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Muskoka Long Course Triathlon - TriathlonLong Course

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Huntsville, Ontario
TriSport Canada
Total Time = 4h 42m 51s
Overall Rank = 315/342
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 41/44
Pre-race routine:

How about we start with the day before? Remember my "no steak sandwich during tri season" rule? Despite Chantel's warnings I still ordered some kind of Arby's steak and cheese something or other because I was craving something different. Then to add different to different we camped out at Arrowhead, even though we've never done anything like that before. The day before the race to race day I had:

1) Arby's steak and cheese with curly fries
2) Half Chantel's ham and swiss sandwich
3) Two ham and cheddar sandwiches
4) Smores, rice cakes and other campside food
Then first thing in the morning we were in a rush so
5) A barely chewed bagel
6) The first few sips of my bottle of Sustained Energy. NEVER HAD IT BEFORE. Big letters (if you couldn't see them). Rookie mistake (I make a lot of those). Don't test new nutrition during a race.

Also in the rush to get registered, I forgot to inflate my tires. I was about to borrow one from someone else, but someone else took it before me. My tires couldn't be THAT underinflated, right? I just pumped them last week. Oh. Oh yeah.
Event warmup:

Rushing to get to the starting line 400m away, walking barefoot through gravel.
  • 48m 18s
  • 2000 meters
  • 02m 25s / 100 meters

Not a bad swim. Not a great swim either. I started off fairly well. I found some bubbles, drafted a bit, then broke off. I really prefer to swim solo. It's just so much less stressful. After rounding the first buoy I found a pair of feet to lock on to. Unfortunately he dragged me way out and off course. It wasn't too bad, but it's not where I wanted to be. The next buoy I was solo again, and pulled far to the right.

Fortunately moving far to the right actually saved me some time by cutting a bend a little shorter than most other people. I caught back up and found a few pairs of feet to follow in. I kept on them to the end.

Overall it was very decent. I didn't push too hard to keep energy in reserve, and it worked out reasonably well.
What would you do differently?:

Navigate better. Again. I could have pushed a little harder through here too. I managed to walk out of the water still feeling fresh.
Transition 1
  • 01m 26s

Great T1 time. 14 in age group and 77 overall. Just sayin. This was a good transition. Everything was visualized, and everything worked out well. Only small snag was that I didn't prepare my velcro straps, and I struggled a bit getting them on. Of course that's not reflected in this time.
What would you do differently?:

Take a closer look at prepping my shoes. Rack the bike in the proper gear.
  • 1h 55m 22s
  • 55 kms
  • 28.60 km/hr

Gained no places in my age group, lost no places. I may have taken it a bit too easy through this ride. It's funny how much more strategy there is for a race of this length. I'm obviously not going to go balls out for the entire ride, but at the same time where do you?

Starting off I tried to power up the hills to make my passes. It worked a little, but I usually got passed right back when I failed to follow through in an attempt to pace myself. It felt like a nice relaxed group ride for the first half.

The second half... well that unflavoured Sustained Energy tastes like chalk. I didn't mind drinking it, but it wasn't very nice. This is where I started to feel my stomach bother me. I hate to keep talking about GI issues, but this determined the rest of the race, so I don't have much of a choice.

I also felt a lot more worked in and worn out much earlier. I didn't gain as quickly to other people on descents. I just seemed like I had just lost momentum. With about 15k left it finally clued in that not pumping my tires might be having an effect. After a week sitting, I'm usually down from 110 psi to 90. When I got home this was confirmed for the front, but the back was all the way down to 80. That's very substantial. Is it 2 km/h slower? Maybe. It felt like it.

Also during the last 15k I started getting some pretty bad gear skipping. It appears that my chain had been bent in one spot, either from crossing over too much, from last night's chain removal and cleaning, or from a combination of the two. It got so bad I was almost unable to put any power down without slipping from the middle chainring to the small. When I looked down it was twisted on an angle. Crap.

I've wanted to upgrade to a 10-speed groupset, but I didn't want to be forced into it. But with 10-speed shifters already on the bike and needing a new chain, it looks like that might be the best option at this point. Or maybe I'll just get a new chain. Haha.
What would you do differently?:

Review my nutrition. Save some reserves for the last third of the ride maybe. Not remove my chain the night before.
Transition 2
  • 01m 16s

20 in age group, 130 overall. MOP.

Not a bad transition at all. I found my bike okay (the yellow towel was a FSMsend), and used the extra time to put my IT band strap on (properly too). I didn't forget anything, and this time I was somewhat confident of that.
What would you do differently?:

Not much actually. Maybe try running with the bike better, but this is going to be tough to improve on very much.
  • 1h 56m 41s
  • 13 kms
  • 08m 59s  min/km

I don't think there are enough words to describe how suckage this was. On this "run" I only beat two people who had a finishing time. Whatever it was, the Sustained Energy or anything else I ate on the weekend caught up to me here. It started immediately on the run and only got worse.

The first 3k were okay, but after that point my stomach was cramping worse than it ever had. Ever. I thought I needed to get my appendix removed or something. Any time I ran it just got worse, so I walked. I walked 95% of the last 10k.

I probably should have just quit the race, but I had some crazy need to "finish" it, like as if that was considered an actual "finish". That wasn't anything like racing, it was walking.

It's like as if Bruce Jenner was competing in the decathlon and said "ehhh, I did good enough with everything else, so instead of the shot put I'm going to play marbles." Totally different game!

Even the people giving support were pissing me off. "Come on, you can do it, just a little bit left," or "come on, hustle a little." EFF OFF! I'm doing what I can! If I had any option other than walking I would be doing it. But I smiled and tried to thank them or be positive. Their intentions are good, and I did appreciate that.

It's unfortunate that a crappy run defined what was otherwise a pretty decent swim and an okay ride. I think it's been enough for me to put my plans to do a half iron on hold for this year. It would be a great experience, but if I can't run most of the run I don't feel like I'd deserve a lower case i.

This race was supposed to determine whether I signed up for the half-iron. Right after the race I was undecided, but the next morning... yeah, that's not happening this year. Besides, I've accomplished a lot this year, no sense it using it up all in one year.

For this year I've still got to finish an olympic distance where I'm running the full 10k. I've still got to do a half-marathon. I'm still going to try out cyclocross. I've got to keep myself from being injured. I've got to figure out nutrition. Lots of smaller goals for this year, so it's not like I'm going to be slacking off.

I'd hate to have to wait until NEXT September to do my half-iron, so I think I'm going to do a half-iron distance race or two during the year, maybe finishing off with Muskoka. If I feel like I absolutely need to get a real lower-case i before September, there are a couple other races that are relatively close and easy to get to. So we'll see. I think it'll be a fun year getting to concentrate on one distance.

Woah, off-topic. In other words the run sucked.

On the positive side, no injuries. And bonus, I realized that the ankle pain that I have (the one that doctor google diagnosed as something I'd end up needing surgery for (he's very aggressive)), was actually from smacking my ankle on the effing crank. So stupid that I didn't realize it sooner. But at least I can make the adjustments easily enough. Hopefully toeing in won't cause OTHER injuries to my right side. Haha.
What would you do differently?:

Completely scrap my nutrition plans and start from scratch. That tongue-in-cheek rule about steak sandwiches is actually not tongue-in-cheek anymore. I would have only eaten simple, low-fat, easily digestable foods, like plain rice, bagels, chicken breast, and vegetables for the days leading up to the race. Race day I would not have tried out a new type of nutrition (especially not one that tastes like chalk). And oh yeah, I would have known that no matter how much of a rush you're in, you're supposed to CHEW your bagel before swallowing it.
Post race
Warm down:

You mean other than the 10k walk?

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It's all listed above, but to recap:

1) nutrition
2) mechanical issues
3) poor navigation

Event comments:

Nice race overall, but I wasn't feeling the run. Not much shade, and too many turnarounds. The ride was gorgeous though, and I loved the swim route. I didn't stick around for the post-race activities, but they seemed to be set up well, and it looked like good insurance to be indoors.

Last updated: 2010-06-24 12:00 AM
00:48:18 | 2000 meters | 02m 25s / 100meters
Age Group: 33/44
Overall: 267/342
Performance: Average
Suit: Nineteen Frequency
Course: Triangle course through the lake, and then up the river
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:55:22 | 55 kms | 28.60 km/hr
Age Group: 33/44
Overall: 220/342
Performance: Below average
AHR: 149.
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back through hilly Canadian Shield roads.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 98
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
01:56:41 | 13 kms | 08m 59s  min/km
Age Group: 43/44
Overall: 343/342
Performance: Bad
AHR: 129
Course: Two laps of a three-turnaround course. Not much shade.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-07-26 6:39 AM

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Toronto, ON
Subject: Muskoka Long Course Triathlon

2010-07-26 8:40 AM
in reply to: #3004090

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New user

Subject: RE: Muskoka Long Course Triathlon
Good Job the race was a tough one .. I've never seen that many hills squeezed into 55k for the ride and then 13 for the run...
Congrats on your finish
2010-07-30 12:55 PM
in reply to: #3004090


Subject: RE: Muskoka Long Course Triathlon
Sounds like your day went very much like mine. I was ok out of the water, had alot of nausea onthe bike, to the point I actually stopped to throw up, and then the run just topped it. I walked about 1/2 of it. Great job on finishing and, have heart, if you could finish this race, the Demi Esprit (Half iron Distance) in Montreal in September will be a peice of cake as there are no hills. Give it a try and thanks for sharing!
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