::Shawnigan Lake-first triathlon of the 2013 season::

Weekends Tri hotel for a few people.

Weekends Tri hotel for a few people.

Picking an early season Ironman has it pros and its cons.  One of the major cons is finding a race early enough to blow the rust off with out spending a lot of money on travel.   I decided, a long with a few others, to try out the Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman.  Fairly close and is a part of the Subaru series triathlons in which I have done before, which includes the Vancouver Half Ironman.  Going into this race I had a few things I wanted to figure out.  Find out were my bike fitness is at and get a good walk (race?) thru for Ironman Couer D’alene.  I was looking for a top 5 finish, while breaking under 4:30 for the half iron distance.  Ended up 4:31 and 7th, not too far off despite having an interesting time on the bike course. 26 swim/ 2:31 bike/ 1:28 run-

Swim Start

Swim Start

First off, the venue is great,  mostly because the lake was warm. (ha!) Had a little group with me for this race and they decided to hit the lake before the race, well, I didn’t.  I wanted to stay warm!  I guess I wanted to save my first dip with my Helix for race morning.  On race morning we had some rain…eeww.  I won’t go into too much detail about the whole race but  my Blueseventy Wetsuit was so much better then my old one.  Shoulders felt good and light and by about 800 meters I was feeling smooth and got into a pretty good rhythm.

Got to go up in the Bridge on the way over.  Some good views up there.

Got to go up in the Bridge on the way over. Some good views up there.

After an interesting transition of making sure I had two pairs of socks on and trying to get gloves on, I jumped onto the wet bike course.  After looking at the bike course, I knew it would be a bit of a challenge for me.  I enjoy the big courses without all the turns and loops…well this was turns, loops, rollers.  I wouldn’t say it was tough, but I did find it hard to get my rhythm going and finding fueling spots.  Finally by the last lap, which I think was my fastest of the 4…I started to race.  Im not sure why it took me 60km to finally get my legs under me, but I am glad they showed up.  I had computer issues, front brake issues with tire rubbing, and with rain and dirt…a lot of shifting issues.  Lucky enough, no flats…the group I was with each had one.

First Tri in the bank...Nice job Greg!

First Tri in the bank…Nice job Greg!

Jumping out onto the run course, I had a slower first mile but then got into it on the second mile.  After a tough BMO half marathon a month ago, this course is totally for me.  Very straight and on a compact trail, just like the one I do a lot of training on.  The run was probably my favorite part of the race.  With less then a 100 people out there, it was really really mellow.  The only people on the course were the volunteers and not many competitors since the route a long out and back.  I wasn’t running the pace I wanted to be, but I felt relaxed the whole run. This would also be the first time I would be run/race in my Compressport gear.  I had a bit of an issue with my ass hanging out on the bike, but my comfort level on the bike was amazing.  The best I ever felt.  The padding in the short works great and when throwing on the runners, I didn’t notice it at all.  With cold hands I didn’t  shove too much stuff in my pockets, but did have a gel back there and a flask and that held nicely.  I used the Compressport socks on the run with my Brooks r7s and they felt dry and light. Overall the new race kit worked great.  As far as fueling I did a few shots of EFS every 25 minutes using maybe 300-350 mls on the bike…and then about 50-100 on the run, with water.  I felt like I had enough calories but looking back I could have had a few more on the back end of the run.

Favorite one from the bridge.

Favorite one from the bridge.

One more big ass week of training then I’ll be gearing down for the main event.  It was a good run through and had fun racing in my Helix wetsuit,  running my Compressport race gear from Tri Geeks.  Looking forward to CDA.

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