with the bike and run. I was hoping for a sub 2 hour run but I'll take 2:05. If someone had told me before the race that I would do a 6:09 in my first Half Ironman I'd have told them they were nuts. I'm totally happy!

Event comments:

Looking forward to the next Half Ironman in Morden in 3 weeks! Congrats to Terry (Windnsnow) and Chris (Highwaydog) on a great race! This is no easy course and you guys ROCKED!!




Last updated: 2008-06-03 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:43:45 | 2000 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/158
Performance: Below average
Suit:
Course: 2 loops of a triangular 1k course
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 00:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
03:19:48 | 96 kms | 28.83 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/158
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Out back in the hills out toward Bragg Creek on highway 22x. Very hilly course...the flats were few and far between.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
02:05:40 | 21 kms | 05m 59s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/158
Performance: Good
Course: 2 10.5k loops through a park in the valley and some residential areas. One big assed hill near the end of the loop. It was HOT! Almost 30 degrees.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2008-06-24 10:55 AM

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Regular
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Regina, Saskatchewan
Subject: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon


2008-06-24 3:21 PM
in reply to: #1486275

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Regina, Saskatchewan
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

Hey, my friend, awesome report. And to think this is from a guy who was going to quit the sport after going down his first hill. I knew you would get over it. Take care, rest up a bit and I will see you at the races for years to come. Congrats!!!!!!

 

2008-06-24 4:43 PM
in reply to: #1486275

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Extreme Veteran
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Land of living sighs
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

Great report...it was almost like being there!

What an awesome race you had...it is easy to say "for your first race" but it was great for any race--you placed better than many veterans.

Well done...next time, though, I won't let you stick to me on the bike like toilet paper on a shoe!

Your hill climbing is incredible! 

2008-06-25 7:26 AM
in reply to: #1486275

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Regular
132
10025
Regina, Saskatchewan
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

I'll be on you like glue in Morden...look out!

2008-06-26 10:21 AM
in reply to: #1486275

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Veteran
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Sask.
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon
Great job Nick!
2008-06-26 2:19 PM
in reply to: #1486275

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Master
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Baden
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

Great report Nick... and an AWESOME result. For your first HIM you did an amazing job.

Keep it up.



2008-06-26 10:32 PM
in reply to: #1486275

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Extreme Veteran
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Lethbridge, AB
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

Great race for you!  Way to go!  Hmmm.. ironman 2009 or 10?

2008-06-27 7:15 AM
in reply to: #1486275

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Pro
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Sous Mon Diadème
Gold member
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon
Congratulations, Nick!  Great racing and race reporting .
2008-06-27 9:51 PM
in reply to: #1486275

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Veteran
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Calgary, Alberta
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon

Great race report, I felt like I was right there with ya!! I was laughing out loud at parts, because its all too familiar, especially the "Seriously...as if I am going to sign up to do double this distance....those people have serious problems!?!"

Congratulations on a huge accomplishment, and thanks for sharing!

2008-06-27 10:22 PM
in reply to: #1486275

Subject: ...
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2008-07-02 8:02 AM
in reply to: #1486275

Master
1565
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SMIBville
Subject: RE: Chinook Half Ironman Triathlon
great job on your first HIM!  keep it up!


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