Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shawnigan Lake Half Iron

My race season has officially started for the year with the Shawnigan Lake Half Iron. I entered this race to see where my fitness is at for the year. With just seconds before the start I had realized that I haven't raced since July 2008 (IM Austria) and I haven't done a Half Iron for probably 2 years. Yeah I got a little nervous just then!

1.9 km Swim: 30:40
T1: 2:32
88km Bike: 2:45:35
T2: 1:25
21.1km Run: 1:52:18
Finish Time: 5:12:28
The swim was warmer than expected and actually felt fairly good. With less than 2000 people cramming the start area it was nice to be able to be at the front and find some open water. I went out hard for the first lap then started to concede some placings during the final lap of the swim. Each time people went by I would hang on to their draft for as long as possible. This technique was working for me until the final 400 metres. When a group of about 5 had pulled away in search of breaking 30 minutes. I tried and tried to regain contact with them but it appeared either I was incapable of accelerating or they were toying with me and matching my accelerations. In the end I exited the water with no-one around me for a few seconds in 30:40. Decent time for the first open water swim of the season.


The Bike course consists of 4 laps of Shawnigan lake and is very undulating on a rough road. The race organizers spray painted all the pothholes to avoid, I think they went through 3 cans of paint. With a lot of swerving I managed to miss allmost all the potholes, but I still lost a CO2 cartrige and a spare tube from the vibrations of the road. My plan for the each lap of the bike course was to go easy on the first lap and build my speed with the remaining 3 laps. With lap times of 43:12, 41:12, 41:02, 41:09. I feel I accomplished my goal.


Going into this race, I knew that my running wasn't quite where I'd like it to be. Knowing this I tried to stick to 5 min/km as best I could. Everything was going great for the first 6 km's. Unfortunatly I still had 15km's left to run.
I had all the usual thoughts in my head:
- Why don't you walk, it's easier?
- Why did I choose to race the half-Iron? The olympic and sprint event people are finished and they started after me!
- Walk now?
- eat another gel and run you idiot!

Despite my fatigue and definiate slow-down I manged to not walk any of it (just 1 bathroom stop). And I even managed to gain a couple of spots in the last 11 km's.

I finished 8th in my age group or 32nd male overall with a 5:12:28. It took until Wednesday morning before I could walk down a set of stairs like regular people. And somehow I'm looking forward to the next race in 4 weeks time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009