Ever had a dream where you are racing for what seems like hours and then you wake up and feel tired as shit? Yeah, such has been my nights this week.
hahaha…. True story bro! Amen! If youre an endurance athlete this happens a lot
Life goal for 2013…. Race a Full or a Half Ironman (Idealy a 140.6), Any thoughts on a fun first race!?
I need a year in review post! At some point there will be one by the end of the weekend!
Stay fresh friends!
Hey Folks, another race post coming at you full speed. Back in August I raced the National Capital Triathlon here in the nations Capital. What a beautiful day it was too. Nice and hot, sun shining, and blue sky for as far as the eye can see! Was looking to be quite the nice day out on the race course today. Everything was turning out great in the morning leading into race time. Rode the bike as an easy spin warmup to the race with nothing but Skrillex blasting in my ears to get me amped and juiced for the start. I kid you not, goosebumps all the way to the start. I was rare and ready to go!
Got to the site, and transition set up was going well. Bike was racked, towel down, helmet open with running shoes beside the Specialized Tarmac. It was looking like a million bucks. I had my race kit on underneath so everything was ready to go, just had to put the wetsuit on overtop and wait for the start gun. Slammed back a quick sandwich and some Hammer HEED drink and I walked down to meet everyone at the start.
Wetsuit is put on clean and without fail. Race cap on, goggles on tight and I am ready to go. Start gun goes off and we all race and charge into the waters of the Rideau Canal. The start was rough, everyone is hustling for the best position possible to the first buoy. Im getting kicked in the face and kicking others in the face. But I stayed strong and muscled through the first 100m of hell to get in a comfortable position. The brutal part was, I was starting to feel all used up from the battle at the start of the race. Around the Half way point of the swim I couldn’t help but notice that I was beginning to feel laboured. Arms were getting tired, and breathing becoming tense. I knew this wasn’t a good sign, I have felt this before and it is not fun in the middle of a race. I started to take long, slow breathes, strokes extended to gain maximum length, while maintaining recovery. A coupe times I popped the head up to have a few moments of recovery doing breaststroke (ya I know, I pulled the chute, always a bad move, dont do it!). Soon after I pulled it together, got some water out of my goggles and headed back to the swim out from the turn around!
Out of the water and I get the wetsuit pulled off with minimal difficulty to my waist. Running into T1 for about 300m and I get to my bike and tear the suit off and throw it into my transition bag. Helmet and race belt on, Radars in my mouth, grab the bike and get out as fast as I can. I see that I am in a solid position going out onto the bike looking to be in the top quarter of the field I race out of T1, hop on the bike and hear the elastics snap off my shoes clean and without tangle.
Few pedal strokes in and I get settled in my Specialized S-Works shoes, dial them in and it was game on. I am a natural cyclist so this is my strong point. It was tuck and go for 40km. Gained some time on competitors and gained on a couple others. Although, I could feel the heat of the day coming on quick. I was getting a little worried. I normally perform well in the intense heat, but this day felt a little different. I eased on the pedals a little bit to allow for some energy to be saved for the run. Still maintained a solid time on the bike and was clean coming off the bike which felt great. Running into T2 I was feeling a little weak. Nothing a gel and some water couldnt fix though.
Bike is racked in T2 and helmet is thrown into the transition bag, Brooks T7’s on and it was 10km until the finish line. Belt was turned around and away I went. Yup, I knew it, the run was going to be hell. I broke down and fell apart. About 1km in I was already labouring and felt incredibly sore and physically and mentally exhausted. This was bad news, the first water feed was non existent because the volunteers shit the bed and forgot to hand me a feed when I yelled for it. Well I had to wait another 4 minutes for a feed, BEAUTY! The half way point of lap 1 came and it was bad! The body was not agreeing with me. Throughout the run there were a few times where I had to take a break and walk for 30 seconds. I HAVE NEVER FELT LIKE THIS BEFORE! It was the Muskoka 5150 all over again! WHY!? It was embarrassing for myself! I have never felt like this in a race ever! I pulled it together and finished the race as strong as I could. Crossed the line and this was a rough race! Couldnt believe what had happened. Sad news aside, I did end up finishing 2nd in my age group for Men 20-24, so I was pleased to see that at the end of a rough day!
All in all, the day was hot, the day was mentally and physically exhausting and I hope those were the only 2 races where I was going to fault in the year!
Until next time, I am racing the Canadian Iron (Olympic) Weekend in a few weeks and HOPEFULLY things are stronger!
The biggest race of the summer and the post is coming now. The morning was great, managed to get a healthy amount of sleep before the race and a solid breakfast the morning of. Bedtime was mighty early the night before as the race started at 7am and I wanted to be on site at 6am. Up by 4am? Ya, thats exactly how it went down! Packed the car, bike in the trunk, transition bag packed and lunch in the lunch box.
Dad pulled out of the driveway and we were on our way up to Huntsville for the start gun. We get there in one piece, my heart is pounding, eyes are racing, body getting anxious, need to get out of the car and start moving. We pull up to the Convention Centre behind Huntsville SS and my parents know that once I get out of the car, its game on, they dont bother me, and I dont bother them. I put the bike together, grab my transition bag and get everything I need to head over to the transition. Bike is set up and everything is taped and properly placed in my section of T1/2.
Race clothes are already on under my warm ups, wetsuit is in hand, swim cap and goggles are in hand and I am walking to the swim start. Dad follows me down to help me get in the skin tight body suit. I throw back a banana and some Powerade to hydrate and get my warm up in the water started. Its an in water start like the previous years. Head current going in towards the end of the swim along with 1500m of solid grinding. Gun goes off, and all hell breaks loose! Punching, kicking, everything you can imagine a fight to be, but in the water. I always start heavy and try to maintain a solid pace. This race was different, the swim was okay, not great, but okay. Had to take a couple breathers in the water and catch my breathe due to the fact that I was getting tired and using a little too much energy. Conservation, at this point, was key. I still had a 40km bike and a 10km to do. Coming into the last 500m, the legs were cramping, starting to feel fatigued. I took deep breathes to ensure that oxygen enriched blood was reaching my legs to pull the lactic acid away from the muscles. I hit the steps out of the water, start to pull of the wetsuit and get er down to my waist.
Wetsuit came off a little difficult than normal, once it was pulled off grabbed my helmet and the bike and got out of there as fast as I could. Counted the bikes that had left transition and I was not in the most ideal position.
I knew that the course was hilly, but I also knew that I am a strong cyclist. Turns out that day, the hills had the best of me. I hammered the first few hills trying to ensure ground was made on my competitors and get the ground back that I had lost in the swim. A couple folks had caught me, I was discouraged. I tried to stick with them, it just wasnt my day on the bike. It was starting to get mighty hot out and I knew that with the condition I was in, the run was going to be a mission.
Bike racked and the running shoes went on mighty fast. Right leg cramped up and I immediately slammed a gel to get the BCAAs in the body and regenerate the fuel supply. 2 laps of 5 km. This was going to be hard.
From the get go, the run started on bad note. I could tell that my pace was going to be weak and laboured. This run was hilly and hot. I actually had to stop a couple times and walk a hill because I just was out of gas and hitting a wall I have never experienced before. Competitors were gaining ground on me, I was the last of the elite racers in the Men 20-24 category to finally come in. I cant even describe the run because it was just painful for me, slow, laboured, hot and hard. I either didnt fuel the body properly before the race, or went too hard in the swim to keep up to the strong swimmers in the southern Ontario region. Either way, it was bad! crossed the finish line in 8th and I was not happy with the end result. I still managed to qualify for the 5150 World championships in Des Moines Iowa, but that race wasnt in the cards this year due to financials. 2013 ITU Worlds was the ultimate goal, but there were too many strong guys to compete with.
In any case, It was the worst race of the season and I knew that coming back to Ottawa, it was redemption time and I had some ground and time to make up.
National Capital Triathlon…. lets go!
Another great weekend and another great race under my belt. This past weekend (June 9th) brought another great race to the city of Ottawa at Britannia Park Beach. The weather reports leading up to the race were on the gloomy side with rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday. Waking up Saturday morning to see blue sky and sun was a relief on race day.
Today was my first Olympic Distance triathlon. This year I wanted to make the switch from racing sprint distances to the Olympic Distance triathlon and challenge myself to the rigors of international racing and hopes to one day qualify for the Canadian National Development Team. I want to be able to train and race at the international level so there is no better way to get on that path then to start doing the Olympic distance scene right!? I mean you’ve got to start somewhere! Race kit pick up and setting up my transition was first on the menu for the morning and I managed to find a good spot on the racks and set up the bike and running shoes for a quick and painless transition.
The race was set to go off at 9:45am, wetsuit went on at 9:20 to get in the water and acclimatize to the Ottawa River and warm up the body for the aggressive start. Surprisingly the water was pretty warm. Yes I know I am wearing a wetsuit which helps with getting used to the water, but even still, when the minor layer of water started creeping into the wetsuit, it wasn’t a shock, it was warm to the touch! It took a few out and backs to get used to swimming in open water again. I always seem to get panic stricken when I swim in the water, but soon enough the nerves went away and I was good to go. We were all called out of the water and onto the beach for the start of the race. All of us (Male, Female, Relay, Swim/Cycle) were set to go off as one large group and it made for a war in the first 150/200m of the race. The swim was set for 3 laps of a 500m loop, the gun goes off and we are all sprinting into the water at mach speed running and dolphin jumping through the shallows of the beach. The first lap, like I had predicted and imagined was a blood shed, without the blood. People look at triathlon and say, why be good at 3 sports when you can be great at one. Well my friends, you quite literally have to be phenomenal at all three to be able to keep up to these guys and be strong to push through the massive amounts of kicking and hitting that happens out on course! The first lap like I was saying was tough! I was getting kicked in the face, hit over the body and head when others were getting the same thing from me, and at one point, my goggles were kicked off my face, which forced me to stop and put them back into place. The second and third laps were much cleaner than the first, the field started to string out and the packs had dissipated. On the latter half of the swim I had caught the tail of a competitor and took his draft for the third lap of the swim. It was great, made the last 500m in the water a little easier. Finished the swim in a time of 21mins 26 secs which I was surprised with and pleased to see. Although to get to where I need to be, I would like to shave 1 min 30 secs off my 1500m by my next race in July.
Exit the water and head to T1. The run into transition was a little labored as I have yet to race 1500m in the water until now. Find my station with ease and rip off the wetsuit a little slower than normal, but whose keeping track right!? Helmet on and bike off the rack and I am out of T1 with some heat. There was quite the trip to the Ottawa river Parkway where the cycle portion of the race was taking place so the organizers were kind enough to take the 5 minute trip each way (going out and coming back) out of the timed portion of the race. Once we reached the Parkway it was game on! I felt pretty good during the bike portion. Averaged a 35 km/h split and finished the portion in 1hr 07mins 23sec. Stayed in my DL aero bars for a good portion of the race and every so often would stand up and give it a little punch for a few pedal strokes. There were a couple little rises in the course just enough to make you a little tired by the end of the leg. But that wasn’t the only thing slowing me down a little. There was a bit of a head wind coming from the East which made for a bit of a struggle and push across the parkway. Overall the Bike leg was relatively strong. I need to find a way to crack that 35km/h pace and step it up into the 37km/h range.
The dreaded run was after a quick T2. I have always had problems coming out of T2 lagging a little and missing the speed that I would like to have off of the bike. I have been trying to work on those skills, but it is really hard when you dont have your run coach from back home (Barrie Baydogs Kevin O’Neil) pushing you through 2 hours of speed work every Thursday evening. In any case, I tried my best to keep the cadence and turn over at a high rate. I seemed to come out quick in my mind. I still think I can pull off and shave some time off of my pace but for the 10km run I was paced at 4:09/km I know that I can run a sub 40 min 10km so I need to put that strength to solid work and get that sub 40 time that I want. Little things that I have to work on to make sure that I can get to where I want to be and shave the blocks of time off that I need to in order to ensure success in the near future. As for my body, I felt pretty good, the legs didn’t cramp at all, legs felt good and loose. The only issue is the speed off the bike and getting the pace to a faster, sub 40 minute pace. At the line, the run was timed at 41 mins 30secs. Pleased, but not pleased enough.
Overall finish time for the day was 2hr 10mins 21secs. I couldn’t be happier with the result of my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. My finish time is no where near the finish time of Simon Whitfield or Kyle Jones, but I am a close 5 minutes off the time of the last place finisher on the ITU World Cup Circuit!
Next race is the 5i50 in Huntsville in July. A qualifier for the World Championships in Iowa! Here’s hoping that the racing, pacing, and results will be in my favor! See you all there!
This weekend brings round 2 of the Somersault Triathlon Series to Britannia Park in the West end of the city. 1500m swim in the Ottawa river along the beach of Britannia Park, 40km bike along the Ottawa River Parkway, and a 10km run through the park grounds of Britannia!
So far the weather is calling for sun and cloud with a 20% chance of rain. It has changed everyday this week, so I am wondering what tomorrow is going to surprise me with!
Just want to give a shout out to the folks at Polar Electro Canada for the ambassadorship for this season. In the next couple days I will have a full RCX3 Heart rate kit in my hands ready for the race season!
Polar always has to one up themselves when it comes to product innovation for the ultimate training and performance experience! Here is the new Polar RCX3 that they have developed for the runner, cyclist, and multi-sport enthusiast. Smart Coaching built right in, its like have a personal trainer right at your finger tips without the monthly cost! Everyone should check it out and try it for themselves. Whether it is to improve fitness or achieve the highest results on the world stage, the Polar RCX3 will get you to where you need to be!
Check it out for yourself! The link has been posted above