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Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Vancouver, British Columbia
Subaru Western Triathlon Series
75F / 24C
Total Time = 3h 22m 32s
Overall Rank = 269/280
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 30/30
Pre-race routine:

Somehow managed to spend two full weeks prior to race day without a single workout. Through a combination of work flare-ups and home life upheaval (preparing for the road trip from Calgary to Vancouver). We drove down the Sunday & Monday before, staying at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Hence -- did not advance the training much beyond the first Olympic completed in June. Probably not ideal. Also did not get a chance to practice OWS in the ocean.

Drove the bike course the day before. And checked out the swim buoys... Kim (who was doing the sprint) said "they look so close!" hahahahahaha

Evening before -- large plate of spaghetti, and apple pie with ice cream. (Mmmm...) Went to bed at 11pm.
Morning of -- woke up at 4:30am. Peanut butter bagel and a banana. Hopped in the car at 5:10am, arrived at the marina at 5:50am.
Event warmup:

A few logistical glitches (long lines for both parking meter and bathroom) meant that things felt a bit rushed. Got my transition area set up -- man, none of these events provide enough space, do they?!? Felt like I kept forgetting things and generally not on my game.

T-45 -- wetsuit goes on.
T-30 -- hopped in the water. Thank goodness -- water is glorious! And not too choppy. Or salty. I can handle this! Didn't spend too long but I did maybe 50 strokes of front crawl out and back, just to feel confident.
T-15 -- found Kim again and wished her luck in the sprint
T-5 -- lined up -- do pre-race nerves ever go away?
And.... go!
  • 42m 27s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 50s / 100 meters

First time doing an ocean swim... went OK all in all.
The outbound leg felt really really long. Good news though -- apart from the first 50m or so, it was not congested. (perhaps because everyone had passed me?)

The cross leg -- wow, could you ever tell there was a current! Not by feeling it -- but by watching myself (and every other swimmer) continually get pushed out toward the open ocean. It took great concentration and frequent sighting to stay anywhere near the right line. Good news -- it was down-current... zoom!

The inbound leg -- similar story -- the current kept pushing me to the right. Felt like very slow progress.

On the second lap -- sighting was much better. Started to pick out ships, mountains, shoreline, etc. that could be used to keep in a straight line. But at this point, I was pretty tired -- not making much forward progress with every stroke. The final push to shore took forEVER. By the time I finished, the male sprint wave was catching up to me.

Overall -- I was 5 minutes slower than at the Chinook 51.5 -- a bit disappointing. Later I discovered I was DFL in my age group by a good 5 minutes -- that's a bit embarrassing. Clearly I need to find slower competitors!
What would you do differently?:

Practice OWS in the ocean. According to Garmin, my squiggles converted a nice 1500m swim into a 1650m swim. I guess I can apply the same philosophy to triathlon as I do to golf -- I get more for my money. :-)
Transition 1
  • 06m 5s

T1 involved a reasonably long run / walk up the beach. I was dizzy following the swim -- made it hard to walk straight. I ended up taking my sweet time, and let a bunch of people (from the sprint wave) speed past me.

Transition was slow as I paused a few times to catch my bearings. Silver lining -- very few bikes left in T1 -- always easy to find mine...

Off to the bike!
What would you do differently?:

Not get dizzy from the swim.

Practice getting my wetsuit off my feet... took a while before I could pull them out.
  • 1h 24m 48s
  • 40 kms
  • 28.44 km/hr

Brief section of flat, and then BOOM up the hill. A 2km, ~5% grade -- not incredibly steep, but quite a long one. Didn't enjoy that too much...

At the top of the hill -- the rest of the route became mostly flat, a few (very) slight rolling hills. Much nicer! Beautiful bike route. I don't remember a ton from the bike -- other than a VERY busy course, lots of passing (including through the no-pass zones, which did not impress me very much -- must have been passed by a dozen people each time -- does "no pass" have a different meaning in Lotusland?)

First time down the big hill -- man that was fun.... I gunned it a bit and passed a few people, just to say I did. :-) Coming back up the hill for Lap 2, I spotted Kim - but didn't recognize her early enough to say hi.

Last in my age group yet again... this is a recurring theme! Bloody Vancouver fitness freaks...
What would you do differently?:

Practice longer hills. Lots of rolling hill around our house, but I've only done a couple of big long hills similar to the UBC hill.

Oh -- and not get my bike computer stolen! Somebody broke into our car during our stay at my parents' place, and took a few things including my bike computer. Not an expensive one, but annoying not to have the speedometer.
Transition 2
  • 01m 28s

Pretty straightforward. Except for the person who parked their bike the wrong way on the rack.
Oh -- and I had no idea where the run exit was. Not marked at all.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 07m 46s
  • 10 kms
  • 06m 43s  min/km

Hoo boy... still getting used to the idea of extending my body for 3+ hours. First 2K went really well -- and generally, the first 5K were not too bad for me, as they took 31 minutes. Second 5K, not so much -- the heat and sun caught up for me a bit. Throughout, I gradually went from running the entire first 1.5K, then a little bit of walking, then down to a clear walk/run.

I was quite worried around KM1 as my thigh started to cramp up... no, not at the beginning of the run! But -- I continued to run, and luckily it was temporary.

I did manage to catch up to Kim around KM4 -- we ran together for a short time. Then I lost my race bib and had to reattach!

Round about KM7, I had the immense joy of experiencing a new sensation for me.... cracked nipples. Yikes! Never happened before. All I can say is, it better not freakin' happen again. Ouch.

Tried to keep up a more rigorous run schedule toward the end, but couldn't quite do it. Unfortunately got passed by one Olympic guy with 1 km to go and I couldn't keep him in my sights -- ended up behind him by 10 seconds!
What would you do differently?:

Keep up with the run training. I was doing really well over the winter, then pulled back on it when the bike training ramped up. I'm feeling it now... my legs aren't used to running a 10K, whereas two months ago I did 15K several times without stopping. It's not the legs -- a bit the lungs, and a bit just in the head.
Post race
Warm down:

"Eat. Must Eat." They had a pretty good spread... grabbed a piece of watermelon, banana, peanut butter & bagel, popcorn, and Gatorade. Mmmmm.

Rested a bit and ate, then on our way. Didn't stick around too long.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

What else? Need to train more, at longer distances, and lose weight. I finished on par with my time from last month (within one minute) -- though I must admit, I was pretty disappointed in my age group finish -- 30/30 and well behind #29. Vancouver must have a boatload of fit dudes approaching middle age!

Good news -- I felt that nutrition was better this time. May have overdone the liquids a bit, as my stomach was a bit sloshy at times, but no nausea.

Event comments:

Very good race overall. The setting is nothing less than stunning -- the harbor, the city skyline, the mountains... wow.

Organization was quite good, though a couple of hiccups -- 8 toilets for 1200 racers? Really? And better signage would have been better particularly in transition (though perhaps this was "race blindness" on my part). However -- these were minor. Enthusiastic volunteers, plentiful aid stations, and generally a great setup. I would definitely do this again if I'm in town.

Last updated: 2012-12-10 12:00 AM
00:42:27 | 1500 meters | 02m 50s / 100meters
Age Group: 30/30
Overall: 259/280
Performance: Below average
Course: Two laps -- triangle. Leaving from Jericho Sailing Centre (Locarno Beach)
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 06:05
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:24:48 | 40 kms | 28.44 km/hr
Age Group: 30/30
Overall: 262/280
Performance: Average
Course: Up the UBC hill (killer!) and then toodle around a relatively flat, woodsy course. Down the hill, turn and back up again for lap #2. Course had Sprint distance (1 lap) and Half distance (4 laps) at the same time -- very busy. My Garmin measure the course at 36.76km, putting my average speed at 25.6 km/hr.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:28
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:07:46 | 10 kms | 06m 43s  min/km
Age Group: 30/30
Overall: 274/280
Performance: Below average
Course: First 5K (same as the Sprint course) -- through Jericho Beach Park. Nice and shady, though a few hills which were not welcome. Second 5K -- along Spanish Banks Beach Park -- out and back, mostly sunny.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-07-15 1:17 AM

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Calgary, AB
Subject: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course

2013-07-15 6:32 AM
in reply to: #4803982

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, New Hampshire
Subject: RE: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course
Way to go! I enjoyed reading your race report. Makes me want to head out to BC for a race. Most of my family lives there.
2013-07-15 10:55 AM
in reply to: GreenMtnLabbit

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course
Scott-good job. I always enjoy reading your race reports. Great attitude.
2013-07-15 3:31 PM
in reply to: #4803982

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course
Well done Scott! Sounds like a lovely race. At least you're consistent in your times. ;-)

Congratulations on finishing another OLY, and don't worry too much about your category position. I found there was a big difference in the competitors between sprints and olympics, but give it time and you'll get in there with them.
2013-07-15 4:48 PM
in reply to: chapfallen

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Subject: RE: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course

Hi Scott,

No, no-pass doesn't mean something different, just some can't read! Undecided.  I did the Half distance, and I too was a bit PO'd at all the passing in the no pass zones.  I just shrug it off, just like those who don't follow the 'stay outside the buoys' directions!

I figure if you can keep your fitness from the last race on no training you are doing pretty good!  Sounds like you got your nutrition right, and that is always a challenge.  I'm glad you enjoyed your race.  Best of luck for the rest of your season!

2013-07-15 7:45 PM
in reply to: 0

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Olympic Course
Great work Scott!  Keep up the positive attitude and hard work and you will move up the ranks!

Edited by SSMinnow 2013-07-15 7:45 PM

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