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RACE REPORT! Ironman Cozumel 2016

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RACE REPORT! Ironman Cozumel 2016

Heads up. This is going to be a lengthy post. Honestly, I've been wanting to write this post for a long long time. Thinking about writing about it makes me feel great. I'm flooded with sense of accomplishment. It immediately makes me smile to think - "I actually fucking did that" (sorry for the language, but it was called for).

BUT, for some reason I'm stuck in this constant mode of putting it off, putting it off, putting it off.

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RACE REPORT! Ironman Arizona 2016

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RACE REPORT! Ironman Arizona 2016

Sometimes this blogging stuff is hard.  Mostly because I have a partner like Brandon on my back to "get content out" all the time. I'm kidding, I love Brandon, and his content driven ways.  That's why we have the best blog around!  Right? Right!

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Ironman Cozumel 2016: The Finishes

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Ironman Cozumel 2016: The Finishes

These are LONG LONG overdue, but as the team gets back to reality a few things are going to slip through the cracks, so I apologize. On Sunday, November 27th, in the glaring heat and surreal beauty of Cozumel, Mexico, Brandon and Alex tackle IRONMAN Cozumel and successfully crossed that elusive finish line in all it's glory. 

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IRONMAN Arizona 2016 - The Finishes

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IRONMAN Arizona 2016 - The Finishes

As the team gets settled into Cozumel, a quick post is required to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of two of our Unicorns. Sunday was an absolutely perfect day in Tempe, AZ and Trevor and Tammy crushed their respective races, both beating their expectations by wide margins and in the process accomplishing something that is truly incredible.

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Mathing: Race Prediction Ironman Cozumel

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Mathing: Race Prediction Ironman Cozumel

Well here we go, 8 days out. Time to start some mathing to figure out just what I should be shooting for, and where I should set my expectations for the right balance of drive, jubilation, and pace. A long year of training (well for the most part), multiple races and some intense training weeks have netted the following race day expectations:

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5 Tips From My First 3 Triathlons (Unrated Version)

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5 Tips From My First 3 Triathlons (Unrated Version)

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With three 70.3 IRONMAN triathlons under my belt, I feel I've learnt a lot. This knowledge includes a lot about myself, about nutrition, about swimming, about running, about biking.

In this post however, I'd like to focus on 5 Topics in particular that I've been asked a lot about over the last year or so and that, well, I think provide for some entertaining reading and writing.

I've also asked Trevor to provide his particular insights into the Tips and Advice, to offer a more holistic view.

So here we go:

Tip 1: Avoid anything "new" during race week

This is meant to be a catch all, but I really cannot stress this enough. From what you eat, to the activities you typically do, avoid doing anything your body isn't use to. This is not the time to shock the body with new experiences, foods, drinks, etc. As you'll see below, there are a number of reasons for this. This leads me to Number 2 ....

Brandon's Advice: Be boring. Eat boring food. Consume boring drinks, in quantities not out of the ordinary. Sleep the same amounts. Simply, don't change things up too much from your regular routine. Now is certainly not the time to throw in a random game of pick up basketball for shits and giggles. Nor is it the time to put your stomach under distress by trying new foods or foods your not used to. You don't need all that training and prep work being wasted on some unwanted GI issues.

Trevor's Advice: I agree that this is good advice per se, but I’m not usually very good at following it.  I do new things sometimes because I get bored, or I get lazy, or I panic and forget things last minute.  Tammy ran a marathon in new shoes not that long ago.  Brandon did Ironman Calgary 70.3 in new bike shoes when his broke. I raced Victoria 70.3 with new headgear and did a sprint triathlon with a brand new wetsuit. So I would say that use this is a guiding principle, but only to the point where it doesn’t cause you extra stress.  If, for example, your race destination doesn’t have the right kind of bagels, just get other bagels that are close and don’t stress it.  I do totally agree though that you should avoid new and different athletic activity.  By a week out your body is like a tuned up guitar string.  Pluck it right and you get perfect tune, pluck it wrong and it snaps and hits you in the eye and just like that you find yourself on the waitlist for an eye transplant.  No one wants that.

Tip 2: Sex - go for it, but keep in mind Tip 1

We've all got needs. Of this there is no doubt. When it comes to sex, I have to recommend balance, but it really depends on the person. Some people like to have some built up sexual tension to add a little drive to their race. Others might find that it takes away from performance by keeping them tight and wound up. It really is up to you. Based on some quick research, there really is no evidence that the typical approach taken by sports teams of abstinence before big games does anything to improve or hamper performance.

Brandon's Advice: Go for it. I'm definitely not going to abstain, in fact, I'd prefer to have sex at least a few days before a race. My only caveat - race week is not the time to be getting experimental. In fact, I'd strongly encourage asking your partner to "do most of the work", it would be an awfully embarrassing story to miss your race because of a sex injury or twisting or pulling a muscle ..... trust me.

Trevor's Advice: I’ve…..uhhh….never had sex (Hi Mom).  But if I were to have done that shameful thing, I like Brandon’s advice about letting your partner “do most of the work”.  Lol.  That’s amazing advice.  In conclusion, just be a bottom.

Brandon's Advice: I'd also add, make it up after race time. Nobody needs to be selfish here.

Tip 3: Get over it, Peeing in your wetsuit is smart and strategic

It really is amazing how many times I get asked about how or when I go to the bathroom over the course of a race. It is not unexpected. The races are long and biology is biology. The answer is pretty easy. There are plenty of porta potties sprinkled all over the bike and run courses. I've used them before. It is easy. It just costs you time. Want to save time. Learn to pee yourself.

Brandon's Advice: Get over it and learn to be comfortable peeing yourself in particular. My typical routine is usually - use a bathroom before you put your wetsuit on - if possible. If not, pee in your wetsuit. In fact, I particularly try to pee right as I'm leaving the water at the end of the swim. This empties the tank as I prepare for the long ride. Strategic. I know.  As for biking and running - my rule is simple, if I'm on track to best or match my goal time, I'll have no issue peeing on the fly. If not, i'll salvage the 1-2 mins and use the bathroom.

Trevor's Advice: I’m actually peeing as I write this.  So yeah, pee wherever and whenever you can.  I tell you the discomfort of letting it go in your race kit is far less that the discomfort of of having to hold it until you can find a stop.  Especially on the bike with that little seat smashing into all the go-pee areas.  Plus, one piece trisuits are impossible to strip off in a porta-potty.  You’re most likely to pull a muscle and there are no guarantees you won’t pee all over yourself anyways.  Just grab an extra water bottle at the aid station and hose yourself off.  No one will be none the wiser.  Although for “number 2” I would suggest you avoid doing that in your suit if at all possible….

Tip 4: You'll never avoid saddle sores or occasional scrotal numbness

Yes, saddle sores and scrotal numbness are a thing. What are saddle sores? Well those nasty little irritations you get between your thighs and on your ass for riding on a bike seat for hours on end. An especially uncomfortable problem when using a stationary bike, where you are literally sitting all the time. And scrotal numbness, well its when you private parts go numb and tingly. Plain and simple.

Brandon's Advice: There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening. A few recommendations: get a good seat - you'll never find a perfect one, but some are definitely better than others. Use some sort of chaffing cream. There are ton out there, but seriously I just use Vaseline. It is cheap and effective. And lastly, try sit up every hour or so when on your trainer. Relieve some of the pressure, give your body a rest. Minor relieve, but it will help. Word to the wise - NEVER EVER let someone see you apply Vaseline to your undercarriage as it is the least sexy act ever, although it is a sure way to make Tip Number 2 irrelevant.

Trevor's Advice: I’m actually battling a particularly nasty saddle sore myself right now.  I’ve never had one before.  It really sucks.  If it gets bad, days off, epsom salt baths and polysporin are my go tos.  As for scrotal numbness, this is a terrifying but very real effect of hours on a bikeseat.  Sometimes you have to just muscle through, sometimes you have to stand up, sometimes you have to bash it around until it comes back to life.  I would caution against ever “getting used to it” though.  If it’s happening more than just rarely, get a new seat or maybe switch the “tuck” direction (I’m a lefty most days myself).

Tip 5: You can trust a fart after 30 km ..... but seriously, be careful.

I'm sure you've heard the adage "don't trust a fart after XX km". No? Well it's a thing. And while there is certainly some truth to that I'm sure, I'm guessing you can actually trust a fart after 30 km, but I'd seriously just be careful.

Brandon's Advice: I've luckily not have to deal with  this particular issue. My approach has been to have a little cup of coffee very early in the morning and hopefully empty the tank prior to race start. I also avoid excessive fibre intake in the days leading up to a race. If push came to shove - there is no way I'm shitting my pants to save a couple minutes. That's an easy one.

Trevor's Advice:  I am no pro.  There is no reason for me to shit my pants.  If in doubt slow down immediately and pucker up until you can find a rest stop; don’t tempt fate.  If you can’t find a rest stop, well, you’re your own best guide at that point.  But yes “GI” issues are very real.  They are hugely inconvenient.  They are absolutely embarrassing.  And they are a reminder that in the great sport of triathlon there are just some things that you have to deal with on the fly; you can’t plan for it all.

Happy Training!!

 

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Alex's IRONMAN Origin Story

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Alex's IRONMAN Origin Story

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Triathlon started for me in 1999, the year my dad was training for his first Ironman. We spent most weekends that summer driving around to small New-Brunswick communities that were hosting low-key sprint triathlons. No chip timing, no carbon things, lots of mountain bikes…that type of low-key.

Most of these events would also hold mini kids tris. So my brother and I would line up at the start line with our game faces on. I would wear my favorite Winnie the Pooh bathing suit with ruffles around the waist (I had yet to learn about drag …obviously), and then I would only do the swim and run part because I didn’t really like biking. Not much has changed there.

While I remember being super impressed with my dad exercising for a really really really long time on the actual day of the Ironman, my interest in triathlon faded for quite a few years after that summer.

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I began to just run, a lot. I was completely focused on the road running race scene. I actually trained quite hard, even making the occasional training schedule…although not usually following it. I did anywhere from 5kms to marathons, and after many years became an accomplished mediocre runner.

I jumped back on the triathlon train in 2012 when one of my best buds inspired me by completing her first 70.3.

I chose the half iron distance as my re-entry into the sport of triathlon. And as I lined up at that start line wearing a wetsuit I had never swam in, no more than 6 training rides under my belt, and no concept of what this “brick workout” chatter in transition was all about, I realized I had potentially made a big mistake.

My race that day featured all those key learning experiences from the classic panic attack in the water, to 2 flats on the bike, to a finishing chute being packed up as I ran through one of the final finishers.

Despite a bit of a rocky start, I eventually got the hang of the whole triathlon thing and have now completed a couple of 70.3s and a full Ironman.

Actually, just as I was about to move away from triathlons again and shift my focus to trail running in those beautiful BC mountains… I met Trevor (formerly known as Kevin Swimming) in a swim class, and now somehow find myself an official member of Team Unicorn Sparkle Adventure working my way up to my 2nd 140.6......

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Race Report!  The Confidence Builder

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Race Report! The Confidence Builder

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Well, if Victoria broke me down, and "The Speed Feeder" gave me a small taste of the potential of butt-running, then the Stanley Park Triathlon thrust me into the euphoria that is a truly confident race experience. This race rocked!  Let's just get right into it for ya boys and girls:

Swim

No sleeves no problem
No sleeves no problem

Anyone who has read my origin story knows that the Stanley Park Triathlon is basically my ground zero; it all started here, two years ago, on a whim and a prayer with a borrowed bike and a box of chocolate covered almonds.

This is my third year in this race.  My two prior swims have, to say the least, caused me some anguish.  Year one saw me first get stuck in a buoy, then make peace with my maker as I quasi-drown, then finally exit the water in haze of bleeding hands and vomit-inducing dizziness (all mine).

Year two saw me swim nearly double the official distance as I learned that rips are real, getting stuck in them really is like a treadmill in the water, and sleeves on wetsuits really suck.

The Cock 'n' Balls Swim
The Cock 'n' Balls Swim

Year three though, oh man I crushed year three.  Not only did I swim the course distance (as measured by my Garmin) to within about 3 meters.  But I did it in the fastest swim I've ever laid down in a route that not so loosely resembles a phallus and testies (affectionately known as the "cock 'n' balls swim") which I think is absolutely hilarious because, well, how is that not hilarious?!  Not to mention my new sleeveless wetsuits.  Seriously the best thing ever.  EVER!  I may just sleep in the thing from now on.  Crushed it! Loved it. Never wearing sleeves again. Swam in the shape of a dick. Movin' on.

T1

I pity my Ironman buddies who have never had to do a real transition.  And by "real" I mean where you're responsible for all of your own stuff, and there's no one to take off your wetsuit or collect your bike or hand you your gear.  Transitions are outrageous.  I love them.

Years past T1 was total confusion.

This year?  T1 was total confusion!  But it was a damn fast confusion on account of my killer swim.  My wetsuit slid right off, my helmet went on err....seamlessly, once I found the right bike that is (celebration fist pump).  I was at the wrong bike which was a bit weird, but once I figured that out and picked up my wetsuit and ran to the correct bike and put on the right helmet I was away like a bat out of transition!  My only struggle was trying to do up my darn race belt.  My arms were gassed and trying to insert the buckle into the receiving end was just too much of a chinese finger puzzle for my post-swim brain to process right at that minute.  I said "fuck it" (like actually out loud, it was awkward) and threw my belt to the ground.  "It'll be there when I'm done my bike" I thought.  It was.  No worries.

Bike

Bike fast
Bike fast

The run out of T1 must have been at least a kilometre (jk, like 300m).  I actually made a comment to the crowd about it.  And it's hard to run on cement with bike shoes.  Like ice dancing in Poland kind of hard.  One misstep on the mount (story of my life) that was quickly corrected for and I was off.

And boy was I off... So! Off!

I had one goal for the bike.  I wanted to average over 30kph.  A tall order, but my buddy Rob had done the same route in a race with an average over 40kph, and I'm cooler than Rob, so I figured 30 was attainable.  I set my watch to display speed and I put the hammer down.

To save you the suspense, I didn't make it.  Lol.  But that's okay.  Last year when I did this race I remember watching a spectator going for a casual ride pass me on the seawall on his beach cruiser as I was on the road in my full "aero" tuck.  Not this year, this year I passed a lot of people.  Like, a lot a lot.  And you'll never believe what happened.

I PASSED PEOPLE GOING UP A HILL!

Right?!  I couldn't believe it.  But I like rocked by people going up a hill.  And you know how much I hate hills!  I was actually smiling while I did it.  Well smiling and spitting, but mostly smiling.

Crushed aero the whole rest of the way, bombed down the decent, did my second lap, gassed a bit but passed more people than I was passed by, into transition and I was feeling like fire!

T2

Damn bike shoes on cement, nearly ate shit.  Haha.  But I totally saved it like a ninja.  Kept running and into the corrals and.....there was (at least it felt like) no one there?!  I was so confused.  Usually when I come to T2 there are so many bikes that it looks like the race hasn't started yet.  But here?  Almost no bike!  I actually thought I had skipped a lap or something.  So weird.

But no time to think about that.

Racked the bike, which was super easy because there were no other bikes (I've written before about how I ride basically the mini-van of triathlon bikes.  It's so huge it doesn't fit under the rack, which has caused issues in the past).  Bike shoes off. Helmet off.  Slap on my runners with my new non-tie elastic shoelaces (helloooo 1993!) and bam! Had to think about which way to exit because there was no one to follow!  A quick witted volunteer gave me a point in the right direction and I was off.

Run

Butt engaged!
Butt engaged!

Butt-running don't fail me now.  This race was all on feel, and I wasn't holding back.  Legs felt heavy, as they should, but loosened up quick.  Got my customary run-toots out of the way early (thank God).  I was passed almost right away by a super jacked dude.  I did think for a minute "awe man, here we go again" but he was clearly probably on performance enhancing drugs probably so no concern there (I could be ripped on steroids....).  Then a super fast lady passed me. "Double awe man" and for a moment at least I was preparing for the onslaught of runners to charge by (I felt like I was running really slow).  But really that was about it.  Not a lot of other people passed.  At one part on the run I was totally alone and had to ask to make sure I was still on track.

The run course goes up and over Stanley Park, and the "up" part really seems to take out a lot of people.  I made some solid passes, hit the turn around, really started to hammer my way back and was astounded by the sheer number of runners behind me.   But not in front of me!  What a change, suckers (more run-toots...).

Turn-on-the-jets time.  I mean for me that's kind of like flooring it in a yellow school bus equipped with a Mazda miata engine (long and thin....and yellow) but still, my little miata motor was a-screaming as fast as it could go!

Rounded the corner to the finish in what felt like no time, crossed the line, got my celebratory banana and was SO DAMN STOKED!  For the first time, ever, I actually felt like a triathlete; emphasis on athlete instead of on the tri.   So how good was I?  Let's go to the tale of the tape:

The Tape

This year vs. last year.  I made a chart 'cause I'm handy like that:

Stanley Park Triathlon 2015

Stanley Park Triathlon 2016

Swim (800m)

20:59

13:01

Bike (18.8km)

46.53

39:59

Run (5km)

29:43

25:29

Total

1:42:14

1:22:33

That's right!  20 minute faster over a sprint distance folks.  I'm elated.  That's like nearly an entire episode of the Big Bang Theory faster.  That's so much faster!

Goals and How I Did

  1. Goal one.  Don't swim crazy off course and get stuck in a buoy and cut your hands. CHECK (bonus points for the cock 'n' balls swim route)
  2. Goal two.  Average 30kph on the bike. FAIL.  Averaged just over 28kph, but I feel good about that.  I will have more by race day in Arizona.
  3. Goal three. Run sub 5:30 kilometres for the duration of the run. CHECK.  Ran 5:05s.  My fastest average pace in a race ever!
  4. Goal four. Crush it. CHECK  This race I totally crushed.

And there you have it kids.  The moral of the story is with a year's worth of hard work you too can swim in the shape of a penis, bike past some people going up a hill and run slightly faster than average all while adorning a one piece skin tight suit with a giant unicorn on the back.

NAILED IT!

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IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary: Brandon's Race Report

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IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary: Brandon's Race Report

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It has been a week since IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary and a busy one for me. I've moved, I'm starting a new job Tuesday and I've been recovering from a couple injuries that have left this week pretty lacklustre in terms of training, and well, blogging as well. Nonetheless, here I stand and below is my race report. Overvall

This is a great course. The Calgary team did a fantastic job and should be proud of this event.  It is well thought out, beautiful, and fast. A race I will definitely consider doing again. Huge cudos to the race organizers and all the volunteers.

This is also the first race that my mom got to see. I have often droned on and on about the importance of a cheering section and this event is no different. I was extremely happy to have my mom and large group of friends cheering me on. You learn to respect and cherish their presence and support when you're struggling yourself. Thank you everyone!

Now, the race. I have mixed emotions about my performance this last race.

On the one hand I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in my overall time. I'm disappointed particularly in my run time. I'm disappointed in my body letting me down.

On the other hand, I'm extremely proud of my efforts. I overcame some serious pain in my run and finished with a still very respectable time. My mental stamina and strength was tested consistently during the race and I overcame it. I put in one of the best swim times I've ever done and my bike time improved, also clocking one of my best times.

Overall, I'm happy with the race. I think it was an important step in my continued grind. I put some mixed numbers up and am proud of my output and perseverance. I finished in the Top 25 of my Division, something I'm pretty happy with.

Stage

Victoria 70.3 2016

Calgary 70.3 2016

Swim

 31:55 (2:15 min/100m)

38:54 (2:00 min/100m)

Transition 1

5:58

4:55

Bike

2:32:26 (34.6 km/hr)

2:27:31 (36.66 km/hr)

Transition 2

 3:15

4:03

Run

 2:00:32 (5:42 min/km)

2:16:39 (6:31 min/km)

Finish

 5:14:06

5:32:02

Race Morning

Race morning did not start off strong. At 2 AM I woke up with some severe pain in my shoulders, particularly the right one. It was a feeling I've never had before. It came out of no where and it hurt like hell. It is the tightest I've ever felt in any part of body and it sucked. I reluctantly put some heat on them in an attempt to ease the pain and tried to go back to sleep.

The next 2.5 hours provided little sleep and I stumbled out of bed at 4:15 in serious pain to stuff my scheduled food in my mouth. I packed my bag, had a steaming hot shower, and stretched myself out as much as I could. It got to a point where I was feeling loose enough to power through.

I arrived at the course at 6:00 AM. Plenty of time to set up my bike and get a warm-up swim in. I struggled to put on my wet suit, got my transition ready and went for a quick warm up. This is the first race where I got a true warm up in the water before and let me tell you, it made things so much better. I was able to get my swimming nerves out of the way (something typically done after race start) and test out the tight arms and shoulder. It didn't feel good, but I told myself I could do this.

After a quick little chat with my cheering section, I was ready to hit the water and go.

The Swim

Screenshot (58)
Screenshot (58)

The swim went really well. I felt strong the whole time and I found the course quite easy to navigate, despite some turns and navigating around the lake walls. The water was cool, clean, and didn't feel crowded thanks to some wide "lanes".

At the start of the race I took my chosen approach and stayed to the outside of the course. This turned into a little challenge when the water became very shallow that my hands started scrapping the bottom of the lake. A group of swimmers even got up and started walking until the shore dropped off enough. Once I passed this little shallow section it was clear swimming.

It took about 750 meters before the adrenaline settled down and I started to feel the pain in my should. It wasn't debilitating but it was noticeable and led me to do a little more breast stroke, which seemed to reduce the discomfort, then I would have liked.

I got out of the water to my cheering section feeling extremely good. I looked at my watch and was happy with my time. I strolled off to the transition and got onto my bike. YAY!!!! MY BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bike

We all know I love the bike. To boot, I love the bike course in Calgary. Rolling hills, mountains, speedy downhill to close end the course. FANTASTIC!!!!!

The bike started out great. I was clicking along at a good pace, pulling away from a few clumps of riders and settling into a good pace and cadence.

The hills on the way to Bragg Creek took a little out of my me and I found it a little hard to really push it. I attribute it to the restless night, but who knows. I was a little slower on the front half of the course, but I turned the corner to Bragg Creek and put the pedal down. I knew the Bragg Creek section well and knew I could close out strong on Highway 8 back to Calgary.

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Screenshot (60)

Highway 8 got a little dicey at times. The shoulder, while sizable, has a huge rumble strip that makes passing annoying and puts the rider into traffic. At times I found myself slowing down to avoid drafting penalties, but to be honest there was a good bit of drafting happening. It had to happen from a safety perspective, but did lead to some slower speeds than had the road been open. Regardless, I put down a respectable 44 km/hr on the second half.

The end of the bike was a bit of a shit show. The course was a straight shot to T2, down a hill. Riders were easily travelling in the 40-50 km/hr range. I entered into the final stretch in a group of about 5 other riders. For some unknown reason, the volunteer directed the 5 of us, and from what I understand just the 5 of us, to turn and make a loop around the block. This cost about 2-3 minutes of extra time and left us very confused. The volunteers got us back into the straight away but it led to some serious confusion getting off the bike - to the point where a volunteer made me carry my bike back across behind the line because I got off on the line. It was chaotic, confusing, frustrating and cost some serious time in both the bike and the transition.

Despite the mix up, I finished with a shocking Top 10 bike split in my division, something I'm very happy with and pleased with my performance. My effort on the bike is paying off with good dividends.

The Run

The moment had come to test my leg. I had not run in 17 days, as I was resting and rehabilitating an injured IT Band. I was nervous to say the least. After the confusion of the bike to run transition, it took me a little longer than I would have liked to collect myself and get on with the run. Luckily, I got a nice little boost from the cheering section and got on with my run.

The run started off alright. The legs didn't feel heavy from the bike and I was going along at a decent 5:00 min/km pace. I felt like maybe, just maybe I would only have to contend with the increasing heat of the late morning and early afternoon. Then I hit the 3km mark and things started to go wrong. I started to feel my IT Band rub on my knee. By the 5 km mark I was ready to call it quits. The next 16km would be the most painful I've ever experienced and would test my mental resolved to the fullest.

As I passed my cheering section all I could say was, "This is going to take awhile". I wasn't happy and they didn't look it either. At least the beer gardens would open for them soon.

Screenshot (59)
Screenshot (59)

With each km the pain increased in my knee. It was a constant struggle, with each step bringing more and more discomfort. Each KM more and more painful than the next. It is hard to describe what goes through ones mind at this point of the event. The mind games take over and the race becomes much more than a display of physical ability.

I wanted to quit so very very much. I tried everything:

  • I tried powering through and running at race pace; telling myself it was all in my mind. It wasn't. It was really.
  • I tried speed walking. Nope not my thing.
  • I tried walking. I didn't have that much time.
  • I told myself I could quit. After some internal debate, I was going to finish. No matter what.

So I ran. I walked. I ran. I walked. I took it kilometer by kilometer. I tried to think about anything and everything but the pain. About how satisfying crossing the finish line would be ................. Eventually. For all you data and graph wonks our there, ever wonder what the pace data looks like for that type of running strategy? Well it isn't pretty ......

Screenshot (62)
Screenshot (62)

I finally made it to the 20km flag and for the first time in the last 2 hrs, started to believe myself that I could make it. I crossed the finish line unhappy and in pain. I didn't hear or see my friends and family cheering me on. I was zoned out, overcome with pain, and just wanted to finish the damn race. I crossed the line to a huge sigh of relief.

I was done. In every sense of the word.

The wrap

Immediately after the race I was not happy. I was overcome with a rush of disappointment. I knew I was better than the time I posted. I knew it.

I've had some time to reflect on the race and those initial feelings of disappointment have subsided. I'm extremely proud of what I had to overcome to finish the race. I pushed through the pain and persevered. More importantly, I found something inside of me that has been buried deep for a long time. The power to push through. To not give up when things get tough. To persevere and get it done.

I felt both strong and weak at times during this race. I learnt a lot about myself and what I'm capable of.  I know I can break the 5 hour barrier. I will break the 5 hour barrier. I'm motivated more than ever and I know what and where I need to improve.

I've take some time to recoup this week and am ready to get back on the horse in preparation for IRONMAN Cozumel.

The grind continues.

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