The Oliver Wine Capital of Canada Sprint Triathlon Race Report
I'll try to keep this relatively short. Tee hee, yeah right.
We had to drop the dogs at the kennel before 10am so we were off early. We stopped in to Penticton and checked out the Peach City Runners store (very nice) and then went to White Spot for lunch. We still had some time to kill so we headed over to Township Seven Winery, met the Bradinator and bought a couple of bottles of his awesome Black Cloud Pinot Noir (now wishing I'd bought more...) At that point, Erik jumped on his bike and I drove to Oliver where I hung out on the beach watching the swimmers while I waited for Erik to join me so I could do a quick, chilly swim in the lake. As usual, the lake water took my breath away at first but once I got over my anxiety, I swam a few hundred metres and knew I'd be fine in the water the next day. It was hot, about 30C and I got some some sun on my shoulders.
We headed down to Osoyoos and checked into the Watermark Resort, a beautiful one bedroom suite with full kitchen (great price through Hotwire), then picked up some beer and pop and I had a 30 minute nap. We went back to Oliver for the race meeting, picked up some chicken and rice for dinner, and spent the rest of the evening in our suite, relaxing and getting organized. I was tired and was asleep before 10pm, with a little help from my friend Mr. Ativan.
We were up at 5:45 and I was nervous and couldn't eat but forced myself to swallow a few spoons of yogurt then left for Oliver around 6:35. It was overcast and threatening showers but there was no wind. It was about 11C when we arrived and about 16C at race time.
I was amazed that I had the same race number as last year (#103) and I quickly got set up in transition and said hello to some of my race mates. Most of them seemed to be first timers or relatively inexperienced so I was able to answer a few questions and have some relaxed conversation.
The Olympic wave set off at 8:30 and we were to go about 9am. I went into the water for a quick "get used to the water" swim and it seemed much colder than the day before. Since we still had 15 minutes to wait, I got out of the water and huddled with Erik for awhile. Soon enough it was time to go so I seeded myself in the front third. I was hoping to be behind the fast swimmers and ahead of the breast strokers and I think I ended up with a pretty good spot over all. I only got hit a few times, nothing serious.
When the horn went, I started in pretty fast and of course, totally forgot to hit the start button on my watch until I'd swum 2-3 minutes so my time was off the entire race. Bozo. I tried to draft when I could but there always seemed to be someone in my way who was not quite as fast as I liked. By the time we got around the end buoy, I had more open water. I didn't feel very fast in the water and despite my efforts, I could only manage to breathe one side. It's so hard to tell how hard you are swimming in the lake when there are no landmarks to judge your speed. With anxiety taking a role, I don't know if I was swimming fast or just nervous.
Anyway, the swim was uneventful and was soon back on the beach, trying to unzip my wetsuit as I ran. This year, it turned that there were some people training to be wetsuit strippers so they quickly grabbed me sleeves, pulled them down, ordered me to the ground and had that thing off and me back up in a flash. I thanked them and ran to T1.
I figure the wetsuit stripping added a few seconds onto my swim time (timing mat was after) so I'm content with my swim time of 16:19. However, I am still a little frustrated that I have spent SO much time in the pool and had pretty well the exact same swim time as last year. Ugh.
Swim time: 16:19 (goal 16:00, last year 16:26) 50/120 people, 23/67 women, 2/10 AG
Onto the bike. I didn't practice transitions this year and I didn't go super fast but it didn't take long to get my bike shoes, helmet, and sunglasses on and head out on the bike. This year there were no timing mats on the bike out so my bike time included both transitions. That kinda sucks. Neither Erik nor I were able to get an accurate read on my T1 time but we're guessing it was around 1:30.
I felt good on the bike and for the most part, I was able to keep my HR around 160 and my average speed around 30 kmh. Idiot that I am, I also forgot to start my Garmin until I'd ridden about 200m. I hit the first hill and climbed well, passing several people on my way up. I was even able to point out to a girl that her laces were untied on my way up the hill. A few hard core men on tri bikes passed me and I passed a few people but for the most part, I was on my own. I think only two women passed me and I passed one of them back later.
Halfway through the bike ride, it started to sprinkle down rain and the road got wet. I was a little more cautious on the downhills and the corners at that point. I had to slow down and go around and irate young man on a mountain bike who was caught doing his grocery shopping. He called me an effing idiot when I swerved around as he meandering in the middle of the road.
Just as I made the turn to head back into transition, an SUV slowed to turn right in front of me. The traffic controllers screamed at him to get out of the way as he rolled into the bike lane in front of me and the crowd groaned as they saw me forced to slow to almost stop from a high speed aero position. I figured I lost at least 30 seconds there as well.
I made it back into transition and after pulled off my soaking wet bike shoes, had a little trouble putting on my socks and tying my Newtons. I hadn't been using speed laces so didn't want to add anything new to the mix. I only lost a few seconds but Erik felt I was a bit slow in T2.
T1/Bike/T2 time 39:38 (goal 38-39 min, last year 39-40 min) 43/120 people, 13/67 women, 1/10 AG
AGAIN, I forgot to hit the lap button as I left T2 for my run. I ran about 100m and remembered. I ran up the steep hill and stopped for a cup of water at the first aid station, then headed out. My legs felt pretty good and were fairly loose almost immediately. I had my Garmin set to autolap every km and I ran the first km conservatively, then sped up a little after that. I was feeling strong so decided to try to negative split the run. I had my Garmin set to show me my running pace for the first time so I wasnt sure if I should believe it when it said I was running 5:00-5:30 most of the time. I slowed to a 6:00 min km up the hills but other than that, I was pretty darn fast. Here are my splits.
5:05 (8 min mile)
(I really ran hard the last km and managed to stay ahead of the girl who was in the lead for the 45-49 AG although I didn't know it at the time.)
Run time: 27:35 (goal 30:00, last year 32:09) 69/120 people, 31/67 women, 4/10 AG
This was by far the fastest I've ever run a 5k in a triathlon before. My previous best time was 29:45 in my first tri and I was dying. This time I felt good for the whole thing! My left ankle/heel was a bit sore but more ignore-able.
Overall time 1:23:31 (goal 1:25 last year 1:28) 51/120 people, 20/67 women, 1/10 AG
So I am content although a bit disappointed by my swim, happy that I managed a decent bike with a considerably lower heart rate than last year, and ecstatic with my run! I did well in my age group, having a 5 min lead on the girl in second but to be honest, most of them were first timers so you can't really compare.
I have a little more to say, but I'm tired. Must go to bed now. May add some more tomorrow. There are some pictures on my blog and I have a funny video to post as soon as I have a chance.
Thanks for reading!