Saturday, July 9, 2011

Osoyoos Desert Half Iron Relay - July 9, 2011

Today Erik, my brother-in-law Yogi, and I did the Osoyoos Desert Half Iron as a relay. My brother-in-law is a cyclist only so he got to do the bike, I was the only one who could swim, and that left Erik with the run. Our team name was Sangria Threea and our combined age was 176 years old!

Although I had a tough start for the two lap swim, I was pretty content with my time, since it was faster than my time at the Oliver Half 5 weeks ago. However, this is really just more proof that the Oliver swim course was long, since I know I swam faster there than I did today.
I had a crappy first lap because I forgot to bring my inhaler with me and it turns out that, yes, I do need my puffer before every race, even if I'm only swimming (in fact, especially if I'm swimming). The minor asthma attack was triggered early on when I got a face full of water when I lifted my head to sight, and inhaled some of it. Once I coughed most of it, my chest still felt really tight and I started feeling panicky to the point that I had to flip onto my back and kick for a few minutes to settle my nerves. I managed to talk myself down and flip back over to start swimming and by the time I passed the first yellow buoy I was feeling better and more confident, although I knew I was very very close to the back of the back. At this point, my goggles were so totally fogged up that I could not see where I was going AT ALL, so again I had to stop to pull them off and clear them, losing more precious time and making me feel more anxious about being so slow.

When I passed the 2nd yellow buoy, I decided to start pushing it a little harder but each time I took a breath, I could hear myself wheezing pretty badly. I was nervous to push too hard in case I had a full blown asthma attack in the water so I went back to a slow, steady swim.
I was pretty unsteady when I got out of the water to run around the cone and start the second lap and my team was a little worried but I actually felt quite a bit better by then. I was pleasantly surprised to see my time at that point was about 24:30 (I had told Erik I'd start the second lap at 25 minutes), so I was hopeful that I'd be able to do the second lap a little faster. I tried to focus on swimming straight and steady and not so fast that I had to breathe too hard, and the second lap was fairly uneventful.

I got out of the water and ran down the beach to cross the timing mat at 49:28, thirty seconds faster than my goal, and a minute faster than Oliver. Still, in the strong field of triathletes at the Desert Half, I was much further back in the pack even with a faster swim time, and there were only about 10 swimmers (out of 230) who were slower than me. :D

I bypassed the wetsuit strippers and ran straight to transition where my brother-in-law, Yogi was waiting to start the bike leg. He took off and had a great bike ride and managed to pass 35+ people who had passed me in the swim, but unfortunately he cramped up just as he was climbing the back of Richter and ended up losing a little time near the end. Still, he finished with a respectable time of 3:35, not bad for a guy who's 64.

Kelownaguy T. (Erik) was the star of the team though, when he came in to save the day and finish up our race with a kick ass half marathon time of 1:58:09, more than 14 minutes faster than his best 21km run to date. Way ta go baby!!!!

Our team came in 3rd place in the relay division with an overall time of 6:24:40. Great fun!!!!
Best part of the day was watching all of our friends out there on the race course including Erin L. , Brent P. , James Y. , Tamara, and a few others who are not on Daily Mile. Great day and congrats to all of these amazing athletes!!

Water temp was about 18C, air temp in the morning was about 16C, and it warmed up to about 28C by the end of the afternoon. The day started off sunny but most of the day had light cloud which kept the temps cooler for the bike and run.

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