The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Race Report: Riverkeeper Olympic Triathlon

Prologue:
· I had done the 'Riverkeeper' Olympic distance triathlon 2 years ago on limited fitness.
· I was hoping to smash my old time and go 2:30 this year.
· Unfortunately, this year's race was not at the same venue as it was two years ago, so I would not be able to compare apples to apples.
· Life took over and training was not as consistent or focused as it needed to be to reach the objective (but that's completely fine)
· I was comped an entry into this race by the event organizers on an unsolicited post I made to TriRudy aimed at new triathletes

T MINUS 2:
· Slept well the night before.
· Up at 5:30; sh· t, showered and shaved (my face, not the legs)
· Breakfast = Bowl of Special K + Bagel with Jam
· Out the door 6:10
· Tim Horton's at 6:15
· Arrive on site around 7:40... it starts to drizzle (uh oh)

T MINUS 1:
· Normal pre-race stuff - fortunately, there is a real washroom on site as opposed to porta-potties
· Lots of people from Cornwall
· Ran into some old friends from Ottawa
· Got set up (inadvertently on the rack reserved for the Sprint distance -- turned out to be an error in my favour)

T Zero:
· Into the water for a little warm up
· Did something I'd never done before... whizzed a bit in my wetsuit.
· Got ready for the 3 loop swim, start would be thigh deep water.

Swim (1500 meters total. 3 X 500 meter loops. Water Start):
· Good start, didn't get clobbered
· Probably went a bit too hard and got tired at 75 meters, settled into a rhythm after that
· For some reason, I only breathed on the right side every two strokes - didn't bother me though
· Swim got somewhat congested between 50 and 100 meters
· Got kicked hard in the luggage at the first turnaround buoy
· Overall, goggles worked well (no leaks) - opted for the clear lenses, as there was no sun, mostly overcast
· Water got shallow at the second buoy and noticed people walking around it
· Sighted well throughout the swim, swam straight lines to each buoy
· No real drafting, bounced from person to person
· Swim went well - didn't have that "What the hell am I doing?" feeling
· Wetsuit was ok (thankful I could still fit into it)
· Didn't swallow much (if any) water
· Felt like I could have swam further, was somewhat disappointed when the swim part was over
· Toes and soles were feeling somewhat cut-up from diving/walking/running on the bottom every so often

T 1 (150m run from beach to bike racks):
· As soon as I got out of the water, Mario was yelling, "Let's go Phil, this is a race!" (payback for me doing it to him earlier).
· My calfs cramped running into the bike area and I almost fell over, I panicked momentarily, but pushed through it and was able to block it out of my mind
· Wetsuit came off with little problem
· Bike shoes on, Belt, Flask and Sport Beans in back pocket, glasses, helmet and off
· Got to the mount line, little congestion (unlike the Sprint event I had watched earlier)
· Got on bike ok, had trouble with left leg clip in

Bike (40Km total. 1.5K path + 4 X 9.x loops + 1.5K path back):
· No bike computer again, just wanted to go on feel
· First 1.5K along the path (aerobars prohibited), suited my style - I prefer to work up a good spin before hammering
· Unclipped to jump the curb onto the parkway - bit of a hassle
· Quickly noticed, my AeroStraw was way too long and was poking me in the eye - tried to fix it, resolved to resting it along the side of my face
· Took a 2/3 hit from my flask (1 oz gel + 2oz water) at 5K - would end up losing it somehow along the way
· Get to 2nd turn, in wrong gear (53x13)
· Pass by Mario "Let's go Phil, this is a race!" -- this would continue every time I'd pass by (at least 4 times more)
· Suddenly feel the bag on my seat post (spare tube/pump) is loose and flapping in the wind. Do I stop and fix it? Rip it off and toss it? Leave it and hope that it doesn't drag onto my tire and into my gears? Decide on leaving it and incurring the wrath of increased drag.
· 4th turn, lock up the back wheel on braking, almost take the guy out behind me ... (oops, say sorry - guy says, "no problem")
· Rest of the bike is ok
· Drink about 1 bottle of water, 2/3 bottle of Gatorade, 1 x sport beans (orange flavour), 2/3 oz of Gel
· Bike course is relatively flat, slight incline cheats you near one of the turnarounds, wind isn't horrible
· Unclipped to get back onto the pathway, both hips cramp up - deal with it
· Again, the last 1.5K is on a pathway, and was very congested with regular users, couldn't go very fast, but was able to spin well
· Feet out of shoes ready for T2

T 2:
· Good dismount and into the transition zone without any problem
· As I had racked on the Sprint rack, there was almost no other bikes on the rack, when I got back making my spot very easy to find
· Everything off fast enough
· Old shoes with Yankz on the feet in no time
· Rip open and devour a Shrek package of fruit candies
· Run out through the Cornwall cheering section
· Transition seemed too fast, felt like I had forgotten something, but I hadn't
· Hit the run feeling good

Run (10km total. 2 x 5K loops):
· The run was nice and shaded, under canopy of forest for most of it
· Sun was still hidden but it was getting warm and muggy
· I didn't feel 'fast' right out of T1 - I missed the 1K split, but at 2K I was 9:54 (usually, my first 2k's are 4:20-ish)
· Started to feel some blisters (going sockless for the run) at 2K
· Overall, I kept a fairly consistent pace
· Started to feel shivers about 4K into the run, and deduced that I was started to overheat - so I showered myself at each water station thereafter
· Tried to calcuate my finish time and knew it would be way over 2:30 (I knew this even on the bike)
· Figured sub 2:40 was possible, and turned it up for the last 2K, especially the last 250m
· It helped that I was running scared, trying to not get caught by James S.

Finish:
· 2:39:39
· I didn't feel exhausted afterwards - I probably could have pushed harder on the run
· Hung around at the finish line 'buffet' for many cups of gatorade, a banana and a bagel

Epilogue:
· Took a cool relaxing dip in the River afterwards
· This race was ok - I think I don't like the Olympic distance any more. I'm neither mentally tough enough nor fit enough to go as hard as I want to. I'd rather do a hard Sprint or a moderate Half (although the Half took too much training time)
· The distances seemed to be accurate enough based on effort and my times
· My nutrition seemed to be 'bang-on', I never felt close to bonking and I had no stomach issues
· Other things I noticed: I don't like multi-loop swims or multi-loop bikes (especially with 180 turns)
· I don't mind the multi loop run, actually, I prefer it - especially the out and back kind.
· To Do: Get more bike training

The Splits (courtesy of Timex):
· 1500 m Swim + 1/2 Run to T1 = 0:27:22
· T1 = 0:02:48
· 40K Bike = 1:16:20
· T2 = 0:01:06
· 10K Run = 52:03 (0-2K = 9:54, 2-2.5K = 2:40, 2.5-3K = 2:28, 3-4K = 5:04, 4-5K = 5:21, 5-7K = 10:41, 7-7.5K = 2:54, 7.5-9K = 8:06, 9-10K = 4:55)
· Overall = 2:39:39

The Standings (courtesy of SportStats.ca)
· 54/126 Overall, 46/85 Men, 5/11 M35-39 (Swim 48/126, Bike 73/126, Run 54/126)
· Complete Standings
· Complete Race Photos