The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Race Report: Cornwall Olympic Triathlon

I have to admit, I had mixed emotions after finishing the Cornwall Red Cross Olympic Distance Triathlon on Sunday. I was happy that it was over, I was happy that I ran fairly good, I was happy that I was under 2:40, yet I was disappointed to be so far away from 2:30. I was feeling a little ill from over exertion and I was cold and hot at the same time. I was mad at myself for being unrealistic and then I was mad at myself for being mad at myself for even caring so much.

After some reflection, I think I've found my happy place.

Two weeks ago, I predicted 2:35 and then somehow between then and the race, I talked myself into a 2:30 finish (assuming a faster swim and a faster run).

August 1
August 18
Swim (1500m)
Struggled and didn't feel comfortable
Trouble with wetsuit removal
Bike (40K)
Bang on. But benefited from a short course (39.2km, therefore only 31.4kph avg)
Really fast
Run (10K)
Felt good most of the run

It's only now, I realize that I was actually darn close with my initial prediction.

The gory details:

A bit choppy, my form felt horrible the entire way, lack of decent swim training this year showed.

: Involves maybe a 150 meter run into and through the t-zone; which is relatively short for local tris. Ever since losing my chip when stripping the wetsuit at Tupper Lake, I've gone dumb on wetsuit shedding. I completely went clueless and instead of just standing on it to whip out my legs I tried to thumb-wrestle it off. I was getting frustrated that it was taking so long that I forgot to put my Yogos in my back pocket for the ride. I grabbed a bite of a Vector bar, but I gagged and spit it out. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity I went out for a bike ride.

Bike: Bike shoes went on pretty well without incident, about 300 meters after mounting. I got passed quickly by a fit woman. She looked like she was mashing a huge gear and I had promised myself to warm up for the ride first (I'd catch her before the end of the first loop).

Shortly into the bike it started to rain, not too hard, but hard enough that the roads were really wet and slippery. Again, I had mixed feelings, I was kind of a bit happy to be able to have a race in the rain. On my first loop around NavCanada, I locked up the wheels and completely lost control going downhill and back onto Montreal Road. All I really remember, is hearing myself: "Jesus,Jesus,Jesus,Jesus,Jesus,Jesus,Jesus" and then I made it around without falling,

Heading West on Montreal Road was directly into a head-wind, which proved challenging (speeds in the 24 range); Coming East on Montreal Road through the crowd was more fun (speeds in the 43 range) --- as verified by the Cornwall Police Services radar gun thing (pretty neat).

Although I like this race venue, I don't like multi-loop bike courses that have 180* turns. Oh well. It seemed my average speed was increasing with each loop. My 3rd loop felt like my strongest while my first was the weakest.

T2: I came into T2 not overly exhausted, I certainly could have gone longer on the bike. And then, before I knew it T2 was over with ... 40 seconds.

Run: Again, similar to Riverkeeper earlier in the year, I didn't feel really fast off the bike, and my first 2k's were much slower than I expected. But then, I seemed to get my legs and the run felt like it was getting easier. Run splits: 4:40, 4:54, 4:35, 5:01, 4:54, 4:55, 4:55, 5:09, 4:38, 5:15, 4:54 (inconsistency likely due to rolling nature of the run).

Finish: I was happy that it was over, although at the time I felt like I could keep up the running pace longer.

Rockstar Treatment: This is a great local triathlon, with big-time participation from the local multi-sport club. I honestly didn't go 5 minutes throughout the length of the race without someone cheering me on. That was really neat.

So, what did I learn?

To go 2:30 at the Cornwall Triathlon, I would have had to swim and bike much harder. This would have required a much different preparation than what I did for this race (which had basically no structure or rhyme and reason other than exercise whenever I had the chance). I would need to put way more effort into training and frankly, I just don't have the time or desire. I could also benefit to lose 10 pounds... and well, I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen!

I also learned that maybe I might want to do another 70.3.... but then again, that's a lot of preparation.

Official results from Sportstats:
2:36:41 - 21/38 Overall - 10/14 M30-39