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The Canadian - Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Ottawa, Ontario
Total Time = 6h 43m 34s
Overall Rank = 180/200
Age Group = W45-49
Age Group Rank = 8/11
Pre-race routine:

This race was 'just for fun'. Back in Jan I registered for a bunch of triathlons including this 1/2 iron distance. This was before I even had a bike. After doing my very first tri in June my first thought was 'there is no way I can do a 1/2... what was I thinking ????' But then I did an olympic in July, and since swimming was was weakness (or so I thought) I told myself the 1/2 swim wasn't much longer than the olympic swim so I'd be fine. Right around that time is when I also really slacked off on my training, missing a lot of workouts. The past week I was quite concerned about even being able to finish the race, and not sure how the day would end up being 'for fun' instead of very painful. In August I did two spring races, and besides that logged a total of 81/2 hours on the bike, 29 miles running and 7500 yards swimming.
The race was in Ottawa. I packed everything in the car last night and headed out this morning at 4:30. I didn't want to be late for this race. I was at race site before 7, watched the start of the iron distance race and the sprint, then went back to transition and got set up. Was back at the beach 1/2 hour before my race started.
Event warmup:

Got in the water about 15 minutes before the (beach) start and just floated around, swam a few strokes, counted the bouys I had to swim past (9) and tried to stay relaxed.
Note the theme for today was 'leg cramps'.
  • 45m 26s
  • 2113 yards
  • 02m 09s / 100 yards

This was a mass beach start. I waited for the fast people to get in the water first then waded in and took off. I stayed relaxed and swam nice long, easy strokes. Got in a good rhythme. Sighting was good and I only had to correct myself a few times. I did lose count of the bouys at 3.. I can never count laps either. About 3/4 of the way I got cramps in both calves, not bad ones and was able to just kick easy and they went away in a few minutes. When I got close enough to shore to stand up back came the cramps, which made my swim exit not exactly graceful. It was a long run up to transition from the beach.. the cramps went away again about half way to T1.... but I was a bit worried if they came back on the run.
There was a man at the beach telling us our swim times.. when he said 45 minutes I was shocked.. I'd figured 60 minutes for my swim so this was a nice start to the race.
What would you do differently?:

Not get cramps.
Transition 1
  • 05m 46s

T1 included a long run from the beach. I'd remembered to put some body glide on my ankles so the wetsuit came off easily.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 21m 47s
  • 55.92 miles
  • 16.63 mile/hr

I didn't want to go too hard on the bike and totally trash my legs. I kept my cadence 90 - 95 the whole time. On my 5th lap I started having cramping in my calves and ankles and a bit in the back of the left leg. It was mild but continued for the rest of the ride.
What would you do differently?:

nothing today.
Transition 2
  • 02m 44s

I walked the bike from the dismount line to T1. Cramps were gone now.
What would you do differently?:

nothing, maybe run the bike
  • 2h 27m 52s
  • 13.11 miles
  • 11m 17s  min/mile

I felt good starting the run, had lots of energy. No cramps for the first 4 km. Decided I would walk the water stops. Then at 4k the cramps started, quads, calves, ankles and feet. And both legs were getting them. I stopped to stretch and they would go away. When it was just the calves or quads I could keep running but the ankle cramping (which I've never had before) would just stop me in my tracks. This continued for the rest of the race. I'd be able to run 1/2 a mile or a mile and then have to stop to stretch out a cramp. At the water stops I started with gatorade but when the cramps started I switched to coke. At some stops I'd take coke and gatorade. I took a couple salt tabs also.. trying anything to relieve the cramping.
I didn't wear a watch at all in this race so had no idea of my run time until I finished. With a 1/2 marathon best time of 2:04 I'm really happy with todays time of 2:27. Considering my run training the past few weeks I'd thought my run time would be over 2:30 today even without the problems I had.
What would you do differently?:

Not get cramps.
Post race
Warm down:

The finish was on a stadium track so I just kept going for a few minutes, quite a few actually. I felt a bit dizzy and had more leg cramps for about 45 minutes after the race whenever I would stop or sit down.. So I just kept moving.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not training enough.

Event comments:

Somersault events are always well organized. The bike and run courses are very flat. The 6 bike laps were Ok but I was glad there weren't more.
I wouldn't do the iron distance race here for that reason (12 lap bike, 4 lap run)
A good course for a first 1/2 distance race. (though I would have preferred a few hills on the run).

Last updated: 2007-02-17 12:00 AM
00:45:26 | 2113 yards | 02m 09s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 0/200
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:21:47 | 55.92 miles | 16.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 176/200
Performance: Good
Course: 6 laps... flat paved road closed to traffic
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:27:52 | 13.11 miles | 11m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/11
Overall: 182/200
Course: 2 laps.. flat paved path along the river.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-09-01 7:46 PM

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Subject: The Canadian - Half Ironman

2007-09-02 2:51 AM
in reply to: #949908

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Port Moody, BC
Subject: RE: The Canadian - Half Ironman
Congrats on the race cathy, that really sucks about all the cramps.  Hope you are feeling better today!  I love your plan for next time "Don't get cramps"  That should have been the plan for this race maybe eh?  Good job on finishing, that is a good overall time considering the cramping, way to go!
2007-09-02 7:58 AM
in reply to: #949908

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Ottawa, Ontario
Subject: RE: The Canadian - Half Ironman
Wow!  You did your HIM in a great time, Cathy!  Congratulations.
2008-01-02 12:22 PM
in reply to: #949908

Subject: RE: The Canadian - Half Ironman
Wow! Great job. So what's with the cramps? Hydration/electrolyte issue? Was it hot out? I just ask cause I had similar w/my first tri and I chalked it up to not being acclimated to the heat (it was in the low 90's for my race - whew).
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