Friday, June 08, 2007

Athletes racing this weekend

So many things going on this weekend. Here's who is doing what:

Mike- Vancouver Olympic Triathlon. Mike just spent time on strike duty. Imagine Mike fixing the railroad in rural Alberta. However, he now sports a nice tan.

Johanna- Footstock Duathlon

Scott- Foothills 10k

Kim- Wasa Olympic Triathlon

Bart- Wasa Olympic Triathlon

TJ, my cat will be practising his riding skills as we pick up the Honda Ruckus Scooter this afternoon!!! He does not want to be left in the house while I scoot around.

Good fun racing this weekend


jamesmrrl said...

So where is the bike carrier on this thing? How do two people ride on it? Are you going to customize it?

Just kidding, it looks like a lot of fun actually, when do I get to ride it?


Anonymous said...

Nice wheels Sandra. Where's the leathers? Have fun!

Mike "Chewy" said...

I had high hopes for the Vancouver Triathlon since it's the new ITU World Cup and venue to 2008's ITU short-course World Championship. I was hoping it'll be a well-publicized event with lots of talents from all over canada.

The only thing I heard on the local stations were about road closures for a "marathon event". Obviously, the race organizors did a poor job of advertising the event.

As Sandra noted earlier, I was on strike for about a month and I just got off strike duty on Thursday evening. Then, I flew out to Vancouver Friday evening.

So, by Saturday morning, i was feeling tired and not at all motivated to race. My buddy start feeling sick on Saturday and had to quit the race. So, I was left alone to do my pre-race prep. Like always, it poured all day Saturday in Vancouver. There was no way to bike and run the courses. So, I opted for a swim around the course and a light treadmill run.

By the afternoon, I met up with Joel and his mom after the bike check-in to drive around the bike course. This is the first time we could find the proper bike course because the maps were so poorly made. It turns out to be a fairly technical and hilly course with a number of sharp turns and a few short, deep climbs.

The swim course starts out from English Bay towards Second beach where the transition is. The bike is a 4 lap course start from second beach onto Beach Ave, to Burrtard Bridge, turn-around at 4th ave towards Pacific Ave, and back into Stanley park. The run was a 4 lap course aalong the seaway.

It was a cloudy morning on race day but much better than what we expected. Transition closed at 0645 and my heat started at 0750 (if your swim and transition is far apart, remember to bring an extra pair of shoes for warm-up). Swim was interesting because it involved a 150m beach run to reach any water, then another 150m of dolphine diving before you can actually swim; likewise, for exiting the water. I've never seen anything like this before! Was actually fun doing it, but caught me by total surprise.

T1 went by in a blink and I was on the bike course riding towards the bridge. This is probably the best part of my race because there were no surprises. At the start I was playing catch with a couple of guys. By the end of 1st lap I dropped all the guys who came out the water with me and was chasing down people ahead of me. I had to pay extra attention to the sharp corners and speed bumps because it started to rain pretty heavily by the 2nd lap.

T2 was a write-off. The earlier sprint heat athletes racked their bikes right over my space, so I had to drop my bike to push them over before I can rack mine. It took only about extra 10 seconds, but I was very disappointed with the race organization (the RD forgot about a whole age-group of sprint guys, so they had to rack 2 extra bikes onto our rack).

After the little T2 trouble, i head straight onto the seaway and try to catch the two guys I had my eyes on from the bike. We were playing catch pretty much the first lap, then I just drop them on the second lap. On the third lap, the same two guys showed up out of nowhere and was really pushing it. I thought it was a little early to sprint since we still have another lap to go, but I try to keep them as close as possible.

Once we reach the lap point, the two guys ran towards the finish line. Being very confused, I asked the volunteers how many laps were we suppose to do and was told to do 4. So, i went on to do another lap. About 1/4 the way throuhg the 4th lap, I was surprised to feel my legs are fading and have nothing left to push. I figure it was a combination of training, flight and weather, so I try as hard as I can to push through.

After what seems like eternity, I finally reach the finish line at 2:43 with a 1:05 run. One of the worst races time I've had and I couldn't understand why. Eventually I got talking to a couple other athletes and found out, the run lap was about 1 km longer. Meaning, we've all ran 14 Km! Now, i finally understood why the two other guys finished after their third lap and why I felt like shit after!

Despite the poor race conditions and many drawbacks, I am actually very happy about my trip and race day performance:

1)I was just happy to be out racing and not fixing rails.

2)I had the best bike time: 1:07. My goal is to do under 1:05 at Hamburg, so this is a good sign.

3)Most importantly, I feel motivated to race again. No more little voice in my head telling me to quit.

Next race is Edmonton. I've always wanted to do this race, but never got the chance to. So, i'm looking forward to it and hopefully it'll be a better experience than Vancouver.

Johanna said...

Footstock Duathlon: It was a hard race for me. The run was tough but better than last yr. I was at my bike at 31 -33 to start the bike. the bike took me 1:02 and I just hammered.
the wind was rather fierce. I was pretty well spent when I started the second run. I was hoping for a better time. But no asthma attack. So I am just resting up this week and I will try to have fun at Arbour Lake.

scott said...

Footstock 10k: Race went OK. I think that’s as far as I would go. I ended up running 39:59….under 40:00 J. Anyway, I felt great at the beginning and the end just very fatigued in the middle. I finished strong (too strong to have run a good race), and I think that’s what told me I didn’t run my times properly. It was a single gravel path for most of the race and I got caught running at the person infront of me’s pace. I’m not disappointed as I feel it is another experience race under my belt.

Anonymous said...

Wasa Lake Triathlon

I'm not really sure what to say about this race. I was nervous about getting back into the lake, but was relieved that fear was not an issue for me this year. My biggest problem in the swim this year was the fact that the lake was so cold and it took my breath away and it took me a whole loop to find a rhythm. It was kind of like I forgot how to swim temporarily. It was my slowest triathlon swim ever, but I was really happy to get out of the lake. I don't know if I just haven't been in a lake for a long time or what but it seemed excessively cold.

The bike out was great, I had a tail wind the whole way, which only meant one thing. A head wind the whole way back. It went from windy to windier and by 35 km I wanted to throw my bike in the ditch. But funny enough I was only 1 minute off my personal best bike time, so I guess it couldn't have been that bad.

My run was okay, my legs were really tired from fighting the wind the whole way back on my bike. I knew it wasn't going to be my best run ever. It took me 4 km to get feeling back in my feet they were so cold. I did learn that if your feet are really frozen that it feels like you have sticks in your shoes. What a funny sensation to perceive your toes as sticks. I guess maybe if I had enough time to contemplate how odd my feet felt I wasn't running hard enough. Overall, it was an okay race. It wasn't my worst, but not my best either. Hopefully my next race is in a lake that is a little warmer, and while I am putting in requests less wind would be nice. I'll train in wind, but I'm not going to lie, a little break on race day would be nice!