Duel Race weekend :: Vancouver Half Ironman

I wish I had a bit more time before I had to jump in the ocean.

Pretty busy weekend with Friday morning starting off early with an open water race at one of the main staples for open water swimming in the lower mainland, Sasamat Lake.  There has been a long tradition of  having this Canada Day swim put on by the Vancouver Open Water Swim Association and this year I finally made it down.  It was it’s 20th Anniversary, with 3 distances you can suit up for: 1km, 2km, and the iron distance of 4km.  I decided to go after the 2km, racing Sunday made me choose a lesser distance.

The men started first with the ladies coming in after.  I think over 300 swimmers come out to jam the parking lot of this roughly 1km square lake.  2km distance was a single loop with the 4km going for a double dip.  I ended up coming in 4rd in the men, and 6th overall, with a time of just over 27 minutes.  This set me up for a nice little Sunday in Vancouver.

Headed down to Vancouver Saturday afternoon to pick up my race package and drop my bike off for the Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon. I had to be careful on my expectations  since I packed a pretty large weekend up in the interior the week before.  The main goal was to finish with a strong run and feel good at the finish.

Its a bit of a pain with a 6:30 start in the morning coming from Abbottsford/Langley area but its a lot faster at 5 am on a sunday then on a Monday.  Got to the transition just after 5:40 and suited up for the swim after a bathroom search.  Took a few quick pictures,  jumped into the ocean to take the shock out of the heart stopping start plunge.  It was an amazing morning with a light wind  and the sun starting to burst through to set everyone off.

On the way back up for another climb

I felt relaxed through out the whole race, so relaxed that I was a little worried.  Swim felt good, having just raced in my wetsuit a few days before made it feel a lot easier.  Body was use to the motion and restriction of a suit which also took away from the lactic acid build up.  Popped out of the swim apparently 5th which it seemed like a was behind a huge group, got to the transition and of course got past by a large group because I fought with getting my wet suit off.

Jumped on to the bike for a 4 loop course that I am not a fan of.  4 climbs made it clear that my 6 hour training ride used up a lot of my legs as well as an area I have been avoiding on training rides.  They felt fine but didn’t have the push that they had in Oliver.  I still felt relaxed, and it probably worried me the most at this point.  I continually got pasted by groups as normal and was really starting to get frustrated with my bike.  Just on the last  lap I finally had enough as a group of 5 past and thought I better just worry about finishing this off and go after the run.  I ended up getting a bit of jump at the end to finish the bike off and was pretty hopeful that my run will be better.  I passed a few people that got me up around UBC on the way back to transition and had a really quick transition to the run.  After a quick pee I was feeling good.  Ready to run, and so happy my bike wasn’t under me and still feeling relaxed.

Up that this point my fueling seemed to be perfect.  I took out a lot of the “sports” drink this go around and just used water.  I had 5 gels on the ride with one that was caffeinated, and went through one and half  bottles of water and half of powerade.  I grabbed my powerade off my bike and finished it off on my way out on the run.   Then I threw two  GU gels blocks in my jersey full of bike shit I forgot to take out that were also caffeinated for fueling on my run.  My run felt great, wasn’t tried, wasn’t felting sugar loaded and my legs had bounce.   I didn’t take much water or powerade on the run, but did use a lot of water on my head as the sun started to warm up.  I kept my pace through out the whole run and felt really good, past a few that got by me on my 4th loop of the bike.  About 13kms my hip started to let me know that it was still sore from falling on it to week prior.  I kept relaxed and didn’t need to stop, a few tweaks here and there that would give me a bit of a scare, but all in all, fought it off.  I had one GU gel on the whole run, half at 30 minutes and the other half at one hour, five.

Was a strong race with alright ride.  My swim was the same as last year, bike was 6 minutes faster, and run was  2 minutes faster.  turned in a 4:41 which still has a large room for improvement still.  Now I be working on the next 8 weeks for getting all three in sink.  One more open water race up in Kelowna and then Ironman Canada time.


6:30 am!

Beer at the Jercho sailing center after the race. Tough to beat that padio.