One day, Garima said... “I need to do at least 1 real triathlon before Toronto Triathlon Festival and redeem my triathlete status! I'm not a wannabe triathlete like you duathletes!!"
..and so she signed up for Guelph Lake Oly Tri (1.5km swim, 40 km bike, 10km Run).
My plan was just to accompany her to the race and be a supportive husband and cheering squad having done the Welland Half 1 week before this…and I was also planning on doing the Tour De Waterloo (133 km road cycling race) the next day. However, I got suckered in to signing up for the Guelph race on the day of the race, as well!
And thus, our weekend was again bombarded with race festivities!
Swim : 1500 m
OK, so I know my swimming is horrible, but I just wanted to NOT get pummeled by the AG that starts after me. So I started at the back, and tried to get my rhythm set in early.
I tried to keep swimming front crawl as much as possible, but could only manage it a few minutes at a time.
However, the next wave did catch me, and I did get kicked/punched…however, I didn’t go down without a fight. I delivered a good few kicks of my own (breast stroke, baby! Yeah, you top AG guys didn’t see that one coming!! Haha…) and made it out of the water alive and looking forward to the bike and run.
Bike : 40 kms
Its very hard to judge on the bike if you are passing other competitors in your AG or not, but I kept on pushing it hard.
There were a few hills that caught me by surprise and a section of the road which was completely crap. Like...shuddering potholes for a good 5-6 kms! Ugh.
My legs felt reasonably good today, so I just tried to drink regularly to prevent overheating like I tend to.
Run 2 : 10kms
I was expecting this run to be bad, because Sunny reminded me that it has a few rolling hills. My goal was just to push and keep my form in check, to make sure my hamstring/shin pain doesn’t tighten up my legs. After all, running a little slower is better than walking the latter part of the run!
I wanted to settle into a pace, but every time I did, I would see a girl in my AG up ahead and made sure to catch them.
This run and the start/finish is held in the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, which is open to families. Turns out there was a family with a barbeque going right next to the run course. It was so tempting to just stop running, enjoy a good burger and sit down. I’m sure the smell and the thought stayed in my head for the remainder of the run!
Overall, the run went OK considering it was constantly up or down. Thinking back to a month ago where I could barely run for 5 mins without pain, its big progress!
Man, I want to feel like I did running last year while training for Ottawa Duathlon WC. It felt so free and unrestricted!
Anyway, I’m happy with my race. Obviously my swimming is horrible, but today my bike/run made up for it. For the first time in a competitive triathlon race, I came 3rd in my AG!! Yayyyyyyyy! I gained all the time on the girls in my AG purely on the bike and run!
Total time: 2:46:53
Overall rank: 222nd (of 381 people)
AG: 3rd (of 14 in my AG)
Moreover, I was faster by almost 20 mins from 2 years ago!!
Needless to say, I didn’t have high expectations from myself for this race, so I didn’t really have the motivation to push hard. Apart from that, my left quad still had some lingering of the strain I got before Welland (although much better by now), so the run also wasn’t going to be easy.
Since I was full of excuses anyway, I thought I’d at least try an experiment:
I bought some Rotor Q-rings (oval chainrings) for my crank and had long been thinking of giving them a try. Based on things I’ve read online and people’s opinions, it generally takes a month or so for the muscles to get used to the different motion. Being the smartass I am, I took risk thinking, “...If they work during a race, they work!” So I put them on.
Run 1 : 2 km
Its 2 km! There’s no time to do anything here anyway. It was over soon enough by cruising through in 7.5 mins
Bike : 40 kms
After my usual pathetic transition, I chugged onto the bike course. My first priority in these few kms is to bring my HR down and not go out too hard.
Just after a few mins, I realized that these oval rings were wreaking havoc on my quads (or so I wanted to believe!). It felt like a lot more pain than the power I was putting out.
5 kms later, a familiar arch nemesis from last year’s races: Adam Foley, zoomed by me. Ah crap. He’s in my AG, so I really wanted to hang on to him.
There were really rough roads between 5-10 km, and 30-35 km, which really upset any rhythm, but apart from that, the bike ride was OK. Unexpectedly slow, but nothing devastating.
Oval rings artificially inflate power numbers by anywhere from 5%-10%, so I got 217W AP/ 229NP. Considering the ~7.5% inflation, it brings the average down to 200W. As usual, this is nearly the same as my 90 km Welland ride (195W AP), but for only 40 km.
I must stop doing these short distance races so I can stop knowing how much I suck at them! :D
At the dismount line, the guy behind me bumped my rear wheel while I was getting off, so I launched my bottle, which I had to get back. Another few seconds down the drain.
Run 2 : 10 kms
After an unusually quick T2, I set off on the run and there was no notion of quad pain, which is a good sign. I wanted to break 40 mins, but I forgot that this course completely rolling in nature, with some gravel/trail type terrain thrown in. Slowly, I made up ground on Adam, and passed him around 5 km in, although I was far from a 4:00 min/km pace.
I saw that the next person in the Duathlon was 2 mins up on me, so I tried to claw back as much time as possible. As expected, after the 7 km mark, my legs actually began to open up and feel better. Dang…only 3 km of real estate left. Emptied the tank and finished in a run time of 41:20.
The weather today was awesome, albeit slightly hot…and not a lot of wind to speak of (10-15 km/hr?). I realized I enjoyed this race quite a bit, despite the result. Well, except for the crap bumpy road in between!
I did this race after 2 years, so was pleasantly surprised to note an improvement of 5 mins (mainly due to better position/equipment on the bike, and a slightly better run!).
Total time: 2:01:45
Overall rank: 10th (of 55 people)
AG: 1st (of 6 in my AG)
Stay tuned for next day’s report from the Tour De Waterloo!
|Back to Toronto on a sunny sunny afternoon...|