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Lake Summerside Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Edmonton, Alberta
Multisports Canada
Total Time = 1h 23m 20s
Overall Rank = 22/71
Age Group = Men 20-29
Age Group Rank = 6/9
Pre-race routine:

This was my first time competing in a race for the second time, and it was amazing how my mindset had changed from last year. I knew what to expect from the swim, I knew how to transition, and I knew that I was in good enough shape to finish the whole race, so I didn't worry about pacing.

I drove myself down to the race site early in the morning. I should note that one thing very different from last year is that I was all by myself. Last year I had 2 friends racing, and they both had their spouses and other friends along, so there was a large cheering section throughout the race. This year, those friends both live on the West Coast, and Jana wasn't able to make it out due to prior commitments. So it was just me, but in the end I didn't mind it at all. I was able to relax and focus, which put me in a really good mental space before race.

The one thing that caused some agitation before the race is that the water was so cold that the race organizers didn't make the final call on whether we would swim the full distance, or even swim at all, until about 15 minutes before the Olympic race started, which was an hour before my start. I couldn't decide if I wanted the swim to be shortened or not. On the one hand, the swim is the part of the race I fear the most. And last year in this lake, the cold water and long distances caused me to panic, forcing me to swim most of the course on my back, which in turn tired my legs for the rest of the race. I also remembered my feet being numb through the entire cycling portion of the race. So part of me wanted the race shortened. On the other hand, this is my only regulation distance sprint triathlon of the year, and I really wanted a shot at my goal of completing a sprint triathlon in under 1:20. So when they announced that the swim would go ahead as planned, I focused on the goal, and hopped in the water extra early to warm up.
Event warmup:

I jogged around the beach for a while, and then I spent 20 minutes in the water, putting my face in (with new goggles since late the night before I'd realized that I'd left my goggles in my locker at the pool, and the only thing open that late was a Wal-Mart), and swimming around. The water was very cold, apparently colder than last year, but I spent long enough in that I could convince my brain that I could breathe normally, and the panic reflex faded away.
  • 15m 27s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

I improved my swim time dramatically from last year: from 21:40 to 15:27, including a longer run into transition. I checked my watch when I hopped out, and I actually completed the swim in under 15 minutes, which is almost 2 minutes faster than my previous best 750 metre swim at Coral Springs last year. I think the addition of weight training to my workouts this year really helped.
Transition 1
  • 00m

Last year's transition was horrible, and although I don't have any exact times, I think I was probably 5 minutes faster this year than I was last year. My wetsuit came off with no problem, and since I've switched to using no socks, getting my shoes on took a lot less time. Also, having completed the swim faster, I was not as numb, and could still use my fingers.
  • 42m 13s
  • 19.5 kms
  • 27.71 km/hr

The bike was pretty uneventful. I felt like I was pushing hard, and certainly passed more people than I let pass me, but I couldn't seem to break through to the sort of speeds that I was seeing around me. I know that part of it is my bike, but mostly I need to train more actually on my bike. I still have a lot of room for improvement here, and training on the stationary bikes at the gym only helps me so much. My final time was 42:13, which stands up pretty good to last year's time of 55:40. The major differences were the improved transition, and the shortened course, which make it hard to actually tell how my cycling pace compared. It was definitely a smoother ride and less windy, so I probably did bike faster.
Transition 2
  • 00m

My second transition was very fast, as always, with no shoes to change. I took a few seconds to have a drink of Gatorade, which was really helpful.
  • 25m 41s
  • 5 kms
  • 05m 08s  min/km

The run is always very difficult in a triathlon, because for the first few kilometres my leg muscles don't want to work properly, and then for the last few kilometres I'm completely exhausted. I was quite proud of myself, though, for how I pushed as hard as I possibly could. In my immediate post-race delirium, I thought I had actually cracked 25 minutes for the 5k run (which would be a slow run normally, but very good for me in a triathlon), but looking at the official results and at my watch again I'm not sure why I thought that. My run time was 25:41, which is still a pretty good time, and I ran the second 2.5 km lap faster than the first (reverse split). I don't have the exact lap times because I forgot to hit the button on my watch, but I know that I looked down at the turn around and my first lap was just over 13 minutes. So definitely a lot to be proud of there. And again a huge improvement over last year, where I ran 28:08 on the exact same course.
Post race
Warm down:

So in the end, my time of 1:23:20 was over 21 minutes faster than last year's 1:44:53. Some of that was due to the shorter bike, but most of it was personal improvement, particularly in the swim and transition phases of the race. I also improved in my overall placement: last year I was 40/80, and this year I was 22/70.

Unfortunately, I was not able to achieve my goal of breaking 1:20, and my two remaining triathlons won't give me an opportunity to do that (I'm doing an Olympic distance in August and then the Lacombe triathlon in September, which claims to be a sprint triathlon, but is short in all three distances). I came a lot closer than I thought I was going to through the spring, and I know that it is doable. I will be aiming for at least that mark next year.

My other triathlon related goal this year was to finish in the top 3 in my age group. This is kind of a silly goal, because it's pretty much out of my control, but the quality of competition is fairly consistent from year to year at these triathlons. Last year I was 7/7 in the Mens 20-29 category, and this year I improved to 6/9. Had I cracked 1:20, I would have been 4th. 3rd was a distant 1:16. I'll be looking to achieve this goal at the Lacombe triathlon, where last year I finished 4th. The gap between me and 3rd was a very large 10 minutes, but I think that my results at Summerside have shown that I'm capable of cutting that kind of time off. I know I'll be in the thick of things there, anyway.

There are a lot of positives that I can take away from this race, and I'm very proud of my result. I moved up the pack in each event: 34th in the swim, then 24th on the bike, and then 19th in the run. I ran faster than 5 people who finished ahead of me. I reverse split the run. I never let up through the entire race, pushing as hard as I could the whole time.

I continue to get more hooked on this sport. I don't foresee myself ever being competitive for the top spots, but I'm definitely going to keep pushing myself and seeing how fast I can go.

Event comments:

The course was slightly changed from last year, and the two changes the race organizers made dramatically improved the race. First, they moved the swim exit from the uneven concrete boat launch to the sandy beach. This made the runup to the transition area longer, but also made the swim exit way safer and more comfortable. Second, they changed the bike route. Now not only was the sprint distance more accurate (19.5 km compared to last year's 22.4 km), but the route didn't take us through the patches of extremely uneven pavement that we had to go through last year, which meant less flat tires and also made it possible to push hard for the whole bike portion of the race.

Last updated: 2010-02-01 12:00 AM
00:15:27 | 750 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/9
Overall: 34/71
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:42:13 | 19.5 kms | 27.71 km/hr
Age Group: 6/9
Overall: 24/71
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:25:41 | 05 kms | 05m 08s  min/km
Age Group: 4/9
Overall: 19/71
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2010-06-30 3:41 PM

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Subject: Lake Summerside Triathlon
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