The Canadian Half Iron Triathlon Race Report
Swim (38:33) [last race 43:22] = 5 minutes faster.
Finally, below 40 min. I panic in the swim. My arms were tired and I wasn’t going anywhere. I kept telling myself just keep swimming. After a while, my arms still complain. But seeing that my arms hadn’t fall off, I kept them moving. My arms are lying!
For every 20 strokes of freestyle I resort to breastroke to get my bearing. Everytime I tried to find a pair of feet to draft off of, I would not be fast enough to keep up with them. Schools of people keep passing me.
Not much to say. My HRM was flashing 170. No I did not stop and take a nap. We had to run through 600 m through a field with tree roots sticking out to get to the bike mount. Felt like cyclocross 🙂
Bike (2:46:55) [last race = 3:02:59] = 16 minutes faster
The bike consisted of six loops out and back.
My strategy was to keep my HR at 150-155 in the first three loops. Then push it in the last three loops to 155-160. In reality, I have a mighty hard time keeping the HR down. The legs just want to hammer. This is especially seeing girls in my age group passing me on the bike. It was very windy but it doesn’t bother me too much.
For the first two laps, I kept singing “if you happy and you know it, clap your hands..” You should see some of the faces people get when I pass them.
By the third lap I decided to push it. In lap 2 and 3, a 50 yr old Clysdale male and me kept passing each other. On an incline, I would pass him. On the flats, he would pass me. The ego part of me can’t believe this is happening. I am way fitter than him and therefore I should be killing him on the race.
So on the way back on lap 3, I just hammered it out. Push the HR to 160 and blasted the bike. I was riding at 36 kph. Amazing. I never saw him again.
I did that for lap 4 and 5. On the way out, HR 155, on the way back HR 160. Lower back started to ache. So before the turn around, I would slow down, stretch, drink my gatorade and push.
By the last lap, the legs were feeling it. I focus on keeping it steady. Don’t slow down.
A bit faster. I jogged back to the transition. HR at 140s. Took a leak and hit the run.
Run (1:53:22) [Last race 2:00:19] = 7 minutes faster
The run has two loops. The plan was to run the first loop easy (150-155) and give it all in the second loop. The legs felt great.
In the first loop, I have experienced a weird sensation. I am hungry! From then on, every aid station became very attractive b/c the gel/water or gatorade will keep my stomach quiet. My HR was around 160 during the first loop. I keep telling myself if I can hang on like this for the rest of the race, I can kill the run.
The second loop. By then the legs were heavy and breathing was hard. The goal was to not slow down. After the turnaround point, it was gut check time.
I had to take two walk breaks. There were a lot of talk about quitting. My mind kept telling me:
– I can walk the next 5 km to finish the race
– why are you pushing so hard on this race for
– it is hurting so much..just slow down for a bit
– You are not strong….where is that fire..the passion in you?
– what about finishing strong? You ain’t finishing strong now. Blow your legs on the bike and now this is what happen.
Have to play mind games:
– count 20 steps (like Peter Reid)
– count up to 100 steps
– thought how fast I have gone today
– thought about how lucky I am to be alive and doing this sport
– thank God for answering my prayers
– must finish strong…
Slowly, I got back to the finish line. I was so happy. I knew I broke my last race record.
Jenny gave me a hug afterwards. She is more happy than me. I keep thinking ‘geez, I stink girl…why are you touching me‘
Total time (5:28:25) [Last race 5:52:20] = 24 minutes faster
The mind can play games on you. I thought my swim was horrible. I swim faster. I thought my run was horrible. I ran faster. The challenging part is to be subjective at all times. Sometimes you see someone frown over a race but in reality the race did not gone as bad. This is more important when you are in a rut IN THE RACE. Able to see the positive and climb back out of the rut is a crucial skill (in race and in life).
I didn’t check my result until last night. From Sat till Monday, my mind throughout the day kept critizing about how awful my race was. I know I scored a personal best. What kept things in perspective was the hug from Jenny.
If there is one thing to look forward to, it is having your friends and love ones asking how the race went regardless of how fast or slow you are. Having them at the finish line and cheering you on when u crosses it. Priceless. I called my parents afterwards when I am done.
Gordo talked about how not to place heavily satisfaction and happiness on time and performance in this article. As much as I am concern about my performance, I know at times I have to throw it all away.
Result wise, I am satisfy even though part of my brain don’t think so. Execution though, notice I did not race as I planned. If there is one thing to learn from this race is knowing how easy it is to push hard in the beginning and the price paid late in the race. For longer distance like ironman, this will be a huge difference.
When my friend later told me I can bike around the trails the next day, I was like NO WAY. I will never run or bike again. It is so painful. Ironman..you gotta be kidding me. Then a few days later…I wanna go at it again. The mind is already processing what can be learnt from this race and apply to next season.
We went to this bar call Fat Tuesday later that night. It has live music and you can request songs to play. Jenny’s sister made a request and dedicated to me b/c I just finish my race. The musicians made a big deal out of it and then an older, bigger lady (known as cougar) came asking me how the race went. Argh..I felt so violated. She kept squeezing my arm.
I spent the long weekend enjoying my country’s capital. Love the city..lots of greens and very relaxing. Might consider moving up here in the future.
That’s all folks…this season is over….more thoughts and ideas to come…