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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Race Report: Peterborough 1/2 Ironman 2014

You know I had a bad day when the swim was the highlight of my race.



Got in early to get a little time in open water, having not worn my wetsuit in ... well, a few years.

My goal was just to be calm, rotate well, and have a smooth swim.  It went great for the most part.  The only trouble I had was on the first lap, the sun was right in our eyes and I couldn't spot the course markings.  I followed the swimmers in front of me, who went rather wildly off course... so that cost me some time, but no worries.  Subtracting the run from the lake to transition, I was pretty close to the ~45 minute mark, which is where I wanted to be.  Consistent with my previous Ironman - slow and steady.  Slow, mostly.

Transition 1

I had some massive hamstring lock-ups in transition... so I ended up doing this:
How not to do transition.  Where all the bikes at?

For those not familiar with transition technique - this is pretty bad technique.  I'm just glad the race official (*ahem*) was there to snap this photo.  The jerk.


I didn't really feel comfortable on the bike at any point, not totally sure why.  The way out we had a tailwind, I picked off a few stragglers early on, but wasn't passing as many people as I had hoped.  It was a pretty small field, though, so might have just felt that way.

The hills were pretty tough, but way worse was the wind - holllly!  It killed me on the way back.  In my infinite wisdom I neglected to put my aero bars on the bike - mistake!!!  I managed to pass a bunch of people on hills, but I was already feeling a lot of fatigue and just not that "on".  My average speed was something in the 29's km/h, not what I had hoped for.

Transition 2

This transition was equally bad, although less comical (and nobody took a picture).


I started out feeling surprisingly OK.  I looked at the watch and realized I only needed to maintain about a 6:00/km pace or so and I'd be in under 6 hours. I figured I'd kill that and end up with an OK time.

Except within a few kilometers my early 5:12/km pace went from feeling easy to hard to not even remotely possible.

I don't know if it was the heat, my poor preparation, or something else... but I was completely smoked by the first hill.

I wasn't alone - misery loves company, and I had a fair bit of it.  And these weren't couch-surfers overreaching - lots of Ironman tattoos and gear back there, some fit looking people who were just getting beat up.  Some people can deal with the heat, some can't.  I can't.

I was taking 3 Gatorades and pepsi at ever aid station - whatever my stomach would hold down.  Every so often I'd have a flicker of pace, things would feel OK, but I couldn't sustain it.  Walked hills, it was just brutal.  I'm actually surprised that I ended up anywhere near 6:00/km - it was awful.

I managed to find a little something for the finish - it was net downhill and there were a bunch of guys behind me motivating me by their very presence.  But it felt bad.


I didn't give this distance anywhere near the respect it deserves and I paid the price.

Figured I'd wing it without aero-bars - mistake.  Had a few drinks last night - mistake.

The one thing I did get right was nutrition - I don't think I could have consumed any more than I did, I really hit the Gatorade / Heed hard, and took in as much as I could stomach.  5 bottles on the bike plus a whole bunch on the run.

Also the one good thing about hitting the wall is knowing you can push through it.  If I can get anywhere near a 6:00/km pace at Ironman I'll be pretty darned happy.  I think it's possible.

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