Monday, November 30, 2009

Next race...IM Oz

Same distance as Silverman, just not as many hills and lots of people on the course...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Final days in Vegas

After a few days of walking the Las Vegas strip and some outlet mall shopping we are enjoying some sun and pool time at our hotel. It's a refreshing change from the craziness of Las Vegas. Plus it is getting us away from all the second hand smoke that seems to hang around all of the city.

Last night we went to see Cirque du Soleil's "O". It was amazing! The performers jump, dance, preform acrobat maneuvers, all over an ever changing body of water. It was very awesome. We had seats that were close enough that we could've been splashed by some of the performers. The only thing that puzzles me is I can't seem to figure out the storyline.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 Silverman Post Race Report

The morning of Silverman is much less stressful than that of an Ironman race. There are only ~250 people total racing the full distance (including relays), versus the 2,500 racers in an Ironman. This meant that there were no lines for body marking and timing chips. There were quite a few athletes racing the half distance at 8:30 am so I think it was a little busier for them. Race morning weather was fantastic, partly clear skies, and a high of ~25 degrees Celsius for the day.

I lined up at the front of the swim, and waited for the official race start. As soon as we were off I stayed glued to a relay swimmers feet for the first 1000m of the swim, and then we hitched onto a group of 5 others to form a great swim pack. I stayed near the back of the swim pack to save energy for the rest of the race. Whenever I looked back I couldn't spot a single swimmer so I knew that if I lost this pack I wouldn't have any other swimmers to join in with. We came out the swim at around 57 minutes for the 2.4 mile course. This was the end of the flat portion of the day.

After the swim I ran passed all the wetsuit strippers (they were all busy with the pack that I came in with). I ripped off my suit quickly and ran through the uphill change tent. On my way out of the change tent I noticed that most of the folks from my swim pack were only just entering the tent. I like having quick transitions.

The first few km's of the bike are relatively easy. And my plan was to ride as conservatively as possible for the next 112 miles. It's around mile 11 where the bike course starts to get difficult. Around 20 miles into the bike course I was blasting down a hill at 45-50km/hr when suddenly it felt like I had a rear tire flat. This feeling lasted about 2 seconds before I knew it was a lot worse than a rear tire flat. Then there was a noise and a lack of control in the rear of the bike. Not a fun feeling on the bike! I was trying to brake as fast as possible and not slide out of control. I was approaching the side of the road fast! Somehow, I managed to stay upright and balanced on my front wheel during my slowdown. I jumped off my bike and looked back at my rear wheel to find that my rear wheel was only being held onto my bike via my bike chain! Yep, I guess I hadn't tightened my rear wheel quick release skewer enough and it slid out of my rear entry dropouts. I re-tightened the quick release and jammed it back into the bike and started on my way again. I never want to go through that again. I rode the rest of the bike wondering if that would happen again. This bike course took me about 90 min's longer than any other Ironman bike course. It is relentless with endless hills and false flats. I actually rode the steep hills well, it was the entire 3% grade over the course that absolutely destroyed my cycling legs. I felt defeated and destroyed out there. And I still had 75 miles left when I first felt this way. There were many moments that I mentally told myself that I would be walking the marathon and today was not my day.

After a long 7 1/4 hours on the bike I finally arrived at the second transition (T2). Coming into T2 I was cycling very slow, but I still moved through transition fairly quickly for fear of losing momentum. As I exited the T2 tent, Tammy told me that everyone ahead of me looked very stiff and if I found my rhythm I could make up a lot of spots. This little talk was all that my mind needed, and I started to tick along at ~9:10 min/mile pace. I found my first run victim at the first mile, then at mile 2. I picked off about 11 people and 1 relay on the first 13 mile lap. I ran through 13.1 miles in 1:59 and had a fleeting thought about breaking 4hours in this run. As an aside there is only about 400 meters of flat road for the entire run! This thought lasted for the next 1/2 mile. Between miles 14 and 18 I did a lot of walking, during which I was passed by about 4 people that were running. Finally, I was able to find my running rhythm again and started to gain back my placings, plus many more from many of the Silverman course victims. I crossed the line in 12:38:25 with a 4:16:xx marathon time. This was good enough for 48th overall and 6th in my age group (M30-34).

Tammy met me at the finish line where we collected all my race stuff and quickly left the scene with a stop at Sonic burger for some fast food.

Looking back, this race is definitely the hardest and most grueling race I've ever completed. I was certainly happy to cross that finish line and get my medal. This bike course completely ripped my legs off, but somehow I managed a decent run (compared to the many walkers who out-biked me). Knowing this, I am motivated to come back again next year and improve my overall/age-group placing. I am also going to make sure that my rear wheel is secure in my bike frame!

The organization of the race was far beyond what I expected and is comparable to an M-dot race. In fact, Tammy was so impressed with this race that she has decided to enter this race next year. So next year it will be both of us racing Silverman. Anyone else wish to join us?

Since the race we have been walking the Vegas Strip, doing some outlet shopping, and I even entered the 50m pool for a bit of a dog paddle/drowning session.

Monday, November 9, 2009

6th M30-34

2nd fastest swim (57:44)
fastest 1st transition (1:52)
12th fastest bike (7:19:55)
fastest 2nd transition (2:35)
3rd fastest run (4:16:21)
Total Time: 12:38:25

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Silverman Race Day Slideshow

Silverman Racing Highlights

Unofficial/Approximate Splits for Chad (Results still not posted)

Chad's Swim Time this morning: 57:xx min

Bike Time from Grueling Course: 7:20 (yes, 7 hrs and 20 minutes)

Run Course (Hills): 4:16

Total Time: 12:38

Chad is in great spirits and is extremely happy to be done, but says that "Silverman" is the hardest race he has ever experienced. He says he felt smashed 20 miles into the bike course (and apparently the only flat part of the whole race course was the swim. Yes, the transitions are even on hills) No idea as to age group or overall placing yet. Polished silver medal is extremely cool. Awards are tomorrow at breakfast 9:00 am.

More pictures and race report to follow from Chad tomorrow - for now he is about to have a cold one and re-hash this epic day!!!! Cheers, Tammy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Vegas - Day 4 - Silverman Expo

Today was a very quiet day. Went to the mandatory athlete meeting and afterwards got Dave Scott's autograph. For the non-triathletes reading the blog, he's a big deal in triathlete world.

Tomorrow I plan on living in a world of hurt....
I'm not sure if the race website will be updating throughout the day, but final results should be published on it.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Silverman Swim & Bike Course Preview

This looks like a tough Swim and Bike course!

The background scenery changes every 15 km's on the bike course.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vegas - Day 2

Here we are, ready to start the morning in Vegas. First we started to explore the rest of the Lake Las Vegas Resort.

We noticed this warning, stating that the maximum number of swimmers allowed in the lake is 75. Then we discovered that the sign is for this pond:

This is tiny! If you had 75 people in this water, there wouldn't be any place to actually swim.

So we decided to drive to the Henderson Multigenerational center and swim in the competition pool. It was definitely worth the $2 admission. A 50 metre, outdoor, saline pool!

After a few laps of the pool it was time for a quick lunch, then back to the Henderson Multigenerational Center to register for Silverman.

I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. No line-ups, no problems, no stress.

Coming out the registration I was handed a backpack loaded with free swag! This is an awesome race!

Swag contents:
Baseball cap
Running visor
water bottle
collapsible water bottle
Hammer gel and bar
$10 card for
Silverman playing cards (This is Vegas after all)
Plus others...

Then some shopping at the Whole Foods Market before coming back to the resort and getting ready for a quick bike ride.

This was a great day...

Vegas - Day 1

Here are some pictures that we took from the resort area we are staying at on Lake Las Vegas!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vegas trip (race included)

When most folks have entered their "offseason" (i.e. ice-cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner) I had this crazy idea to sign up for Silverman, a full Ironman distance race outside of Vegas. This race is not an official Ironman race, however it is the exact same distance. It's still a 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim, 112 mile (180 km) bike, and a 26.2 mile (48.2 km) run. Why I choose this race versus another Ironman right now is to get away from racing with 2,500 people and the IRONMAN hype. There are only 204 individual racers in the full distance race entered, and only 31 men in my age group.

Today we are flying down to Vegas, race day isn't until Sunday (November 8th). I woke up this morning with a combination of nerves and excitement. Yes, I am nervous about the race, but I'm also excited to have some time in Vegas to see a few shows. We are staying in Vegas a week after the race, and the current plan is to do some outlet mall shopping, catch a few Vegas shows and aquarium tours. In 2007, Tam and I did spend a couple of days in Vegas, during our epic drive from Florida to Victoria, BC. The time that we spent in Vegas then wasn't relaxing enough to truely enjoy Vegas, we were working out the details of purchasing our Victoria home from the hotel business centre for 90% of our stay there. So it is nice that we will have another shot at Vegas.

I have had great luck with the weather throughout all of September and most of October and managed to train fairly hard despite wanting to flop on the couch and eat everything I see (remember the ice-cream comment). Okay I did discover chocolate flavoured beer, and have eaten a large number of small halloween candy bars. I have done the hard training and now it's time to put it all together in Sunday's race. This race is branded as North America's toughest race. With ~12,000 vertical feet on the bike course (IM Canada is close to ~6,000 vertical feet) and another 1,800 vertical feet to climb throughout the run, this is not a "flat and fast" course! This course will be a real challenge just to finish.

Watch this blog for pictures and updates throughout our trip.